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Microscope tilt question


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My beautiful wife bought me a beautiful used Amscope SM3T microscope and I can't believe how much easier it is to see things with this.  My question for all of you who have one, is do you tilt the head so that it is not looking straight down?  The reason I ask is if I use this to assemble or disassemble, my hands get in the way.  I  can put the base off to the side so the boom arm comes in from the side, and then I can angle the head.  I can see what I am working on better this way, but the screw that keeps it from rotating more at an angle is hard to tighten any more and when I focus, it tends to want to rotate a little more.

So just curious what others do.

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Is there a trick to getting the head to stay locked in that tilted position?  Even though I tighten that one knob (there are two knobs immediately next to each other and I believe it is the one to the front that controls the arm tube rotating... or do they both control this?)

I like the idea of tilting the head as then I can keep the movement more in the center of the work area in case I mess up and something decides to fly away.  Unfortunately, with carpet, it is lost for good.

I still can't believe how good I can see things now.  I don't know how the watchmakers of old who only used eyepieces did what they did.  My hats off to them... I almost feel like I am cheating.

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Here you go.  It looks like I do need to tighten both of the knobs (on the right) but you can only get those so tight and it still seems to want to tilt a little more.

Also, one thing I noticed, on the knob that adjusts the zoom level, it max's out at a little higher than 3 (goes up to 4.5) and the min goes much lower, almost to the 4.5 max.  (See pictures)... it would seem that it just needs to be adjusted, but I don't see a way to do that with the knob.

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25 minutes ago, kd8tzc said:

Also, one thing I noticed, on the knob that adjusts the zoom level, it max's out at a little higher than 3 (goes up to 4.5) and the min goes much lower, almost to the 4.5 max.  (See pictures)... it would seem that it just needs to be adjusted, but I don't see a way to do that with the knob.

Your zoom levels look OK -  the same as mine. I assume the zoom value is with the number at the top. So you are getting 0.7 and 4.5

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Well, okay, but then why is there the little indicator line just to the left of the 4.5 (1st picture) and close to the 3 in the second picture.  I was assuming that was where the reading should be read from.  It's not a big deal if that is the way it should be, but seems odd that an indicator would be that far off.

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okay... it's not that big of a deal I guess.

I'm actually surprised at how low I need to put my chair though to use the scope.  Possibly because I have the headpiece tilted so I'm not looking straight down. 

I also was surprised that I had to elevate the working area a little (about an inch) so I could have the arm near the top of the vertical pole.  This was so I could have more height and even with the Barlow 0.5 I had to elevate it a bit for full magnification.  It's not a huge deal, just a little different than what I thought.  My chair easily adjusts down, so I'm okay with that.

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It's strange as I like the microscope directly in front of me better, but then I can't put a tilt on it (unless I prop up the one side of the base a little)... I would think 5 - 10 degrees should be more than enough to be able to see around my fingers?

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If you spend a lot of time on the microscope,  tilting it about 20 degrees puts the eyepieces in a more horizontal position. This means you don't put so much strain on your neck. 

Your magnification scale has slipped. There are 2 small screws on the graduated scale that can be loosened and then the ring can be zeroed and retightened.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/15/2023 at 1:41 AM, HectorLooi said:

If you spend a lot of time on the microscope,  tilting it about 20 degrees puts the eyepieces in a more horizontal position. This means you don't put so much strain on your neck. 

In a previous thread ( https://www.watchrepairtalk.com/topic/25971-2x-barlow-lens-yesno/#comment-214658) we've been discussing the 2x and 0.5x Barlow lens. Turned out that most people are using a 0.5x Barlow lens, often in combination with the 7x-45x magnification scopes.

I tried a 0.5x Barlow lens, but discovered that due to the height of my microscope base (5cm) that the eye-lenses were sitting just too high for comfortable working.

 

 

Microscope.png

 

What I figured out already is that I can swing the microscope 180 degrees around its stand. To keep the stand from tipping over, placing my staking-set as dead-weight on the base works fine. Still the microscope looks straight down and is close to the edge of the table.

Looking at flexible arms for microscopes, which can also tilt, don't seem to come cheap.

Last night the question came to me; "What has happened to all these billions of swing arms used in the 1990's and early 2000's for lifting/supporting computer-monitors?"

Sure enough, looking on local 2nd-hand stuff websites, these arms can be picked up for between €20 - €100.

With some adaptation, can't these be used?

In my case the microscope head can be mounted on anything with a 32mm cylindrical post. The weight of my microscope head + bracket is 2.7kg, less than a flat-screen, never mind those 1/2 ton monitors of the 90's.

