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General FAQs

What kind of Microscopes can I use with the RatioMaster™?
The RatioMaster™ can be used with any standard Fluorescence microscope from Zeiss, Leica, Olympus,Nikon or Motic.

What ports can I use the RatioMaster™ on to illuminate my microscope?
PTI provides adaptors for both EPI and Direct port on the microscope. Two varieties are available. One for coupling to an existing EPI fluorescence light train, thus retrofitting the existing Mercury Lamp housing and a second type for Microscopes with NO EPI- fluorescence light train installed.

What ports can I use the RatioMaster's Photometer on?
For ease of use, any port that has a C mount can be used to mount the Photometer.

Does the RatioMaster™ come with its own power supply?
YES, the RatioMaster™ comes standard with all of the power supplies to be a stand-alone unit.

Is the RatioMaster™ easy to install?
YES, PTI supplies an easy to use manual. You can also have a PTI representative come to your lab to set up and train your on the RatioMaster™ system.

Light Source FAQs

Why do other companies offer a more powerful light source?
The amount of light gathered by the system is dependent on the spot size of the focused beam. If the spot size is greater than the entrance slit width, it is lost light. The ability to F match the light source to the diffraction portion of the system is the key to throughput. PTI uses a reflector to capture the light, maximize light collection and F match to the DRX. In fact the DRX's 75 watt source is more powerful than a 150 watt systems on the market.

What is a reflector and why is it better than using lens to capture the light from the lamp?
The reflector surrounds the lamp and gathers the complete radiance of the lamps' energy and focuses it to the entrance of the DRX at the same F # as the DRX for maximum light collection. Unlike lens based collection where the lens only collects the light at a certain angle to the lamp.

Does the heat from the Lamp harm the reflector?
No, unlike other reflectors on the market, PTI only uses a high threshold single piece of aluminum manufactured via diamond etching. This allows the reflector to be extremely heat resistant..

Is the Lamp Ozone free?
Yes, the RatioMaster™ comes standard with an Ozone free lamp so there is no need for a hood over the system in your lab.

How long does the Lamp last?
Our standard lamp 1000 hours or more.

Can I replace the lamp myself?
Yes, PTI has a written manual and a movie on our web site that takes you step by step through the installation and alignment of the lamp.

Excitation Portion / DeltaRAM FAQs

What wavelength region can I cover with the Standard RatioMaster™ excitation portion?
The Excitation portion covers any wavelength from 250 nm to 650 nm in increments of 0.5 nm step sizes. If your application requires different wavelengths we can also accommodate that, please contact your local representative for details.

What is the difference between the RatioMaster's excitation portion and a standard scanning monochromator?
The optical principles of light diffraction are the same however the function of how the wavelengths shift is the main difference. Where traditional mono's use a worm drive to change the wavelengths and DRX uses a galvanometer for high speed wavelength selection.

How does the galvanometer work?
The galvanometer allows the excitation portion (DRX) to directly drive a flat mirror at high speeds, which changes the angle of incident, at which the light is directed towards the grating. This allows the wavelengths to change at high speeds.

So how fast is the excitation portion (DRX) vs. a standard scanning mono?
With the following parameters being the same for both systems:

  • Start at 250 nm and go to 450 nm in 1nm steps and then back to 250 nm
  • A standard mono would take 3.5 sec.
  • The DRX would take 0.2 sec.

How many wavelengths can I really do in a second?
You can drive the RatioMaster's (DRX) up to as many as 250 ratios' per second.

Why does the RatioMaster™ come with an automatic shutter?
The automatic shutter prevents photo bleaching, by automatically closing between experiments.

What do the Bi-lateral Slits do for my applications?
Unlike filters, which have a set bandwidth, the RatioMaster's (DRX) can adapt to your specific application needs with a continuous adjustment from 0 to 24nm. This feature is key in utilizing the full dynamic range of ratiometric dyes.

Why would I choose a tunable system over a filter wheel based system?
The simple fact is cost of ownership and flexibility. With a filter based system you only have the choice of up to 10 fixed wavelengths at a set band pass a reflective based system like the DRX allows the user to set any center wavelength at any band pass to optimize the current application as well as the future application. The cost of ownership is the fact that the DRX offers the customer a catalog of unlimited filter wavelengths and bandwidths. (Saving thousands of dollars)

Why does the RatioMaster™ come with different modes of operation?(This feature allows for maximum application flexibility and optimization.)

  • Hopping Mode
    Hopping mode allows for the measurement of multiple dyes that are not in sequence such as 325 nm and 615 nm and then 455 nm and 525 nm in a user defined routine.
  • Full Scan Mode
    Scan mode example: allows the user to conduct excitation profile scans to insure the sample has been loaded/washed properly by it excitation profile.
  • Quick Scan Mode
    Allows the user to set different wavelengths in sequence at a rapid pace.

Does the RatioMaster™ DRX come with its own power supply?
YES, the RatioMaster™ system comes with all the necessary power supplies to be a completely independent system.

How do I know that the correct wavelength is being emitted from the RatioMaster™?
Every RatioMaster™ is tested through out the wavelength region to verify every wavelength at the factory. There are also standards available from PTI or recommended by PTI that you can use at any time to insure calibration.

