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M-LSM Motorized Micromanipulators User's Manual

File:M-LSM w400.jpg
M-LSM Motorized Micromanipulators


Zaber’s products are not intended for use in any critical medical, aviation, or military applications or situations where a product's use or failure could cause personal injury, death, or damage to property. Zaber disclaims any and all liability for injury or other damages resulting from the use of our products.


Zaber's autodetect peripheral axes are designed to be used effortlessly with Zaber's line of autodetect controllers. The M-LSM includes onboard memory that allows Zaber's controllers to autodetect the model and set reasonable parameters. See the Protocol Manual for more information on how to modify the settings. Damage to the axis may result if the settings are not correct. To use your Zaber peripheral with a third-party controller, review the motor, sensor, and encoder specifications and pin-outs carefully.

Conventions used throughout this document

  • Fixed width type indicates communication to and from a device. The symbol indicates a carriage return, which can be achieved by pressing enter when using a terminal program.
  • An ASCII command followed by (T:xx) indicates a legacy T-Series Binary Protocol command that achieves the same result. For example,
    move abs 10000 (T:20:10000) shows that a move abs ASCII command can also be achieved with Binary command number 20.
Not all ASCII commands have an equivalent Binary counterpart.

Device Overview


Your M-LSM peripheral is equipped with AutoDetect, a feature that allows a Zaber controller to automatically configure its settings for the peripheral when it is connected.

Tip lightbulb symbol.png Important: The controller should always be powered down before disconnecting or connecting your M-LSM peripheral.

To connect the peripheral to a controller:

  1. Power off the controller.
  2. Connect the M-LSM peripheral.
  3. Power on the controller.
  4. The controller will activate the peripheral shortly after it is powered on.


Recommended controller(s) for your M-LSM peripheral are provided in the product specifications. Zaber's controllers and peripherals are designed for ease of use when used together. Optimal settings for each peripheral are automatically detected by Zaber's controllers when the device is connected.

For reference, the pinout for the peripheral cable connectors is shown below:

Pinout for D-sub 15 Connectors (peripherals)

T3A Peripheral (male) T3-DB15-male-connector-annotated-300.jpg
T4A Peripheral (male) T4-DB15-male-connector-annotated-300.jpg
Pin # Function
1 +5V for Limits & Encoder
2 AutoDetect Data
3 reserved
4 Away Sensor
5 Home Sensor
6 Ground
7 Motor B1
8 Motor A1
9 AutoDetect Clock
10 Encoder A
11 Encoder B
12 Encoder Index
13 Ground
14 Motor B2
15 Motor A2

Not all pins are used for all models

Alternate Controllers

The M-LSM can be controlled by any 2-phase stepper motor controller with limit sensor input. We do not recommend using your own controller unless you are familiar with how to control a stepper motor with hall sensor limit switches. Damage to the stage due to incorrect wiring is not covered by warranty.


For motor information see the M-LSM product page

Limit Sensors

Hall effect sensors are used in the M-LSM as home sensors. The Hall sensors used are part number A1120LLHLT-T made by Allegro. Click here for data sheet. Your controller should be configured so the stage stops immediately (quick deceleration) when the sensors are triggered.

  • PCB wire colour code:
    • 5 Vdc input - red
    • Home signal - yellow
    • Away signal - white
    • Ground - black

The Hall sensor has an open-collector output. The default output is high impedance when the Hall sensor is not active. When the sensor detects a magnet, the Hall sensor pulls the output low to ground.

Hall sensor wiring diagram.png

If you are not using a Zaber controller, ensure that your controller has a pull-up resistor on the output line of each Hall sensor as shown in the diagram. The bypass capacitor is optional, but may help to eliminate false triggering in noisy environments. The typical value for the pull-up resistor (RLOAD) is 10 kΩ and for the bypass capacitor is 0.1 uF to 1 uF. The larger the capacitance, the better the noise filtering but the slower the response time.


Zaber's M-LSM series of Micromanipulators are used to position probes under a microscope with a joystick or computer. They can be mounted to either metric or imperial optical breadboards. An adjustable probe holder allows mounting of probe diameters between 2 and 13 mm. The controller connects to the RS-232 or USB port of any computer.


The M-LSM micromanipulator is specified either with a flat base or an adaptor plate to mount to an optical post.

Installing a M-LSM with a flat base

Installing a M-LSM to an Optical Post

Powering up an M-LSM

Once the system has been installed, verify that each axis is working correctly by moving the joystick. Please note that each stage needs to be homed before it is able to move the full length of travel. Homing the devices is done by using the joystick to move each axis to the end of travel on the side of the motor.

Should you wish to mount alternative probes to the M-LSM custom adaptor plates are available upon request. Please contact Zaber technical support at 1-888-276-8033 or for more information.


The joystick is pre-programmed with the following settings.

Joystick Settings
Key Event 1 Event 2 Event 3 Event 4
1 Stop Set active axis 3 (Z) Set axis velocity scale 0 (Deactivate Z)
2 Set Reference Position Go to Reference Position
3 Set Reference Position Go to Reference Position
4 Set Reference Position Go to Reference Position
5 Set Reference Position Go to Reference Position
6 Set active axis 1 (X) Set axis velocity scale 3000 Set axis velocity scale 80000
7 Set active axis 2 (Y) Set axis velocity scale 3000 Set axis velocity scale 80000
8 Set active axis 3 (Z) Set axis velocity scale 3000 Set axis velocity scale 80000

Button 8 re-activates the Z-axis.

Accessing key events
Event 1 Event 2 Event 3 Event 4
Press button Quick release of button, less than 2 seconds Hold button longer than 2 seconds Release button after holding longer than 2 seconds

The orange led will flash after about 2 seconds to signify that event 3 has been triggered.

If you would like to change the settings of the joystick refer to the X-JOY3 user manual.

Most of the information you will need to operate the stage using the X-MCC controller can be found in the X-MCC User Manual.

Warranty and Repair

For Zaber's policies on warranty and repair, please refer to the Ordering Policies.

Standard products

Standard products are any part numbers that do not contain the suffix ENG followed by a 4 digit number. Most, but not all, standard products are listed for sale on our website. All standard Zaber products are backed by a one-month satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, we will refund your payment minus any shipping charges. Goods must be in brand new saleable condition with no marks. Zaber products are guaranteed for one year. During this period Zaber will repair any products with faults due to manufacturing defects, free of charge.

Custom products

Custom products are any part numbers containing the suffix ENG followed by a 4 digit number. Each of these products has been designed for a custom application for a particular customer. Custom products are guaranteed for one year, unless explicitly stated otherwise. During this period Zaber will repair any products with faults due to manufacturing defects, free of charge.

How to return products

Customers with devices in need of return or repair should contact Zaber to obtain an RMA form which must be filled out and sent back to us to receive an RMA number. The RMA form contains instructions for packing and returning the device. The specified RMA number must be included on the shipment to ensure timely processing.

Email Updates

If you would like to receive our periodic email newsletter including product updates and promotions, please sign up online at (news section). Newsletters typically include a promotional offer worth at least $100.

Contact Information

Contact Zaber Technologies Inc by any of the following methods:

Phone 1-604-569-3780 (direct)
1-888-276-8033 (toll free in North America)
Fax 1-604-648-8033
Mail #2 - 605 West Kent Ave. N., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6P 6T7
Email Please visit our website for up to date email contact information.

The original instructions for this product are available at

Appendix A: Default Settings

Please see the Zaber Support Page for default settings for this device.