Upgrading a microscope to LED illumination

Upgrading a microscope to LED illumination

I recently managed to save a big, heavy binocular microscope from being rather unceremoniously turned into scrap metal. After spending a fair while looking at anything we could put our hands on underneath its' lenses I turned to changing the dim yellow tungsten light bulb to something with a bit more oomph - a high brightness LED.

The eventual aim is to attach a camera to it, so more light is always better.

Continue reading...

Giving BodyParts3D objects useful names in Blender

Giving BodyParts3D objects useful names in Blender

The BodyParts3D database from the Life Science Database Archive is brilliant - a couple of thousand separate meshes of organs and anatomical parts that add up to a male human body. There is a downside, and that is that the object files are named rather obtusely as FJ1252.obj and FJ1702M.obj. I found out about it from this forum thread at Blender Artists, and the basic Blender actions are based on those proposed by PietPW.

The main reason for writing this post is that PietPW's method of renaming the files relies on an older dataset, as the latest release has changed formats from a straight "this is what this file depicts" to a more obscure separate database of files that describe the relationship of these files to an anatomical 'tree'.

Continue reading...

Shooting a camera through a pneumatic transport system

Shooting a camera through a pneumatic transport system

A few months ago I was offered a pod from an old pneumatic tube system - the kind of thing that transports samples and internal mail around hospitals and large office blocks. I was pleased when I was allowed to shoot a camera through an old unused section.

For those who are unfamiliar with the system, a series of interconnected tubes use pressurized air to suck and blow containers through various parts of the building, using rotary junctions and physical hubs to move between various 'networks'.

Continue reading...

Recording audio from a stethoscope

Recording audio from a stethoscope

As part of my job I have to create short videos to demonstrate simple clinical procedures such as cannulation, checking blood glucose levels and taking a patient's blood pressure the manual way - that is with an inflatable cuff and a stethoscope instead of one of the automatic machines.

Essentially, what I want to do is record the Korotkoff sounds that the healthcare worker should be listening out for while taking blood pressure, the idea being that partially occluded blood flow is turbulent and makes a distinctive sound, and freely flowing blood is laminar and therefore silent.

Continue reading...

Parsing simple USART commands

Colin Brosseau used this code, made it better and then combined it with Peter Fleury's UART library - it is more portable and can be used more easily on other microcontrollers. Check it out here, I recommend you take a look. Good job Colin!

I need a way to parse commands sent from the computer over USB, through the FTDI chip and unto the ATmega's USART hardware. This will provide the basis for get/set functionality for variables on a device.

The basic USART functionality is based off Dean Camera's Interrupt-Driven USART article (PDF), worth a quick look over if you are new this this. I would also suggest browsing some of the other tutorials available on his website.

Continue reading...