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Optical Filter Changer with Rapid Switching – Lambda 10-B

The Lambda 10-B from Sutter Instrument​ is a high performance, microprocessor-controlled filter wheel ideal for imaging applications requiring a single filter wheel.

This optical filter changer is the most recent addition to Sutter's optical filter changer product line.

It uses the latest advances in motor technology in order to achieve switching times of 40 msec between adjacent filters. Switching times of less than 31 msec is achieved by the Lambda 10-B when it is used with Sutter’s high-speed 4 position wheels. The Lambda 10-B, featuring both USB and serial port interfaces and also keypad control, is a cost-effective alternative to the Lambda 10-2.

The Lambda 10-B can operate with switching times as short as 40 msec with Sutter’s standard 25 mm filter wheel and also 32 mm wheel. The user can chose from seven speeds, allowing the speed to be altered in accordance with the load of the wheel. Except for the 4 position compact wheel, Sutter’s filter wheels use a direct drive system: a feature that helps preventing belt slippage or backlash. An optional shutter installation is also available.

Filter selection can be made directly from the keypad or from a computer through the serial or USB port. The shortest route to the selected filter is determined by the Lambda 10-B controller, and an acceleration/deceleration algorithm minimizes vibrations when the wheel is moving.

The front panel displays the current filter position. The position of the filter wheel is monitored by internal sensors to insure that the correct filter is in place. The drive uses switching mode current regulation, which is more economical than the linear supply of the Lambda 10-2.

Even though this is not a problem with most imaging applications, the Lambda 10-2 may be more suitable for systems where electrophysiology is carried out.

Both serial and USB input ports are provided to allow effortless and complete control from a remote computer. RS232 level signals are accepted by the serial port through a DB-9 connector. USB input is made through a standard connector and can also be connected to a USB port.

The USB port interface of the Lambda 10-B supports multiple USB devices simultaneously, enabling a user to run in tandem several units as USB ports. The universal power supply will automatically switch to accommodate local line voltage.

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Getting Faster Filter Switching Times with several Filters Installed

The Sutter filter wheel systems are constantly optimized for rapid switching of a lightly loaded wheel. The added mass requires an increase in the time required to switch from one filter to another when several thick filters are installed.

Switching times advance significantly with filters made on a thin substrate that do not need a thick layer of additional glass to obtain the desired blocking. Semrock® has the required coating technology to provide filters with substrates down to 2 mm in thickness.

Sutter Instrument has taken the additional step of designing a special threaded ring that Semrock can install in place of their typical plain filter cells. Filters mounted in these rings can be threaded directly into the body of Sutter’s filter wheels when the company’s standard filter cups have been removed.

Semrock filters weigh less than the filter cup and retaining ring generally used to mount filters in the Sutter wheels. If Sutter’s filter cups are removed followed by mounting the new threaded filters directly in the wheel, even a fully loaded wheel will be able to operate at speeds that earlier could only be used with just two filters installed.

Semrock is now ready to provide filters for Sutter’s 25 mm filter wheels with 32 mm filters available shortly. Installing these filters in a Sutter wheel that has filter cups, will require the cup to be removed from the position the user intends to use to mount the threaded filter. When installing the new threaded filters, the new wrench designed for this purpose can be used.

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Key Features

  • Universal power supply
  • Chopper drives
  • Serial and USB interfaces
  • Can accommodate Uniblitz® shutter and SmartShutter®
  • Controls a variety of 50 mm, 32 mm and 25 mm wheels
  • Controls one wheel and one optional shutter or two SmartShutter®
  • 30 msec between adjacent filters (4 position wheel)
  • 40 msec between adjacent filters (10 position wheel)

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