Specimen holding, this surplus goniometer or an aliexpress xyz linear stage?

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mkbn
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2024 10:58 pm

Specimen holding, this surplus goniometer or an aliexpress xyz linear stage?

Post by mkbn »

I'm sorry if this has been brought up before a bunch, but please direct me to any keywords I should search for for a rundown on how people deal with specimen holding.

I saw this goniometer for a really cheap price online and it seemed appealing, but I was also considering the ~$75 xyz stages I see on aliexpress.

This goniometer is probably small and doesn't have Z translation (I think), but it's cheap-ish:

Image

there were also some aliexpress linear xyz stages < $100

Image

I'm already pretty frustrated to position subjects with a 50x objetive and would be happy to have something to assist in this. I 3d printed some linear stage and xyr elements, but having something solid would be nice https://www.printables.com/en/model/464 ... 10-degrees

Any advice on if the linked goniometer would be useful, or if a simple xyz stage would be helpful here? Or any keywords to search for on this forum about specimen holding that are relevant?

rjlittlefield
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Re: Specimen holding, this surplus goniometer or an aliexpress xyz linear stage?

Post by rjlittlefield »

See viewtopic.php?p=55311#p55311 for lots of pointers to other people's systems.

The subject positioning I mostly use is linked near the bottom of that list:
rjlittlefield, positioning stack (X, Y, yaw, pitch), HERE and HERE.
Scrolling down in one of those threads will take you to viewtopic.php?p=256346#p256346 , which shows how I use my positioning stack in horizontal and vertical layouts.

--Rik

mkbn
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Re: Specimen holding, this surplus goniometer or an aliexpress xyz linear stage?

Post by mkbn »

rjlittlefield wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2024 9:29 pm
See viewtopic.php?p=55311#p55311 for lots of pointers to other people's systems.

The subject positioning I mostly use is linked near the bottom of that list:
rjlittlefield, positioning stack (X, Y, yaw, pitch), HERE and HERE.
Scrolling down in one of those threads will take you to viewtopic.php?p=256346#p256346 , which shows how I use my positioning stack in horizontal and vertical layouts.

--Rik
woohoo, thank you! :)

Cdalry
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Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2024 3:04 am
Location: Idaho, USA

Re: Specimen holding, this surplus goniometer or an aliexpress xyz linear stage?

Post by Cdalry »

mkbn wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2024 8:12 pm
Image

I'm already pretty frustrated to position subjects with a 50x objetive and would be happy to have something to assist in this. I 3d printed some linear stage and xyr elements, but having something solid would be nice https://www.printables.com/en/model/464 ... 10-degrees
Jumping in to add, those two are pretty different in size to where depending on what you're doing either or both could be a good choice. This looks an awful lot like a Charles Supper Company build (or knockoff), designed for x-ray crystallography. It's *tiny*, that's likely someone's etched thumbprint on the scale in your image. You'll need to use some sort of tool able to turn a 1.75mm shaft to adjust it, such as a watch key.
Apologies for my quick and terrible camera phone picture:
A horrid snapshot of a Charles Supper Company goniometer, with US penny for scale
A horrid snapshot of a Charles Supper Company goniometer, with US penny for scale
Mine is obviously a different model, but hopefully this gives some perspective on what scale you'd be working with. Since you say you're using a 50x objective, something on this scale may be exactly what you want, but for lesser magnification it would get annoying fast.

Planapo
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Location: Germany, in the United States of Europe

Re: Specimen holding, this surplus goniometer or an aliexpress xyz linear stage?

Post by Planapo »

mkbn wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2024 8:12 pm
I'm sorry if this has been brought up before a bunch, but please direct me to any keywords I should search for for a rundown on how people deal with specimen holding.

I saw this goniometer for a really cheap price online and it seemed appealing, but I was also considering the ~$75 xyz stages I see on aliexpress.

This goniometer is probably small and doesn't have Z translation (I think), but it's cheap-ish:

Image
This looks like a head used for positioning crystals for (x-ray) diffraction analysis.
They come in different versions. In the one you show here, I think I can see four set screws with square heads, so this diffractometer head seems to provide translation in X,Y and rotation in Rx, Ry. But to be absolutely sure, one would need views from different sides.
If you can get it for a low price, it could be a good option as part of your specimen positioning device. My similar head, made in Germany, all brass, heavy and still in production, is sold at a very high price when new.

--Betty
Atticus Finch: "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view
- until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
Lee, N. H. 1960. To Kill a Mockingbird. J. B. Lippincott, New York.

mkbn
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2024 10:58 pm

Re: Specimen holding, this surplus goniometer or an aliexpress xyz linear stage?

