American Optical Trinocular Port Dust Plug

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farnsy
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:03 pm
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

American Optical Trinocular Port Dust Plug

#1 Post by farnsy » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:16 am

I have several american optical series 10 and 110 now with trinocular heads. I have a camera and tube setup that works but only one, and I don't particularly want to keep the camera attached to a scope all the time (for one thing, regular microscope dust covers don't fit that well on top of it). One of my scopes has a plastic plug on the trinocular port to keep dust out and I would like more. I've seen ones that look like they are metal on series 10 scopes in pictures, but I don't really care about the material.

Does anyone know of a source for plugs like these? Is there kind of a standard size (the 10 and 110 ports seem to be the same size). Are there other easily obtained items that fit right? Or is there a different solution y'all use to keep your trinocular heads dust-free?

PeteM
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Re: American Optical Trinocular Port Dust Plug

#2 Post by PeteM » Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:12 am

I've used several sources. These are usually the same diameter as standard objectives. You can:

- find the original AO caps
- buy plastic caps meant to plug eyepiece holes from Ebay sellers
- buy CapPlugs or equivalent (plastic hole plugs) in the right ID or OD diameter
- turn your own out of phenolic, aluminum, etc. on a wood or metal lathe
- buy rubber stoppers
- just use a crappy old or broken eyepiece, maybe with a vinyl plug over the end

apochronaut
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Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: American Optical Trinocular Port Dust Plug

#3 Post by apochronaut » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:50 am

If you know of either a Spanish or Portuguese restaurant, their Sat. morning trash and recycling should have enough Sherry or Port bottles with their closures to meet your requirements, or perhaps you could ask the bartender to keep some closures for you. You may have to pay for a plate of breaded smelts or grilled sardines to seal the deal. Traditional closures for those fortified wines are a short, smaller diameter than normal cork of about 20mm, glued to a plastic finger grip about the size of a quarter. The cork section fits right into the lower throat of the microscope port and the plastic grip, just nestles into the upper section, with enough showing to easily lift it out. Cheaper versions and domestic analogues usually use screw caps.

Another easily found option is the plastic cap off of the terminals of a new battery. They sometimes have a + or - cut out of the end but that can be covered with a piece of electrical tape. You even have a choice of colour; red or black.

There are also of course, end plugs, such as those used in pipes and ports of all kinds. https://www.ebay.com/itm/4Pcs-lot-Black ... MN9DVGgSwg

farnsy
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:03 pm
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Re: American Optical Trinocular Port Dust Plug

#4 Post by farnsy » Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:50 pm

Interesting ideas. For now I'll use silicone corks (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B074RJ4MNV/) until I happen across some legit caps. I was thinking this cork would have a small enough end to also plug the tube I use, but it doesn't. No worries...for now I'll just use saran wrap and a rubber band.

Thanks for your comments, guys!

sailor_ed
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Re: American Optical Trinocular Port Dust Plug

#5 Post by sailor_ed » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:25 pm

Have you been itching to buy a 3D printer? ;)

farnsy
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:03 pm
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Re: American Optical Trinocular Port Dust Plug

#6 Post by farnsy » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:31 pm

sailor_ed wrote:Have you been itching to buy a 3D printer? ;)
Actually I have one. Not sure the precision is good enough to really satisfy me (make a tight seal) and most 3D printing materials are pretty rigid, but I shouldn't dismiss it out of hand. A little thought goes a long way on these things.

mnmyco
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:03 pm

Re: American Optical Trinocular Port Dust Plug

#7 Post by mnmyco » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:08 pm

At hardware stores, in the specialty section, I have found metal and plastic hole plugs for things like the holes in desks for wires. These work well and have the benefit of being professionally manufactured.

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