Through the microscope

Spock’s sister is cross. She has had an argument with a microscope. The argument lasted all day and so far the microscope is winning.

I have a very groovy Meopta anoptral phase contrast condenser and I bought a cute little Meopta microscope to put it in; today I thought I would get everything set up and take some pretty diatom pictures for you to see. It didn’t happen.

Anoptral contrast works in a similar way to phase contrast but the phase rings have sooty phase plates, this means you get less of a halo than with normal phase contrast. It also means you get some really pretty pictures with a beautiful brown background. At least that’s what should happen.

What actually happened was I set up my external illuminator (with condenser lens and iris), adjusted my mirror. Did all the usual Kohler type stuff but no matter what I did the condenser iris was so far off to one side that it was crazy. I can only just see the edge of it. I managed to get some nice dark ground images but that’s not what I was aiming for. No point attempting photomicrography.

The condenser fits the carrier perfectly, so why is it so badly misaligned?

Either the condenser is misaligned or the objective turret is misaligned. There are no centring screws on the condenser or on the carrier. Only phase wrenches, oh to be aligning phase rings!

I haven’t the faintest idea how to alter the objective turret. I twizzled the monocular tube but that didn’t seem to have any effect. I’m sure the problem is with the condenser. I really hope there are no prisms out of whack. I don’t know what images are produced by an out of alignment prism but I’m absolutely certain I would not be able to fix such a problem. I don’t have the tools or the skill set.

I’m cross and i need to consult the oracle (my friend Merv). He’ll know what to do. I’m sure he’ll know what to do. If he doesn’t I shall cry.

I shall get it sorted out and I shall post pretty pictures. watch this space….

PS saw the quack, no obvious signs of intracranial hypertension. Optic nerves look healthy (thank goodness). Blood pressure a reasonable 120/78. She took bloods. Headache from hell won’t budge. It’s been weeks but at least we still have the NHS. I do love the NHS.


Comments on: "Spock’s sister does not see" (6)

  1. Hope your headaches get sorted, and Merv knows what to do with your microscope.


    • Thanks Alison. I’ve spoken to him and he’s given me some pointers. One day I shall be as wise as he is. It takes time though.
      You will be getting a ping tomorrow if all goes well 😉


  2. I know you can do it! 🙂


  3. BTW… I’ve had migraines for many years, and sometimes mine go on for a week… So I feel for you…
    Hope you’re feeling fabulous fast.


    • Oh lordy, that sounds horrible. You poor thing.
      I suffered with migraines as a child, they were very predictable, I would get one on the first day back at school after any holiday and after exams. My mother would wait at home for the call from the school.
      Mine were fairly short, 4-5 hours followed by vomiting. The most excruciating pain.

      They stopped when I was in my mid twenties. I’m not sure why but I’m not complaining.
      These headaches are not as bad as migraines, more like having your head in a vice.

      Have you tried the green migraine glasses that block red and blue light? They’re very good. I use them to help me sleep in the summer months. My bipolar brain tends to go a bit funny in spring and summer, sometimes with very serious consequences. The green glasses convince my brain it’s autumn or winter. My brain likes autumn and winter. 🙂


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