How to Use the Slide Stirrer

written by Rachel Courtland

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Running the Slide Stirrer

The slide stirrer is underneath Grabber and is ideal for stirring slides with air bubbles in them. You can clip your slides on with butterfly paperclips. Make sure that the glued side is facing out (you can break slides if it is not).

To run the stirrer, you must be logged on as administrator. There are two stepper motor control programs, one which allows only for continuous motion. The other one is more programmable, and you can get to it though the shortcut on desktop marked Slide Stirrer. The following steps will make slide flip over and over again, sitting 5 minutes on each side.

  • For Operating System, click on NT/2000
  • Under the Motor 2 column, type in 7200 as the number of discrete steps and click Add Command. This orders the motor to turn 180 degrees.
  • Under Delay Settings, type in 300 and click Add Delay. This orders the motor to wait five minutes before performing the next task.
  • Click on the Loop Continuous box in the lower right hand corner.
  • Click Start Routine to start the stirrer.
  • Hitting Stop Routine resets everything (this is good if you need to run the program for a little while to get the bar vertical).

    Occasionally Grabber may need to be restarted to get the motor to work.

    Some Notes on the Stepper Motor

    The stepper motor for the slide stirrer and the program used to run it are from StepperControl (see vendors list).
    It is a NEMA23DSM with 0.025 degrees per step.
    If you hold the controller card with the chip facing up, the wiring left to right is red, blue and white stripe, blue, white, black and white stripe, black.