My Microscopes: Watson Bactil, 1954

Watson Bactil in Binocular Configuration Complete with Box

Although of 1950s vintage,this is a very useful instrument and capable of producing excellent images. It is a rock-solid stand and can be used for photomicrography in the monocular configuration.

Unfortunately Watson never produced a trinocular head.



Microscope Configuration



Bactil in simple monocular configuration with straight draw-tube

Note that the stand can be inclined.



Monocular configuration with inclined monocular head


Monocular configuration with inclined head and stand inclined horizontally

This is the configuration I use for movies. A trough slide is shown in situ allowing correct orientation for free-swimming organisms. This microscope is the only one I possess that can be set up with this type of horizontal configuration. With the camera mounted it needs support to prevent tipping, hence the bench vice (plastic jaws protect the microscope being damaged by the vice).



Binocular configuration




Substage Condensers

Watson Substage Condensers

Top row L - R: Universal Condenser, NA 1.0; Aplanatic Condenser, NA1.40

Bottom row, L - R: Zonal DG Condenser (with spot lens); Macro Illuminator; Abbe Condenser


Watson Lamp Modifications for LED Lighting


Watson Stand Lamp

Watson Microscope Lamp

This looks like a standard Watson microscope lamp, but I have modified it for LED illumination. I was keen to preserve the external appearance of the lamp and power supply. The modifications are easily reversible, should I wish to revert to the original lamp.


Power supply modifications

The original rheostat has been removed and the output from the transformer rectified and smoothed to run a power puck LED controller.

Replacement lamp

The 6v filament lamp has been replaced with a Luxeon K2 LED mounted on an aluminium heat-sink.



Watson Microscope Foot Lamp Modifications for LED Lighting

(Uses same type of power supply with modifications as the stand lamp)


Lamp housing to fit in place of the microscope mirror

Again I have been careful to ensure the appearance is unaltered after installing LED illumination.


Luxeon LED mounted on aluminium heat sink

In this case the modification is permanent, as it was necessary to fix the heat sink in the lamp enclosure using epoxy resin. The green wire is an earth wire that is clamped against the housing when the top of the housing is screwed down.



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