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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 9:28 am 
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Hi together,
I'm about to go on a trip to the sea for a couple of days, just my wife and me, the boys stay at home.
This is what I will bring with me:
-Winkel Zeiss traveling microscope from mid 1950s with original stacked lens, 20:1 Zeiss Jena and 40:1 Lomo and nice Zeiss Jena P eyepiece (non comp.)
-Small Kosmos plancton net with 90µ mesh width
-Small bottles, pipette, some slides and cover slips

At the moment I have only limited access to my microscopy equipment because I'm working on the room itself so I picked what I could grab.

What equipment do you take with you when you go on a trip?

Bob


Attachments:
Bobs traveling microscopy kit may 2019.jpg
Bobs traveling microscopy kit may 2019.jpg [ 478.69 KiB | Viewed 5044 times ]
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 1:35 pm 
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Great microworld adventure kit. I like it! :D

Many years ago I used to take a small Zeiss Junior (my first real microscope) that originally came with a mirror, I'd point the concave surface at the sky on a bright day. That and a few slides, jars and droppers.

Where did you get your plankton net from?


Wes


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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 2:09 pm 
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Hi Wes,
the Junior is an especially nice microscope.
This net was originally sold by Kosmos, a company selling school equipment and experiment kits. They don't sell them any more. I bought it used on ebay for 25€.

Bob


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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 4:42 pm 
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Hi Bob,

25€ is a bargain! I looked on ebay a few times but didn't see such eye-catching deals.

Which sea are you going to enjoy/explore? It must be exciting to sample marine microbes especially when you don't live at the seaside. When I looked at some marine ciliates many years ago I remember not being able to spot any contractile vacuoles. I came to the general conclusion that marine protists don't need contractile vacuoles because water won't be rushing into them due to osmosis as the surrounding environment is quite salty (I believe the assumption is wrong though). Let me know if you find exotic marine bugs and whether they have such organelles :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 6:25 pm 
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Thanks for sharing your kit.


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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 7:12 pm 
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Baltic sea, and you can save a search on ebay and just wait.

Bob


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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 8:01 pm 
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MicroBob wrote:
This net was originally sold by Kosmos, a company selling school equipment and experiment kits. They don't sell them any more.

I'm sure that it is much too sophisticated for hand-drawn sampling, but this design note may be of academic interest:
https://rvbangarang.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/netdesign_backgrounder1.pdf

MichaelG.

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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 1:07 am 
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Great post! I carry a travel kit consisting of tow plankton net, handle plankton net, and scoop collector as gathering devices. Don't have a picture of my tow net, but it's similar to the handle net below, and made with a lampshade upper hoop for a frame. I also have a bag full of tools, sample containers, and note-taking stuff. Also carry an AO Series 10 microscope with dissecting kit and other supplies that fit in the travel case.

I make plankton nets fairly easily with filter mesh from the swim pool supply store and an old sewing machine. A variety of hoops can be fashioned, my favorite travel rig uses a section of 5.5"x5.5" (14x14 cm) PVC fence post cover (that I bought to make a sewer hose carrier for my travel trailer). A world of possibilities abound for collection bottles, but this one's a prescription pill bottle. Just takes a bit of imagination to connect the parts together. A collapsible golf ball retriever that extends to ten feet (3 m) serves as the bridge between land and sea, as it were.

Attachment:
plankton net on golf ball retriever 1024px.JPG
plankton net on golf ball retriever 1024px.JPG [ 113.47 KiB | Viewed 4948 times ]


Here's another golf ball retriever that works well for attaching an Eppendorf tube for scrape or bottom sampling. Attaching the tube with a velcro cord organizer may look iffy, but it works perfectly.

Attachment:
samplegrabber 1024px.jpg
samplegrabber 1024px.jpg [ 408.55 KiB | Viewed 4948 times ]


My cordless battery powered, LED converted, AO Series 10 scope with POL and bright phase contrast.

Attachment:
cordless AO10 1024px.jpg
cordless AO10 1024px.jpg [ 210.38 KiB | Viewed 4948 times ]


And here we are in the field, doing our thing. I spend a couple-few months a year living the nomadic life doing volunteer work for museums and historic sites. Microscopy provides after-hours amusement, with diatoms being my primary area of interest.