Post by mkbn »

Cdalry wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2024 10:54 am
mkbn wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2024 8:12 pm
Image

I'm already pretty frustrated to position subjects with a 50x objetive and would be happy to have something to assist in this. I 3d printed some linear stage and xyr elements, but having something solid would be nice https://www.printables.com/en/model/464 ... 10-degrees
Jumping in to add, those two are pretty different in size to where depending on what you're doing either or both could be a good choice. This looks an awful lot like a Charles Supper Company build (or knockoff), designed for x-ray crystallography. It's *tiny*, that's likely someone's etched thumbprint on the scale in your image. You'll need to use some sort of tool able to turn a 1.75mm shaft to adjust it, such as a watch key.
Apologies for my quick and terrible camera phone picture:
gonio.jpg

Mine is obviously a different model, but hopefully this gives some perspective on what scale you'd be working with. Since you say you're using a 50x objective, something on this scale may be exactly what you want, but for lesser magnification it would get annoying fast.
Yeah! I think I was reading that it would have been likely used for crystallography and I imagined it would be small and potentially having both would be useful, but I was a little concerned if I took some photos at 20x or so eventually if I'd be frustrated with the short travel amounts.

I was planning on 3d printing some knobs to turn the square shafts.
Planapo wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2024 11:35 am
mkbn wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2024 8:12 pm
I'm sorry if this has been brought up before a bunch, but please direct me to any keywords I should search for for a rundown on how people deal with specimen holding.

I saw this goniometer for a really cheap price online and it seemed appealing, but I was also considering the ~$75 xyz stages I see on aliexpress.

This goniometer is probably small and doesn't have Z translation (I think), but it's cheap-ish:

Image
This looks like a head used for positioning crystals for (x-ray) diffraction analysis.
They come in different versions. In the one you show here, I think I can see four set screws with square heads, so this diffractometer head seems to provide translation in X,Y and rotation in Rx, Ry. But to be absolutely sure, one would need views from different sides.
If you can get it for a low price, it could be a good option as part of your specimen positioning device. My similar head, made in Germany, all brass, heavy and still in production, is sold at a very high price when new.

--Betty
Yes, sorry for only one photo, it is X Y Rx Ry.

I got an offer from the seller for less than an xyz stage from AliExpress would be. Edit: so I just bought it. Having the Rx dimension is a bit appealing because something I'm noticing is that the "tilt" of the specimens I'm taking photos of so far (fungi micro structures) seems to greatly impact the light transmission so far as I'm exploring diffusion and flashes. My wallet was hoping for one or the other, though :lol:

I appreciate your feedback.


I set up my microscope next to the camera and I tried a bit of using the microscope stage to position things and it was definitely a little better, but hot ##### I'm ready for some more consistent and less fragile positioning soon. I know I'm being a baby, but I also almost already want to figure out adding some small steppers to an XYZ stage or goniometer so that I can remotely actuate things ni the X Y Z plane instead of crouching over my table. At least remote camera viewing and control from my phone is helping a bit to not have to park myself behind the camera itself.

Planapo
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Re: Specimen holding, this surplus goniometer or an aliexpress xyz linear stage?

Post by Planapo »

Attached is a picture how I've added Z and Rz to my diffractometer head with spare parts I had on the shelf for some time.
The linear stage, here sandwiched vertically between two angle brackets, would also allow for manual stacking, if this specimen holder/stage was used in a vertical setup below the camera lens/objective.

--Betty
Attachments
IMG_20240210_174256.jpg
Atticus Finch: "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view
- until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
Lee, N. H. 1960. To Kill a Mockingbird. J. B. Lippincott, New York.

mkbn
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2024 10:58 pm

Re: Specimen holding, this surplus goniometer or an aliexpress xyz linear stage?

Post by mkbn »

Planapo wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2024 12:24 pm
Attached is a picture how I've added Z and Rz to my diffractometer head with spare parts I had on the shelf for some time.
The linear stage, here sandwiched vertically between two angle brackets, would also allow for manual stacking, if this specimen holder/stage was used in a vertical setup below the camera lens/objective.

--Betty
Aha, thanks for the idea!! I had missed this reply, maybe I need to enable notifications. What are you using for the vertical linear motion surface for Z(on the back side of this) ?

I have the above goniometer on the way, but was still trying to solve for Z translation for subject finding and positioning (I do horizontal rail macro currently).

I'd prefer reusing things I have around, but forgot I have a throwaway $11 micrometer too. I think I can rig something together like this for Z movement.

Also, I've got rough mental plans to motorize my goniometer so I can move the subject itself via Wi-Fi and a pi pico w. I already have all the spare steppers and electronics (which are cheap anyway) and stepper control via the pico w is already what I do for my macro rail itself. So, kinda thinking, why not print a bracket and use some belts that go to 3d printed gears to the square heads on the goniometer, after I play with moving it by hand for a while.

