Introduction: Microscope for Analisis Mineralogics

A mineral is nothing more than an originally inorganic species possessing a systematic degree of atomic organization, due to such atomic organization, the properties and their format guarantee characteristics "proper" to each specimen present in nature.

In order to analyze some peculiarities of a mineral, it is often necessary to obtain a microscope for mineralogical analysis, where its main objective is the structural investigation of the specimen. Among the structural factors of a mineral we can mention:

  • Cleavage: Structural planes where some minerals may break / "partition".
  • Fracture: These are irregular planes where some specimens may break.

There are also optical factors in some minerals, which can be seen in this model which I present are:

  • Brightness: Ability that the mineral has on its surface to reflect light.

NOTE: When a mineral has a shine similar to a polished metal, it is classified as a "mineral with a metallic shine" and when a mineral has a wax-like, greasy, resinous luster it is described as a "non-metallic mineral".

  • Color: Where would be nothing more than the selectivity of wavelengths present in visible light not absorbed by the mineral.
NOTE: When there is a total reflection of the visible light in the mineral they have translucent aspects (such as Quartz for example), when there is total absorption of light, minerals are seen as black (Black Tourmaline is an example of this). For more information on the properties regarding the observed colors, access the link below:



The differential of such a mineralogical microscope is the convenience of finding its raw material !!!
done completely by recycling and reusing some items that would be expendable in our day to day, it is worth remembering that it is not necessary to look directly at the image obtained by magnifying the focal point, just place the camera of your cell phone - which makes it even more practical and hygienic - the regulation of the entry light is also a highlight in this equipment.

Step 1: ​Necessary Materials:

To build our microscope for mineralogical analysis we need:

  • 01 webcam lens (scratch-free or broken lens)
  • Some LEDs for notebook screens (give preference to screens that are broken and reuse the lighting LEDs)
  • 01 CD or DVD player track (remove these tracks from CD or DVD players or recorders from old computers - also worth notbooks recording centers)
  • 01 Small piece of wood (20mmx20mmx3mm)

  • 02 Small pieces of wood (50mmx50mmx3mm) - to support the DVD or CD already purchased!
  • 01 Piece of wood 70mmx30mmx3mm
  • 01 HD mirror (use half of one if necessary - just break it hahahah - CAUTION!)
  • 01 Tic Tac Box
  • 01 Larger piece of wood of approximately 150mmx150mmx6mm (will be the base)
  • 01 Piece of wood or 3mm acrylic (base for focal adjustment).
  • 04 Pieces of a flat bar / threaded bar
  • 08 Nuts
  • 14 Washers
  • 01 female notbook power connector
  • 01 Connector for a notbook battery power supply (take care that the connections are the same, do not remove the connector from a notbook and use the charging tip from another source that is not similar!) - The connections tend to be the same.

It will be necessary to create a dimmer, for that we will have to build it, using the following materials easily found in electronics houses or even on some electronic circuit boards that are no longer used; among them:

  • 01 3Volts or 6Volts charging source (it will vary with the number of LEDs that your microscope turns into - IN MY CASE, I used about 6 LEDs which led me to a 12V voltage source)
  • 01 Small box (to organize and accommodate the electrical system)
  • 01 TIP41 01 10k Ponteciometer
  • 02 Two input terminals
  • A few centimeters of copper wire Welding
  • Paste Soldering tin wire
  • Insulating tape (to insulate concessions made)


Step 2: Assembly of the Main Parts:

In this step, we will create the basis for adjusting the focus;

  1. The first step will be to obtain the track that slides inside a CD or DVD recorder (observe the image already assembled, the metal center must be between the tracks in order to be able to slide and thus adjust the focus in the future);
  2. Analyzing the existing measures, the two pieces of wood must be drilled, so that the tiles fit into the wood (soon there will be two holes per piece of wood);
  3. Gluing the pieces with superglue and waiting to dry!
  4. Then, drill a side of the wood that was previously fixed to the rails, making it possible to visualize a piece of the center of the metal present between the two bands.

