Through the microscope

Watson Bactils

Watson Bactils

Look at my Watson Bactils. Aren’t they pretty? The correct answer to that question is, “Yes, yes they are pretty. Very very pretty indeed.”

The white one is a new acquisition. I shouldn’t have bought it but I did. It was white, I had to. My usual excuse is “It was black and shiny, I had to.”
I should have thought it through in advance. Something along the lines of “a man came to the door with this white microscope and held the cat hostage…”

My husband is a bit grumpy about it. Luckily, the White Bactil needs some lighting so I distracted him by suggesting he make me an LED illuminator. He very much enjoys playing with electronics and has been mucking about with LED lights for weeks. He’s been making LED displays. Very dull, until I need a display 🙂

Bactils are fine microscopes. Very fine. They’re very heavy too. There’s no way you could knock one off the table, unless you knocked the table with a small car, but should you knock one off the table pray it doesn’t land on your foot.

As I mentioned earlier, the white Bactil has no lamp unit. I spent sometime looking at lamp housings and LED lights and fretting about condenser lenses and field diaphragms for Kohler illumination before it dawned on me that it would be far simpler, and considerably cheaper, to stick a mirror onto a piece of MDF and bung it underneath.

Lamp housings (decent ones that will fit) are hard to find, especially if you’re as impatient as I am. They are also expensive. A mirror is cheap, simple and easy. I can paint my bit of MDF the right colour, I can cut it to fit perfectly and because I have a glorious Vickers external illuminator I can get Kohler illumination for less than the cost of a bus fare into the city. It will look perfect too, unlike the more expensive option.

Don’t tell my husband of my cunning plan though, he’s already started building my lamp. He just started soldering microchips to LEDs. The sitting room looks we’re using lightning bolts instead of lightbulbs at the moment. I’m not sure how much light he thinks I need but I’m certain I’ll lose my retinas if I look at that through a lens!

I shall call his microscope illuminator Thor 1.0.


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