Dissecting Microscope: Use and Care

Dissecting Microscope: Use and Care



Carefully pick up your numbered scope by grasping the arm and supporting thebase with the other hand held flat, carry to your desk. (Do NOT push fingers up underneath base, you may push out the stage plate.) Make a second trip to pick up a light with transformer. Note where they should be returned, and the way that the cords are wrapped on the light and transformer.

Set up scope as follows, and then illustrate (Here is an illustrated image.):

1) transilluminator
2) mirror positioning knob
3) base
4) stage plate
5) stage clips 6) arm
7) focusing knob
8) optical head
9) zoom knob
10) right ocular 11) adjustable left ocular
12) interocular distance
13) transformer
14) extension arm
15) light housing
16) voltage selector


1) Pick up microscope by arm, support base with a flat hand.
Do not poke fingers up into base or damage could occur to the mirror or stage plate.


2) Pick up light. Support transformer (base) with one hand and light housing with the other so the lamp does not fall on the floor.
NOTE: The wires are securely wrapped by the last person to use the light.

3) Set microscope on desk, remove dust cover.
NOTE: Optical head is fully lowered to reduce storage head space. Also, stage plate is securely snugged into space.
3b) Right hand view of dissecting microscope with optical head fully lowered

4) Plug lamp into transformer, and plug in transformer into electrical receptical.


5) Select angle of lighting. For top illumination, insert lamp just behind the optic head.


6) For transmitted lighting from below, insert the lamp into the hole at the rear of the transilluminator.


7) Alternatively, you may set up a custom lighting angle by inserting the lamp into the nose clamp attached by extension scissors to the transformer. Note the clamping features at the base of the scissors, and just under the nose clamp.


8) Adjust the oculars for your eyes:
a) Diopter correction: Focus the microscope carefully while looking through the right ocular with the right eye. Then focus the left ocular for the left eye by turning the left ocular
b) Adjust the interocular distance by adjusting the distance between the oculars.


9) Set the zoom knob to1.0 (magnification of view would be 10 x).
After you have focused on your specimen, turn the zoom dial to achieve the desired magnification.


10) For bottom lumination, select the best light reflector. Shown here is the ground glass reflector which is the recommended illumination for most applications.


11) Alternatively, try the intense mirrored reflector for greater penetration of thick specimens.


12) When finished, lower the optical head all the way and replace the dust cover.
a) Carefully wrap the lamp cord around the nose of the lamp, secure the end by tucking under itself.
b) Wrap the transformer cord around the transformer as shown, secure the end by tucking under itself.


1. Remove the dust cover, raise optical head by rotating focusing knob until back of optical head is just above top of arm.

2. Unwrap cord from around light housing, and, for top lighting, insert light into hole in back of head (or for bottom illumination, into base if equipped with transilluminator.)

3. Unwrap cord from around transformer, set voltage selector to off, plug into electrical outlet.

4. Plug cord from light into back of transformer, turn voltage selector on to the #1 setting. Did the light go on? If not, report to your professor.

5. Place specimen in center of field, turn zoom knob on top of optical head to 1.0. (This will give an effective magnification of 10x since the oculars are 10x.)

6. Looking only through the right ocular with right eye, focus on specimen with the focusing knob. When finely focused, look only through the left ocular with the left eye, and focus by rotating the adjustable left ocular. The specimen should now be in focus for both eyes.

7. Adjust for your own interocular distance by spreading apart or squeezing together the oculars so that a single three-dimensional image is seen, with no black areas.

8. Adjust the magnification by rotating the zoom knob so that desired detail is clear on the specimen. You may elect to use either the black or white side of the face plate for optimum visibility. Adjust the amount of light on the specimen by adjusting the setting on the transformer. To prolong the life of the bulb, use the lowest transformer setting which yields satisfactory illumination. Use lens paper only for cleaning lenses.

9. Make appropriate drawings, titled (at top), magnification of view (lower R), name and preparation of specimen (below), and all appropriate features labeled.

1. Turn off the light, unplug transformer from outlet. Unplug light from transformer. Carefully wrap cord snugly around the transformer, tuck in end so that it stays put.

2. Remove light from scope, wrap cord around light body, tuck in. Push into larger side of ring on transformer extension arm, replace in cabinet in the correctly numbered location.

3. Lower optical head of scope until it almost touches base, replace dust cover, return to the correctly numbered location in the cabinet.

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