Light Transfer Portion (LLG) FAQs

How is the light delivered from the RatioMaster's excitation portion (DRX) to my microscope?
The light is collected from the DRX via a Liquid Light guide for maximum light delivery to the microscope.

Why would I use a Liquid light guide and not a fiber optic cable?
The DRX comes standard with a Liquid light guide due to the fact it delivers more than 30% more light than a fiber optic cable. A LLG is also more flexible than a fiber optic, where fibers can break if bent to far, a LLG is much more flexible with out compromising the throughput.

Can I use the RatioMaster's excitation portion to illuminate two microscopes?
Yes, you can have multiple microscope adaptors for the RatioMaster™ allowing the excitation portion of the system to be used for multiple microscopes in your lab.

How long is the Liquid Light Guide?
The LLG comes standard with a 2 meter length. However if you need to illuminate multiple scopes in your lab we do offer longer LLG's Check with your local representative for all of your options.

Photometer and PMT's FAQs

What wavelength region can I cover with the Standard RatioMaster™ Photometer?
The RatioMaster™ comes standard with a R1527 low noise PMT tube 185–680 nm.

Can I get a different PMT tube to get more QE in different wavelengths?
YES, PTI offers a variety of PMT tubes to match your application. Please contact us for all your options.

How do I focus the light into the Photometer?
It is as simple as focusing the image to your eyes on the microscope's Binoculars, by moving the focus of the objective you can focus the light coming out of the side port into the photometer.

Can I upgrade the single PMT photometer for dual emission in the future? (For two wavelengths simultaneous read out)
YES, PTI has an upgrade kit to allow the user to upgrade the UMP to dual emission. The kit includes all the necessary adaptors, PMT and PMT housing for the user to install.

What size filters can I use in the filter holder of the photometer?
The photometer uses a standard 1inch filter that can be changed by the user for multiple applications.

What does the eyepiece do for me?
The eyepiece is designed to allow the user to view the area of interest while moving the stage of the scope and using the Photometer’s aperture blades to narrow down onto the specific area you wish to measure.

How do I switch from the eyepiece to read out on the PMT?
It is as simple as flipping on a light switch, there is a thumb knob that you turn to direct the light from the eyepiece to the PMT.

What does the adjustable aperture blade do for me?
The adjustable aperture blades allow the user to create any size Region of interest (ROI) on any area of the field of view.

What is the difference between Analog and Digital, Why do I need both?
Analog mode allows for high light levels with maximum dynamic range while, with a software controlled switch, a user can go to Photon counting mode: for low signal, as in most ratio applications.

Can I use a Camera on the same port of the microscope as Photometer?
YES one key option that PTI has is a dual C mount adaptor that allows the user to install both Camera and Photometer onto the same port of the microscope.

RatioMaster™ Electronic and Software FAQs

What software can I use with the RatioMaster™?
The RatioMaster™ comes with the renowned FelixGX™ software for both process control and analytical capabilities of all of your data. I use Labview in my Lab.

Can I control the RatioMaster™ in Labview?
Yes the RatioMaster™ is fully compatible with labview. We have example Vi's to help you implement the system into Labview.

What Operating systems can I use with FelixGX™?
Currently, Windows XP, Windows 7, 32 and 64 bit.

I have a routine I need to run in the software can I write Macro's in FelixGX™?
Yes, the software comes with an easy to use VB based Macro recorder allowing for unsurpassed flexibility in acquisition, calculation and display of data.

Are there third party software packages that will run the RatioMaster™?
Yes, there are several software packages that will run the RatioMaster™. Check with your local representative for more information.

What kind of electronics do I need to run the RatioMaster™?
The RatioMaster™ comes with an electronic USB interface called the ASOC-10 to control both the excitation (DRX) and emission PMT's.

Do I need to install a Card in my PC like a PCI card?
No the ASOC-10 interface does not require you to install anything in your PC to control and read out the RatioMaster™ data.

Is it an advantage not to have a card in my PC?
Yes there are two main advantages. Ease of use, you can even run the system from a notebook. "speed critical data acquisition electronics" from the host PC, there is NO need for an interface card to be plugged into the host computer bus. The host computer runs a controlling program and communicates instructions to the ACOC-10. This process off loads the critical data acquisition tasks and frees up the host PC's processor. Since no data capture boards are on the host PC bus, hardware conflicts have essentially been eliminated, thus stabilizing the remote data capture system.

What kind of interface to my PC does the ASOC-10 have?
The standard interface is via USB 2.0 connection.

Can I run other instruments in my lab from the ASOC-10?
Yes, the ASOC-10 comes with (4) Analog, IN (2) TTL IN and (2) TTL OUT , (4) Digital Inputs as well as (4) DAC’s

Can I use the RatioMaster™ with a MAC?
No, at this time PTI does not offer support for Mac OS. However Intel based Macs can run Windows XP via Apple's "BootCamp". FelixGX™ can run on Windows XP, Win7 using Apple's "BootCamp".

Can I export my data from FelixGX™ into Excel?
Yes, PTI has an easy to use export function.


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