Kayak microscope recommendation

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zzffnn
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Kayak microscope recommendation

#1 Post by zzffnn » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:49 pm

My son and I need a cheap ($20-$30 shipped) microscope to use on our kayak. Please kindly recommend eBay search keywords (brands), or offer to sell us yours.

It has to have a straight (not fix angle) eye tube, good focusing mechanism for up to a 20x NA 0.40 objective. 2-3 RMS 160mm standard objective slots and removable eyepiece is highly preferred.

Light weight and small footprint would be nice.

Stage clips, condenser, original optics or light are not necessary.

Something like this would probably work:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/282211603519

http://www.ebay.com/itm/262676686831

There are many other toy scopes on eBay for around $20 shipped, but I am not sure about their focusing mechanisms and whether or not their objectives are RMS 160TL.

Thank you!

I have parts and other portable scopes, but their ergonomics for kayak application is not good. Thus I am looking for another scope.

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lorez
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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#2 Post by lorez » Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:50 am

Fan,

I'd pass on both of those scopes. For not too much more weight and probably not too much more $$ there are better instruments available. Both of these are at the bottom of the list.

Thanks for the sand. It arrived today.

lorez

PS I may have a scope for you and your son. I need to look for your specs.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#3 Post by zzffnn » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:01 am

Thanks Lorez.

I was referred to the following two scopes by a kind forum member:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/LABPAQ-microsco ... 2649782770

http://www.ebay.com/itm/labpaq-microsco ... SwOdpXxOuV

They even have condensers and mechanical stages built in, for $20 shipped. That saves me time in DIY fitting my own condenser and other parts.

Optics do not matter, as long as those are RMS 160 mm TL. I will fit on my own optics.

Do those scopes look like RMS 160mm TL to you? I have messaged those sellers, though not sure they know/would reply.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#4 Post by lorez » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:41 am

Either of those will probably work for what you want to do. At the price it's worth a try. 99% chance they are rms.

lorez

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#5 Post by zzffnn » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:00 am

lorez wrote:Either of those will probably work for what you want to do. At the price it's worth a try. 99% chance they are rms.

lorez
Thank you very much, Lorez.

Sorry for being out of topic, do you know how many standards there are for mini objectives? I have an educational scope with mini objectives. I saw these mini objective on eBay and wonder what scope they are for:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/262638258855

http://www.ebay.com/itm/252560219618

They are NOT for Swift FM-31, correct? If yes, I will jump and buy those.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#6 Post by lorez » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:14 am

Sorry for being out of topic, do you know how many standards there are for mini objectives?
I've seen a lot of mini objectives over the years and I would say that there are no standards.

None of the pictured objectives are for any of the Swift field scope models.

I just picked up the Chinese version of the FM-31 this weekend. Have not had time to check it.

lorez

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#7 Post by zzffnn » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:38 am

You know Omax tech support told me their FM-31 clone has no condenser. I doubt it though. Without condenser, its 40x NA 0.65 objective would not provide true NA 0.65.

Please do let me know how yours work. Thanks.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#8 Post by Charles » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:50 am

zzffnn wrote:Thanks Lorez.

I was referred to the following two scopes by a kind forum member:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/LABPAQ-microsco ... 2649782770

http://www.ebay.com/itm/labpaq-microsco ... SwOdpXxOuV

They even have condensers and mechanical stages built in, for $20 shipped. That saves me time in DIY fitting my own condenser and other parts.

Optics do not matter, as long as those are RMS 160 mm TL. I will fit on my own optics.

Do those scopes look like RMS 160mm TL to you? I have messaged those sellers, though not sure they know/would reply.
Like I said on the other forum, ask the MoliMedic seller to try putting one of their other objectives on the Labpaq.

For that price, you should actually buy both and make one good one out of them. The two scopes have two sets of different objectives which might further verify they are RMS. The second one you could fix up for your kids.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#9 Post by zzffnn » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:07 pm

Thank you, Charles.

Let us wait for sellers' replies. If no reply at all, I would gamble with MoliMedic, as their scope description says "good working condition", while the other simply says " used".