Planapo
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:33 am
Location: Germany, in the United States of Europe

Re: Specimen holding, this surplus goniometer or an aliexpress xyz linear stage?

Post by Planapo »

What are you using for the vertical linear motion surface for Z(on the back side of this) ?
Sandwiched between the two angle brackets is a Newport M-426 linear stage.
Also, I've got rough mental plans to motorize my goniometer so I can move the subject itself via Wi-Fi and a pi pico w.
Yeah, I have seen that there are DC motors which can be put on the square ends of the screws that actuate the goniometer head. It would be convenient not to have to reach forward into a setup to turn the screws by hand and risking to knock things over ...

--Betty
Atticus Finch: "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view
- until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
Lee, N. H. 1960. To Kill a Mockingbird. J. B. Lippincott, New York.

mkbn
Posts: 136
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2024 10:58 pm

Re: Specimen holding, this surplus goniometer or an aliexpress xyz linear stage?

Post by mkbn »

You all helped me out by telling me it was small, but no one warned me about how CUTE these are! Mine arrived today .

I printed some thumb wheels and ordered a cheap zr stage to take care of that instead of making something.
Screenshot_20240221-153534_copy_870x619.png
Planapo wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2024 4:09 pm
Yeah, I have seen that there are DC motors which can be put on the square ends of the screws that actuate the goniometer head. It would be convenient not to have to reach forward into a setup to turn the screws by hand and risking to knock things over ...

--Betty
Oh, I totally didn't even think about the fact that the motors would have to mount on the stages themselves since they translate in more directions each layer, ha! Really tiny motors would be fun. I got a 5 pack of something motors may be just a bit small enough after realizing I couldn't run each axis belted with stationary motors (except the first axis).

Printed some lil knobs and tested printed flexible belts and gears anyhow!




PXL_20240222_055055115.MP_copy_524x393.jpg
PXL_20240221_222715124.MP_copy_524x393_copy_1024x768.jpg
PXL_20240221_212802671.MP_copy_393x524.jpg

Igor
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Location: Russia

Re: Specimen holding, this surplus goniometer or an aliexpress xyz linear stage?

Post by Igor »

mkbn wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2024 8:12 pm

This goniometer is probably small and doesn't have Z translation (I think), but it's cheap-ish:
Yesterday I received this: https://aliexpress.ru/item/100500595017 ... 5939618651 . Moving along 3 axes. I have already tested it for my purposes at a magnification of 10x (I think it will easily be suitable for 20x, if not more), I was satisfied with everything about it. I bought it 5 days ago at a price of $38 and this is at least 10 times cheaper than if you buy a specialized one. Another advantage is that you can move it sideways by a few centimeters, unlike small specialized goniometers. I unscrewed the metal jaws in it and got an additional opening, where I placed this vertical platform: https://aliexpress.ru/item/100500474562 ... =affiliate and pressed it with a vice. Now I got 4-axis movement for only $41.
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mkbn
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2024 10:58 pm

Re: Specimen holding, this surplus goniometer or an aliexpress xyz linear stage?

Post by mkbn »

Igor wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2024 5:08 am
mkbn wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2024 8:12 pm

This goniometer is probably small and doesn't have Z translation (I think), but it's cheap-ish:
Yesterday I received this: https://aliexpress.ru/item/100500595017 ... 5939618651 . Moving along 3 axes. I have already tested it for my purposes at a magnification of 10x (I think it will easily be suitable for 20x, if not more), I was satisfied with everything about it. I bought it 5 days ago at a price of $38 and this is at least 10 times cheaper than if you buy a specialized one. Another advantage is that you can move it sideways by a few centimeters, unlike small specialized goniometers. I unscrewed the metal jaws in it and got an additional opening, where I placed this vertical platform: https://aliexpress.ru/item/100500474562 ... =affiliate and pressed it with a vice. Now I got 4-axis movement for only $41.

1.jpg
2.jpg
3.jpg
Creative! Yeah , I can also confirm the cheap AliExpress cross slide vices are usable. I ended up getting the larger version of the same yellow and green cheap cross slide vice for coarse positioning because it was on sale for $27. The smaller version is probably easier to use, but even at 40x NA 0.55 the big version can be used for positioning, with some frustration. There's a bunch of backlash of course and it's somewhat inconsistent, but totally usable. It also allowed me to mount my goniometer.on one side and larger specimen holding vise on the other.

In case anyone is reading that was considering one, a goniometer is absolutely lovely to use!! It took a lot of the pain away from finely positioning specimens at high NA and magnification. If you have the opportunity to pick one up used cheaply like I did, I certainly love mine.

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