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Build a microscope!

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This microscope can be made in a few hours. It is cheap and nice (not a toy)!
Possible magnification range: 10-100x (dependent on objective lenses)

Materials:

discarded photo enlarger
8 X 21 mm binocular
some pieces of scrap wood
Optional: some discarded camera lenses, piece of aluminum sheet.

Costs: 15 - 20 E / $

I built the microscope on this picture some years ago, but made another one for this instructable. So I did not spend much time to put a nice finish on parts.


 
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Step 1: The stand

Picture of The stand
IMG_0995.jpg
The stand will be made from a part of the enlarger:

Take the mechanism part of the enlarger off the base. The lower part, below the film holder will become the base of the microscope. Take it apart from the light source and condenser.

The rest of the enlarger is no longer needed. It might serve as a stand for copying documents.

Step 2: Turn the enlarger into a microscope stand

Remove the bellows and the red filter, and turn the whole thing around. The focusing knob is now moving the part with the objective lens up and down.

Perhaps the base needs to be supported with a piece of wood to stand upright. The hollow part of the base plate, designed to allow the light to get through, needs a wooden insert. This will be the object table. Do not fasten it, because transparent objects have to be viewed with light from below, you can use a glass plate as object table for this.

Step 3: Taking the binocular apart

Picture of taking the binocular apart
IMG_0997.jpg
8 X 21, or 10 x 25 binoculars are readily available and really cheap, but do contain nice optics! Do check them out before buying: it should have a nice field of view, and a clear image. Quality can vary widely within a batch .

Take the cord out, it is fastened by special screws. Underneath is another screw, unscrew it.
The small telescope (monocular) can now be carefully taken from the connecting/ focusing bridge, 2 small steel balls will come out as well.


For this project, it is sufficient to just use one of the monoculars. However, to get some understanding of the optics, why not take the other half apart .

etelegdy2 years ago
Very nice work!
Idea with enlarger stand is very original.
Another homemade microscope (I want to do something.) - Link: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=530563
microscope.png
marko294 years ago
 I like your microscope and i have to make two microscopes for my science fair projects and i need materials for this microscope. I would be very happy if you can give me materials that you used. Thank you very much!! 
gurtek5 years ago
great will try..................
cloner5 years ago
any idea how can i capture the sights here into my pc via usb? ;)tnx
frontier cloner5 years ago
i guess you could easially mount a usb web cam on top, where you'd otherwise place your eye. how easy it will be to get proper clear view thought i dont know, the buildin lens on the web cam and the lenses on the scope might not act too well together. im not sure to be honest.
mas97795 years ago
could this be done with an old spotting scope if so could someone help me with how.
BobS (author)  mas97795 years ago
What I like about the readily available 8x 21 mm and 10x 25 mm binocs is the low price and the small size/ low weight. The focal length of most enlarger or camera objective lenses found at garage sales etc. are a good match. But a spotting scope could of course be used as well. If the magnification is larger, like 25 or 30 x, it would be wise to choose a front lens with larger focal length, like 135 mm or so. The whole setup will be much larger, so you will need the type of stand described in my step 7............
VERY cool!!!!
pingeee6 years ago
cool
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