Frequently Asked Questions
Will PAX-it! run on my computer?
Any modern PC running Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, or Windows 10 (32-bit or 64-bit) will run PAX-it!. Though PAX-it! can operate on less, we recommend at least 4GB RAM, a dual-core processor and 500 GB hard drive to store the high-resolution images and other files being managed. Customers using PAX-it!’s more process-intensive features (Image Fusion, Image Stitching, Particles Analysis, Report Generation*, etc.) will benefit from higher-speed, multi-core processors and more RAM. A high-resolution monitor is also recommended. Customers using PAXcam will need USB2 or USB3 ports (or both) to match the respective PAXcam models they purchase with PAX-it!.
*The PAX-it! Report Generator requires Microsoft Word®, Excel® and PowerPoint® to create reports.
How is licensing accomplished?
Licensing is typically per computer workstation that is acquiring images from a PAXcam camera or other source. The software to drive the PAXcam or other imaging device is loaded onto the computer, and then registered with MIS. Network (non-acquisition) licenses can be installed on individual computers to share images on the network in a common database. For quantities of five or more network licenses, the database can also be installed in a “floating configuration”, sharing licenses on a concurrent-user basis. This means, for example, a ten-user license may serve 500 people on a network, as long as only ten are accessing the PAX-it image database at one time.
Why is there a registration process for using the PAXcam or PAX-it software?
By registering the PAX-it software to drive your PAXcam camera and collect images, the appropriate software modules may be turned on or off depending on the level of license that was purchased. For example one customer may be registered for a PAXcam with PAX-it image database tools, while another PAXcam customer may be registered for the image database, image measurements, image analysis, and CONNECT live streaming. In addition, the registration process allows MIS to enter our customers into our database for future reference. This helps with tech support, new product updates, and communication in general between you as a customer, and MIS as your supplier and support. MIS registration via software key bypasses the need for a physical “dongle” that may be misplaced or damaged.
Do I own the software?
After purchase and registration, you own the PAXcam and software that is licensed to you. You may continue to use it at its current version and on the current computer operating system for as long as you wish–there is no annual licensing fee. In addition, software updates (new versions) are yours for the first year after purchase. As an optional program, additional updates (beyond the first year) are also available for a small fee, allowing you to continue to take advantage of new features as they are released, including the upgrade to support for new Windows operating systems when they are released.
How often do I need to calibrate my PAX-it! Measurement / Analysis tools?
Calibration cycles are often a function of a company’s metrology, gaging, or instrument service operations. While recalibration is not required because of PAX-it, it is a recommended “best practice” for many organizations as part of their standard operating procedures. Sometimes calibration is done on a yearly basis, depending on the environment, but others recalibrate biannually or quarterly. Although there is little to change on a digital calibration with an instrument sitting in a temperature-controlled room, our recommendation for running a re-calibration would be once per year.
Where do I go for support or training?
If you purchased your system through one of our dealer channels, please contact your dealer as a first line of support. In addition, PAXcam and PAX-it are also directly supported by MIS through a searchable online knowledge base, telephone support, online chat, and email. Please see our Support page for more information.
Is there a PAXcam or PAX-it dealer in my area?
PAXcam and PAX-it are represented by qualified dealers in specific markets across the USA and around the world. In the case of a market or locale that is not represented by a dealer, MIS may sell directly to end users. Please contact MIS for a dealer referral.
Why are prices not published?
The PAX-it software is very modular, comprised of various choices for cameras, a variety of coupler options, and several modules of software that are available for particular applications. In addition, some labs require optical components, staging or fixturing for their specific systems needs. Because each application is unique, the pricing for systems can vary, depending on the components. Please contact MIS to discuss your particular needs and we can supply a quotation for you quickly.
How can I get a quote?
Please email a short, detailed description of your lab’s imaging needs to email@example.com, or visit our Request Information page for a response by phone or email.
What are the minimum computer requirements for PAX-it and PAXcam?
Regarding PC hardware requirements, current versions of PAX-it and PAXcam require Win10 operating systems. Our USB2 cameras require a USB2 or USB3 port, and our USB3 cameras require a USB3 port. Other than those, there are no other requirements particular to PAX-it or PAXcam. However, in order to enhance your performance and experience with our products as well as the many other programs that will be running on the same computer, we recommend a computer with a fast processor, plenty of RAM (we offer 8GB at minimum when we ship computers, more RAM is better), a good sized hard drive for storing many high-resolution digital images (SATA is fine, SSD is better; at least 500GB, 1TB+ is better), a high-resolution monitor, and Windows Office products if you’re going to be creating reports within PAX-it. The PAX-it! Report Generator requires Microsoft Word®, Excel® and PowerPoint® for report creation. We do not require a special graphics card or a separate power supply. Power for our cameras is supplied through the USB cable.
Can I put overlays of images or crosshairs on my camera preview?
Yes. All PAXcams used with PAX-it software allow for the placement of transparencies of saved images and crosshairs on the live camera preview. Image overlays are helpful for quick visual comparisons and alignments of samples with reference images. Crosshairs can also be placed on the live preview, moved, resized and rotated. Calibrated tick marks and bullseyes can be added to the crosshairs for measurement and scaling, alignment and visual referencing, acting as digital calipers on the live sample image. Perfect for Go/NoGo inspection.
How do I determine what kind of c-mount adapter is needed to attach a PAXcam to my microscope?
Simply contact MIS and tell us the make and model of your microscope and we’ll tell you the exact c-mount adapter required. In fact, we can even supply you with the c-mount.
