Another ebay purchase – a nifty little version of a very famous microscope. This one came fully loaded with rotating stage, dark field condenser and binocular head, which is unusual. It is a bit of a project and Damian has been getting to grips with this over the last week or so. Today, he was dismantling and re-greasing the stage. He has had to buy a replacement stage as the original one had significant problems but even with that added cost the instrument is a real bargain and a beautiful bit of kit to boot!
When I purchased my Zeiss IM inverted microscopy just over one year ago, there was no epi-fluorescence condenser present. I purchased one off ebay (Zeiss part 47 17 61 – in this post I will call it the EFC). Unfortunately, the filter slider was stuck. Luckily another in full working condition came up very cheaply recently and I have now replaced the first one. However, the technique for taking one out and putting in another was not obvious so this post is to record the process for future reference, should I or anyone else want to make this change on the Zeiss IM or IM35 microscope (both use same component). I will probably wish to do this myself. After I find a way to fix the stuff filter slider, I also have a Zeiss IM35 and will probably put the spare one on that, although epi-fluorescence requires use of the fluorescence cube for the microscope and I only have one of those and they are quite expensive second hand, so I doubt I will be acquiring a second one soon!
It is worth noting that the EFC provides epi-illumination but was only designed to be used for fluorescence microscopy. I am hoping to adapt the fluorescence filter cube to remove one of the filters and replace with plain glass so that I can use it for more general epi-illumination. Today’s project was the first step in this process as it allowed me to slide out of the way a blue filter in the filter slider which was stuck in the light path. In fact this needed to be done prior to the removal of the old EFC and – given that the reason for Today’s project is that it was stuck – this required the use of a hammer to be achieved! I was gentle and put something between hammer and microscope with softening covering (spare piece metal coveted in kitchen absorbent roll) and managed to succeed without causing further damage, although my heart was in my mouth while I did it.
Zeiss 47 17 61 epi-flourescence condenser (EFC). This is the one that I removed today. You will notice that there is one slight difference between this one and the new one I installed in its place, which is shown in the later photos on this post – the adjustment screws for centering the illuminator light are longer in the new version. These can be seen in the later views from the back of the microscope.
Back of microscope – epi-illuminator is central round bit. The illuminator will be attached here (not attached in this photo):
The following pictures show an illuminator attached to the back of the Zeiss IM35 microscope. It is the square box hanging off the back, opposite the eyepieces (oculars). It would be exactly the same with the IM microscope as the only difference between the two varieties of microscope is that the IM35 has an inbuilt camera port whereas the IM does not have one.
View of epi-fluorescence condenser (EFC) from next to the eyepiece turret. This view shows the filter slider within the epi-fluorescence condenser component that was stuck on the first one I installed on the microscope. The epi-fluorescence condenser comprises both the white and black round parts on left side of the picture. The black part is seen to contain a circular filter holder with small black handle. This can be removed. For installation of the whole component or taking it out again, both the filter slider and the round filter holder need to be removed. This allows the whole component to then be slid out through the hole in the casing on the left – that hole is currently obscured by the black circular component which sits over it.
The the following photo shows the EFC from the other side. The long thin silver metal handle controls the aperture control within the EFC. To install or remove the EFC from the microscope, this handle must be first removed so that the EFC can slide out through the hole, otherwise it will obstruct it. The handle is removed by twisting it anti-clockwise, which will unscrew it from the EFC.
PROCESS OF REMOVAL OF EFC:
1. Start at back of microscope.
2. Locate the four retaining screws on the back which hold the etc In place and remove them.
3. Unscrew and remove long thin handle.
4. Locate and remove tiny screw from end of filter slider. This screw prevents filter slider being removed from EFC. Once screw is remembered bed, slide filter slider completely out of the EFC.
5. Remove content recluse filter holder (left below) from EFC. Note in this picture, filter slider is also shown as present but of course by now you will have already removed that in previous steps.
6. By now the EFC should be quite loose. Note it only pushed again eyepiece turret and not attached to it so there are no screws etc that need to be loosened there. The EFC should now be easy to thread through the hole in the back of the microscope and removed.
7. Insert new EFC by reversing the above.
I managed to take this shot of the Supermoon over my neighbour’s house in Lichfield this morning (although I’ve missed the peak by 24-48 hours it is still pretty close). It is taken using a hand-held Samsung S7 phone, with brightness reduced to allow detail on the lunar disc to appear, no other manipulation of the image.
The aerial is holding it up for the photo (not really)!
Now we need to get ready for the total lunar eclipse in July this year….
Following pictures show astronomy-related presents I received this Christmas – in particular the amazing framed American eclipse stamps from Damian and the beer from Ean Ean.
The beer glass says, “I love you to the moon and back”.
