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The above video was produced by LW Scientific, one of our leading suppliers, and features our good
friend Mike Thomas.
If you have made the investment in a nice microscope, you'll want to take
good care of it. If you take care of a quality instrument (like those available
from GreatScopes), it can last a lifetime. But how do we take care of our
scope? That's what we'll talk about in this Microscopic Adventure.
Handling Your Microscope
When you move your microscope, you should always use two hands. Place one
hand around the arm, lift the scope, then put your other hand under the base
of the scope for support. If you learn to carry the scope in this way, it
will force you to carry it carefully, ensuring that you do not knock it against
anything while moving from one place to another.
When you put the scope down, do so gently. If you are in the habit of banging
your scope down on the table, eventually you could jar lenses and other parts
loose. Your microscope seems like a simple instrument, but each lens (eyepiece
and objective) is actually made up of a number of other lenses, put together
in a wonderful way to create wonderful magnification. So if you bang your
scope around, you are shaking upwards of 15 to 20 lenses.
Always have clean hands when handling your scope. It would be a shame to
damage your scope with too much peanut butter!
Storing Your Microscope
If you have a sturdy, stable desk or table on which to keep your scope, and
it is a place where the scope will not be disturbed or bumped, this is the
best way to store your scope. Just make sure that you keep it covered with
a plastic or vinyl cover when it is not in use. Dust is an enemy to your
lenses, and you always keep your scope covered when not in use.
If you are unable to provide such a place for your scope, we would like to
recommend a simple storage solution. Go to your local Wal-Mart or K-Mart
and buy one of those nice Rubbermaid type plastic containers with handles
and a lid. Make sure that the container allows enough room for your scope,
but also allow some room for all of the supplies that you will begin collecting.
In the bottom of this container, place a piece of foam to pad the scope.
On top of the foam, put a soft, clean, dish towel. Now you have a great "bed"
for your scope. If you place your scope in here when it is not in use, it
will be safe, protected from impact and dust.
The first step in keeping your scope clean, is to help it not get too dirty.
Although some dust is inevitable, always keep your scope covered with the
dust cover when it is not in use.
First of all, your eyepiece will need cleaning from time to time. Due to
its position on the scope, it will have a tendency to collect dust and even
oil from your eyelashes. The eyepiece lens should be cleaned with a high
quality lens paper, such as is available from a camera shop or an eyeglass
center. First brush any visible dust from the lens, then wipe the lens. You
may wish to use a bit of lens solution, applied to the lens paper to aid
in cleaning. (Do not use facial tissues or such to clean your lenses. Such
tissues are made of ground up wood fibers and could damage your lenses.)
Secondly, you'll want to clean the objective lenses. Use a fresh portion
of the lens paper each time so that you don't transfer dust from one lens
Next, clean the glass condenser in the stage. Some microscopes just have
a hole, in which case, of course, it doesn't need cleaning.
Finally, clean the glass lens over your light, or the mirror, so that an
optimal amount of light can shine through.. You can also follow up by wiping
down the whole scope with a soft, clean, cotton towel.
A cotton swab (Q-Tip) can be used in place of lens paper.
That should do it! Take good care of your microscope, and it will serve you
well for many years to come.
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