NOTE: The last hole mentioned must satisfy the diameter of a piece of a threaded bar / infinite rosac

Note in the first image that there is a piece of wood that supports the structure completely, this piece of wood is the one I mentioned in the materials - whose measurements are 70mmx30mmx3mm; Another important detail is in the same image, note that there is a thread in the bottom left corner of the piece, this screw thread MUST be there so that it is possible to raise the platform created by the metal center in half (there is the importance of the last hole created to be a slightly larger than the diameter of the threaded bar / infinite thread piece)
it will be through this hole that we will raise the platform and consequently adjust the focus of the microscope.

Step 3: Mounting and Fixing the Webcam and Focal Mirror

  1. In this step it is necessary to have a webcam lens, half of the HD mirror and the Tic Tac box. on the top of the platform created previously (STEP 02), glue the webcam lens with super glue, so that it is in the middle of the wooden piece with the lens on the outside (if necessary use mine as an example).
  2. Then place the HD mirror on a small piece of wood (20mmx20mmx3mm) and glue it with superglue
  3. with the wood already containing the HD mirror, glue (the wood) to the metal part that is in the center of the rails of the platform created earlier.
  4. On the HD mirror, paste the Tic Tac box with the help of the superglue.

well ... at this stage of the project, we would already be able to visualize some things; but ... leave it for later; in the next step we will detail the electronic circuit that we must follow !!!

NOTE: the small piece of the threaded bar, will be the one that will raise the platform, for this it must be placed in the opening made previously, where the measure that rotates, it passes through the thread previously fixed in the inner left part (first image of step 02), which consequently makes the platform move upwards.

Step 4: ​Electronic Circuit for Sample Lighting

To assemble the electronic circuit that controls the voltage, it is necessary that you mediate the limit concepts of your electronic components, for this it is enough to think that if an LED of the screen of the requires between 1 to 3 Volts to light, then exceeding 3 Volts would be crazy ( unless you like to watch them toast); with that thought you will certainly know that the limit load for 1 single LED will be 3Volts, in my case, I used 6 LEDs of the screen of an old and burned notebook and fed it with a 12Volts source (OF course! CONNECTING INPUT) and as the potentiometer switch was turned, the light intensity increased.

Through the images of this stage, I believe that the connection to be made between the TIP41 and the pontenciometer will be very explicit.
since pin 1 of TIP41 will be soldered on the central pin of the potentiometer, pin 2 of the TIP41 must be soldered on pin 3 of the potentiometer and the end (seen from the TIP41 component) pin 3 of the TIP41 should be the positive polarity output ; while pin 1 of the potentiometer will be the negative output and in this (also) the negative part of the input will be soldered.

SUMMARY: the pre-limited volts (using the above thought so as not to burn out their LEDs) from the power supply will enter pins 3 (positive) and 1 (negative) of the potentiometer and exit via pin 3 (of TIP41) with positive polarity and pin 1 (of potentiometer) with negative polarity

  • in case of doubt - LOOK AT THE IMAGES!!!

Step 5: Missing Parts

  1. The base of 150mmx150mmx6mm should be drilled three times, forming a triangle and after such procedure reserve such piece!

NOTE: The hole on such wood mentioned above must have the same diameter as another preselected piece a infinite bar / threaded bar. The height at which the platform will be fixed will depend directly on the height of the infinite bar used to raise the platform (step 02).

  1. Then take the piece of wood or acrylic mentioned in the materials to be used and cut it to the specifications of 150mmx150mmx3mm; drill the same three holes, so that it is similar to the one made in the 150mmx150mmx6mm wood. It is necessary to make a new hole in the acrylic so that the bar responsible for raising the focus works.
  2. With the holes drilled, fix the 150mmx150mmx3mm acrylic / piece of wood over the 150mmx150mmx6mm piece of wood with the help of nuts, washers and the threes pieces of the infinite bar. At this point it would be ideal to place the bar responsible for adjusting the focus (so that there are no future problems ...)
  3. And as the last step before the fun ... glue the platform over the acrylic, aligning the holes made of the wood with the acrylic and passing the infinite bar through the nut / thread to check the height.

NOTE: Always glue parts with superglue !.

Step 6: Let's Go

You will notice that the infinite bar responsible for the height adjustment, does not go down hahahahaha

well this is a detail that I still have to work on, to lower the platform I use my hands, go up and down using my fingers.

  • I sincerely hope you liked this proposal, I will soon bring you a Scanning Tunneling Microscope