Attachment:
mobile lab 1024px.JPG
mobile lab 1024px.JPG [ 303.44 KiB | Viewed 4948 times ]

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League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 1:38 pm 
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Hi Michael,
thank you for posting the report on net design! So far I only new suggestions for the design but no explanations of the decision making process.

Hi Kurt,
thank you for showing your equimpent! There are several hints that will be usefull for me. I didn't know pool supplies as a source for fine mesh. Print shops use it but so far I haven't found a way go get some for little money. Your AO 10 in travel case is very nice too.

Just last saturday I thought about assembling a plan for a DIY plancton net. For occasional use they are quite expensive and I would like to show up a cheap and simple way to make one. What works well for many purposes are plastic tubes with fine stainless steel mesh welded on them.

Bob


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 3:12 pm 
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Definitely a great article on designing plankton nets (thanks MichaelG.), but I gotta say this sorta stuff worries me a little:

"While many decisions must be made to design a net in full, three key parameters are the most consequential and need to be decided first: mesh size, mouth diameter, and overall net length."

For the hobbyist, 'many decisions must be made'? Not at all; many enthusiasts have very simply kludged a stocking from the women's hosiery department on some sort of frame on one end and a bottle on the other (don't forget to snip off the toe), plus some string, and got along fine. This is not to say I'm against putting more effort into it, only that there's no requirement to wait till Friday to be casual if it's more your style. That's all.

Now I'm going to go back and look over that article some more and see if I can't get myself worked up enough to take my plankton net out for a spin.

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Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/


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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 4:02 pm 
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I often use a plancton sieve made from a piece of PP tube of 75mm diameter and lenght and pour water with a plastic box through it. This is for sure not perfect but perfectly pocketable. But if I would start to sew a fine net from new material Iwould have a quick look into the design guide and see what dimensions would be best.


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 7:23 pm 
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Location: Brisbane Aust
MicroBob wrote:
I'm about to go on a trip to the sea for a couple of days, just my wife and me, the boys stay at home.

Bob

Nice getaway MB, hope you and your wife have great weather for it. That scope is very unique I thought, could you post a pic of it assembled for us?


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 7:39 pm 
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Here is a link to a detailed description:https://www.mikroskopie-forum.de/index.php?topic=23026.0

They were built around WW2 and surface occasionally on ebay and sell for under 100€. Mine was bought by a nurse apprentice in 1954. I have a box of histology slides from her too. Unfortunately I can't read this very old german handwriting...

Bob


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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2019 7:44 pm 
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MicroBob wrote:
Baltic sea, and you can save a search on ebay and just wait.

Bob
Hi Bob, good hunting and a safe trip!

KurtM wrote:
...
A question, if I may: How many net strokes/sweeps are required to collect a meaningful sample ? I mean, when one stands by the water side and just sweeps water with the net that is attached to the telescopic handle. Obviously, the crop depends on the concentration of game in the sea water, yet perhaps there is a rough rule of thumb ?

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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 12:39 am 
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Quote:
A question, if I may: How many net strokes/sweeps are required to collect a meaningful sample ? I mean, when one stands by the water side and just sweeps water with the net that is attached to the telescopic handle. Obviously, the crop depends on the concentration of game in the sea water, yet perhaps there is a rough rule of thumb ?

There are any number of ways to go about it depending on what you hope to accomplish. One method is to keep the number of sweeps as consistent as possible, say three sweeps of about 3 meters each, which then gives an idea of concentration as well as types of critters or whatever (no matter the size, nets tend produce surprises a lot). Do a set at the surface, another deeper down, repeat further from shore, etc. You can also "tickle" the bottom with the frame if conditions permit. Or if you have a bunch of hungry mini-aquarium denizens to feed back home, then do enough gathering to reap a rich haul. The net-on-a-pole is super versatile.

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Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 5:21 am 
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Thanks, KurtM.

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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 10:46 am 
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Hi Doron,
for the amateur there is also a practical consideration: With a net or sieve you can increase the concentration of the plancton up to 100%. Then there is no oxygen available and especially the zooplacton will die very soon. On the other hand side it is nice to have a halfway rich concentration on the slide for joyful observing.
The Kosmos net has a beaker made from opaque PP and you can only look from the net side how the concentration looks. My big net has the scew lid of a urine sample beaker. The beakers themselve are transparent and it is easy to judge when them sample has a good concentration. When I needed a lot of plancton for a group meeting to set up plancton aquariums with our members I took a strong, short fishing pole with a strong reel and used it to throw the big net. This gave ca. 12m of draw lenght per throw.

