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Brock Magiscope questions x-post


Eagle

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(Reposting here because of no answers on k-8)

 

I have a Brock Magiscope in my shopping cart and have a few questions before I purchase. I would love to hear from people who own one already.

 

- I am looking at Model #70, package 4. It comes with all the lenses. I have heard once before that the 40x lens isn't worth it because you can't adjust it finely enough to be sharp. I notice the #70 says it has a "fine adjustment ramp focus" -- does this eliminate the problem and make the 40x lens worth having? Maybe this is a newer feature that the older models didn't have?

 

- One of the main reasons I chose this microscope is that we live at the beach and I would like to take it outside frequently. On the website there is a "surface adaptor" attachment. Is this a necessity for using the Brock without a stand? The Brock website does not ship to Canada, so I plan to order from Rainbow Resource and they don't carry this accessory. If you think it is necessary is it something I could make?

 

- Rainbow Resources does not specifically list the 4x lens for this package, but it is shown in the photo and is listed on the Brock site as being standard with the #70. Can anyone who has ordered package 4 from RR confirm that they received the 4x lens?

 

Many thanks!

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I haven't used the 40x lens, so no help there.

 

I have seen kids using them in a variety of situations... not the beach... but I don't think you'd need anything to make it more stable. It's a sturdy thing.

 

I'd just ask RR what's in there. They're really knowledgeable about their products.

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Good idea! I will contact RR.

 

The surface adaptor accessory isn't for stability; I think it is so you don't put the microscope too close to an object when using it without the stand (to protect the lens from damage). At least this is what I thought it was for -- I could be wrong.

 

I'll update when I hear from RR about the included lenses.

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We just have the basic #70 model (bought from The Private Eye, though they seem to have stopped carrying it).   It comes with a 5x eyepiece and 4x lens, which makes 20x altogether.  

 

I'm glad we decided not to start out with the extra lenses or other accessories, because the basic set-up is so simple to learn to use, and there's nothing that can be misplaced.   This makes it ideal for elementary aged children to use independently, which is what we wanted.   Other families might have different plans.  

 

When we get to high school level work, we might buy the extra lenses, but I think we'd be more likely just to get a different microscope for the older children -- since at that point, learning to use the more complex equipment is a big part of the curriculum. 

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I purchased two used Brock Magiscopes last year.

 

We have the 5x and 10x widefield eyepieces and the 4x and 10x lenses.  Everything is interchangeable.  

 

I like these scopes for the kids because they are durable.  We have taken them outside many times and I let them sit at a level where the kids have access to them--so they are not protected.  And yet, they live....if you know what I mean.  I have also brought these scopes to use for science stations at an afterschool program.

 

We have used the scopes to diagnose a case of pinworms.  Yep.  Google the how-to on that one.

 

We find that if we are using them in the house, we always need to have a flashlight on hand. This is a disadvantage compared to a higher quality scope.

 

I find that the kids like putting big items in a plastic petri dish, then setting the dish on the platform.  We've also made use of concave slides with covers and regular glass slides.

 

These microscopes were sufficient for viewing pre-made biology slides.

 

If I wanted more power than 10x X 10x eyepiece, I would put that money into a better microscope with fine tuning and a light.

 

I like the Brock because it affords the kids the ability to be curious without risking certain destruction.  But if I was moving beyond play, I would get a better microscope.

 

 

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We find that if we are using them in the house, we always need to have a flashlight on hand. This is a disadvantage compared to a higher quality scope.

 

Hmmmm. I wondered if that would be an issue. Do you have to hold it right up to the lumarod, or just place it nearby on the table?

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I have the surface adaptor and haven't found it more useful than simply taking the thing out and holding it, versus keeping it in the base. Actually I ca'nt even get the surface adaptor to work! I got mine at a homeschool buyer's coop sale last year.

 

You don't have to have a light pointing right at it, but it won't work in a darkish room.

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Hmmmm. I wondered if that would be an issue. Do you have to hold it right up to the lumarod, or just place it nearby on the table?

 If we are directly near a bright window, the lumarod picks up enough light.  Most frequently, though, I have to keep a flashlight on hand to use it.  The flashlight on a cell phone also works fine.  I just set the additional light source on the table in proximity to the end of the lumarod.  

 

Here's another fast fact--a friend of mine saw the scope and exclaimed, "Hey--they made that from a big spent shell casing!"  Reduce, recycle, reuse...

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I bought a Magiscope for my dd last Christmas through HSB coop. We love it. We have the 5x and 10x eyepieces and the 4x, 10x, and 40x objectives. I haven't had much call to use the 40x yet, although the few times we did I did find it a bit finicky. Later we will invest in a more powerful microscope for home, and this is perfect for carting around. If you are wanting it primarily as a simple field microscope for kids, I would say the 40x is not strictly necessary. Fun to have, but not nearly as useable. If you are going to need the higher power regularly, a different style of microscope may be a better choice.

The surface adapter? Meh. We have it, I have never used it nor discovered any added benefit for it.

I haven't had any trouble needing additional light, but we tend to use it in a room with lots of windows, or outside.

 

If you are having it shipped, order slides! My dd loves the prepared slides, as well as a slide-making kit for her 'specimens.' The Magiscope is really a lot of fun, and gives her a lot more independence/variability of use.

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I heard back from RR. They were very helpful and contacted their distributor to check if the 4x lens was included. Good news -- it is!

 

I had some Petri dishes in my cart and some prepared slides. Does anyone have these ones? http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/sku/041566/f37a3b44dd6bb71ae9e77034

 

Would you recommend plastic slides for lower elementary? I usually get quality supplies as ds is fairly careful, but in this case I wonder if glass cover slips would just be too fragile for little fingers. RR has this kit in glass or plastic: http://www.rainbowresource.com/product/Deluxe+Slide+Making+Kit+-+Plastic/017440/f37a3b44dd6bb71ae9e77034?subject=11&category=3322

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I guess most folks would get plastic for the little kids, but I got glass slides and covers because I think glass is nicer.  We haven't had any major accidents and incidents.  I don't even think we've broken a cover slip--and that's not because my people are dainty and carefull.  And if a kid got a tiny, tiny slice from a cover slip, it wouldn't be a game changer for our family.  It's called....learning to be a little more careful with glass.  

 

I did appreciate having plastic petri dishes, though.

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I don't have experience with the multiple specimen per slide version. I am not sure how that would work for organization. Are the specimens on the same slide related?

 

We have several sets from AmScope, such as this one. They do go on sale periodically, and they are organized numerically with a reference chart, which is very handy when you are looking for something specific.

http://www.amscope.com/100-pc-prepared-microscope-glass-slides-set-b.html

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