Flying microscope build seems way too nice for a home lab

This flying microscope is a tool which [Darrell Taylor] can be very proud of. He wanted to have an inspection microscope for working with surface mount projects. He got his hands on a binocular version for a song and dance because it came without a stand. Initially he built a simple rig but if it wasn’t in the right place it was hard on the body, and the upright section was getting in the way of larger projects.

This time around he used a hanging track system instead of a stand. He had some aluminum track on hand which was originally meant for use with a sliding glass door. He fabricated a trolley to interface with the track, and added a vertical rod to support the microscope. This makes it easy to slide the unit to the side when not in use, and provides for some height adjustment as well. To add to the functionality he included a light on the opposite side of the scope. This keeps the project illuminated without shadows being cast by his hands or the scope itself.

Comments

  1. andar_b says:

    I’m tempted to say I’d put it on a sturdy arm like one of those Pixar articulated desk lamps, but this seems to suit nicely. Very cool.

    • davidcdean says:

      As someone that owns one of the older, relatively beefy Luxo lamps, I’d have to say that it probably wouldn’t do the job. With a magnifier and circline lamp on it, it still dances a bit.

      • Kaj says:

        Yep. I wanted a pose-able exhaust fan for soldering (I work on amplifiers, so it’s often awkward for conventional set-ups). I ended up using an articulated arm off of a luxo style lamp. It works nice, but I wouldn’t put a lot of weight on it.

  2. n0lkk says:

    This probably is the best way to utilize the full length of a bench with the minimum of hassle. While I don’t know how often such an adjustment would be needed an acme thread rod, and wheel used in the suspending component, would make the vertical adjustment much easier. BTW;”lab” doesn’t anyone have a home shop anymore? ;)

  3. Indyaner says:

    I know that the goal was to build it from scratch, but I would have used an ergotron-arm for it, as his construction with this telescope-stick looks a bit rocking. I doint believe that it will stay absolute still on this rail, when you press your eyes on the oculars. You quickly lose the spot while looking thru it and the whole thing moves even a bit. There is a reason those stereo-microscopes are so damn heavy. But kudos to his idea and resulting setup.

    • davidcdean says:

      Write-up says he wanted to avoid using any bench space and to be able to easily slide it around his workspace.

    • Alex says:

      Granted, I don’t have a whole lot of experience with microscopes, but I’ve never used one where your eyes needed to be pressed against the lenses…

      • Indyaner says:

        If you do not touch with your frontal bone the upper side of the oculars, you may have a nicely and even formed frontal bone. Congratulations. By eyes are a bit deeper in my eyehole, what gibes me not only a permanent contemplative look, but also the disadvange to have to press my eyes against the ocular to get a close distance to the lens.

  4. B says:

    Seems like you’d get motion-sick from the wobbling, although I guess inspection microscopes probably are low magnification.

  5. AC says:

    This is super funny. I was in the EXACT same spot. I bought that EXACT same microscope off ebay with no stand(75 bucks includes eyepieces). What I ended up doing was taking the focus rack ring holder thing from a broken nikon scope (also off ebay for 30 bucks) with the wrong size ring. I cut the ring off, made a new ring out of PCV, and used a LCD monitor arm for the stand.
    http://monmount.com/monitor-stands-mounts/lcd-1910/ (ebay again, another 30 bucks)
    It’s not perfect, but it’s stable and totally useable for my home lab setup. Would it have made more sense to just pop for a used stand? Maybe.
    Having gone through making a mount rigid enough for a scope from hacked together stuff, I can’t see that ceiling mounting arm being rigid enough at that distance. If you’ve never had to work on a binocular microscope before, it if shakes even a little it will drive you crazy.

    • Darrell says:

      American Optical makes some great glass eh?

      Wobble is not a problem at 7x mag. My face does not actually touch the microscope when in use so head movements do not disturb it.

      At 30x some shaking is noticeable, but I almost never use that much magnification.

      I would love to see pics of your setup, it sounds neat.

  6. Robot says:

    Yes, a thousand times yes.

  7. Reblogged this on Void Warranties and commented:
    This would be glorious in the diagnostic clinic

  8. zokier says:

    If wobbling/movement is a concern, maybe a second rail on the wall and a horizontal rod could be added. I’d imagine that it would stabilize the microscope.

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