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Are microscopes for children complete rubbish, or can we just not figure out how to use this thing?
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BlauerEngel · 10/05/2010 16:43

DD2 wants to be a 'scientist', so my DM bought her a child's microscope for her 8th birthday. It's the ELD 900x Microscope 62 piece set. At 25 quid it's hardly serious science, but I would expect it to actually work on a basic level, ie if you put a bit of leaf underneath you can see the veins at the right magnification. DD1 had a child's microscope (different brand) at the same age where you could actually see magnified stuff, but it broke very quickly.

Does anyone else have this model, and is there something we're doing wrong? We're fiddling with the up and down thing and the different magnifications, but can't see a clear picture of anything. And what are my rights (or more specifically, my mum's) here? Can I complain to ELD and just say their 25 quid product is shite because it doesn't do what it claims?

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catinthehat2 · 10/05/2010 16:47

Is there a twiddly bit at the eyepiece level? Might not be obvious, but could involve turning the top of the microoscope tube containing the eyepiece glass

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scurryfunge · 10/05/2010 16:50

I seem to remember buying a very cheap similar microscope a few years ago that didn't seem to work very well....it was very disappointing...I think it probably is a case of you get what you pay for unfortunately. If it came with slides and projects, she could still use them with a large magnifying glass instead

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BlauerEngel · 10/05/2010 16:56

catin thehat - there's a twiddly thing that controls the height of the lens, but it doesn't seem to be helping get the leaf etc in focus.

scurry - so how much do you think you'd have to pay to get a model that actually works?

It did come with slides and a pipette etc, so she's been amusing herself by preparing slides and mixing liquids, but of course she's disappointed and my mum will be gutted that her pressie is not so good.

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scurryfunge · 10/05/2010 17:00

I have no idea to be honest...is there a Which? microscope magazine? I'd take it back if it's not doing what it says on the box. Have had a quick Google, try looking for a used school microscope maybe

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PrettyCandles · 10/05/2010 17:03

Ds has been given kid's microscopes and they have been uniformly useless. Yet I had one as a child and it worked pefectly well. I don't think £25 is cheap for a product aimed at children. I think you ought to go back to shop and complain. At that price it ought to work! BTW don't buy a Nayional Geographic one instead. Despite the brand name, every single science toy we've had from them has been, like ds's microscopes, uniformly useless.

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belledechocolatefluffybunny · 10/05/2010 17:05

Start off using the eye piece at the lowest point but make sure there's enough space for the slide, then slowly raise it. You have to make sure that the mirror underneith points at a light source in order to get a almost decent picture so try moving it about a bit. If the 'picture' is fuzzy try using a different lense (if there's some in the case).

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BlauerEngel · 10/05/2010 17:25

Thanks for the tip, Belle, we'll try that.

Taking it back to the shop is going to be a bit of an effort, as my mum bought it in the UK and then posted it to us in Germany. No way am I posting it back to her to take back to the shop, just so she then has to post it back again when they claim there's no problem etc.

I've just tried looking up the manufacturer on the Net, but the details are very vague - no address or contact given on the box. Bah humbug. What a rip-off.

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BlauerEngel · 10/05/2010 17:28

ooh, no more bah humbug. I've just followed Belle's advice and the pre-prepared tree bark slide has shown up in fairly sharp focus. Not as good as the ones we had at school, obviously, but I wasn't expecting that anyway. Thanks so much from the budding scientist (DD) and the technical ignoramus (me)!

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belledechocolatefluffybunny · 10/05/2010 17:34

You are better off looking at things that are really thin as the light travels through them better, hair is a good one, so is the edge of a ripped piece of paper.

I'm pleased it's working

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mamakoukla · 10/05/2010 17:45

pollen could be another try. What is the magnification on the lenses and eyepiece?

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