SciScan requires several software packages to be installed on your computer before it will run properly, this section is dedicated to installing the required software packages and setting up the workstation to properly run SciScan. All required software packages are freely available online, licences are only required to run the required LabVIEW packages.
Once all required software is installed, SciScan will operate as a LabVIEW project file. Software installation only needs to be carried out once, any new versions of SciScan will be provided as a new LabVIEW project file and can simply be run instead of the previous version. Settings can be copied over from the previous version.
Minimum PC Specification
Below is a known configuration for running SciScan. Components can be switched for lower specification pieces but they may affect software performance.
- Monitor: 24″ 1920×1080 – It is difficult to re-size LabVIEW programs, SciScan was written for this resolution and screen size.
- Operating System: Windows 7 64bit
- Processor: Six Core HT 3.5GHz Turbo CPU
- Memory: 32GB
- Graphics: 3GB NVIDIA® Quadro® K4000 or Similar
- PCI Bus:
- Galvo: Min 1x Full Length (30″) PCI slot, 1x PCIe slot required for secondary DAQ card
- Resonant: 1x PCIe slot
Please note: Resonant scanning systems generate large quantities of data in a short period of time, large disk drives or solid state drives are recommended and should be cleaned out regularly.
- LabVIEW 2012 or 2014 Full Development System (64bit) – Included with most academic site licenses.
- If using LabVIEW 2014, please read notes below.
- 32bit versions of LabVIEW can be used if required but are not fully supported. Please contact Scientifica for more information.
- LabVIEW Vision Development Module 2012 or 2014 – Typically sold separately.
- Visual Studio Express for Windows – Used in image display
- LibTIFF – 32 and 64bit TIFF libraries
- National Instruments Driver Compilation – Hardware Drivers
- Please use the most recent driver compilation
Please Note: If using LabVIEW 2014, please run the VI GFG 2012 or 2014.vi found in the GFG folder of the SciScan Project to ensure the correct version of the variable engine is used for your version of LabVIEW.
Please Note: NI-FlexRIO drivers, required for resonant scanning, are not installed as part of the driver compilation as default. ensure that you manually select “This feature will be installed on the local hard drive” (screenshot).
To avoid conflicts and to ensure that all drivers and plugins are installed successfully it is best practice to install the required software in a particular order.
- Stage Drivers – Begin by installing any drivers required to control your XYZ stage
- LabVIEW – Install and activate LabVIEW 2012 or 2014
- Vision Development Module – Install and activate the Vision Development Module
- Visual Studio Express – Install the latest version for windows desktop
- LibTIFF – Download and install “complete package, except sources”
- National Instruments Driver Compilation – Important that this is installed after LabVIEW to ensure correct plugins are installed
With all the software components installed you are ready to move onto setting up the Data Acquisition system and setting up SciScan for its first use.
Windows and National Instruments Updates
- It is strongly recommended to use SciScan on a dedicated workstation that is used exclusively for image acquisition. This ensures that the workstation operates at its optimal performance and that time-critical CPU processes for high-speed image acquisition are not impacted by background processes of other software installed on the same PC.
- If you are using a workstation that has not been purchased through Scientifica, please ensure that you install SciScan on a clean installation of Windows. If the workstation has previously been in use for other purposes, it is recommended to perform a factory-reset (ie. format hard drive and reinstall Windows) before installing SciScan.
- If you have purchased the acquisition workstation from Scientifica as part of a multiphoton system it will come preconfigured to run SciScan and will have been fully tested prior to shipping. Changes to this configuration, e.g. additional software, Windows updates, LabVIEW updates, etc. may affect system functionality and/or stability.
- It is recommended to disable automatic updates and only install LabVIEW or Windows updates when they are deemed to be critical security updates.
- If you choose to install antivirus software, please ensure that “on-access scanning” is deactivated and that antivirus definition updates are performed manually (not automatically).
- Additional equipment, e.g. electrophysiology amplifiers or sensory stimulation systems, should be controlled from a separate workstation. SciScan provides various timing signals and TTL triggers for synchronizing image acquisition with external equipment.
- Deviating from these recommendations may render the acquisition system unusable and may result in prolonged downtime.