Microscope?

the thin end of the wedge
aj1969
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Re: Microscope?

Post by aj1969 » 11 Jan 2017 15:50

Yes ive just received one of those usb Microscopes of fleebay. the main problem is you need mounting equipment and and base/platform with fine movement adjustment. what they all come with are crap. for example after lots of playing you find the cantilever and get it into focus but then the tip's out of focus!! start all over again messing with height adjustments and you only need it to go updown by 0.5mm and it changes everything but what they come with moves more than that in flex and you then have to start all over again...
these are the best ive managed in about 2 hours.
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aj1969
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Re: Microscope?

Post by aj1969 » 11 Jan 2017 17:46

And a couple more but thats the best i can get.
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donsof
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Re: Microscope?

Post by donsof » 12 Jan 2017 05:37

Question for ray_parkhurst
What make and model of a microscope are you using? I thought your pictures were pretty good, and am also shopping for scopes at this time.

thanks Don

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Re: Microscope?

Post by ray_parkhurst » 12 Jan 2017 13:41

Those photos were taken with a macro system, not a microscope, although I did use a microscope objective. The system is camera + bellows + objective, with a Z-height adjustment stage. It takes ~15 source images to capture a stylus.

For "live" viewing I use a Bausch & Lomb Monozoom7, and it does a pretty decent job. I can take pics with it but they are nowhere near as good as I get with the macro system. Most microscopes have optics geared for live viewing, and thus will have good depth of field but compromised sharpness.

donsof
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Re: Microscope?

Post by donsof » 12 Jan 2017 17:53

Thanks for the info
Could you show a picture or two of your macro system?
Or maybe a place / site to learn more about such a system.

thanks Don

ray_parkhurst
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Re: Microscope?

Post by ray_parkhurst » 12 Jan 2017 18:07

donsof wrote:Thanks for the info
Could you show a picture or two of your macro system?
Or maybe a place / site to learn more about such a system.

thanks Don
Don...best place on Earth for getting info on this type of system is at Photomacrography.net:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/i ... 89c41c36d8

analogaudio
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Re: Microscope?

Post by analogaudio » 12 Jan 2017 21:40

Thank you Ray for those images they are impressive. I am interested to see how you get on with greater magnification to show wear at higher magnification.

The old fashioned method (Shure SEK2 stylus microscope) traded depth of field for magnification and was able to show wear, however the user experience was complicated by the need to correctly interpret image which had very shallow depth of field. There is a set of instructions for the Shure in the library and they change hands on ebay.com

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Re: Microscope?

Post by ray_parkhurst » 12 Jan 2017 23:04

My plan for this is to view directly down on the tip, as is done in the SEK I believe. With focus stacking, I can get the relevant portions of the stylus tip in focus plane-by-plane, and then render the final image using depth map method for stacking. This outputs a 3D map of the tip of the stylus, and with 3D rendering I can create a viewable 3D model of the tip which can be rotated and viewed from any angle. I have actually done this, but have not figured out how to force Helicon to push the out of focus areas to the lower depth map levels. The rendered images were not easily viewed in 3D since the out of focus regions were pulled "forward" in the stack. I will continue experimenting and publish any (successful) results here.

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Re: Microscope?

Post by DeepEnd » 13 Jan 2017 20:58

So as mentioned by Alec there are some low cost microscopes around so I went and purchased the 20-40x one he linked which is a Carson MM24 (£12 or ~€13.6, $14.50) but also found another one by the same company Carson MM300 which is a 60 -120x version.

You can tell the target markets by the packaging
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Out of the box you can see the family resemblance the (green) 20-40x is also supplied with a handy base and a couple of microscope slides. The two tone grey is the 60-120x and only has the instructions to keep it company.
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On both units the top adjuster is the zoom on the 20x40 this is a thumb wheel which is a bit loose with little damping. On the 60-120 is a ~5mm lever with a some play but seems nicely damped. The 20-40x is slightly easier to use.

The lower adjuster is the focus and on the 20-40x its a small ~3mm lever with little play and a nicely damped action with 90 degrees of travel. The 60-120x it is a wide ribbed adjuster with little play, nicely damped with 120 degrees of travel. Of the two this is much easier to use as trying to accurately push the small lever with your thumbnail is a challenge.

Both have an bright LED fitted at ~45 degrees to the optical axis, the 20-40x is powered by three AG13/SR44 coin cells (supplied) fitted into the bottom of the clear base with a small pozi screwed cover. Note on mine these had started to leak and would not power the LED so a trip to the local Pound shop bought 10 cells for £1 so the total expenditure is now £12.30 (~€14/$15) for the 20-40x unit. The LED is operated by holding a small ~10mm button down as soon as you release it the LED goes off.

The slightly brighter LED on the 60-120x version is powered by a single AA battery (not supplied but 10p from the Poundshop) inserted by removing a sliding cover in the light grey outer part of the handle. The switch to turn on the LED is a small ~8mm button that once pressed the LED stay on until it is pressed again making this easier to use if holding other objects.

The working distance on the 20-40x is typically 12-13mm and on the 60-120x it is 6-7mm. Both are easier to use when held flat on a rigid surface and I thought this was going to be an issue in use but in fact all you need is a block approx the same thickness +/-1mm as the height of the cartridge from mounting face to tip of the stylus (17mm for the one I was playing with) so you can put the cartridge on a flat surface put the block next to it, then focus the microscope of a flat piece of paper and then rest the microscope on the block and move stylus or microscope to get the tip in view and do the fine focus adjustment.

