Hello from southwestern Idaho

What is your microscopy history? What are your interests? What equipment do you use?
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desertrat
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:06 am
Location: Idaho

Hello from southwestern Idaho

#1 Post by desertrat » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:48 am

Discovered this forum today while doing a Google search related to microscopy.

Have been a member of the Yahoo Microscopy Group for several years. I'm Rick (desertrat2170) over there. Saw a few familiar names from there over here, and I think a forum format is a little more to my liking than the user group format over there.

Microscopy is one of several hobbies that I spend time with more or less in rotation. Recently I cleared space on the workbench, got the scopes and other equipment out, and started looking at and making slides again after being away from it for a couple of years.

Looking forward to being active again until I get sidetracked by one of my other interests.
Rick

A/O 10 Series Microstar
A/O 4 Series Microstar
A/O 4 Series Phasestar
A/O 4 Series Apostar
A/O Cycloptic Stereo
Several old monocular scopes in more or less decrepit but usable condition

charlie g
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:54 pm

Re: Hello from southwestern Idaho

#2 Post by charlie g » Thu Apr 05, 2018 2:49 am

Welcome, Rick, to this kind and terrific forum which Oliver Kim has thoughtfully constructed ( thank you, Oliver).

Please share your microscopy, desert rat, when you can.

BTW..are you 'desert home based'..if so..how are your nightface of stars for astronomical enjoyment? Charlie guevara

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zzffnn
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Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:57 am
Location: Houston, Texas
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Re: Hello from southwestern Idaho

#3 Post by zzffnn » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:06 am

Welcome, Rick!
What are your other hobbies :mrgreen: please share more with us.

My other hobbies are: collecting music and seashells, photography, water sports, nature, world culture and cuisine.
Selling my Canon FD 200mm F/2.8 lens

desertrat
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:06 am
Location: Idaho

Re: Hello from southwestern Idaho

#4 Post by desertrat » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:08 pm

charlie g wrote:Welcome, Rick, to this kind and terrific forum which Oliver Kim has thoughtfully constructed ( thank you, Oliver).

Please share your microscopy, desert rat, when you can.

BTW..are you 'desert home based'..if so..how are your nightface of stars for astronomical enjoyment? Charlie guevara
I adopted my desertrat handle while living in a small town in the Mojave desert in southern California. My back yard was almost a bonafide dark sky site. It was great. Views of the Milky Way and faint stars on moonless nights were excellent.

Here, there are big communities nearby and light pollution is bad. The Milky Way and faint stars are never visible. I haven't used my telescope much in the last 10 years. There are plenty of other things to do, though, so it's not a real hardship.
Rick

A/O 10 Series Microstar
A/O 4 Series Microstar
A/O 4 Series Phasestar
A/O 4 Series Apostar
A/O Cycloptic Stereo
Several old monocular scopes in more or less decrepit but usable condition

desertrat
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:06 am
Location: Idaho

Re: Hello from southwestern Idaho

#5 Post by desertrat » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:43 pm

zzffnn wrote:Welcome, Rick!
What are your other hobbies :mrgreen: please share more with us.

My other hobbies are: collecting music and seashells, photography, water sports, nature, world culture and cuisine.
My other hobbies are film photography, mostly large format photography the last time I was active. Haven't done much with it for a couple of years.

I collect vintage radio tubes and components and build homemade radios. That's mainly what I've been doing the last couple of years. For anyone interested in that, The Radioboard is a very good forum for homemade radios, lots of help and advice can be found there.

I used to dabble in amateur astronomy, but the seeing conditions aren't very good here. The nearest good dark sky site is probably a good hour's drive from here. Another factor is I don't stay up very late anymore. I just get tired and sleepy and go to bed.

Am enjoying getting back into micrscopy. Getting motivated to try some new things. My interest is mainly in looking at and preparing permanent stained slides using traditional, late 19th century methods. I also try to keep a couple of pond water cultures going for live viewing. Ordinary brightfield illumination works fine for this, so I haven't been pursuing high tech illumination methods like phase or DIC. I think DIC would be out of my budget anyway.

