Through the microscope

This little rotifer was very amusing to watch. She seems to be struggling to cope with the Trachelomonas (green whizzy blobs). I left the original audio on, for some reason it amuses me to hear myself talking to a rotifer. Usually I put music on my videos; if you can’t stand to hear my mutterings you can always turn the sound down.

It was taken on the Nikon S L Ke at 400X with phase contrast.

The sexiest thing ever.

 

Nanoscopy pioneers win Chemistry Nobel : Nature News Blog.

Cyclops in the local pond

flea0151A little cyclops (male) 200x with rheinberg illumination. flea0138 flea0144 flea0147

Pond life – worm

Here’s a little worm I found in some pond water. I started out in phase contrast and finished up in brightfield. I was using the Nikon S L-ke

Lovely little worm isn’t he?

Hello chaps,

The Baker series IV is now returned to its former glory, almost. The fine focus was broken because a small pin had sheared off. To fix it you will need a lathe, or a friend with a lathe, patience, grease and some small tools.

First, remove the old broken pin. It’s a tight fit so you may have to bash it out with a hammer. Next, ask your friend, who has a watchmaker’s lathe, to make you a new pin for the fine focus mechanism.

Broken Baker pin

Broken Baker pin

Next, insert the new pin where the old pin used to be, It can be seen just to the right of the screw head in the black, central region.

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Hang the widget on the pin and grease the tracks for the ball bearings. Stick the ball bearings in position.

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Widget hanging on pin, ball bearings

Now you must make sure that the notch in the widget will take the little square nubble on its opposite piece (I hope you’re enjoying the technical terms). This is very important, if the nubble isn’t sitting on the notch then the fine focus will not work, the fine focus relies on pressure from the stage carrier as well as the action of the spring at the bottom to return.

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Attempt to put the two pieces together. You will find that half of the ballbearings pop out and your hands will be covered with grease (and cat hair if you live in our house). Make sure the cat hair doesn’t end up inside the fine focus mechanism, it won’t do it any good.  If your Baker Series IV has a cage to keep the ball bearings contained and aligned sing “Hallelujah!” because it will all be much easier to put back together.

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If your ball bearings pop out, here’s a video of my wonderful husband showing you how to pop them back in.

Now you can put the spring back, put on the top and bottom plates and reassemble the microscope.

The next picture shows the base plate which contains the spring and allows the fine focus mechanism to return.
image

And here she is, the fixed microscope. I’m still not completely happy with the paint work but at least she works now.

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Another day, another microscope dust cover. This one is for a Vickers M4000 universal microscope.  Do you like the Vickers logo? It took me minutes to do that!

Instead of microfibre cloth I have used heavy polyester this time around, The kind used to make suits and trousers, it is fairly impermeable to dirt and much easier to work with than microfibre towels. The M4000 is very large so my sewing machine would probably have blown up if I had used microfibre towels. 

I still have several more dust covers to make but I want to play with my very wonderful M4000 right now.

M4000 dust cover

M4000 dust cover

Kim Chi’s fleas

We have a new kitten! We weren’t expecting to get a new kitten just yet but a friend called saying a kitten needed a home. Who can resist?

Our cat, Mushroom died last year so we had a vacancy. We like to be a two cat household. Kim Chi the kitten is very keen to play with Onion our ginger male although Onion is a bit frightened of her at the moment.

Kim Chi brought some house guests with her – fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) I thought I’d take some photos of a flea before they are exterminated. Quite interesting really. What looks like a large blood vessel is actually the trachea. Fleas breathe through spiracles (little holes in their bodies) and the trachea helps move the air around their nasty parasitic bodies.

I shall try and find some larvae tomorrow.

Pictures were taken on a Vickers M4000 at 40X and 80X magnification.

Click to enlarge.

ENJOY!

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