Can I operate multiple PAXcams from one computer?
Yes. PAXcam digital microscope cameras use standard USB ports to connect to your computer. You can connect multiple PAXcams to a PC. Additionally, using PAX-it imaging software with multiple PAXcams makes operating the cameras a snap.
What types of imaging sensors are used in PAXcams?
PAXcam microscope cameras use both CCD and CMOS chip technology. Contact us if you have a specific question regarding which sensor is in a specific camera model.
Who are typical PAXcam users?
PAXcams are used by thousands of companies and organizations worldwide. Groups that rely on our products: GE, HP, Motorola, P&G, Illinois State Police, FBI, Children’s Hospital, Honda, GM, DuPont, Firestone, Pfizer, Merck, Medtronic, Abbott, IBM, CDC, Texas Instruments, UNC Hospitals, St. Jude Medical, General Dynamics, Martinrea, Lockheed Martin and thousands more.
Is it possible to stream the PAXcam live camera preview on my LAN or the internet, for remote consultation?
Yes, the PAXcam camera’s live preview may be streamed in real time over a local network or the internet, using the PAXcam CONNECT live streaming software module. High resolution live views are supported at the receiving end, with interactive marking of regions of interest, making a great consultation tool for telepathology and other telemicroscopy applications.
What is the licensing process for PAXcams?
PAXcam includes software to operate the camera. The software is installed on a PC. The majority of PAXcam microscope cameras include our industry leading PAX-it imaging software. In this case the software is licensed per PC capturing pictures via a PAXcam (or any other image input device), and requires a one-time registration. Multi-user network licensing is commonly utilized as well with the ability to install a floating license structure. This allows users to share licenses with a concurrent-user installation. Just contact us to discuss your specific needs. Whether it’s a single-user or 500+, we can provide an attractive solution for you.
What warranty is included for PAXcam and PAX-it?
Each PAXcam includes a one-year warranty. This includes access to our world-class technical support team and hardware warranty. In-warranty customers also receive free access to our live, interactive web-based “Refresher Courses” covering various user-oriented topics. After the first year, we offer an affordable extended warranty that will cover the camera in case any repair or replacement is required. We offer this warranty in one-year through three-year options. If you also use the PAX-it Microscopic Imaging Software, MIS warranties this in the same manner. Free technical support and software updates for a full year, plus options to extend that warranty going forward. MIS has invested heavily in providing best-in-class technical support to our clients. You’ll communicate directly with our USA-based MIS technical reps. We have not outsourced our service and support department. Additionally, we have multiple software updates and upgrades each year which are free to all in-warranty users. The vast majority of our clients see value in this and purchase ongoing software warranties.
How do I determine the best camera resolution for my application?
Although consumer camera manufacturers would like you to believe that ‘more pixels is better’, scientifically this is not so. If you are using images for measurement and analysis, archiving them and using them in standard reports, you’ll want to consider a camera in the 2-5 megapixel range. Cameras in this range provide high-resolution images with quick frame rates for previewing and moving your samples around. They also produce manageable file sizes so reports are reasonably sized and hard drive space is efficiently used. In microscopy, especially when using high magnification compound microscopes, the optical resolution comes in the form of Numerical Aperture, also referred to as N.A. – so, the camera resolution really does not improve upon the high N.A. of the compound microscope objective lenses. In this case, a 2MP or 3MP camera is ideal for measurement or analysis work. When we lower the magnification to that of a stereo microscope, we begin to see what we refer to as a ‘spatial resolution challenge’. The N.A. of the stereo microscope is much lower, and there may be many small features to resolve in that larger field-of-view found when using the stereo microscope. In order to recognize the smaller features, an increase in camera resolution will provide an added benefit – 3MP – 5MP is ideal here. If you plan to use a macro lens for large sample imaging, the same rules apply for the stereo microscope. A 5MP or greater camera is ideal for macro imaging. If the goal of the project is to publish images for use in magazines, or to print poster-sized images for posterboard presentations, the PAXcamARC+ adjustable camera provides the 32MP needed to print poster-sized, photographic quality images.
Where can I buy a PAXcam?
The PAXcam family of USB microscope cameras are represented by authorized, knowledgeable distributors covering distinct markets in the United States and Global Markets. In the event that a region isn’t covered by a qualifying distributor, we may offer products straight to our clients. In such a case MIS can also supply complete microscopic imaging solutions including microscopes and peripheral devices. Please contact MIS
How can I receive training?
While our microscopic imaging products are intuitive and generally easy to use, we do offer optional in-depth training options for our customers desiring a greater depth of PAXcam and PAX-it knowledge. MIS offers several options for accessing training. We offer both affordable web-based, interactive training geared toward your specific application issues. Or if further training is desired, MIS offers personalized on-site training for you or your full group at your facility. Please contact MIS and we’ll provide you with a training offer tailored to your needs.
Where can I find the price range of the various PAXcam models?
There are currently ten unique PAXcam models designed to meet various technical and budget requirements. The PAXcam cameras and PAX-it software systems are typically very modular, encompassing several alternatives for cameras, specific optional couplers, along with numerous software modules that are available for particular applications. Please contact MIS to review your exact requirements and we will promptly provide a price quote.
Can PAXcams be used with other imaging software?
Yes. PAXcam Digital Microscope Cameras produce standard image file formats that are easily imported into pretty much any imaging software application. PAXcams are also TWAIN compliant making it a seamless solution.