Currently, the standard microscope software supports motor controller boards running the Sangabord firmware.

Three “official” designs for the Sangaboard exist, and these are described below.

Board designs

Simple controller using Arduino Nano

Most recommended motors will come packaged with a simple driver board. These can be connected to an Arduino Nano and a power supply following the diagram below.

Simple motor controller with Arduino

Then, use the Arduino IDE to flash the Sangabord firmware, and connect the Arduino to your microscope’s Raspberry Pi via it’s USB port.

Warning: Do not attempt to power the motors from the Raspberry Pi’s pins. They can draw far more than the maximum current the Pi will safely supply. Always use a separate power supply for the motors.

The microscope software should recognise a supported Sangaboard is connected, and enable motorised control of the microscope stage.

PCB + Arduino Nano (Sangaboard v0.2)

This option aims to be a super-simple motor controller board, based on an Arduino Nano and a couple of Darlington pair ICs. It owes quite a bit to Fergus Riche’s motor board, the hardware developed by OpenScope and the Arduino-based motor controller used by a number of summer students working with Richard Bowman in Cambridge, particularly James Sharkey.

The PCB design, bill of materials, and purchase links for both are available via Kitspace.

A circuit schematic can be found here

Fully integrated board (Sangaboard v0.3)

A fully-custom, Arduino-like board can also be used to drive the microscope motors. The Sangabord v0.3 design integrates everything onto a single PCB, removing the need to plug in a separate Arduino.

The PCB design, bill of materials, and purchase links for both are also available via Kitspace.

If building or ordering your own custom board, you will first need to burn the bootloader to the board, before flashing the Sangabord firmware.

Arduino code

All board options share a common Arduino “firmware”.

The Arduino code can be downloaded here.

Instructions for flashing the firmware can be found here.