A "Small" Project

Here you can discuss DIY adaptations to the microscope.
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GerryR
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun May 22, 2022 11:44 am
Location: Virginia, USA

A "Small" Project

#1 Post by GerryR » Fri Jan 20, 2023 3:34 pm

A Small Project:

I purchased a mechanical stage, but I should have looked at the scale more closely. I needed one for a full size AO microscope, but ended up with this somewhat miniature slide; my mistake. Then I remembered that my Swift M2 only had spring clips on the stage to hold slides, soooo I started another project.

The M2 has an X-control that moves the entire stage and condenser across the objective field; no Y-control. This is probably useful when using macro mode, looking at specimens with top lighting.

I took the stage and made the modifications shown in the pictures, so in micro mode, I now have both X&Y control. It turned out the “miniature” stage was perfect for the M2 small round stage table. I use the original X-control to center the light source in the field of view (Y position is fixed and near perfect), and the new stage to move the specimen. I thought maybe this might give others some ideas. Have a great day!

The first picture is the mechanical stage as purchased.

GerryR
Attachments
xMech stage_2 Lo-Res.jpg
xMech stage_2 Lo-Res.jpg (84.09 KiB) Viewed 1024 times
xSwift M2 with Mech Stage_2 Lo-Res.JPG
xSwift M2 with Mech Stage_2 Lo-Res.JPG (31.11 KiB) Viewed 1024 times
xSwift M2 with Mech Stage_4 Lo-Res.JPG
xSwift M2 with Mech Stage_4 Lo-Res.JPG (28.75 KiB) Viewed 1024 times
xSwift M2 with Mech Stage_5 Lo-Rea.JPG
xSwift M2 with Mech Stage_5 Lo-Rea.JPG (30.35 KiB) Viewed 1024 times
xSwift M2 with Mech Stage_6 Lo-Res.JPG
xSwift M2 with Mech Stage_6 Lo-Res.JPG (28.88 KiB) Viewed 1024 times

dtsh
Posts: 904
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 6:06 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Re: A "Small" Project

#2 Post by dtsh » Fri Jan 20, 2023 3:41 pm

That looks to be a nice upgrade over stage clips. I've seen these devices before, but have always wondered how good they are; what's your opinion?

Depending on model, I might have a spare AO stage if you still need one.

GerryR
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun May 22, 2022 11:44 am
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: A "Small" Project

#3 Post by GerryR » Fri Jan 20, 2023 5:02 pm

dtsh wrote:
Fri Jan 20, 2023 3:41 pm
That looks to be a nice upgrade over stage clips. I've seen these devices before, but have always wondered how good they are; what's your opinion?

Depending on model, I might have a spare AO stage if you still need one.
Well, the unit is solid brass, except for the original "arms" that held the slide; they were aluminum. I kept one and modified it (the black arm) and made the brass unit (last picture), which is spring loaded. Also, there was some lateral play in the Y-assembly. If you look at the 4th picture you will notice two setscrews that I added to take up that play. Other than that, it is nicely made, though somewhat delicate, mainly because of size, but it's only moving a specimen slide and is removeable with the single thumbscrew.

Thanks for the offer for the AO stage, but I have one coming, hopefully today or tomorrow.

GerryR

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

Re: A "Small" Project

#4 Post by apochronaut » Fri Jan 20, 2023 5:07 pm

That is an improvement. Those mini XY slide carriers from China come in several sizes, plus there was one marketed by Tasco amongst others and made in Japan from the 60's. The Tasco carrier is more solid and closer to the smaller Chinese one in size. It is mostly brass instead of aluminum. The small Chinese carrier might have been modelled after the Tasco( Carton Optical) carrier.

I'm not so sure that the lateral control on the M2 is intended to move the specimen, although it does by default. It seems more of a tool to provide centering of the several removeable stage options and then recentering of another. Hence the alignment mark. When used to move the micro specimen along the X path you start getting oblique illumination because mthe condenser decenters, which might be an intended feature.

GerryR
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun May 22, 2022 11:44 am
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: A "Small" Project

#5 Post by GerryR » Fri Jan 20, 2023 8:01 pm

apochronaut wrote:
Fri Jan 20, 2023 5:07 pm
...... I'm not so sure that the lateral control on the M2 is intended to move the specimen, although it does by default. It seems more of a tool to provide centering of the several removeable stage options and then recentering of another. Hence the alignment mark. When used to move the micro specimen along the X path you start getting oblique illumination because mthe condenser decenters, which might be an intended feature.
If you close down the diaphragm in micro mode, you can tell when the illuminator is centered. If you then look at the alignment marks on my unit, they are not quite aligned. Not a big deal; I center the illuminator and don't worry about the marks. When in macro mode and using the top light, then the centering doesn't matter, so you can use the lateral control to scan whatever you're examining. I didn't think the oblique illumination effect was that effective, though I'm far from an expert on the matter. Anyway, it was a fun little project.

apochronaut
Posts: 5607
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 12:15 am

Re: A "Small" Project

#6 Post by apochronaut » Sat Jan 21, 2023 3:56 am

On my example, nothing was aligned when I received it but there was enough " adjustment" in the condenser mount, illuminator and head to center everything and to the X alignment mark. When the stage is tracked south to macro mode , the rack and pinion moves a little east, so centering down there is necessary. Then when the stage is tracked north again for micro mode the mark can be used to center the condenser and stage again. It's not there to move specimens.

GerryR
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun May 22, 2022 11:44 am
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: A "Small" Project

#7 Post by GerryR » Sat Jan 21, 2023 1:27 pm

apochronaut wrote:
Sat Jan 21, 2023 3:56 am
On my example, nothing was aligned when I received it but there was enough " adjustment" in the condenser mount, illuminator and head to center everything and to the X alignment mark. When the stage is tracked south to macro mode , the rack and pinion moves a little east, so centering down there is necessary. Then when the stage is tracked north again for micro mode the mark can be used to center the condenser and stage again. It's not there to move specimens.
I agree in micro mode and when using the substage light in macro mode, as the condenser moves with the stage away from light center, but it can be used to move the specimen in macro mode when using the top-stage light to no ill effect that I can see, though it only gives a single axis of motion. The stage can then be re-centered using the marks as intended, when going back to using the substage light. Unfortunately, the only manual that I could find online is sparse in information as to their design intensions. But it is still a very innovative field microscope. (I have been able to come up with most of the original accessories for it, except I passed on the carrying case, as it was merely a glorified camera bag with a Swift logo on it for about twice the price.)

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