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Celestron Deluxe Digital Microscope  RSS feed

 
Lf London
Posts: 96
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
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For those interested in the soil foodweb, compost making, compost tea and general field observations, this looks like an excellent microscope.

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http://www.celestron.com/c3/product.php?CatID=81&ProdID=605
LCD Deluxe Digital Microscope
Item #44345
$299.95 USD Add LCD Deluxe Digital Microscope to Cart

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LCD Deluxe Digital Microscope Photo
This product is proudly engineered in USA
Overview

Coin & Stamp collectors and those wanting to use lower powers or to observe large objects (2mm and larger), we recommend you look at our digital microscopes designed especially for these types of activities:

    # 44301 - Mini Handheld Digital Microscope
    # 44302-A - Deluxe Handheld Digital Microscope
    # 44306 - Handheld Digital & Optical Microscope
    # 44310 - LCD Handheld Digital Microscope


LCD Deluxe Digital Microscope - General Features

    3.5" TFT Touch Screen Panel - rotatable 180° horizontally
    Built-in Digital Camera - 2mp CMOS Sensor
    Image Capture Capability - Snapshots and Video
    Quadruple Nosepiece with 4x/10x/20x/40x Objective Lenses
    4x Digital Zoom
    Power Range from 40x to 1600x
    1GB Internal Memory
    SD Card Slot (uses optional SD Cards up to 4GB)
    Mechanical Stage - 3.5" x 3.5" (88mm x 88mm)
    Dual Focus (Coarse and Fine)
    Top and Bottom Adjustable LED Illumination
    Filter Wheel with 3-position Diaphragm
    USB 2.0 Cable (used to upload images to a computer)
    7 pcs. Prepared Slides
    AC Adapter - Universal 110 to 240 volts with multi-plugs for virtual worldwide usage
    6-volt (4AA user supplied batteries) battery pack for field use
    Carrying Case
    Weight - 60oz (1.7kg)

Manuals

    pdf of Deluxe Digital LCD Microscope Manual (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish)Deluxe Digital LCD Microscope Manual (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish)
    (1.21 MB)
 
Eric Thompson
Posts: 376
Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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Pretty amazing price -- another "China miracle" creation!

I have some nice microscopes, but i am curious if anybody really uses them for some permie-related analysis.  Other than just showing the kids cell structures and "wiggly stuff" in the soil, what can you really do to help the observations of your area?  (not meant to be skeptical, I really want to hear some good ideas!)
 
Pat Black
Posts: 123
Location: Northern New Mexico, USA
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Having just completed a 2.5 day training with Elaine Ingham, I can envision quite a few ways to use a microscope for permaculture.

- direct counts from a soil sample of bacteria, protozoa, and fungi
- assessing if the soil microbiology is appropriate for the crops you are trying to grow
- testing the quality of compost
- verifying the aerated compost tea you just created is fungally dominated, bacterially dominated, or full of anaerobic pathogens
- verifying the beneficial nematodes you just bought are actually present and alive
- verifying your "microbial inoculants" such as Effective Microorganisms(tm) are actually present and alive
- assessing the trends in soil biology over time

Hope these are good ideas and could probably be its own thread. But, to do all this, you need to be able to identify what you are seeing in the slide. I haven't some across a lot of good freely available materials on the web that helps to ID all the microbes.

Dr Ingham recommended a trinocular microscope with a condenser for all the above work. Without the camera, the price is the same as LFL's choice.

http://www.microscopenet.com/40x2000x-trinocular-compound-microscope-reversed-nosepiece-p-9047.html

And she suggested calling them and asking that they change out the 100x objective for a 40x, since the 100x is never used for the above work. And the 100x is so long that you stand a chance of smashing it into a slide accidentally anyway.

Her camera suggestion was Celestron #44421, priced about US$40.

Observing the macro flora and fauna is good, and understanding the soil microbiology certainly has its place in permaculture too.
 
Ken Peavey
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Location: FL
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A microscope is useful in identifying parasites and bacterial infections in plants, water, livestock and humans.  If you can diagnose the problem, you have a good chance of solving it.  They can be fun to play with, and as a learning tool for home schooling, it opens a wide area of study.

A microscope is not a tool for everyone.  Getting your money's worth out of it is not really an objective.  Along with the scope comes a need for slides/covers/tools for handling and preparing specimens.  Once you have it set up to view, you still need to figure out what it is you are looking for.  The next part of the toolbox is reference material.  There is a plethora of information online so the investment in a library aint so bad.

$300 is a decent price for a digital scope, and setting up a lab would be an awesome project.  I think the utility of lab equipment does not greatly benefit most permaculture operations, but there are exceptions.

 
John Polk
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Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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If you use it as a toy, it is an expensive toy.  If you use it as a tool, it is cheap.

Celestron is well known for fine optics, and with the included features, that appears to be a good bargain for anybody trying to fine tune their soils.

As suggested by Ken, if you are home schooling, I would seriously consider one of those.
 
Lf London
Posts: 96
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
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NM Grower wrote:
Having just completed a 2.5 day training with Elaine Ingham, I can envision quite a few ways to use a microscope for permaculture.

- direct counts from a soil sample of bacteria, protozoa, and fungi
- assessing if the soil microbiology is appropriate for the crops you are trying to grow
- testing the quality of compost
- verifying the aerated compost tea you just created is fungally dominated, bacterially dominated, or full of anaerobic pathogens
- verifying the beneficial nematodes you just bought are actually present and alive
- verifying your "microbial inoculants" such as Effective Microorganisms(tm) are actually present and alive
- assessing the trends in soil biology over time

Hope these are good ideas and could probably be its own thread. But, to do all this, you need to be able to identify what you are seeing in the slide. I haven't some across a lot of good freely available materials on the web that helps to ID all the microbes.

Dr Ingham recommended a trinocular microscope with a condenser for all the above work. Without the camera, the price is the same as LFL's choice.

http://www.microscopenet.com/40x2000x-trinocular-compound-microscope-reversed-nosepiece-p-9047.html

And she suggested calling them and asking that they change out the 100x objective for a 40x, since the 100x is never used for the above work. And the 100x is so long that you stand a chance of smashing it into a slide accidentally anyway.

Her camera suggestion was Celestron #44421, priced about US$40.

Observing the macro flora and fauna is good, and understanding the soil microbiology certainly has its place in permaculture too.



Excellent assessment of the benefits of using a microscope when studying the soil foodweb. Here are the resources you asked about, i.e. in particular the 2-DVD set containing galleries of pictures of identified microorganisms commonly encountered
when looking at your compost, soil or compost tea:

Microbe Organics
website includes a microscope advisory
http://www.microbeorganics.com/

Gardening With Microbes
Putting Nature Back In Control
http://gardeningwithmicrobes.com/index.shtml
see also:
http://gardeningwithmicrobes.com/microscope.shtml
"Here is a microscope advisory written by Tim Wilson of Microbe
Organics for looking at organisms in compost teas. His website is
www.microbeorganics.com. I found his knowledge invaluable when
researching microscope for my own testing.
Tim has also created a DVD for microbial identification. It is a 2
disc set and is available by clicking here or on the picture below."
http://simplici-tea.com/microscopedvd.htm
 
You can thank my dental hygienist for my untimely aliveness. So tiny:
Jacqueline Freeman - Honeybee Techniques - streaming video
https://permies.com/wiki/65175/videos/digital-market/Jacqueline-Freeman-Honeybee-Techniques-streaming
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