They are for sure sturdy enough and come in all kinds of shapes, forms, lengths and various mountings. I need 6V for my ring-light and often these arms come with hidden cable trays.

For example this one for €95, new:

1108297231_Monitorarm.jpg.e2f09839616bcedcfe3b6f3cf6cf2878.jpg

 

Or here a used one for €25;

1528797541_Monitorarm-2.thumb.jpg.35a416bfa443e738c5d8a26f48bf845c.jpg

Anybody some thoughts, idea's, adaptation idea's, suggestions? 🤔

Edited by Endeavor
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Searching eBay, I found a gas spring Atumtek ATMS032 monitor arm, opened box but new, for €47.50 including shipping from Poland.

 

799326125_AtumtekATMS032.jpg.8fdcf3aa870ee5de351140dc790dc36a.jpg

 

Atumtek.thumb.jpg.2e6e8b66d234426b8db8e4d7e46f13ae.jpg

Studying the downloadable installation instructions, the head (Vesa-plate) can rotate (360˚), swivel (180˚) and tilt (-85˚ to +90˚). The head can be moved 35cm up/down and the arm-height is adjustable on the cylindrical post (table stand)

233188845_Screenshot2023-05-14at19_40_01.png.9bd7315fb1ed6a0c606b73fe4124fe90.png

Can be mounted on the side of a disk or on the desk. The one I bought has a single monitor arm and the height of the post is 30cm. The gas spring can be adjusted to suite the weight

I think that I can adopt the (square) Visa plate for mounting the microscope head + bracket.

Definitely worth a try 🙂

 

 

Edited by Endeavor
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1 hour ago, Klassiker said:

Can you lock it in position? It could be annoying if it drifts away from where you position it.

Clamp 4 holds the arm at the set height, with the screw, pointed at by the arrow, one can adjust the friction at which the arm rotates around the post.

1964007334_Screenshot2023-05-14at19_40.01copy.png.36f682c70d93f0e831acb2c7bf23b1e4.png

There are some more questions I have, and I have to find them out once I receive the monitor arm. Trying a monitor arm as a substitute for the "run of the mill" microscope-arms is just an idea which occurred to me. Whether it will work; time will tell 😉

You have to stick your neck out in order to get forwards ...

 

Edited by Endeavor
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I have one of these style arms for my PC monitor and it works well, however when typing or working on the desk there is a slight wobble in the screen. This wobble is not a problem in a computer monitor as a 1mm movement can be compensated for by our brain (like driving a car on a bumpy road). However a 1mm wobble at high magnification will be greatly amplified and render the microscope unusable. Also, as @Klassikerpoints out (and I can confirm) the gas spring is designed to make the screen seem almost weightless so you can move it easily with little effort and it is not designed to lock the screen into position. Therefore, every time you look into the scope, even the slightest nudge will move the head and knock the scope out of focus and/or off target. Combining these two issues I would look for a better solution perhaps some kind of camera mount?

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Perhaps you are right ..... we'll see. Of course, I don't know how hard you are banging on your keyboard and how stable your desk is?

You just opened a thread for people to come forwards with alternative idea's. Well, if you don't try, you will never know 😉

Again; in order to get forwards, you have to stick your neck out.

 

Edited by Endeavor
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I found that I could not get a good angle for tilt without making it uncomfortable to view.  What I do instead is just tilt the movement holder when I need to screw something down.  Works much better for me.

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2 hours ago, Endeavor said:

Well, if you don't try, you will never know 😉

I agree, I was just trying to save @kd8tzcblowing a load of time and cash on something that had a low probability of success (at least as far as I can tell from my experience). I would rather speak up now so that they can make an informed decision rather than be a 'hindsight engineer' and  say "I knew it wouldn't work" after the fact.

So I'll put my money where my mouth is 🙂 and I had a quick look at camera mounts, and I think something like the below would offer the stability and flexibility required?

image.thumb.png.c99a7002d19c7d49a1efe4de466869ea.png

image.thumb.png.9d95b87dc39e8ae1704c22012e05bb51.png

Note: 100 AED ~ $20

you could maybe replace the bolt mechanism securing the arm to the upright with the below, to quickly change height?

image.thumb.png.94d49f54b780241d868d2741a35d84e0.png

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34 minutes ago, Waggy said:

I agree, I was just trying to save @kd8tzcblowing a load of time and cash on something that had a low probability of success (at least as far as I can tell from my experience)

I would call that jumping to conclusions and an insult to kd8tzc own brain capacity.

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