This microscope was discarded because the lighting mechanism it came with had stopped working entirely. Changing the light bulb did not fix the problem, and because the whole electrical mechanism had been epoxied into a solid slab during the manufacturing process, it was impossible to see which individual component had gone bad. The rest of it, however, worked just fine. The optics were in good shape, all of the dimensional stages worked, just no light. Because the microscope was manufactured in the 80’s in West Germany, it was unlikely that finding a replacement to the whole lighting unit would be possible or cost effective. Not to mention that, when it had worked, it used a ton of power and expensive, extremely hot, bulbs that tended to burn out anytime the microscope was left on overnight. So I got rid of the whole lighting mechanism, which was archaic, inefficient, wired and heavy. I replaced it with a simple housing that allowed me to plug in an LED light and power it from a cheap 3.3V coin cell battery I had lying around.
With the lighting situation fixed, I turned to improving the current setup. The optics worked just fine, but I wanted to be able to take pictures of what I was seeing, and while I’m doing that, why not just turn it into a digital microscope and not even bother straining your eyes looking through the eyepiece. I had a high quality webcam lying around and liked that it has some of the best light-correction I have seen on a webcam. But as anyone who has ever tried to line up a camera with a lens before can tell you, even the slightest misalignment produces blurred, unusable pictures. So I designed and and printed an adapter to solve this issue.
Step 1: Items I used
Ingredients of this project are:
-partially functioning microscope
-old coin cell battery holder from electric candle
-3.3 V coin cell battery
-3.3V White 5mm LED
-SPST Push-on Push-off button
-3D printed camera to eyepiece adapter
-Microsoft 1080p lifecam
-6 M3 15mm screws
-6 M3 washers
-6 small springs