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Mod - stereomicroscope

Power modification
Structural modification


An inexpensive AmScope stereomicroscope was obtained from an eBay sale. On arrival, it was found that the integrated lights are powered by a transformer, the power cord has USA plug, and the transformer is 115 volts.

The microscope has two lights, one under the sample table, one above it. Both are 12V/10W halogen lightbulbs.

Power modification

The base bottom side was covered with a perforated metal sheet attached with 4 screws. These were removed and access was gained to the wiring.

The transformer was identified as a 115/230-to-12V type, with dual-voltage primary.

For use of the transformer as-is, the power cord would have to be replaced with a central-European kind. As the mains cord is thick and long and makes frequent transportation of the microscope annoying, other solution was chosen.

The transformer was completely removed, a hole was drilled to the side of the base, and a standard barrel-jack power connector was placed in. A wall-wart or another 12V power supply capable of sourcing at least 1 amp now can be used to feed the lights. The microscope lost its "tail" and become way more portable and comfortable to operate.

New stereomicroscope

Lens and lamp detail

Inside the base, transformer

Transformer removed

New power connector

Structural modification

The limited amount of vertical movement of the lenses on the stock assembly turned out to be a limiting factor when working on larger objects. Fortunately, the structure of the assembly turned out to be modular and friendly to modifications.

The arm with the vertical movement mechanism was attached to the base using four M4 screws. The cable for the upper light is led through the hollow arm.

A L-shaped perforated piece of construction steel wood joining board was chosen as an adapter.

The arm was unmounted from the base and the light cable was cut. Matching holes were drilled to the L-steel adapter and the adapter was bolted to the arm.

A pair of holes was drilled to the massive cast-aluminium base shell, and a M4 thread was tapped in them.

A hole was drilled to the base for the light power cable. A male-female connector pair was attached to the cable, allowing quick disconnection and powering the light from a separate power supply.

The L-adapter now allows quick disconnection of the microscope itself from the base and either mounting it back to the base rotated 180 degrees (adding the height of the base to the maximum height of the object being worked on), or easy attachment to any instrument or structure where a magnification is desired for the operator.

Top of the base

Top-mount adapter

Bottom side of the top

Holes in the L-adapter

Threaded holes in the base

Power connector for the top-side light

Power connector for the top-side light, disconnected

Entire microscope


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