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 Post subject: Mini home-lab
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:26 pm 
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Hi all,

I would like your advice, as i live in a little remote island lost in pacific ocean, and will start the GIA colored stones courses, i decided to buy some stuff on ebay (after spent lot of time on this forum).

I have a little budget so, it's a mini lab for less than 1000$ (800$ for the moment). Could you help me to improve my home lab, please? I'm not sure to have done the right choices, ebay is a real trap sometimes.

First picture with the refractometer, the dichroscope, polariscope, chelsea filter and spectroscope :



Image


Second picture the microscope, it's not a meiji, it's an euromex like the EMT2 the bulb doesn't work i need to buy a new one:



Image

Image



And third picture the fiber optic 100W :



Image


Do you know something about euromex? I saw just one post or two on the forum.

I'm also searching for an UV cabinet, and other few stuff

Thanks in advance for your help,

Moana


edit: resizing pictures


Last edited by jooj on Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mini home-lab
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:16 am 
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Hi,

methink you got a bunch of neat stuff there, actually pretty nice stuff. If i really should say something you could improve , a zoom microscope head would be great but, hey, no hurry, you can still purchase that later, the one you have there is good enough for now. Congrats for your Lab and welcome!!!!! 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Mini home-lab
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:49 am 
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Some great choices there. In addition to uv lights you could consider a specific gravity kit along with a nice scale. If the prism style spectroscope doesn't pan out for whatever reason I'd suggest the opl teaching spectroscope with stand. Several great gem ID books out there too for purchase.


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 Post subject: Re: Mini home-lab
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:25 am 
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Location: Wylie Texas but in Alaska for a while
I second a good scale on the list. You will need to be able to do specific gravity. If budget it tight (which I understand) You can make your own stand to measure specific gravity very easily, with nothing more than a little thin wire. If you search specific gravity there are several posts on how to do it. On a tight budget, I would recommend a more accurate but smaller scale. That will limit your total weight. So look at the method where you hold a small container of water in your hand and slip it up on the stone, which is on a wire suspended in the air, on the scale. By using this method, you do not need to have a scale that will handle the beaker of water, since it is never actually touching the scale.

Read the posts about how accurate of a scale you need. Good luck, and I hope you do well on the course. One day I hope to be able to visit a small island on the pacific, it sounds nice.

They make some nice scales that do the calculation automatically. If you are going to do this as a profession, it is probably worth the additional money. A client would be more impressed with a "professional" looking piece of equipment that spits out the number over a piece of bent wire, some hen scratches for notes, (maybe your hand writing is better than mine) and a calculator.


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 Post subject: Re: Mini home-lab
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:01 pm 
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I've found this little gizmo reliable, as a scale and as an SG unit:
http://www.prettyrock.com/php/product-d ... &item=5803


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 Post subject: Re: Mini home-lab
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:53 pm 
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Looks like you did quite well. Is that a Zeiss hand spectroscope? I don't see any compromises.

On microscopes like that sometimes you can by variants of lamps that will fit. For example if they shipped it with a large bulb regular tungsten lamp you may be able to substitute a quartz halogen. You usually can get away with raising the wattage too. You have to pick a lamp
that has the same base and the same operating voltage as where you live (unless you are using a transformer)


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 Post subject: Re: Mini home-lab
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:49 pm 
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Thank you all for your support.

@Alberto, yes in the future i will probably buy a new head, but it's quite expensive so i keep an eye on ebay and hope find a good bargain, i bought this scope from ebay Italia :) for 300 euros after lost a mark V auction. On a French site i found the same (but trino) for 2000 euros, so i told to myself it was not so bad : (i'm not sure if i can post the link)

http://www.atelierlatrouvaille.com/K-Mi ... logie.html


@gempile and wilson : Thanks for your advices i will look the specific gravity topics (i tottaly forgot this item, many thanks).
I bought the three photoatlas gemstones of inclusions volumes, and also bought the tables of gemstone identification, do you have any other books to recommend?


@Barbra thank you for your link, it's perfect for my bugdet.


@G4LaB Yes it's a Zeiss, i won it on ebay.de for 70 euros, i'm really glad to own it, but do i need a stand ?
My first choice was the OPL but when i saw this one i couldn't resist :D. It came in mint condition.


Image


My main concern is for the polariscope, i'd like to change the current voltage to 220v, i have to find the good way to do it.
For the scope's bulb i don't know anything about it, i took a picture if it helps. Could you tell me what kind of lamp do i need, please?

Image

And if one of you would like to come in my island one day it will be a pleasure to give you a great welcome, and show you some nice places to find some stuff like that :



Image


Image


edit: resizing pictures

:D


Last edited by jooj on Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mini home-lab
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:13 pm 
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Location: Wylie Texas but in Alaska for a while
From picture of the bulb it looks like it is already set up for 220 volts.

I do not have one of the actual device you are trying to change over, and I am not sure if there are any internal electronics. so I will comment on the changes that are needed. I kow from personal experience in changing a cloths dryer to work in the UK that you need to see the wiring diagram so that there are no surprises.... (had to replace a circuit board..... I missed a circuit that needed 110 :twisted: and was not wired like I thought it was. One circuit board later, and I was able to add a 110 transformer to run the electronics.....)


I thought I know what island we were talking about,,,, but the one I was thinking of would be 110. :oops:

Are you willing to update your location or let us know where you are?

I would really like to find some of them some day, no mater where it is. [-o<

I know from personal experience in changing a cloths dryer to work in the UK that you need to see the wiring diagram so that there are no surprises.... (had to replace a circuit board..... I missed a circuit that needed 110 :twisted: )

A lot of it depends on the voltage and electronics that it was originally designed for.

