Through the microscope

Posts tagged ‘Vickers’

Live motile diatoms

Just some diatoms that I filmed on the M4000 today. Very busy little things. A quick google informs me that they move using an actin/myosin system. Little tiny muscles, cute.

400x magification.

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Rotifers with oblique lighting

I took some pictures of rotifers with oblique lighting and I’m really quite pleased with them. The cilia can be seen quite clearly and I have managed to get the rotifer’s tail in a lot of the pictures too. Rotifers have a tendency to sit on their tails.

The oblique lighting works better than phase contrast in many ways, you don’t get the halo effect with oblique that you get with phase and it is easier to get clear pictures of the cilia because of this.

Pictures taken on Vickers M4000 with oblique filter in filter tray, canon EOS 1100D camera.

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Vickers M4000 microscope cosy

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!

Vickers condensers and filter holders.

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This is my Vickers microscope. I thought I’d spend the day making rheinberg filters so I got it out to determine what size my patch stops should be.

I plugged it in and discovered that the lamp had blown. Bugger. It took me about an hour to get the new lamp in because the little screwy johnny (that’s the technical name) that holds it in place was determined to cross thread. I persuaded it to go on straight then spent some time getting the lamp centred.

I set up kohler then took an old rheinberg filter I’d made and popped it in the filter holder. Except I didn’t; because at this point I discovered that this vickers condenser doesn’t have a filter holder.

Insert expletive here.

The Vickers I gave to my nephews has a filter holder on the condenser but that’s on the other side of the country. Humbug.

I went to my bits and bobs box and found an old Cooke Troughton and Simms condenser that my children broke when they were toddlers. Did it have a filter holder? Yes!
Did it fit on the Vickers? Of course not.
I found an old vickers diaphragm and filter holder which also did not fit.

That’s how today has gone: slowly and painfully, and I’ve lost count of how many times I dropped teeny weeny screws and said an Anglo Saxon word starting with F and ending in uck.

I can make the Vickers filter holder fit but I need screws the right length and a spacer. I’ve ordered some M2 nylon spacers, can’t find any 8BA spacers. I could use a nut but it would look rubbish.

Hey ho.

Vickers Patholette Cosy

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Not bad. Not bad at all.
Who’s next? Cooke? Meopta?

A piece of old pottery through the microscope

My friend Tim gave me a bit of old pottery to look at. He reckons it’s about 5000 years old. I have no idea how he knows that but I’ll take his word for it because he works for TimeTeam the TV archaeology show, or volunteers, or something. Anyway, he’s quite good at old bits of pot.

The pot was found on Salisbury Plain and I had a look at it through the microscope. It certainly looks manmade. Lots of sandy and clayey aggregates bound together rather neatly.

The first pictures are taken with a Cooke Troughton and SImms M6000 stereomicroscope. Unfortunately I am not able to take proper photos through the M6000 so they have been taken rather shakily with a phone camera. It was extremely tricky.

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The rest of the pictures were taken using a canon EOS 1100D through a Cooke Troughton and Simms M2000 microscope with universal illuminator and a Vickers 10X dark ground objective. As the pottery was so thick (several mm) some areas appear out of focus. I’m really not well equipped for anything thicker than a few microns but I think you get the general idea. Aggregates, clay – definitely a bit of old pot. Huurah!

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