For scientific uses there are also nets with cones in front to get more precise concentration measurements. There are also nets that can be remotely clesed to sample a specific depth of water.

Bob


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 2:43 pm 
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Beautiful holiday for you two, Microbob, I wish you good weather as high seas/ wave chop, could limit life on board. With a slight increase in 'foot print size', I'd take a more robust microscope...especially if you want to handhold a point&shoot dig camera for fresh plankton image captures.

So much relaxtion on your sea jaunt, sweet that your enjoying plankton observations too. I do,nt know the waters you will enjoy but it would be of intrest if these waters plankton manifeast the circadian rythms with populations migrating up to surface waters, other populations migrating deeper into the waters dependant on their type and tme of day.

Sweet sailing to you two! Charlie Guevara ( I get sea sick anytime we go marine fishing near shore in NY Long Island Sound, or whale watching off Martha's Vinyard )


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2019 7:29 pm 
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Hi Charlie,
we just went to the coast, no ships , no sea-sickness! :lol:
The are we were is a bay reaching into the main land, at the very northern border of Germany to Denmark.
The water is brackish, I would estimate 1% salt content. Water quality is sometimes critical, there are times when the oxygen content goes down due to too much waste waters from cities and agriculture and the limited exchange with the baltic sea.

3 years ago the was a dolphin pair in the Flensburger Förde, an unusual event. A colleague from work made this wonderful film after looking for the dolphins for hours: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAJ3-k0FNiA

Enjoy!

Bob


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 12:53 am 
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Wow, what a video! I especially enjoyed and appreciated it since I myself have had the very special pleasure of paddling with dolphins just like that, except for the clear water (sigh). One of my old (fellow sea kayak advanced open water skills instructor) buddies was a TAMUG/MFL marine biologist specializing in Galveston Bay dolphin research, and with him and others I've spent a lot of time mingling with those very lovable sea mammals. I now have a ton of wonderful memories swirling in my head, thanks for posting that, it really has me grinning!

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Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 3:47 am 
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Costal mudflats/shore areas host fantastic diatom communities. Leave collection plastic bottles 3/4ths submerged in shore waters...diatoms literally climb into the collection bottles.

all the best, Charlie guevara


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 5:23 am 
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Quote:
Leave collection plastic bottles 3/4ths submerged in shore waters...diatoms literally climb into the collection bottles.
Thanks for the tip. Will see if I can try that.

Are plastic bottles 'better' or just more convenient?

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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 1:00 pm 
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Plastic containers are safer to hike about with. I do,nt want to hijack OP.s thread here!


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2019 2:21 pm 
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charlie g wrote:
Plastic containers are safer to hike about with. I do,nt want to hijack OP.s thread here!


Hi Charlie,
your placton containers fit very well to the thread, so go ahead! In microscopy it is often the small items that are most important so I would be happy when you would share you experiences with you collecting equipment.

Bob


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 12:59 am 
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Here are some collecting pictures Michel Haak, a fellow in The Netherlands who might know a thing or two about diatoms, sent me a while back. Seems he stashes a piece of glass by a piling to lure in some sample material. Depending on time of year, the pond's vitality, etc., etc., that chunk of glass might have been left for a few days or a few weeks. A similar trick is to fish up discarded slime-covered pop bottles, scrub clean, retain the bath water. This will get you interesting things to look at as well as pick up litter. If I happen across a slimy bottle or beer can or whatever, I simply stash it in a plastic bag and take it home for cleaning and disposal at my leisure.

Remember, slime is usually diatoms. If you ever slipped in a river bed, it was probably a dastardly gang of diatoms trying to kill you!


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_________________
Cheers,
Kurt Maurer
League City, Texas
email: ngc704(at)aol(dot)com
http://sawdustfactory.nfshost.com/microscopes/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/67904872@ ... 912223623/
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:55 pm 
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Hi together,
I just want to show the current state of development of the Biolamini.
In the meantime a Hertel & Reuss object guide has been added, a very compact and well made item.
I also replaced the Zeiss Jena bino tube against one made by Wild. This is much more compact and harmonizes well when used with 18mm pickup point Leitz eyepieces.
The LED lamp is not especially powerfull but lasts a long time with the battery pack. Today I would design a completely different illuminator though.

