The microscope stage holds the optics, the sensor, and the sample together in a fixed geometric relationship. We can use this simple stage to move the sample closer to and further away from the microscope lens to focus the image.
You can purchase a Community Microscope Kit from the Public Lab Store or gather the materials yourself. Here's what you'll need to put together the Community Microscope stage:
- Upper and lower stage*
- 3 long bolts
- 9 wing nuts
- 6 washers
- 2 rubber bands
*Stages from the Public Lab store may be made of different materials than those pictured here due to changes in stock.
Orient the lower stage (with rectangular cutouts) so that the smaller rectangle is on the right. Insert the three bolts into the stage. Secure with washers and wing nuts.
If you are using the webcam version of the Community Microscope Kit (Intro Version) attach the converted webcam (instructions here) to the lower stage. If you are using the Plus or Pi Kit, skip this step.
Insert the webcam power cable through the larger of the cutouts and pull the power cable through. Use the clip on the back of the webcam to clip the webcam to the lower stage.
Place two rubber bands around the upper stage (round cutout) in the grooves as shown.
Thread the bolts through the upper stage and place on top of webcam.
Put a washer and a wing nut on each of the long bolts. Don’t tighten past the microscope lens.
Add a wing nut to the top of each lng bolt. Leave the wing nuts perpendicular to the rubber bands.
Stretch the rubber bands over the wing nuts at the top of each bolt.
Start Using Your Microscope
Now you are ready to attach the microscope and start exploring the microscopic world. You'll need a computer to view the images from the microscope. Loosen and tighten the wing nuts in the middle to raise and lower the stage to focus the image.
Learn more about the Community Microscope and the ways that other Public Lab community members are using it at the Community Microscope Wiki.