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5 Ways to Make Your Old Microscope Last Longer

Do you have an old microscope, a tight budget, or new research projects on the horizon? Maybe you just need to get more performance out of your microscope for current uses, or you want to repurpose it for a new research project. Your old workhorse may still have enough get up and go to carry you through on a limited budget. 

Here are five ways to make your microscope last longer and operate better without breaking the bank: 

1. Preventative Maintenance 

This is frequently simple and inexpensive. On-site cleaning, lubrication, and repair or replacement of broken components are all available from a skilled microscope service specialist. Many service providers can execute a complete microscope overhaul in their shop in extreme instances. As a leading microscope sales and service provider, Micronix carries an extensive line of replacement parts, bulbs, objectives, eyepieces, and accessories for all makes and models. Contact us at 877.379.7340 to find out more. 

 2. Upgrading Your Objectives 

If you have an older infinity-corrected microscope, the manufacturer is likely to have made considerable optical advances since you bought it. New Olympus optics (as well as a variety of other components) are compatible with BX and IX microscopes from the early 1990s. Replacing your old "workhorse" objectives with newer generation optics can produce remarkable results. If you're working with digital photographs, you should see increases in resolution, color rendition, and image intensity consistency. For example, Olympus' X Line objectives set new standards in numerical aperture, chromatic correction, and field flatness. Simply look for the infinity sign on the barrel to see if your old optics are infinity corrected. If you're unsure, talk to a microscope expert in your area. 

3. And, of course, there's that old digital camera... 

Most IT organizations have demanded that Windows PCs be upgraded to Windows 10. Depending on the age of your system, your ancient digital CCD camera (or digital SLR?) may be rendered outdated. If it's been a while since you've looked for a microscope camera, our app-based camera finder can help you refresh your knowledge of current camera technology when you upgrade your camera. Then talk to a Micronix Rep about your needs so they may provide recommendations for the best camera for the job. 

4. Replace any old fluorescence filters with new ones. 

A microscope's fluorescence filter has been damaged by burnout. After a few hundred hours of exposure to high-intensity light, older fluorescence filters (soft-coated or laminated filters) will lose their effectiveness. They can also burn or delaminate with time, making them even less effective and potentially changing their spectral transmission characteristics. The current state of filter manufacture has virtually eradicated "wear out" and "burn out" issues. If you know-how, you may easily remove your fluorescence filter cube or slider from your microscope and inspect your excitation and emission filters for signs of wear by tilting it at an angle. You can also ask a Micronix salesperson in your area to look through your filters and give suggestions. 

There are several ways to get extra value from your existing microscope. A little TLC from a competent service technician, some new lenses, replacement fluorescence filters, or upgrades to subsystems like cameras and stages can provide a cost-effective alternative until you can afford a new microscope. Keep an eye out! In this series of microscope improvement blog posts, there will be more practical advice!

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