Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

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ebenbildmicroscopy
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Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#1 Post by ebenbildmicroscopy » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:38 pm

So here's the newest member of my AO clan - the Stereo Star 580. I must say, I LOVE THIS THING! It's built like a tank and has that wonderful camera mount. I've been wanting to add the camera mount to my Zeiss OPMI 6S and for what it typically costs on Fleabay for that adapter, I could buy about 5 of these AOs

If a fellow forum member could send me some detailed pics of my 580's missing lamp and lamp housing - I'm assuming it uses the usual little AO model 1051 transformer. From the pics of the 580 I see in the AO catalogs, it looks like the top of the lamp housing is made of bakelite, if so, I can machine a copy out of bakelite rod - I just need the dimensions. I have a spare Leitz Laborlux model D lamp housing that has a very similar end and could probably be adapted to the 580.

Also, PLEASE - who still stocks the clear 5" glass stage plates for these Stereo Stars? I'm going to put the 580 on a trans-illuminating base and desperately need the clear plate. I'm planning on machining a solid, black and white stage plate out of 16th stainless steel plate, so I don't need the black and white plate. I could machine a clear plate out of plexiglass but I have never liked those.

I'd love to find the actual lamp housing for this scope if someone has a spare to sell, PM me!
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JeffO, aka "Ortho amore"
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apochronaut
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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#2 Post by apochronaut » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:53 pm

The coaxial illuminator socket for the 580 is for a 20 watt halogen bulb. It is basically just a fairly short socket designed to slip precisely into the housing and is slightly smaller than the nose of the starlite illuminator, which can be adapted to fit. However the 18 watt tungsten bulb in the starlite sits about 10cm. farther back, so it needs to be boosted in output in order to fill the role well and that is what you need for the transillumination base anyway.
The transformer for the coaxial illuminator is a continuously variable type but otherwise looks similar to the stepped high , med. low versions or the stepped ones with voltage indications.

I do not have one of those coax. sockets, otherwise I would send you the dimensions but the diameter is easy to measure and the length probably could be guessed at pretty closely, bearing in mind what is below the filament and the heat that a 20 watt halogen kicks out.

I will try to find out more for you.

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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#3 Post by ebenbildmicroscopy » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:55 pm

THANK YOU so much for your help with this! I figured, when I looked at the beefy-ness of that illuminator housing, there was probably a heat sink or something in there that made it different from the standard Stereo Star illuminator... I have should have suspected a halogen source!

There's currently a seller on Fleabay that has 3 of these available (see pic, component on the right) that I assume might be able to be adapted... unsure if the filament orientation comes in to play with the halogen source.
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JeffO, aka "Ortho amore"
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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#4 Post by PeteM » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:17 pm

A cheap source for your missing clear glass base might be glass coasters. I bought maybe 20 of these to fit Cycloptic bases for less than the price of one proper AO glass base. You might find it difficult to find tempered glass coasters in a 4" size - but there's enough support to use something smaller and surround it with a ring (aluminum, plastic, etc.) and have it all fit nice and snug.

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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#5 Post by apochronaut » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:03 pm

ebenbildmicroscopy wrote:THANK YOU so much for your help with this! I figured, when I looked at the beefy-ness of that illuminator housing, there was probably a heat sink or something in there that made it different from the standard Stereo Star illuminator... I have should have suspected a halogen source!

There's currently a seller on Fleabay that has 3 of these available (see pic, component on the right) that I assume might be able to be adapted... unsure if the filament orientation comes in to play with the halogen source.
I saw those for sale, a more modern version of the Universal # 653 tungsten illuminator. The port into the coaxial illuminator for the # 580 is 22mm maximum diameter, so that halogen socket will not fit unfortunately but the principal is the same. I am guessing that the original bulb location might be deeper into the illuminator housing on the coaxial ; probably about 50mm in from the shoulder for the filament location, based on the position of the radiator and louvers in the housing.

