Introduction: Innerspace Loupe

Create a magnifying loupe to inspect your soldering, look at your hangnail or really small bugs, or just get up close in your buddy's ear and pretend you're Dennis Quaid cruising around inside Martin Short!!

Step 1: Materials

I gathered up some things I had lying around... A 3V rechargeable lithium battery from a laptop a workmate tore into, a tiny magnifying lens from a copy machine that I tore into, some amber LEDs (white would be better, if you have them) and a pushbutton from an old VCR that the interns at MAKE tore into, and some 5 minute epoxy, which I have learned to stop using to brush my teeth. Good luck finding all of this stuff!!

Step 2: Attach the Engine

Well, not an engine actually, but close. Epoxy the battery to the lens.

Step 3: Attach the Switch

It's a momentary switch, for when you go voyaging to poorly lit regions! Roughly fit it on, and solder one wire from the battery to one terminal, and two wires from the other terminal for the LEDs. Make sure to put it on the right terminals, do a continuity check first. I clipped off the ones I didn't need, cos I'm the type that discovers his mistakes after the epoxy has set!

Step 4: Epoxy the Switch to the Lens

Just do it. Make it look nice! And don't get epoxy in the switch. Like I did. Air turned blue for 2 minutes...

Step 5: Add Headlights

Do you know how to hook up an LED? How about two in parallel? You do?! Great!! Then I don't have to explain all that. Watch what wires you hook up, measure them well, since they will be getting epoxied to the lens body. Be careful not to short out the LEDs, and be sure to test them out before you glue them on, not just as an afterthought. Hang the LEDs out a little from the edge of the body, so they can be focused later.

Never has five minutes seemed so long!! It's like being 4 years old all over again!

Step 6: Get Crosseyed

Bend your LEDs in a little, so they're focused on what you're looking at.

Step 7: You're Done!

Congratulations! You are now extremely tiny! Get in there and have a look around!!

Comments

author
monkeysocks (author)2008-08-30

This a great instructable, but I have one problem: no 3v rechargable lithium battery and no tiny lens. Im assuming I could use any battery, but having a small battery does make this project so portable. Any Suggestions?

author
now (author)monkeysocks2008-09-02

That's a pretty big problem! Seeing as I got all of these parts from dismantled electronics, I would suggest that that be your first step: Find someone who is getting rid of some electronics, and dismantle them. If I recall correctly, the battery came from a dead laptop, the lens from a dead photocopier, and the button from a dead VCR, so... you could start there. Remember, though, that electronics, especially PCBs, are toxic waste! I don't know how it is where you are, but here in California we have places we can take them and drop them off so the don't end up in a landfill leaching nasty chemicals into our groundwater. So be aware when you take in these orphaned electronics that you are also taking on a responsibility to dispose of them properly!

author
Johenix (author)now2009-12-08

Mr. "NOW":
In this case PCBs stands for PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDs not the notoriously toxic POLY CHLORINATED BIPHEYNALs found in such things as transformer cooling oil.
In the future will so called "enviromentalists" please close the pie hole and make all their noxious emmissions through the 'donkey' hole? At least until they find out what the real facts are.

author
now (author)Johenix2009-12-08

My bad, Johenix. Populated PCBs are considered e-waste, which is considered toxic in California. The PCBs themselves are not considered e-waste. Thanks for the clarification.

author
monkeysocks (author)now2008-09-04

Hey, thanks for the update. I guess Ill need to start dumpster diving to get the parts or heading to the ComputerWorks store. thanks for getting back to me so quickly!

author
le-Sid (author)monkeysocks2008-11-05

You can find easily one on a old computer, anything under a pentium 2 would do the trick

author
monkeysocks (author)le-Sid2008-11-05

Thanks, but are you referring to the battery or the lens? The lens is the real problem now.

author
le-Sid (author)monkeysocks2008-11-06

dunno for the lens taked about batteries.... you could also adapt it for a magnifying glass, easily findable at your local 1$ store...?

author
dworden16 (author)2006-03-11

Is there an easy way to recharge the battery? or what happens when the battery runs out? :-( Build a new one I guess!

author
saabstorey (author)dworden162009-05-28

yes, I'd really like to know this myself...

author
Shane1163 (author)2009-03-05

printing plants use little magnifiers that can magnify to see the color dots on the page to make sure they're aligned.. my dad works at a magazine plant and I used to work there too

author
purduecer (author)2008-12-07

Very cool, very original :-)

author
trogabird (author)2008-07-21

You can solder leads th the battery and charger it with an old cell charger that puts out 3.4 volts. clear miniature Christmas tree lights work if you cover them to the edge of the little tip to direct the light forward. Probably paint with silver nail polish,let dry then black marker over polish to seal off all leakage if necessary.

author
eeeXsmart (author)2008-04-16

awesome idea! :) great!

author
Neodudeman (author)2006-09-11

Like seriously, the most excellent idea ever.

author
Neodudeman (author)2006-09-11

Wow. that's a great idea!

author
puffin_juice (author)2006-04-22

This is an awesome idea and it looks cool

author
abbtech (author)2006-03-13

Cool project! I agree though white LEDs would be a bit better, or how about blue?
http://alan-parekh.vstore.ca/index.php/cPath/4

author
now (author)abbtech2006-03-13

I felt the same (see the materials step), but the challenge here was as much to use things I had on hand as it was to make the object itself. I was positively dreaming for some white LEDs, but no such lucky thing was living in the parts bin. I even tried a combo of red and green; it came out amber, just like the ones I used. So much for color theory!

author
radiorental (author)2006-03-11

effing awesome idea, I have some komplikated wiring coming up and was goingto 'borrow' something from the lab at work, one of those big desk mountet face sized magnifiers, this will be perfect - any clues on good sources for the loupe glass itself? photographers shops?

author
now (author)radiorental2006-03-12

You know, one of the best sources for lots of good weird project stuff is an old broken copy machine... components, optics, mirrors, DC and AC motors, IR indexers, sheet metal, ABS plastic, the list goes on. That might have been where this lens came from... I generally hoard optical electronics like copiers, scanners, faxes, etc. for their awesome parts.

author
yawfle (author)radiorental2006-03-11

Well, here's where one person found one:

http://www.diylive.net/index.php/2006/03/11/diy-macro-photography-with-disposable-camera

Read that article right after reading this one... weird.

author
zoic (author)2006-03-12

I've been shooting with a loupe for a few weeks now. Here's a link to the mount I made for my Canon lenses:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/whybesubtle/sets/72057594060807989/
The pictures:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/whybesubtle/sets/72057594051271168/
I'll have to add the LEDs!

author
radiorental (author)andorphin2006-03-12

thanks

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Bio: One-half engineer and growing, I spend a lot of time wondering what the world will be like when we run out of oil. Then, I ... More »
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