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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2009
Well I was hoping the review about Fire Hazard was wrong when I ordered this as I read all the reviews that were on at that time. However my experience was that the slides arrived damaged and the electric illuminator had the burning smell and was defintely overheating. This is the only item that I've ever actually returned to Amazon in the history of all items I've ever ordered from Amazon. Without the damaged slides and the overheating problem I think it would be a wonderful item however. Damaged Slides are easy to replace however the overheating issue is a very serious issue as it could catch on fire and cause your house to burn down or wherever you are using it. I hope to one day be able to afford one of the $500 - or above Microscopes as I'm still very interested in a microscope. But in the meantime I will choose to live without as this microscopes overheating problem is too dangerous.
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2011
This Model was illuminated with a Tungstun Bulb prior to 2009 - it gets HOT! It is DANGEROUS! Celestron replaced that with a cooler LED illuminator (way to go!) HOWEVER.... AMAZON IS SELLING THE OLD DANGEROUS MODEL! That's why the price is low. I called them and was told they could NOT guarantee the LED Model was what they had in the warehouse. For this item, shop elsewhere!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2010
I bought this microscope after reading all the reviews, paying special attention to the fire hazard ones. They indeed have switched the light source over to LED technology and it runs extremely cool at all times so don't let the past 'fire hazard' reviews discourage you.

The price is right and the images are of good quality. It is as good as anything I used in college biology. I plan on buying their $40-50 digital imager for it now as my middle aged eyes are tired of squinting through the lens. (smile) I use this for doing fecal smears for my flock of birds and would be excellent for homeschoolers, which we also may be doing in the future.
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45 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2008
I was so excited about this microscope. I read the entire manual and set the microscope up... and it almost caught my house on fire (luckily however, I could smell something burning and quickly shut it off and removed it from where i was working)... I used the electric illuminator provided with it... it gets so hot it poses a fire hazard! there are no warnings regarding this on the product or in the instruction manual... so beware of what you have the light source near or touching.

other than the fire hazard light source... it seems to be a great microscope...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2009
I was skeptical about a instrument being so inexpensive (it was reduced somewhat from the current price ao 26 Dec 09) but took the risk. This is better than anything I ever used in high school biology or in college labs (that was over thirty years ago...) primarily for the way the instrument is set up and delivers capability. The optics are good quality, which is what we hope for when looking at the cell level, but the precision of movement between the different objectives is what makes it a fun tool to use.
The base is sturdy with rubber feet that plant it on a smooth surface. The light sources are excellent between the led projector and mirror. Easy to switch between the two in case you want to go portable. The table is where all the cool tricks lie. There is an adjustable aperture for the light source and though it is a simple mod, it is a key item if you use a camera and the image washes out from too much light. The clamp and double axis rule allow you to move the object under inspection with ease. Once you have your subject under focus, switching between objectives is easy and the subject remains in focus. Depth of view is good and the precision adjustment or fine tuning is very smooth and accurate. Overall, this tool is solidly made and delivers very good images.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2010
Was easy to set up and produced clear images. The adjustment controls felt very solid and worked reliably. The one we got must have used the LED light because my wife left it on for a few hours and it didn't get very hot.

The scope met its description and works as expected. I'll probably be looking for another eyepiece to increase maximum magnification, but the unit as sold provides a good range of viewing.

Make sure you buy some slides and covers as well; the unit comes with a couple of prepared slides, but nothing to allow you to make your own.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2008
I bought this microscope to replace my old plastic one and it's awesome!! It never breaks and when you buy the 100x objective lens, it's power is 1,250x!! That is really good for viewing bacteria and really small protazoan. The illuminator is great and the movable stage is good for looking at moving things. The prepared slides are really cool and are in great quality. BUY THIS MICROSCOPE!!!!!!!!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2013
Many of these reviews are written before it was converted to an LED light source, so the issue of heat is gone.

It took me a while to find and reduce the number of flecks in the view, but overall I am very happy with this purchase (we got it in a Lightning Deal). All 5 of us are quite intrigued by what we can see and how clear it is. The optics are very good.

I would advise trying to use the mirror and not the led light until you are sure you do not want to go back... read on...

The included mirror was pre-installed and was easily removed from the microscope. Getting the LED light into the same socket was a bit of a struggle as I was afraid of breaking it and it took a good amount of force, but I did get it in there and it was working well... except that after a few uses, I decided that it was too bulky and annoying to have to plug this big power adaptor into a not-always-convenient-extension cord every time. I felt that a flashlight on a holder stand pointed at the mirror would be more portable and just as effective. However, once I got the LED light out, I found that the mirror was now loose. It works, but it falls out when you go to move the microscope. The LED mounting must be millimeters larger enough to have misshapened the mount so that the slightly smaller mirror plug is now loose.

Our 3 children are just starting elementary school and I can easily see this being used many many times over the next 14 years.

We also purchased 200 prepared slides which should keep everyone interested and peak their curiousity for years to come (AmScope 200pc Home School Student Basic Biology Science Prepared Slides Microscope Slides with Wooden Box Cases) as well as a USB camera to allow us to use a computer in the future (we have it, but have not tried it yet: Celestron Digital Microscope Imager 44421). I also have a 25x eyepiece waiting in my wish list for down the road. Which is a nice thing about this microscope. It is reasonably priced yet can be upgraded just like much more expensive microscopes.

The power cord for the LED light is a rather bulkly 12v brick-between-two-cords just like you would find on a notebook computer or a monitor (in fact, it has the exact same specifications as the power adaptor for my monitor 12v 3.3a). It uses the same plug as every other 12v item I have (external 5.25" hard drives, electric keyboard, led back-lit lcd monitors, etc).

Mechanically, all the adjustments seem top rate (move slides up/down/backwards/forward, course and fine focus knobs, move light source diffuser up/down, change aperature of the light source shutter, changing which objective lens is in use, screwing in the objective lenses, etc).

The objective lenses were very well packaged. No fear of them being damaged in transit.

The one odd thing during setup... it took quite a while for me to figure out how to adjust the screw that keeps you from moving the long 40x lens so low that you would damage/scratch the slide. I am not even sure how to describe it here, but suffice to say, if it is adjusted when you receive it so that the 40x lense is just above the surface of a sample slide and would not scratch it when moved away, just leave it alone until you are more familiar with the microscope.

The manual that came with it was for many different types of microscopes and many different languages. You only need a few pages of that entire book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2009
This is an amazing microscope for the price. I looked at other microscopes and similar ones start at $300. It is actually just like the microscopes I used in college. Great for those who want a good microscope but don't need a fancy expensive one for more serious use. Very solid and durable. Excellent buy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2009
I bought this for use with my 5-year-old, and it's a great value for the money. Fine-focus knob, vernier adjustments for the stage X/Y movements, viewing-angle adjustment, sturdy construction, samples slides, and optical quality way beyond what I expected for $130-$140 (I paid $138).

My only niggling complaints have been echoed elsewhere--AC light source is too low, so don't use it on carpet or you'll run the risk of burning something. No switch on AC light source. Safety stop is a bit difficult to release with your fingers. I suppose you could buy a 'scope with all these features for $500, but this one is $130!

If you or your kids have any interest in microscopy, you should buy this scope.
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