A phase system kind of fell into my lap. I was looking for a phase condenser for my 4 Series scope to use for low power dark field work. I bid on a 2 Series scope with one fuzzy photograph, only the phase condenser and two objectives visible. The seller obviously knew nothing about microscopes. Got it for like $36 and maybe $25 in shipping. What I got was a complete 2 series phasestar system with monocular head, four bright phase medium objectives, and the turret phase condenser had all four annuli intact. All the objectives were good.

I installed the phase components on another 4 series stand with binocular head.
Rick

A/O 10 Series Microstar
A/O 4 Series Microstar
A/O 4 Series Phasestar
A/O 4 Series Apostar
A/O Cycloptic Stereo
Several old monocular scopes in more or less decrepit but usable condition

JimT
Posts: 3247
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:57 pm

Re: Hello from southwestern Idaho

#6 Post by JimT » Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:33 pm

Welcome Desertrat.
Here, there are big communities nearby and light pollution is bad.
Quite a few of the members here were (are) also astronomers. I also gave up because of light pollution. Besides, we can do this at all hours of the day rain or shine.

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coominya
Posts: 279
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:33 am
Location: Brisbane Aust

Re: Hello from southwestern Idaho

#7 Post by coominya » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:15 pm

Welcome desert rat, I am down in Australia, in the capital of Brisbane surrounded by lights of all kinds but the moon and the planets are best observed under such conditions, because of the better contrast. Though I must admit, looking through a microscope is a lot easier, especially as one ages.

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MikeA
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Hello from southwestern Idaho

#8 Post by MikeA » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:58 pm

Hello DesertRat (Rick),

It seems we are living somewhat parallel lives, at least insofar as microscopy is concerned! :D I've just recently started back after a roughly 10 year hiatus, and had come to microscopy from my aborted experience with astronomy.

Living in NE Ohio, probably one of the worst areas in the country for 'seeing' with cloud cover most of the time when it is not below freezing/snowing, and like you and mentioned by some others (e.g. JimT) one gets sleepy late at night, whereas one can do microscopy whenever the mood/opportunity strikes! I still have my 8" Shmidt-Cassegrain as well as a 90mm refractor, but have not bothered even setting them up for a long while.

For quite a while I was using a pair of AO Microstar 110s' and remember them fondly - I think AO/Reichert optics are given short shrift rather unfairly. Here is my bench with the two 110s' (one for BF/DF the other for phase) along with my AO StereoStar 569 or 570 (replaced with an AO Stereo Star 580 with camera port.

Image

The current bench looks rather different; definitely in need of a bit of organizing/housecleaning -

Image

Maybe when (if?) Spring ever gets here....
All the best,
Mike
'Nil Satis Nisi Optimum'

desertrat
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:06 am
Location: Idaho

Re: Hello from southwestern Idaho

#9 Post by desertrat » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:54 pm

Hi Mike,

That's an impressive array of equipment! A/O Spencer and the Spencer Lens Company have been very good to me for equipping my bench at low cost, as my hobby budget isn't very big.
Rick

A/O 10 Series Microstar
A/O 4 Series Microstar
A/O 4 Series Phasestar
A/O 4 Series Apostar
A/O Cycloptic Stereo
Several old monocular scopes in more or less decrepit but usable condition

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MikeA
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: Hello from southwestern Idaho

#10 Post by MikeA » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:25 pm

Hello Rick,

Hate to admit there is a lot of equipment not shown - I have been collecting for about 15 years or so and sometimes wonder why i have so much equipment! Usually there are 'opportunities' that I just cannot pass up, and also sometimes I get stands that need some major TLC (Leitz Orthoplans are notorious for the focusing block locking up if not properly maintained.)

I keep saying I need to 'thin the herd' but just cannot bring myself to part with much of the equipment.

I agree, AO Spencer/Reichert was undervalued enormously IMHO, and I have some images I made back then with the 110s' and a Nikon Coolpix 950 that look pretty darned good!

BTW - also have two (!) rotary microtomes that I hope to put to use someday.... ;)
All the best,
Mike
'Nil Satis Nisi Optimum'

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