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Comment to make or to build, that is the question (Score 2) 118

American Science and Surplus has a nice collection of used microscopes (and lots of other very cool stuff) at very low prices. Their inventory changes frequently.

Celestron makes a $50 webcam-like (USB) eyepiece camera for telescopes, but it works nicely with microscopes as well. Celestron also sells inexpensive mechanical microscopes.

For thin specimens or slices, you want a compound microscope. For stereo images, you need a stereomicroscope (a.k.a. dissecting microscope). The two have very different designs. The stereomicroscope has two identical objective lenses next to each other, like the two lenses in a stereo digital camera. Unless you need very high magnifications, you can do pretty well with any of the "toy" USB devices that has a built-in webcam and a single magnifier lens (e.g. RadioShack zOrb for ca. $40).

You can build your own compound microscope, which might make a great project for a 7-year-old: http://www.funsci.com/fun3_en/ucomp1/ucomp1.htm

Finally, you can make a Leeuwenhoek microscope (the original microscope design, from the 1600s) with a single spherical lens of 2-3mm diameter and some ordindary household materials. You can make the lens if you have a torch or Bunsen burner, or get one from Edmund Optics (edmundoptics.com). Lots of how-to sites on the web, e.g. http://bizarrelabs.com/micro.htm (one design on this site uses a drop of water as the lens).

Sounds like a fun project.

Comment what am I missing? (Score 1) 1

You mean, someone can listen to my DRMed music somewhere else in my house when I'm not in the room? Even though they didn't pay for it? So then I can stream my music across the network so that they can listen if they're in my garage? How about from across the street? How about across town? Maybe in another state? Maybe all of those at the same time?


So much for DRM...

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