Join us as LaBLiFe ambassador Dr. Andy Chandler-Grevatt and founder of Moss Safari takes an in-depth look at the BMS 146 FLArQ LED Trinocular Microscope. In this detailed review, we explore the features of this brand-new microscope and how it performs in a Moss Safari setting.
Discover the essential components of this classic microscope, from the versatile magnification options to the smooth focusing knobs. Learn about the unique mechanical stage that sets it apart and the convenient lighting options, including battery use for fieldwork.
Follow along as we watch a live Moss Safari demonstration, observing moss specimens and uncovering fascinating microorganisms like rotifers and diatoms. Whether you’re a microscope enthusiast or simply curious about the world of microscopy, this video provides valuable insights.
I’m the founder of Moss Safari, and I’ve got a great opportunity today to take a look at a brand-new microscope. This has been sent to me by VITTA Group, and I’m examining it on behalf of LaBLiFe today. So, let’s have a look.
Under the dust sheet, we have our BMS microscope. Here it is. I’ll keep hold of this dust sheet because it’s very useful for keeping dust off in between uses. So, I’ll just put that over there, ready to put on later.
Here we have a microscope that looks like a classic one. It has everything you’d expect. It has the eyepiece at the top, which is labelled as times 10. It easily slides in and out, making it convenient for inserting a camera.
We’ve got the objectives here. The first one is times four, the smallest, so four times ten equals times 40. That’s the minimum magnification we expect to be able to use with a compound microscope to examine larger specimens, like rotifers and tardigrades.
Next, we have times 10 (the yellow objective) and then times 40. So, you can go up to times 400 magnification. However, for Moss Safari, you typically won’t need to go that high. The first two magnifications will be the most useful.
They easily click into place, and you can hear when they’re securely in position. Some microscopes don’t provide that tactile feedback, but it’s essential for accurate use.
Next, as expected, we have the focusing knobs on the side. We’ve got both fine and coarse adjustments, and they move very smoothly. They don’t jolt or disrupt the view when you turn them.
Now, let’s talk about the lighting. There are two ways to illuminate the sample. We have electric lighting that we can switch on, and you can adjust the intensity using the slider at the bottom. It’s a good practice to start with the lowest setting and then adjust as needed.
Additionally, there’s a slot for batteries here, which allows you to use it without a plug socket, which can be handy if your lab has limited outlets or if you’re using it in the field.
What sets this microscope apart is its mechanical stage, which makes it different from most school microscopes. The mechanical stage allows you to move the slide without manually adjusting it. This is especially useful when conducting online sessions like Moss Safari. You can simply place a slide, clip it in, and use the mechanical stage to move it left, right, up, and down smoothly.
There’s also a diaphragm under here that can be used to adjust the amount of light and the angle, providing more silhouette for better definition or brighter illumination for more detailed observation.
As it stands, this microscope seems to have all the features I need for a successful Moss Safari. Now, let’s do a live demonstration.
I collected a piece of moss from my garden earlier, soaked it in mineral water, and placed it in this petri dish. I added a few drops of water to the slide, covered it with a cover slip, and now I’m ready to switch it on.
The diaphragm is reasonably closed for now. Let’s have a look and see what’s on the slide. I can see a cross through the eyepiece, which helps me know where I’m looking on the slide. There are also numbers and graduations from zero to ten, which will be helpful for measurements.
At the beginning, it’s often challenging to identify what’s on the slide. So, I’ll start by moving it along using the mechanical stage, which is incredibly easy and precise. This way, I can explore the entire slide efficiently.
The lighting is good, but I’ll reduce the intensity a bit as it’s quite bright at the moment. Now, let’s see what we can find. As I move along the slide, I can see various debris, including bits of moss, plant material, and tiny stones.
Ah, I’ve found my first moving organism—a tiny rotifer! It’s moving slowly across the slide. Let’s observe it more closely. I’ll increase the magnification from times four to times ten. Now, I’m at a maximum of times 400, and I can see it clearly. I can even make out its little toes, mouth parts, and a diatom swimming past.
In just this initial observation, I’ve already seen some of the organisms I would expect to find using a microscope. This microscope seems perfect for conducting a Moss Safari, and I’m looking forward to spending more time with it. Thank you for watching, and I hope you found this informative.
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