Microscope Control Panel

This panel contains various controls to minimize the need to access the microscope's user interface.  Its primary use is to facilitate use of SerialEM via remote access, but it may be more generally useful for two reasons: it allows the elimination of some common scripts, and it provides a visual interface for beam operations available through obscure arrow key combinations.  This panel is unique in that it can be completely eliminated from the set of tool panels if desired, using an entry in the Window menu.

Open/Close Valve(s)  or  Turn Beam On/Off

This button allows one to toggle the state of the beam: it opens or closes the column valves on an FEI scope or the beam valve on a JEOL scope with a FEG, or it turns the filament on or off on other JEOL scopes.

Mag

Use this spin button to increase or decrease the magnification. If you click the button multiple times with a small enough time (0.35 sec) between clicks, the program will go several steps with just one magnification change.  The new magnification will be displayed in the Microscope Status panel as soon as you click the button, prefixed by '->', so that you can know what magnification will be reached.  The '->' will stay until the magnification change is achieved.

Intensity with Mag

Select this option to have the program change intensity when you change magnification with the Mag spin button, so as to maintain a constant beam brightness.  Intensity must be within the calibrated range for the current spot size for this option to have any effect.  This option works regardless of whether an equivalent function is turned on in the microscope user interface (intensity zoom, brightness zoom).

Spot

Use this spin button to increase or decrease the spot size number.  If you click the button multiple times with a small enough time (0.35 sec) between clicks, the program will go several steps with just one spot size change.  The new spot size will be displayed in the Microscope Status panel as soon as you click the button, prefixed by '->', so that you can know what spot size will be reached.

Beam Up/Down, Left/Right

Use these two spin buttons to move the beam in the indicated direction; the size of the step as a fraction of the camera field of view is indicated by the text below the buttons.  For example, a step of 0.1 will move the beam by one-tenth of the field of view of the current camera.  The same movements can be made with Shift and the Arrow keys, with the same step size.  These controls require beam shift to be calibrated for the current magnification range.

C2/C3/IA

Use this spin button to increase or decrease the value of the intensity lens setting: the illuminated area on an FEI Titan, C2 value on other FEI scopes and Hitachi scopes, C3 value on JEOL scopes.  The size of the change is indicated by the value below the button, in units of percent C2 or C3 or microns of illuminated area.  This control requires no calibrations.  The same changes can be made with Ctrl and the Up and Down Arrow keys, with the same step size.

Nanoprobe/Microprobe (FEI only)

Press this button to switch to the indicated illumination mode.

Beam step -/+

Use these buttons to decrease or increase the step size for beam movement by a factor of 1.414.  The same changes can be made with the < and > keys, and changes with those keys will appear in the size indicated here.

Intensity step -/+

Use these buttons to decrease or increase the step size for changes in the intensity lens value.  The same changes can be made with the Ctrl and the , (comma) or . (period) keys, and changes with those keys will appear in the size indicated here.