The beer is brewed by “Meantime Brewing” at Greenwich, London.
On BBC Sky at Night TV show a few months ago, they collected micro-meteorites from roof collection at the Norman Lockyer Observatory in Sidmouth, UK. Rhys and I ordered some neodychromium magnetd and today we mounted them on a piece of spare wood using some small screws through their central holes. We put the wood and magnets, magnet side down, in the guttering on the front of our house in Lichfield, UK.
Hopefully, this will extra small metallic debris from the water running off the roof when it rains over the next few months. Again hopefully some of this will turn out to be micro-meteorites.
Andy and Rhys
The bargain centrifuge has one problem.. …the timer didn’t work – it was like this when I bought it from ebay. I purchased a new timer from America (see previous posts). It arrived today and I spent an enjoyable hour dismantling the centrifuge and replacing the timer. A lot of dirt and much inside after 30-40 years and the timer was all rusted up. It is spring driven – I know, unbelievable in this digital age! The new timer is supposed to be the same but in fact the casing is slightly different shape so out came my hammer and pliers to bend the bracket it fixes to in the centrifuge to a accommodate the new one. After modification the bracket could only be reattached at one end so my trusty glue gun sorted out the other side. Sounds Heath Robinson but all worked well enough and you can’t see anything once the case is put back together.
What impresses me most is that I have managed to fix this without the help of Ed or Led or Pete – great guys, really helpful, but I am pleased to manage to do it myself this time.
Observing Log 15/12/2017 @ 22:36 – 16/12/2017 @ 02:04.
Andy & Damian
What a night! Incredible views from the centre of Lichfield – we can only imagine what the views must have been like from a dark sky sight. Tonight, we saw things we have never seen before – at least by eye – and only ever expected to see on photograhpic images. Wow! Just goes to show – it is worth going outside in the freezing cold.
- 10” Orion Dobsonian Telescope with Explore Scientific (ES) 20mm, 14mm, 9mm 100 degree apparent field of view (APOV) eyepieces and Telrad finder.
- 80mm Sky Watcher Equinox Pro telescope on William Optics EzTouch Alt-Az mount with 31mm Nagler and 6mm Televue eyepieces and 8x50mm finder.
- Sky Safari Pro 5 planetarium software on iPad
Photos through image intensified eyepiece (IS):
Orion Nebula (M42):
M81 and M82 Galaxies in Ursa Major (below) – note that the Image Intensified eyepiece has significant field curvature and coma towards the edges of the field so the thin smudge of the top left of this image is not another galaxy but a spread-out star:
Double Cluster in Perseus (below):
Orion Nebula – Messier 42, Bright Nebula in Orion,15 Dec 2017, 22:36:35, Using my ten-inch Orion Dob in my back garden, standing in the snow, after tripping over the remains of the snowman built by Rhys and Hannah, and survived the treacherous and very slippery icy steps (and having put salt on them to keep myself alive), my first target was Orion’s nebula. Magnificent and stretching over half the field of view in my 14mm Explore Scientific (ES) 100-degree AFOV eyepiece. My eyes are poorly dark adapted, but the nebula looks green rather than grey tonight, suggesting the sky is very clear after the snow falls.
NGC 1975, Bright Nebula in Orion, 15 Dec 2017, 22:42:48, Visible other side of the fish-mouth, little detail visible.
Flame Nebula – NGC 2024, Bright Nebula in Orion,15 Dec 2017, 23:00:41, Definite observation of the Flame Nebula nebulosity. Once our eyes were relaxed, we could see filaments and tendrils over 1+ fields of view growing in brightness towards the main part of the Flame Nebula. Realised again it is a question of learning to observe this very faint object.
Messier 78, Bright Nebula in Orion,15 Dec 2017, 23:04:08, First ever observation of M78. Two stars with definite nebulosity. I thought it was an open cluster at first, but Damian realised what it was, and we star hopped around the area to confirm it.
Orion Nebula – Messier 42, Bright Nebula in Orion,15 Dec 2017, 23:05:20, Image intensified eyepiece – we could see tendrils curling around in circle behind M42 from tips of the wings of the nebula, these were not obviously visible in ES eyepiece. M43 also showed more detail in image intensified eyepiece BUT we could not see the Flame nebula in the image intensified eyepiece.
Messier 78, Bright Nebula in Orion,15 Dec 2017, 23:07:31, Seen in image intensified eyepiece (IS) but nebulosity less obvious (although still visible) than in ES.