The microscope is as small as a binocular microscope with halfway acceptable ergonomics get, but the complete package could do with some improvements. While it fits into the green box alone with a mono tube, for the bino an extra box is needed. Ideally it would fit in one compact box with compartments for accessories.
I used to use it regularly for our group meetings, but in the meantime we got enough Zeiss Standards with bino tube, so I leave it at home to save on luggage and setup time. But now it has two weeks of occasional use before it!

Bob


Attachments:
Biolamini 1.jpg
Biolamini 1.jpg [ 221.56 KiB | Viewed 3311 times ]
Biolamini 2.jpg
Biolamini 2.jpg [ 212.57 KiB | Viewed 3311 times ]
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:46 pm 
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Spectacular, Bob!
Looks beautiful and functional and convenient.

What are the objective powers ?
Which LED is it ?
The metal plates of the stage, folding legs etc, are these brushed steel, or anodized aluminum ?
I could not see the focusing knob. Is it on the other side ?
Can the condenser move up and down ?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:15 pm 
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Thank you, Doron! :oops:

The stand is made completely from aluminium scrap parts. The nose piece is from a Lomo Biolam. The stage is moved by the little knob on the vertical axis right at the bottom of the microscope. This is not perfect but quite acceptable. I used a linear guide that is normaly used for industrial adjustment purposes, maybe in automation. It was just 50 ct on a flea market. Since it is made from aluminium extrusions it moves not quite as lightly as a good microscope guide.
The condenser sits in a slip fit and can be moved, but not very conveniently. It is centered faily well but there are no centering screws, so it would be questionable whether a dark field condenser would work well. I have used phase contrast though with success. The stage can be lowered on dovetails for use with a non-parfocal weaker objective, though I have never made use of this feature.
The idea behind the Biolamini was to trade in some of the features of a lab microscope for improved mobility, but maintain the core functionality. So I just have dry objectives on it, at the moment Lomo 9:1 Plan, 20:1 and 40:1. These are 33.xx mm parfocal objectives of very old Zeiss design. The microscope can cope with 45mm objectives but these would make it considerably less compact as the stick out further from the nosepiece.

Sometimes the whole package is better than the single component but this is not the case here so far. The microscope is quite good but the illuminator could be much smaller and the two boxes are not that small. The parts are just packed in plastic bags and it always takes two minutes to assemble and disassemble it. So a better box would be the next thing to do.

Bob


Attachments:
biolamini 3.jpg
biolamini 3.jpg [ 174.47 KiB | Viewed 3273 times ]
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:38 pm 
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Bob,

Some outdoor LED headlights can be smaller (with head straps removed) and can be focused with two levels of adjustable power. There may be other battery-powered LED options, such as flat flashlights or small flat work lights, but I have not found a perfect one yet. Those headlights are usable though, if you use neutral density filters with them at low magnification.

I wish I can have a Biolamini like yours. It looks almost as good as a Tiyoda MKH for a portable scope.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:01 pm 
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My ideal would be a PWM regulated LED with continuous light level for photography and little power consumtion. When I built the BIOLAMini 7 years ago I experimented a bit in this direction but only burned away my stronger LEDs and then settled for a wire potentiometer and a low power LED (0,2 W??)
Since this worked fine I haven't spent more time on this so far. I like the 18650 Li-Ion batterys a lot and this would be my favourite power source. The chinese power banks with exchaneable 18650 batterys I bought a while ago were terribly bad. Otherwise they would be a nice power source, already with a housing. Especially for stereo microscopes I like battery power a lot. I use mine mostly on the dinig table to poke out splinters out of fingers and feet of my valued familiy members. :roll:

A member of our group is extremely good with electronics, maybe we can make a nice project out of this idea somewhen in the future. He invented this component tester, now copied by the chinese: https://www.ebay.de/itm/All-in-1-LCR-Komponententester-TransistorDiodenkapazitat-ESR-Meter-Induktivitat/254127130668?hash=item3b2b28482c:m:m8OAIKaqIRSbR68buZCZFOw

Bob


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