I would think that in general if you are buying it from Europe it is setup for 220. Check the label on the machine, if it says 220 50/60 and you want to run it on 220, you may just have to change the plug.

IF IT SAYS 110 VOLTS then you need to do more.


Not sure this helped at all. But keep us informed of how it goes.

You have some nice equipment.


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 Post subject: Re: Mini home-lab
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:08 am 
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Hi wilson,

Yes the bulb is set up for 220v, it's the microscope's bulb who is in 220v too, i found the Meiji MA326 bulb for the microscope, may be there's a better option?

I talked to change the current voltage of the polariscope, the old GIA who is in 110v, i guess it's not really difficult, but i will also need to change the bulb.

Do you know where i can find bulbs in 220v, and which bulbs do i choose ?


For the place where i live, it's French Polynesia, in Tahiti but next month i will move with my little family to Moorea the nearest island from Tahiti, 45min by boat.


Just for colors, some keshi... (notice those who are round on the bottom right, quite rare to find)

Image


Thanks for your help


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 Post subject: Re: Mini home-lab
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:53 pm 
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http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=sr_nr_p_n ... =250326031

Most of the lamps on the above page will work in the polariscope.


http://www.unitedhalogenbulb.com/jdmini ... bulbs.aspx

http://www.unitedhalogenbulb.com/35watt ... 0volt.aspx

Lamps like this are good for the Meiji. They ARE available or at least used to be in 220volt. In the UK


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 Post subject: Re: Mini home-lab
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:48 pm 
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Location: Wylie Texas but in Alaska for a while
I could do Tahiti. =D>

Yesterday it was 97 (F) (36 c) here in Dallas..... I could do with an ocean a little closer.


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 Post subject: Re: Mini home-lab
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:26 am 
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G4Lab wrote:

Most of the lamps on the above page will work in the polariscope.

Lamps like this are good for the Meiji. They ARE available or at least used to be in 220volt. In the UK



Thanks G4LaB, when i searched for 220v's bulbs i found more E14 available than E12, won't it be preferable to switch the base from E12 to E14 for the microscope?

I just found this topic in my bookmarks where the 220V problem is well discussed : http://gemologyonline.com/Forum/phpBB2/ ... =11&t=7712

By choosing led's technology, is it able to decrease slightly the heat or not, and is it appropriate for microscope's viewing? I have led's desk lamps (waldmann) on my bench and love them.


@wilson, it's a little colder here we enter in winter season, 30°c with 98% of humidity, even in summer the temperatures never exceed 34°c, but it rains a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: Mini home-lab
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:13 am 
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Hi, it looks like you are acquiring a nice setup, the Zeiss spectroscope I would keep a grip on. There is none better. A stand would be convenient, easy enough to make a neat adjustable one. Specific gravity is straightforward, get a sensitive electronic scale, 1 milligram readout, 20 or 30 gram capacity, make a bridge to hold a small beaker of water, make a gallows to stand on the scale and support two little baskets made of fine wire, one beneath the other connected by the finest wire you can get. Then, place the bridge over the scale, it should clear the weighing platform and the base of the gallows, place the baskets on the upper arm of the gallows, fill the beaker with water to cover the bottom basket and you are ready to go. Press the tare button, this zeros the reading, place the specimen in the upper basket, this gives the weight in air (W1), place the specimen in the lower basket, dislodge any bubbles with a fine brush, and weigh again (W2). W1 - W2 gives the volume (V) and W1/V gives the specific gravity. This is giving water a density of 1, which is only accurate at a temperature of 4 degrees C, but is close enough, if a very accurate reading is needed, do a determination on a known stone and work backwards to get the density of water at the temperature you are working at.
Books - try "Gem Testing" by Anderson and "The Spectroscope and Gemmology" by Anderson & Payne (both cheap enough on Amazon). The OPL book is also good as it gives spectra in colour. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Mini home-lab
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:56 pm 
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Before you start switching sockets, try the bulb. Chances are the Meiji bulb is an E14 anyway. There are candelabra bulbs and mini candelabra
and here in the US they are E12 ie. 12mm but in Europe they are 14mm. There is also an E11. Measure the diameter of your dead bulb.
The lamp used in the polariscope is probably better to stay below 15 watts and also use a frosted glass bulb. Don't use a quartz halogen for that because the heat will cook your polarizer.

On the scope one of the small tubular qh lamps is better. One with a long linear filament rather than a V or a crosswise one.

It is not difficult though to switch sockets on any of these.


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 Post subject: Re: Mini home-lab
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:49 pm 
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Hi, some points I missed on my last post - zoom head probably not needed it just adds complexity into the optical train which increases cost or decreases resolution. Euromex - decent enough microscopes, Chinese made but with good European quality control, so excellent value for money.
U.V. chamber, easy enough to make yourself. We have a supplier "Maplin" in the U.K. who will sell you both long and short wave U.V. LEDs fairly cheap. Their paper catalogue even has the formula for calculating the resistance needed to run them from a given voltage, very useful, so you can, with a little effort (and less cost) make a U.V. chamber that you can switch from long wave U.V. to short wave U.V. at the flick of a switch. 220 volt bulbs, any European supplier will have these.
Treat yourself to the OPI book "Spectroscopy for Students". The author gives an excellent explanation as to why incandescent bulbs are better than LEDs for spectroscopy.
Quartz Halogen? O.K. with instruments, but ensure you have good ventilation. Again, Maplin, and I dare say many other suppliers have tiny, low voltage fans that are ideal.
I accept that much of this advice will involve you in making your own instruments, but that way you learn a lot more than by just buying them and you will have a much greater feeling of achievement.
P.S really nice Tahitian Black Pearls, my wife's favourite.


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