Because the LED is at 45 degrees (rather than around the lens like USB microscopes) you can place the cartridge so that you can get the light to only reflect off the contact surface or shine through the body of nude types which gives more options to view things. With both the limited depth of field is an issue but the larger focus wheel on the 60-120x allows you to easily move the focus point up and down the stylus tip, cantilever etc.

I have tried to do some samples but you will have to believe me when I say they work a significantly better with the Mk1 eyeball compared with trying to balance the Mk5 iPhone directly over the optic path whilst holding three things so styli were out!!
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40x printed mouse mat
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60x printed mouse mat here you can now see the protective layer over the printing
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120x printed mouse mat image looks soft as the protective layer goes out of focus

To give you an idea at 120x the flatted end of a midrange aluminium cantilever almost completely fills the field of view (boron rod only about 1/3) and yes it MAY be possible to see the wear points at this magnification as I have seen what appeared to be very small ones on my old stylus but I don't have any particularly worn out ones to play with to confirm this definitely. I think the Shure microscope were 200x for a reason!!

Now you may have, correctly, gathered that I quite liked the 60-120x version (I think the 20-40x is good for its target market) and it was quite illuminating to see the differences in the quality of the cutting between various elliptical tips - trust me not all 0.3 x 0.7 are the same.

YES you should get one of these 60-120x for your toolbox.

I am now going to have a bit of fun and get you to guess how much the 60-120x version costs with its more powerful range better focus, LED etc. - no cheating by checking on line!!

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Re: Microscope?

Post by jdjohn » 14 Jan 2017 01:36

Here's a quick example of how useful even cheap USB microscopes can be. A work colleague gave me his old Philips 312 turntable yesterday as return of a favor I was doing for him. Actually kind of ironic. He purchased a brand new VPI Traveler last month, but one of his cats chewed through the exposed tonearm wires, so I was soldering them back together for him :lol:

Anyway, I got the Philips 312 he gave me up-and-running, but it was skipping a bit. I had already brushed-off a huge ball of lint from the tip since the person that had borrowed it clearly didn't care about stylus care. Someone had 'borrowed' this tt from my work friend...for about two years. So even though I had already brushed the stylus, when it skipped, I thought I might take a closer look. Here it is.
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Needless to say, it needed cleaning. Here it is after.
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ray_parkhurst
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Re: Microscope?

Post by ray_parkhurst » 14 Jan 2017 03:38

I spent some time trying to set up a viewing/lighting arrangement to evaluate stylus contact surfaces. The photo system is same as before. Viewing angle is straight down the axis of the stylus. I don't know what VTA this corresponds to. I lit the stylus from above with ring lighting to give an even overall illumination, and then spot-lit it horizontally from both sides to give a reflection off the contact surfaces, balancing the two illumination types to give a good overall rendering of the stylus surfaces.

What I can say now is that diamonds are tricky to image! They transmit light, and focus it in ways that are not predictable. This makes 3D rendering extremely difficult, and I have not yet created an acceptable 3D rendering. The 2D renderings seem pretty good, though I know I can do better with perhaps a different choice of optics, but that will need to wait for another time.

Below are 5 different attempts, with small changes in configurations and processing. The subject is a brand new JICO N97LTDE elliptical replacement stylus for the Shure M97. It is interesting that the contact is very small and round, not elliptical as expected.

http://i943.photobucket.com/albums/ad27 ... E9_P_F.jpg

http://i943.photobucket.com/albums/ad27 ... E8_P_F.jpg

http://i943.photobucket.com/albums/ad27 ... E7_P_F.jpg

http://i943.photobucket.com/albums/ad27 ... E6_P_F.jpg

http://i943.photobucket.com/albums/ad27 ... _P_P_F.jpg

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Re: Microscope?

Post by scho2684 » 14 Jan 2017 16:12

Spectacular pictures, really...

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Re: Microscope?

Post by ray_parkhurst » 15 Jan 2017 03:00

I just got a M111HE cartridge with NOS N92LT stylus (eBay purchase) and put it onto the imaging stage. Looks similar to the JICO, though possibly a bit better polished. The polished "elliptical flats" front and back are quite perpendicular to the cantilever axis, but still the contact points are a bit rotated. The lights are coming in at +/-90deg from the cantilever axis, so the contacts truly are a few degrees off. Probably not a big thing, but interesting to see. Contacts are still very small, but are slightly oval in shape, and after last post I realized we are seeing them from a 45-deg angle, so if they appear round in the image, they will actually be an ellipse as intended if viewed from perspective of the groove surface. I will need to calibrate my magnification, and then I can make actual measurements of the size of the contact surfaces.

I upped the magnification a little on this image and it came out a little better. Same optics and technique. Let me know your thoughts. Next images will likely be of more "interesting" styli, though I may image a well-worn M99E first...Ray

edited to add: and to not continue hijacking this thread, I will start a new thread on stylus imaging...Ray

edited to add: notice the ellipse at the very tip of the stylus? That is the reflection of the ring light on the elliptical-shaped tip. Cool.

http://i943.photobucket.com/albums/ad27 ... 92LT_F.jpg