Troubleshooting Tips and Steps


  1. Windows will not install Shifter software.
    a) Check if you have administrator tights on the computer where software is being installed.
    b) Make sure you are not installing from/to a shared (networked) drive or a drive that is synchronized (e.g. OneDrive or Google Drive shared area).
    Copy the installation file to the local (“C:”) disk before installing.
    c) Check if Anti-virus is not blocking the installation and whitelist CrystalShifter-v1.exe executable and c:\ProgramData\OLT\ folder and subfolders in your anti-virus software.
    d) Run Microsoft’s diagnostics “fix problems that block programs from being installed or removed” tool:
    e) Ensure Windows Regional Settings for numbers are set to UK (or US). Most importantly – comma should not be used as delimiter sign (dot should be the delimiter sign).
  2. Error message: Serial number invalid.
    1. Check if any of the config files are open by other software, e.g. Notepad or Internet Explorer. Close all applications.
    2. Check your serial number and customer name. The serial number is case sensitive and should be entered as provided by OLT. You can use cut & paste.
    3. Go to About tab and try Factory Reset.
  3. How can I auto-detect my device or perform Factory Settings Reset?
    1. Make sure your device is connected and visible in Windows as Phidgets under USB settings (USB cable; power is not required).
    2. Start the Crystal Shifter software. Go to About Tab and press Factory Reset button. The software will report if the device has been auto-detected and what factory settings are available for the device. Follow instructions on the screen.
  4. Is there an easy way to update A1a reference location, load, and parking bays?
    1. Go to About Tab
    2. Position your device manually to the position you wish to record (“teach”).
    3. Use “Update Main Aperture” and “Record Left/Right Load Bay” and “Record Parking Location” buttons to record these reference locations.
    4. Follow instructions on the screen.
    5. Please note: when updating main aperture, the software will establish difference (delta) between old main aperture and the one being recorded. The software will ask if you wish to update by the same delta loading bay locations. This can be useful if you feel all your reference locations need to be offset by the same amount.
  5. Device makes no movement
    1. Check that power supplies have been connected to the mains and switched on (read User Manual if you are unsure if your switch is in ON or OFF position).
    2. Check cables have been correctly inserted into the device.
    3. Check if the device has been switched on.
    4. Check if software detects the device.
    5. Check if USB cable has been connected.
    6. Go to Windows Start Menu and find “Phidgets Manager”, open the software and see if at least 3 different Phidgets devices are reported. If less than 3 devices are reported this is likely to indicate USB cable to PC connection error or hardware error.
    7. Go to About tab and try Factory Reset.
    8. Check Log Files for error messages.
  6. How to I check quickly if my calibration works?
    1. Manually position your A1a well on the left plate under the Main Aperture (microscope opening). Go to About Tab and press “Update Main Aperture” button. Follow instructions. This will ensure your A1a reference location has been recorded.
    2. Go to Manual Move Tab. On your left plate press A1a and then H12a. Repeat on the right plate. The moves should be typically within 2mm error or better depending on your calibration.
  7. Device moves but the movement is not accurate
    1. Check for obvious mechanical faults: are any shafts or pulleys visibly misaligned or have dropped out? Are all belts visibly OK? Is the clear belt moving well?
    2. Is the Plate Carrier too tall (Z Axis) and the plate is catching the shroud?
      1. Check Z-Motor caps: screws should be finger tight to the caps and the caps should be finger tight to the Plate Carrier (frame).
      2. Check springs – are they pushing the Plate Carrier to much upwards?
    3. Plate secured? Plate itself could be moving in the carrier. Are your plates firmly pressed up the top left corner? Is the latch firmly pressing the plate.
    4. Shroud is not moving? Check if shroud is firmly pressed against the left hand side part and it is not moving during the device move.
    5. Is device movement causing vibration? Try placing device on rubber pads to reduce device vibration and any undesired movement this may create (eg shroud moving).
    6. Is software reporting errors? Check target encoder read-outs at the bottom left part of the window. If software is not reporting significant errors in reaching the target (ie less than 1.5-2mm) and the movement is bad this usually indicates need to re-calibrate the device.
    7. Is the device over/under shooting consistently on one or both axes? This usually indicates mm-per-encoder points calibration (steps per mm) needs to be re-done. It may be that sensor/encoders need to be re-calibrated too.
    8. Is the device moving forward and then back, ie goes beyond target and then tries to come back repeatedly? If yes, this is usually sign that mm-per-encoder (steps per millimetre) needs to be re-calibrated.
  8. Random movement
    1. Check if wipers are touching encoders along their full length. If the movement is truly random the most likely cause is wipers that have lost touch with the encoders.
  9. Device moves and crashes into walls
    1. Check device geometry / envelope and set x/yEncoderMin/Max parameters as described in the User Manual.
    2. It could be that steps per millimetre calibration is not correct and you are seeing over/under shoot; however if device geometry has been set correctly the device should stop before hitting the wall.
  10. Device moves but for some plate locations (targets) it always stops short of target. Other locations work well.
    1. Check device geometry / envelope configuration and set x/yEncoderMin/Max parameters as described in the User Manual.
    2. Most likely your desired move is beyond allowed envelope so the software stops the move before it’s completed.
  11. Device moves beyond the envelope (x/y limits)
    This is desired behaviour. Description of issue (error-example): the load bay is configured to be at Y=400 encoder points, but the Y max envelope is set to Y=300 encoder points. The device will stop at 300 but will then  creep closer to 400 if there is room on the device.
    This happens because device is using multiple moves to get to the target. When it crashes into envelope, it tries to recover as the crash could have been because of e.g. bad calibration. The counter-example would be that load bay is at Y=280 but the device reaches 300 by error; it then stops at 300 and tries another move to get back to 280. This counter-example illustrates why this is desired behaviour. However, the drawback of this behaviour is: if there is room on the device beyond configured envelope the device will actually physically be able to move past the configured envelope – which explains our error-example.
  12. The Steps-Per-MM Calibration tool does not work well
    The Steps-Per-MM tool is attempting to help the user find the mm to motor steps conversion parameters for the device. These parameters are vital for good movement of the device — without them the device cannot move at all! Because of this the tool needs to use special movement algorithm – an algorithm that is not calibrated to any device. For example, this algorithm makes a guess of how many steps per mm should the device make when returning back to the start position.  For some device a steps-to-mm parameter can be 30 and for others it will be 90 – a significant difference. This means that the tool sometimes appears as not working well – it will miss where the start position is or hit the device walls (“crash”). This is indeed intended behaviour. The user may need to test one configuration value at a time in particularly difficult situations and by observing the mm error adjust the parameters manually before finding optimal/desired parameter value.
  13. Focal length changes when plate moves from one well to another.
    This is expected behaviour. The changing focus is unexpected for users at first, but is something you get used to and can use to your advantage. You set the focus to a good depth for when you are mounting with your hands resting on the shroud. Then when mounting, you can tweak focus by slightly adjusting the pressure of your hands on the shroud, without having to reach up to the microscope focus.