Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Microscope Maintenance

Routine optical and mechanical maintenance of compound microscopes can ensure that your microscope works well for many years to come. Periodic microscope servicing by a qualified microscope technician is recommended. Compound microscopes should generally be serviced after about 200 hours of use. For most schools, this would be about every three years, possibly more frequent if the microscope is used multiple times each day.

Handling and Storage

Most microscope problems occur as a result of mishandling. When carrying the microscope, always hold it by the base and the metal support arm. If you will be traveling with your microscope frequently from one location to another you might consider purchasing a microscope carrying case. Aluminum cases work best for protecting your microscope in case it falls or tumbles while in transport.

When the microscope is not in use keep it covered with the dust cover. This alone will extend the life of your microscope. Even if the microscope is stored within a cabinet, you should still cover it with the dust cover. Do not store a microscope without any eyepieces, even if it is covered. This can allow dust to collect within the eye tubes, which can be difficult to clean. If the microscope eyepieces must be removed, simply cover the tubes with caps or a plastic bag with a rubber band around the eye tube.
Try to always store your microscope in a cool, dry place. 

Mechanical Maintenance

Each microscope should come with a user's manual. If it did not with a manual in the packaging you can download the manual on the company website. Always consult your user's manual before making any adjustments to your microscope. Avoid using excessive force when performing any maintenance on your microscope. This can damage metal parts in the microscope or strip the parts of their binding. 

Microscope Diagram Nose piece Adjustment

The microscope nose piece can sometimes become loose. Generally there is an adjustment mechanism on the nose piece. A simple loosening or tightening of the slot-headed screw in the middle of the nose piece should generally resolve this problem. Check your microscope's manual for complete instructions on how to adjust it.

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