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Posted: 09 Jan 2017 12:10
Thinking of getting a microscope to examine styli. Would one of the cheap childrens type suffice? Thoughts please.
Posted: 09 Jan 2017 15:06
There are some small hand-held microscopes, with light built in, that should be available for 10 to 20 pounds.
I'd avoid the cheapies that look like a lab microscope.
The base unclips from this one?
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carson-20-40x- ... 1YNT3KFEVG
Posted: 09 Jan 2017 15:33
this thread may be helpful viewtopic.php?f=19&t=70089
Posted: 09 Jan 2017 16:01
I have this one and it works quite well, although I couldn't find it on the UK Amazon site.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0184 ... UTF8&psc=1
Posted: 09 Jan 2017 19:46
Thanks for the suggestions/links folks. Alec, would those scope's be powerful enough?
Posted: 09 Jan 2017 23:21
Landolaman1 wrote:Thanks for the suggestions/links folks. Alec, would those scope's be powerful enough?
It should be useful. I saw a couple of variations on Amazon/UK.
Posted: 10 Jan 2017 00:00
Hey, can this be separated from the base? I'm looking for something I can use to look at the stylus while it's still attached to the arm.
Posted: 10 Jan 2017 06:40
I have that one (other base though) and I can tell you upfront:
These microscopes can help you to get the cantilever aligned with the grid of the protractor.
These microscopes can help you to visualize SRA, but only with lots and lots of dedication and awareness of the lens distortion.
These microscopes can help you to some extend to help you to visualize Azimuth, determine if the stylus is sitting straight up into the groove/mounted correctly into the cantilever
These microscopes can NOT help you to visualize stylus wear, the resolution and depth of field is simply to low...
Here a few examples of this very microscope...
Alignment on grid:
Stylus assembly error:
Posted: 10 Jan 2017 06:41
And sometimes when you are unlucky you can also visualize stylus damage:
Posted: 10 Jan 2017 07:43
I have a USB pen style micro scope and the problem with this type of product is that in order to get a high enough magnification to start looking for any wear the working distance is only 3mm which because of the size of the end of the unit you cannot get in the correct place to see the wear points without hitting the body of the cartridge.
The other issue is holding it steady enough and doing small adjustments without everything disappearing off the screen and many of holders are good enough and either slip or jump. Yes you can get pictures but it does try the patience somewhat. At lower magnifications they are good for alignment and general views.
Be careful on the magnification (mine proudly states 200x) as but most of this is because your screen is 200 times bigger than the sensor and some of the resultions are "interpolated" where a 640 x 480 pixels is increased to high resolution by guess work which makes it look like a water colour painting of a stylus.
Because of the low cost I have ordered the one suggested by Alec and also the same companies 60-120x version as they appear to have a greater working distance.
However the small depth of field (only a very small area in focus) at higher magnifications means most of these are designed more for flat objects/slides rather than complex 3D shapes like styli.
I have a low cost "macro rail" to play with as well so I will try them out and feed back to the forum
I suspect that you are going to need "proper" macro equipment and possibly focus stacking (combining a number of photographs where the focus point is moved minutely between each one) to get really good shots.
There are some shots I tried with my USB in this thread
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=86429&p=716515&hil ... us#p716515
Posted: 10 Jan 2017 15:41
Below images show the kind of detail you can get with focus stacking, using a long working distance objective. USB microscopes and similar equipment are designed to have good depth of field at the expense of sharpness. If you want a sharp image, you must accept poor depth of field, and this forces you to stack.
http://i943.photobucket.com/albums/ad27 ... LT_1_A.jpg
http://i943.photobucket.com/albums/ad27 ... LT_3_A.jpg
http://i943.photobucket.com/albums/ad27 ... LT_1_A.jpg
Posted: 10 Jan 2017 17:50
Budddhacide wrote:Hey, can this be separated from the base? I'm looking for something I can use to look at the stylus while it's still attached to the arm.
Yes, it can as others have already noted. I actually used mine in a hand-held fashion to peer into a hole in my ceiling with the scope plugged into a laptop.
This one is not good enough for checking stylus wear points as has been mentioned. It would take a significant investment to buy one that good since due to lighting refraction and glares, it is very difficult to see stylus wear. This one is just for routine examination.
Here is a thread with some of my pics. viewtopic.php?f=19&t=91586
Here is another one, and in this case it saved me money...or rather got me a new replacement stylus from AT.viewtopic.php?f=19&t=87326
Ok, one more. viewtopic.php?f=19&t=87887
I hope this helps determine if it is sufficient for other folks' purposes.
Posted: 10 Jan 2017 21:27
Ray Parkhurst, I don't think this is the first time you have done this. I'm impressed.
Posted: 11 Jan 2017 03:22
I too am very impressed Ray! I have taken pics with my scope and it is nowhere near this resolution! My pic is at the bottom of page 131. :wink:
Posted: 11 Jan 2017 15:27
It's quite a challenge to get good optical resolution on styli. My experience is with coins, which are much flatter and less 3-Dimensional, but with similar bright metal and reflective surfaces. Folks have done similar things with plant, insect, and mineral subjects for a long while but getting the highlights and shadows on styli to show contact surfaces and wear patterns is a unique challenge. I have tried to get even closer to show wear more effectively but so far this is the best I've been able to achieve.