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If the system is off, follow these instructions. Turn on only the lasers you need.

If the system is already running, check that the lasers you need are turned on. If not, go ahead and start them up using these instructions.


Turning on the mercury lamp:

Turn on the mercury lamp at the power supply.

Wait for the lamp to ignite before proceeding (light will be visible in the lamp house).

The lamp should remain on for at least one hour. If turned off, it should cool for at least 20 minutes before turning on again.


Turning on the laser(s):

Turn on only the laser(s) you need to use.

The Argon laser excites at 458 nm (lucifer yellow, CFP) and 488 nm (GFP, Alexa 488, fluorescein (FITC)).

The DPSS laser excites at 561 nm (dsRed, Alexa 543, Alexa 568, Alexa594, rhodamine, texas red).

The Helium Neon (HeNe) laser excites at 633 nm (Alexa 633, Alexa 647, cy5, ToPro3).

Argon Laser

Use the following sequence when turning on the argon laser:

1) Turn on the large red switch. This starts the cooling fan which must be on before turning on the laser.

Wait until the fan comes up to speed before proceeding

2) The LEVEL control on the laser should be at MIN (fully counterclockwise).

3) Briefly turn the key to START and then release to the ON position (like on a car).

A yellow indicator light will come on.

4) Turn the LEVEL control to the 9 O'Clock position.

DPSS Laser -- Note that the control box for this laser is now on the LEFT side of the computer monitors.

5) Turn key to on (horizontal).
6) Press and hold green “Laser On” button for 2 seconds.
7) The lower laser emission light will go on, the upper light will flash.
8) When the upper laser emission light stops flashing and is on continuously, the laser is stable and ready for use.

HeNe Laser

8) Turn key to on (horizontal).
A yellow indicator light will come on.


Scan Electronics:

The switch for the scan electronics (red button) is located adjacent to the key switch for the HeNe laser.

Turn on the scan electronics.

The scan electronics must be on to use the Leica TCS confocal


Turn on the computer. Turn on both monitors.




Turn on the microscope (left side as you face the microscope).





Contact Nathaniel Peters at ncpeters@uw.edu for additional information. Suggestions and comments are always welcome!

© 2016 W. M. Keck Microscopy Center, University of Washington