4D Optical LLC


Quick Start - Instructions

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1.  Turn on MicrobeScope LED light.

The scope will not work if the LED is off.  Slide the switch to the "on" position first.

Please remember to turn it "off" before storing the scope.  The batteries last for a few days of continuous use, but fresh batteries produce the best results.  Click here for troubleshooting info.

2.  Apply the sample.

All it takes is a very small amount of fluid.  The field of view is about the size of a grain of salt so it does not take much, but it must be on the center.  If you want to look at a dry sample it should be immersed in water or another fluid first.  The provided micropipettes work great for applying liquid samples, but any method of applying the sample that leaves liquid on the lens is okay.  For instance, a tooth pick will transfer enough liquid, or even a leaf stem.  Even a fingertip will work if nothing else is available.

3.  View Sample Through Eyepiece.

We recommend starting out by viewing through the eyepiece.  After you have confirmed that you have an interesting sample of fluid it is easier to mount a camera.  You can push the sample around on the lens surface with the tip of the pipette to reposition your sample if nothing of interest is visible in the field of view.

4.  Attach Camera Mount and Align Camera (Optional).

Slip the mount over the eyepiece and push it on until it firmly meets the top of the eyepiece.  The brace on the underside of the mount should line up directly over the center of the scope.  This position balances the phone over the center of the scope so that it is less likely to tip over when the phone is placed on the mount.

Start with the camera in video mode above the scope and center the eyepiece in the view.  As you lower the camera onto the mount keep the eyepiece in the center of the view.  As you get closer the light will be visible, and try to keep the brightest light in the center.  This step can be a little tricky because the camera must be aligned precisely over the center of the eyepiece.  When the phone is aligned the camera will see what you see by eye through the eyepiece.  If you have difficulties the most common problem is that the final resting place of the camera is too far from the eyepiece because of the phone case thickness.  Don't be afraid to experiment a little to get the best result.  After the camera is mounted you can use the camera zoom to fill the frame.  Most phones perform best in video mode since the video camera zooms in closer than the wider angle picture mode.

5.  Attach Kickstand (Optional).

The Kickstand is three plastic parts that snap together and attach to the phone mount to provide a larger and more stable surface.  Most tablets will fit on the stand with the notable exception of the larger iPad Pro.  Larger tablets will require the addition of stack of books or other handy support.

A.  Assemble the Kickstand by snapping the legs into the slots.  The embossed letters A and B on the legs should match the embossed letters near the the slots.

B.  Attach the kickstand to the phone mount by sliding Tab 1 or Tab 2 into the slot on the phone mount.  Tab 1 works best with Apple products and Tab 2 works best with devices with a centered camera like many Samsung devices.

C.  Slip the phone mount over the eyepiece and push it on until it firmly meets the top of the eyepiece.  If the mount is not fully seated on the eyepiece the camera will not focus properly.

6.  Camera Alignment Troubleshooting.

If the image from the camera is not similar to the image viewed by eye then there is a misalignment.

A.  The most common misalignment problems can be solved by sliding the device on the mount.  If the camera can see some light it is probably close.  Slowly slide the camera back and forth a few millimeters along the long axis of the mount and stop at the location with the most light or best image.  Then, slide the camera back and forth along the short axis of the mount until the best image is found.  This process can be repeated until the best image is obtained.  If this method does not quickly bring a good image the best option is to lift the camera above the mount and recenter the eyepiece on the screen while setting the device back on the on the mount.  See the image on the screen of the phone in the step 4 photo.

B.  If the mount is not fully seated on the eyepiece the camera will not be able to get close enough to the eyepiece.  Also, some device cases are too thick.  You may need to remove the case.  Conversely, it is possible that some devices may need a spacer placed between the mount and the device to provide the optimal lens to eyepiece distance.  The spacer can be made from business cards or any similar thickness flat material.


7.  Clean Up.


Warning:  The scope is not waterproof and will be damaged by submersion.


A. Gently clean the scope with a slightly damp cloth taking care not to wipe the lens too roughly.  .  Window cleaning fluid is the best.  We use Windex.  Spray the liquid on the cloth and not directly on the scope.  The lens cleaning tissues we included are only included for your convenience.  Any absorbent cloth will work.  Paper towels are okay.

Please be gentle with the objective lens.  It is somewhat delicate especially where the adhesive holds the small disk of glass to the metal objective lens case.

B.  Any dust or streaks left on the eyepiece lens will degrade the camera image, so it should also be inspected and cleaned only if dirty.  A dry cotton rag is best, paper towels will work if the remaining dust is blown off.

C.  Don't forget to make sure your camera lens is clean too.  Any small dust particles will degrade the image.


Tips, Tricks, and Details

Adjust the Depth of Focus and Resolution with the Diffuser

If want to increase the resolution and reduce the depth of focus insert the included diffuser between the LED light source and the objective lens where you have placed the sample.  Raising the diffuser so that it touches the LED is the best starting position.  Lowering the diffuser until it almost touches the sample will increase resolution but also decrease the depth of focus.  See the images below.  The top image is without the diffuser and the bottom image is with the diffuser inserted in between the LED and the lens.  Experimenting is the only way to optimize the image quality for each sample type.

Use of Plastic Cover Slips

A cover slip can be used to thin your sample and keep it from drying.  This is actually required if the sample is live blood.  Take care not to let the sample dry completely and glue the cover slip to the objective lens.  The lens may be damaged if the cover slip is left to dry on the lens and it becomes too firmly attached.  A plastic cover slip can be made from a transparent sheet of plastic with a pair of scissors.  We generally discourage cover slips because they just end up in the trash and for most samples they are not necessary.  We only use them for blood.

Replace Batteries


Warning:  The battery compartment can only be removed and replaced if the power switch is in the "on" position.


It was designed this way so that the battery compartment will not fall out when the scope is in "off" position.  Turn the scope "on" and push up on the switch with a finger nail until the battery compartment is up far enough to grab from the top.  The wires remain attached during battery replacement.  Open the compartment by pushing on the raised ribs with your thumb and the cover will slide off.  Take care not to twist the wires when replacing the battery compartment gently.  Make sure the wires are not pinched, yanked, twisted or hung up.

Any AAA size batteries will work.

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