I can easily fix mirror and eyepiece. I actually won't use mirror at all, as I will be DIY mounting an LED beneath condenser.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#10 Post by Charles » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:16 pm

The same type of scope on Brunel sell new for $130-200.
http://www.brunelmicroscopes.co.uk/stud ... scope.html

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#11 Post by zzffnn » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:45 pm

MoliMedic confirmed RMS thread. So I bought their scope. Thank you very much, Charles and Lorez.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#12 Post by Charles » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:20 pm

Good thing, I see the other sold too. I was afraid you would miss out on both.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#13 Post by apochronaut » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:52 pm

I came to this late but the AO model 78b would be just the ticket. It has w.f., takes either a 2 or 3 position reverse nosepiece and has a built in 10 watt illuminator in a sealed housing, which functions as a stage and also as a base. They take standard 160mm objectives. Focusing is both fine and coarse in one knob. They only weigh about 4 lbs. or so. The base could easily be converted to led, with just a bulb replacement. They were very popular in the 60's in schools, providing a w.f. close to lab quality image from a compact, durable instrument with all parts locked in . 20.00 is about what they go for, sometimes people want more but I've seen them for 10.00.
Here is a picture of the pol version, which is the same but with a circular stage, and pol accessories added. The bio model has spring clips, a disc diaphragm and w.f. 10 eyepiece.
http://earth2geologists.net/Microscopes ... tudent.jpg

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#14 Post by zzffnn » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:32 am

apochronaut wrote:I came to this late but the AO model 78b would be just the ticket. It has w.f., takes either a 2 or 3 position reverse nosepiece and has a built in 10 watt illuminator in a sealed housing, which functions as a stage and also as a base. They take standard 160mm objectives. Focusing is both fine and coarse in one knob. They only weigh about 4 lbs. or so. The base could easily be converted to led, with just a bulb replacement. They were very popular in the 60's in schools, providing a w.f. close to lab quality image from a compact, durable instrument with all parts locked in . 20.00 is about what they go for, sometimes people want more but I've seen them for 10.00.
Here is a picture of the pol version, which is the same but with a circular stage, and pol accessories added. The bio model has spring clips, a disc diaphragm and w.f. 10 eyepiece.
http://earth2geologists.net/Microscopes ... tudent.jpg
Thank you so much, apo.

That can be a future backpack scope, as it seems lighter and more compact than the Labpaq scope.

It does NOT have a condenser (not even a single llens?), correct? That was the main reason why I didn't pick it yesterday (I did see this eBay yesterday: http://www.ebay.com/itm/131969189149).

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#15 Post by apochronaut » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:36 am

That one on ebay, looks like it is missing it's condenser lens. The condenser seems appropriate for the 43x .66 objective. You will see those with either of two objective sets, the standard 3.5 .09, 10x .25, 43x .66 as seen on AO's lab mics or the cone shaped 10x .25 and 43x .55 that were used on the educational mics.
I have even tried out a 97x 1.25 oil on one and it works quite well actually. The work around that, for your situation, would to be to fit the 4 place nosepiece from the 15/35 series( the 78b has the same as a 2 or 3) and then add a water immersion lens. I haven't done this but it seems likely too, that you could fit the binocular head from the 35 on one too. There is lots of room in the base for a rechargeable battery pack.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#16 Post by zzffnn » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:50 am

apo,

Are you sure an AO 78b model has condenser (lens)? I think I saw other 78bs without condenser (lens) before. But as you said, condenser makes sense, since it came from factory with 40x objective (unless someone put on 40x obj afterwards?).

Maybe I can add a condenser or lens onto its under stage.

Yes, I will put a LED there too fore sure.

I won't use objectives more powerful than 40x in the field (too much vibration there) . In my house, I use much bigger/heavier scopes for that.

For field use, mono and 2-3 slots nose is fine for me now........

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#17 Post by apochronaut » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:30 pm

I'll have a look. I sold one a while ago and it had a tinted diffusion condenser in the stage. The performance with the 43x objective fitted at the factory was very good, with a nice broad field.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#18 Post by zzffnn » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:42 pm

apochronaut wrote:I'll have a look. I sold one a while ago and it had a tinted diffusion condenser in the stage. The performance with the 43x objective fitted at the factory was very good, with a nice broad field.
Thank you!

