The Nm1 is a truly high quality, unique, compact, go anywhere, use anywhere, research grade, portable field microscope, offering a wide magnification range from 100x to 1600x with comparable performance and resolution to mid-priced bench compound microscopes but within the smallest product size possible and minimal compromise on usability.
The Nm1 is quick and simple in operation and a bright, sharp image can be viewed or photographed within seconds. To extend the range and usefulness of what is essentially a hand portable instrument attachment methods have been created to allow tripod and/or digital camera mounting, and the attachment of a XY micrometer slide indexer/stage.
The Nm1 can simultaneously carry up to 3 objective lenses. The factory fitment is 1 x10, 1 x40, and 1 x blanking plug. The blanked third position is a user option to allow higher magnifications to be installed, including x60, or x100 oil. Each objective position is numbered 1 to 3, with No1 as x10, No2 as x40, and No3 as the expansion option. The actual power of individual objectives are marked on their top surfaces with the x magnification value and the standard RMS colour coding. Objectives are selected by rotating the magnification knob located in the centre underneath the main body. This can be rotated in either direction but a clockwise turn starting from x10 indexes the objective to the next power up. The selected power should lightly click into position when correctly aligned, with a isible alignment check indicator on the top surface using two red dots and a corresponding number for each objective location.
The viewing brightness can be increased or decreased by rotating the thumb wheel underneath in the direction indicated by the graphic. Higher magnifications require higher lighting levels. To avoid potential over-brightness at x10 pre-set the illumination to the lowest level before viewing. Further reduction in brightness can be achieved by lifting the lighting arm slightly. At x1000 magnification the internal 3 x AAA primary cells offer approximately 300 hours of continuous operation and at x100 and x400 magnifications approximately 1000 hours.
The Nm1 has a circuit designed to allow external power sources to drive the lighting system instead of relying on the internal battery pack. When using external power sources the automatic cut out is overridden. External power sources can also deliver a slightly brighter light if required. The supplied USB cable connects into the socket in the side, and can be driven from a PC/Lap top or a USB mains plug adaptor (often found with smart phones)
As this is primarily a hand held instrument tripod mounting frees up the operators hands allowing faster and more convenient access to various controls simultaneously. This is particularly useful for longer periods of investigation and reduces fatigue. There are two standard tripod mounting points underneath and the mount nearest the brightness control tends to give clearer access to the magnification changer when mounted. Cambridge Optronics recommend a specific tripod combining smallness of size and weight but with sufficient stability and reliable positioning lock.