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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#6 Post by apochronaut » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:16 pm

[quote

Also, PLEASE - who still stocks the clear 5" glass stage plates for these Stereo Stars? I'm going to put the 580 on a trans-illuminating base and desperately need the clear plate. I'm planning on machining a solid, black and white stage plate out of 16th stainless steel plate, so I don't need the black and white plate. I could machine a clear plate out of plexiglass but I have never liked those.
[/quote]

I am a purist , mostly , and try to use instruments as intended but sometimes little adaptions can be magicly useful. I like the clear glass base for transmitted light and the black or white discs for incident viewing but without a mechanical stage, I find the process of moving the subject requires a further accessory.
There are many packaged wet foods these days that come in plastic tubs of various shapes, with snap on lids. We got metricked years ago in Canada, so most of our stuff is in either kg., 750 ml.,500ml. or 250ml. and usually it is the depth of the container that is different , with all using the same lid size. The lids can come in various colours but white and several strengths of transluscent are ubiquitous, with the size being mostly 4 3/4"( sorry! 12cm.). There are also black ones. The shallow lids make excellent dishes to hold subjects, they can even be pinned, with a little ingenuity and moving them smoothly about the stage with slight finger pressure is a breeze. They don't abrade the surface underneath either. I guess the U.S. tubs are 8 0z. , 16 oz. etc. but may be the same size and total volume with just different labels( i.e., less filled).

From the files of wonder of Federal gov't insanity here is an actual event involving peanut butter packaging. For about 30years, a small nut butter factory , has been shipping to Canada, mostly reaching the GTA market. About 20 years ago a company started north of Toronto , making a similar product and slowly eroded the market for the imported product, so much so that the company couldn't justify buying 500 gm. jars for the Canadian market and just used 16 oz. jars with a label overlay that said 454gm. It turns out that peanut butter and catsup in Canada must be in easily identifiable incermentally sized jars; 250gm., 500 gm., 750 gm. The 454gm jars of peanut butter were illegal and were seized by the Canada Food Inspection Agency and ultimately destroyed. Shipping back to New York was too expensive , was on the importers tab and they were not allowed to give it to a food bank, in case someone put it on the black market! I got all this from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#7 Post by ebenbildmicroscopy » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:44 pm

Well, as a follow-up to my frustration with finding an actual AO glass stage plate, on Fleabay, it was cheaper to purchase this entire setup (see auction listing pic) just to get the stage plate than to keep hunting for the plate alone!

I'm currently starting to search for a lens edger in order to start making these plates in the future - if there would be any interest from fellow frustrated collectors, let me know. I used to have a friend who was an optician and she would edge and bevel mirrors and glass filters when I needed to make a custom size in the repair shop but - she died - so, here I am!
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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#8 Post by MicroBob » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:15 am

I Germany a glazier can supply ground circular glass plates. Probably not all but at least some of them. We just had made a small round glass plate for a shelf under a small table.

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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#9 Post by apochronaut » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:04 am

Many hardware shops, have a glazier that can cut circles for you. I doubt if tempered glass is really necessary. 3/16" glass should be good enough.

Alternately, a glass cutter with replaceable carbide blades and a suction post, so you can cut circles, is readily available. Cutting glass has a small learning curve but quickly becomes an easy task. Circles are tricky, though. I have done a few. The edges are easily finished with a sanding block, whetstone or any number of types of sanding disks or wheels in a drill or dremel type tool.

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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#10 Post by ebenbildmicroscopy » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:43 pm

Hey MicroBob and apochronaut!

I'm getting ready to experiment in the milling machine with a Bridgeport boring head. By setting up the right offset on the mill, it's possible to cut somewhere near 7" diameter circles. The idea is to replace the milling cutter with a carbide scribe point and then, after securing the plate glass on some of that non-slip mesh (like you put under throw rugs so they don't slide), turning the boring head by hand (ie, not under power) while advancing the milling arbor 2 or 3 thousandths of an inch. I believe that that amount of scratch would cause the glass to break clean using nippers. I'm still gonna have to get a water cooled edger to dress the cut edge though.