So if I see one on eBay, I need to ask the seller to check if there is a lens in the stage hole.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#19 Post by apochronaut » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:14 pm

It would be a good idea. My guess is that a certain # were errantly damaged by students, although the focusing is designed so that coarse focus yields to fine focus at the lower end of the travel, so collisions would be minimized. The one in the ebay auction you linked to has a little lip around the hole, where the lens used to be cemented. Possibly the cement got brittle too and some fell out.
There isn't a lot of space between the bulb surface and the hole, so putting a simple condenser under the stage, might be tricky but then the bulb is a 10 watt, s11 with an e12 candelabra base, which have a large glass envelope, so changing the bulb to an led with tinier dimensions, would open more space.
These are e10 http://www.ebay.com/itm/E10-LED-Screw-B ... Sw8w1YBuKt and are claiming 3 watt; 300 lumens, much more than the original bulb. With an adapter such as this http://www.ebay.com/itm/E12-To-E10-LED- ... xBkVhq3oSA you could effect an easy screw in conversion. You just need a 4 AA cell battery pack inside( 4 lithium rechargeables can be had for 12.00 http://www.ebay.com/itm/4pcs-Etinesan-1 ... SwOyJX7dCz) but I doubt you will need 4. The original bulb at 10 watts is only about 1/3 to 1/2 as bright as that led is supposed to be. You won't need more than 2 , perhaps just one with a high mah rating.
Rewiring a charger, sufficient only to carry the required # of cells, to switchable( 3 position) between charging and delivering would simplify everything.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#20 Post by Charles » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:07 pm

The lens in the stage hole is only to keep dust out. The wheel in front is an aperture wheel with different size holes like in inexpensive microscopes.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#21 Post by zzffnn » Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:33 pm

hmm, I saw the aperture wheel, but did not know the lens is just a dust cover. Even a single lens condenser would be better than no condenser at all..... How do I DIY a single lens condenser?

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#22 Post by apochronaut » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:27 pm

Disc diaphragms don't work too well, without a condenser. They just sort of moderate the glare. AO had two objective sets for those, microscopes, one of which comprised 3 of their standard achromats. A condensing lens in that location would be an obvious required feature.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#23 Post by Dale » Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:16 am

Good thread Fan, we are both looking for the same scope, right? Scanning for diatoms
in the field. If it works in a kayak it should work in my checked luggage. I have no parts
to complete a project scope. I need to use different search words to get better results, like
yours.
Dale
B&L Stereozoom 4. Nikon E600. AO Biostar 1820.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#24 Post by zzffnn » Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:13 am

Dale,

The Labpaq scope that I bought may be too heavy for checked luggage, though OK for kayak. For my kayak use, scope weight is less of an issue, but size and ergonomics is.

But for a backpack scope, I think weight AND size are both important.

The AO 78b, as mentioned by apo, at 4lbs, should work well for checked luggage or backpack.
Last edited by zzffnn on Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#25 Post by zzffnn » Thu Oct 20, 2016 3:15 am

apochronaut wrote:Disc diaphragms don't work too well, without a condenser. They just sort of moderate the glare. AO had two objective sets for those, microscopes, one of which comprised 3 of their standard achromats. A condensing lens in that location would be an obvious required feature.
That makes better sense. I have seen many edu scope that tops at 40x NA 0.65 and have a single lens condenser/disc diaphragm combo.

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Re: Kayak microscope recommendation

#26 Post by zzffnn » Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:17 pm

The $20 Labpaq scope arrived and I am happy with it.

Original objectives have RMS thread and seem to be 36mm parfocal (shorter than DIN 45mm and longer than 34mm). Optical quality is consistent with their "educational" quality (better than toy quality, worse than lab quality - my Nikon S achromat objectives are visually better).

Focus mechanism (which seems mostly metal) works with DIN and 33mm parfocal objectives. Fine focus has very short travel and is not quite smooth, though good enough for 40x NA 0.65. Coarse focus is very good. Focus by moving head.

Condenser supports NA 0.65 just fine and even has iris and filter tray there.

Weight is 5 lb 7 oz. Size is not too small. Easy to hold.

Modularity is good enough. It was easy to remove condenser, mirror and slider holder.

Everything works, after a bit of glue, Blutak and screw-tightening (it has quite some plastic parts and poor machining). I am still happy with it though, considering its cheap price. It is going to get abused on a kayak anyway.

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