Barnard’s Loop – Sharpless 2-276, Bright Nebula in Orion,15 Dec 2017, 23:25:05, I thought I could follow part of this – a C-shaped lightening as a strip at centre field of view – which I followed upwards and then right on to right in next field of view. Damian was not convinced so we will call this a possible observation only……
NGC 2244, Open Cluster in Monoceros, 15 Dec 2017, 23:29:33, First seen as definite smudge in Vixen 2.1x binoculars by myself! I am doing well tonight, as I have seen first most observations above. Damian mentioned NGC 2244 in his talk at RAG end last month. These Vixen binoculars are really growing on me as they do such a good job of identifying such objects. In ten-inch with 14mm ES, we saw definite structure in the Rosette Nebula itself and not just the star cluster. Wow! What a night! And from the centre of Lichfield. But it does require one of the clearest skies we have ever seen. In the IS only the stars of the cluster could be seen and not the nebulosity. This appears to show that the IS responds very poorly to very faint diffuse objects.
Messier 35, Open Cluster in Gemini,16 Dec 2017, 00:39:12, Damian tried out my Skywatcher Equinox Pro on his William Optics EzTouch alt-az mount. He found M35 with his Nagler 31mm, one of the most famous eyepieces of all time.
Pleiades – Messier 45, Open Cluster in Taurus,16 Dec 2017, 00:41:34, In 80mm with 31mm Nagler, masses space around stars just like binocular view. Never seen like this in telescope. Like binocular view -magnification 500mm/31mm = 16x magnification with excellent field of view much better than most binoculars.
Double Cluster – NGC 869, Open Cluster in Perseus,16 Dec 2017, 00:44:33, Likewise with 80mm Equinox and 31mm Nagler this gives excellent binocular view without aberration unlike most binoculars. Obvious uni-ocular view.
Stock 2, Open Cluster in Cassiopeia,16 Dec 2017, 00:49:03,80mm Equinox plus 31mm Nagler best view to view this. Looks like a man with Double Cluster at edge of field of view.
Double Cluster – NGC 869, Open Cluster in Perseus,16 Dec 2017, 00:50:17, Every bit of kit has its place. That includes a ten inch Dob with 20mm ES -spectacular!
Pinwheel Cluster – Messier 36, Open Cluster in Auriga,16 Dec 2017, 00:53:12, What a way to pan M36/37/38 in Auriga – the 80mm Equnix+31mm Nagler. Wow! Wow! Wow!
Pinwheel Cluster – Messier 36, Open Cluster in Auriga,16 Dec 2017, 00:54:39, Throw away the 80mm binoculars!
Double Cluster – NGC 884, Open Cluster in Perseus,16 Dec 2017, 00:55:41, Lovely view through 80mm Equinox with 14mm ES. More magnified at 37.5x although of course will not match light gathering and therefore brilliant diamond like quality of ten inch Dob. But 80mm is a lot more grab and go. Damian thinking of something similar for American trip in 2019.
IC 1805, Open Cluster in Cassiopeia,16 Dec 2017, 01:04:47, Started by identifying the cluster and checking it was correct by panning around and checking location. Once this was certain started looking for Heart Nebula.
Heart Nebula – IC 1805, Bright Nebula in Cassiopeia,16 Dec 2017, 01:05:59, Once we identified cluster we could then identify nebulosity. This is certain observation with tendrils of nebulosity evident. However, one criticism is applicable. If we did not know from or planetarium maps that this was the correct location could we be sure this nebulosity was not background star fields, too faint to resolve individual stars? Answer is we couldn’t as brightness only slightly different from elsewhere but once location established fact is we could see the nebulosity with certainty. Is this only going to be tonight when sky so clear? Possibly but in fact it is starting to mist up now so perhaps this is part of the skill-set l-learning to recognize things for what they are in the sky. Note all our observations so far have been by direct vision. Averted vision has not been required so far tonight.
Soul Nebula – IC 1848, Bright Nebula in Cassiopeia,16 Dec 2017, 01:13:01, Adjacent to Heart Nebula, also seen initially via cluster stars. Again, once identified, we could then start to see the nebulosity – becoming more obvious as we spent more time observing it – particularly one bright patch. Both Heart and Soul Nebula seen with ten inch and 20mm ES.
Messier 65, Spiral Galaxy in Leo,16 Dec 2017, 01:22:28, Failed to find these,
Bode’s Nebulae – Messier 81, Spiral Galaxy in Ursa Major,16 Dec 2017, 01:23:00, Neat little objects in centre of field inn 80mm – of M81/82 and M42 – with 31mm Nagler.
Damian then changed to 6mm Ethos for M42 inn 80mm. Masses of detail. Quite bright. The combination of Equinox and WO mount seems to work well.
Orion Nebula – Messier 42, Bright Nebula in Orion,16 Dec 2017, 01:37:54,80mm through IS M42 bright but M43 not visible. Smaller image means less affected by field curvature and coma inherent in the IS.
Finished observing @ 02:04 – sky too misty and its too cold and my secondary has fogged up!