Buying a microscope is not difficult. Navigating microscope service and support, however, can prove challenging.
Because microscopes can cost thousands of dollars, you want to ensure that the service company you’re working with knows what they’re doing.
To care well for your microscope, you need above-average service. Such a service will guarantee invaluable service and support. Nuhsbaum offers such service and support that includes very detailed microscope cleaning, preventive maintenance, and repairs.
Here are a few of the tasks that Nuhsbaum service and support conduct regularly as they serve their customers.
Do You Need Microscope Service?
How do you know that you need to have a professional clean and maintain your microscope? What are the telltale signs?
First and foremost, if you have a hazy image or unknown spots in the image, you need to contact a technician. Blurry, weak, and obscured pictures can be a result from dust, dirt, or a scratch on the lens or camera.
Your imperfect picture isn’t always a user error. It could be the microscope itself. It could also stem from the specimen or slide. Take a moment to examine the slide to make sure it has a clear coverslip and the specimen is mounted properly.
Then adjust the microscope. Zoom in and out, experiment with illumination and alignment, and adjust the other settings like Koehler (Köhler) illumination. If you still don’t see a clear picture, it’s time to take your microscope to a professional microscope maintenance company.
Microscope Handling and Storage
Proper microscope support means the company working with your equipment knows best how to handle it. Nuhsbaum knows how to both handle and store your microscope.
From day one, lab technicians, assistants, and other workers learn how to properly handle a microscope. They learn to hold it by the base and the metal support arm, always two hands holding the microscope.
Nuhsbaum technicians have proper training in how to handle the microscope on-site or in their workshop. The best care is given to every microscope and every part as they are serviced and cleaned.
Great technicians and maintenance services know how to handle both the old and new microscopes. Nuhsbaum techs have skills in both of these areas. They work with new microscopes daily since microscopes are Nuhsbaum’s business.
Microscope lenses require great care as you can easily scratch or dislodge the optical lenses. Maintenance technicians will use appropriate lens cleaning solutions, optical grade lens paper, and soft cotton or microfiber to clean and dry the objective lenses. They then use an aspirator to gently blow away any dust that lingers.
Finding the Dirty Lens or Optics
A good microscope maintenance company will know how to narrow down which of your objective lenses needs cleaning or where the mystery “spot” is located. You can do this yourself too.
Put a clean side under your microscope. Focus the microscope, then move the slide to see if the dust moves with the slide or stays in place.
If the dust stays in place, you have found your dirty lens. Use lens cleaner and lens paper to clean the optical surface. Those who are comfortable cleaning their own lenses understand that they must clean the oil from the lens immediately with lens paper.
Proper Cleaning Techniques
Immersion oil left on the lens will thicken and get sticky, obscuring the lens even more and attracting dust and dirt. To clean the old oil off the lens, you can use distilled water to moisten the lens paper and then hold the paper against the oil to dissolve it. If the distilled water does not clean off the oil, you may have to move on to an ammonia-free lens cleaner or even isopropyl alcohol. Always finish up with a final application of lens cleaner, then distilled water.
More stubborn materials stuck on the lens, such as glycerin or mounting media, require a stronger solvent. Many technicians will use xylene or acetone in such cases. You have to be particularly careful with these harsher chemicals, however, as they will dissolve plastic parts or any glue within the lens system. These should be used quickly within seconds and then rinsed off immediately with distilled water. Then follow up with lens cleaner and distilled water again.
Nuhsbaum technicians understand how to properly clean any optical surface. Thus, if you struggle to figure out which optics to clean or just want a professional to handle your microscope, the techs at Nuhsbaum can help you out.
When you buy a microscope, read the user’s manual. The manual will explain how to make basic adjustments to the microscope.
Over-tightening parts on the microscope can cause damage. Thus, you need to always handle your microscope with care. If you do force any knobs or parts that seem to damage your microscope, contact an experienced technician at Nuhsbaum immediately.
Nuhsbaum techs do more than microscope cleaning. As they clean your microscope, they will conduct basic adjustments. If you have a tight or loose nosepiece, mention this so they can adjust it properly.
Technicians can also adjust the tension on your coarse and fine-focusing knobs. Since technicians work with a variety of microscopes, they will understand how to adjust each type of microscope.
Some microscopes require you to turn knobs on either side of the focus axis in opposite ways. Others have adjustable collars that require the use of microscope wrenches. A qualified Nuhsbaum technician will know exactly how to adjust the focus knobs.
All moving parts on your microscope need a good cleaning and lubrication annually. You can clean the dirt and grease from the sliding surfaces by using a clean cloth.
Technicians will use a thin layer of lithium-base grease to lubricate the sliding surfaces. They know to stay away from the pinion gears and rack. They then adjust the tension knob if the coarse adjustment moves too easily.
If you don’t have light, you don’t have a microscope. Technicians will replace your bulb so you don’t have to worry about losing light in the middle of an important project. It is always good practice to keep spare bulbs on hand to minimize microscope down time.
There are many choices in bulbs – tungsten halogen, mercury, mercury-halide – or perhaps you have an LED or LED light engine. LED’s can last 50,000 hours before dimming, whereas tungsten halogen bulbs cannot make it to 100 hours. For fluorescence microscopes, mercury bulbs can last up to 300 hours and mercury-halide up to 2000 hours.
The best service and support teams out there, such as the technicians at Nuhsbaum understand how to give your microscope the full treatment from lens cleaning to adjustments to bulb replacement. You’ll feel like you have a whole new microscope when you’re done.
Seek Quality Microscope Service
Excellent microscope service will yield a microscope that you can rely on. If your microscope images are blurry, conduct all the necessary checks and adjustments you can think of. Then contact a professional technician for a proper cleaning and maintenance routine.
Are you looking for a new microscope? Do you need an experienced technician to look at your current microscope? If so, contact us.