I suspect the original plates were not tempered glass. I've broken contemporary ones and they definitely are not.
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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#11 Post by Hobbyst46 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:01 pm

May not be directly relevant to your project, but perhaps just a little. I have succeeded many times to cut glass circles of about 1" diameter from glass plates and optical filters, using a diamond-coated "drill bit" and a drill press. The bit end was actually a thin-wall steel tube, coated with diamond powder. I placed the glass piece (plate/filter etc) on a larger glass plate immersed in a flat, very shallow plastic or glass (kitchen bowl) water bowl. The water in the bowl was only deep enough to cover the top glass piece. I placed the bowl on top of the drill press stage, and very slowly, gradually, pressed the drill bit onto the piece, at medium rotation speed, and the job took around 10-20 min. At least 20-30 such cuts are possible before the coating wears out and must be renewed. I am not suggesting this method to cut a 4-6" circle, but if the carbide edges fail, perhaps diamond will do better.
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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#12 Post by MicroBob » Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:13 pm

Glass cutting: With the usual glass cutters with a small wheel the theory is like this: For thin glass you would use a wheel with a smaller wedge angle, so a more sharply formed wheel. For thicker glass you would use a wheel with a higher angle. This theory should apply for your boring head tool too.
I have never made curved cuts in glass as far as I can remember. It might be difficult to do the breaking of the offcut pieces evenly enough. So habe enough glass available, it is not expensive.

When cutting glass use kerosene on the cutting surface. It is important to be precise and quick. Scratch exactly one time around, then quickly apply force to break of the offcut. This doesn't work as well if you wait a while after making the scratch.

Glass and ceramics can also be cut like this: Use a tube of the right diameter, fill it with silicium dioxide/carborundum/whatever grindig grit. Then drilling with low speed while the glass plate is submerged in water to avoid thermal stress. The grindig grit leaves the tube very slowly so the original filling is enough for most cuts.
If you have a lathe to make the tool and a big mill it would be possible to make your glass plates with a nicely ground cut. I would protect the surfaces against scratches with some kind of tape.

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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#13 Post by apatientspider » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:19 am

Believe it or not, but thin plate glass can be cut or nibbled away to a line with either metal cutting tin snips or heavy sewing scissors - if everything is submerged under water. The rough edge can also be smoothed with a coarse file in the same way.

Jim

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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#14 Post by MicroBob » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:19 pm

Hi Jim,
up to which thickness of glass does this work?

Bob

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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#15 Post by apatientspider » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:10 am

MicroBob wrote:Hi Jim,
up to which thickness of glass does this work?

Bob
Hi, Bob:

I've used the technique on ordinary window pane glass. 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch or so? It might work on 1/4 inch, but heavier metal cutting snips with more leverage would be needed, I should think.

Also, I doubt that one could cut along a concave edge or line.

Jim

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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#16 Post by ebenbildmicroscopy » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:01 am

OY! The AO 569 Stereostar arrived but with frustration...

I've almost universally begun to send a PM to Ebay sellers I buy microscope components from... "THANK YOU, in advance, for carefully packing my microscope.... "

in this particular case, I advised the seller I was purchasing the setup especially for the glass stage plate! I was subsequently assured, "I'll pack it tight"... IT'S A MIRACLE THE STAGE PLATE ARRIVED WITHOUT BREAKING, since it was left in the mount... (refer to 1st pic - as opened)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the stage plate survived but the focus knob did not... I'll post a future repair account of straightening the AO 569 pinion... soooooo discouraging to receive this damaged stuff via Fleabay!
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JeffO, aka "Ortho amore"
Leitz Ortholux I
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Re: Still expanding my AO collection - with questions about parts...

#17 Post by apochronaut » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:20 pm

I have taken to providing packing instructions , to sellers who I don't know. They are not always greeted with delight but sellers only see the package going out the door. Many have not seen , the thousands of results, as I have.

For this reason I have also taken to being ruthless ( Ruth has gone on sabbatical)), in applying for partial refunds or outright returns , when the item has been damaged due to packing failure.

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