Nikon Fluophot Microscope - Open The FE Arm - 8
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March 11, 2011.

Disassemble The Nikon Fluophot FE Arm For Cleaning:

There is very little information around concerning the Nikon Fluophot scope. Nikon will send you an owners manual if you sign up and ask them for one, but there are no shop manuals around, and after contacting the Nikon repair center in the US, I was told there was no one there old enough to have ever worked on a Fluophot and no one working there that remembers seeing on. This means, Fluophot owners are on their own.

Mine is about 25 years old now, and the lenses in the end of the arm, between the upper trinocular head and the lower nose turret, are dirty and fogged, and there are flecks of dust inside that are not reachable. While the Fluophot is a marvel of engineering, and comes apart in a matter of seconds, cracking that FE Arm to clean the insides has eluded me. Likewise taking off the nose turret. I can tell you now, the nose turret, as a unit, does not come off. Quit trying. It is a cast part of the lower shell of the FE Arm. The part of the nose turret with the six threaded holes for the lenses, does come off, but it's not something you want to do lightly, as there are a large number of very small ball bearings inside around the shaft. Unless you want to replace that part of the turret, there is no reason to take it off.

Following, is a number of images of the Fluophot FE Arm and it's internals. I will include a description of how to open it where needed.

1. This is the hole for mounting the trinocular head, The glass down in the center there, is what we are after. The inside of that glass.

2. The top of the FE Arm, laying on it's side. You can see the thin metal cover, already removed, but in the position where it was glued into place.

3. The underside of the cover plate. To remove it, have a very thin, flat bladed screwdriver ready, then use a heat gun or hair dryer, to warm up the cover. Be careful, no need to hurry, and don't scorch the paint. Gently pry up the end of the cover closest to the trinocular mount. Take your time and do not bend it. Do a little at a time and you will feel the glue start to let go. It will come off, it's just glued on there.

4. This is what it looks like after it comes off.

5. There are four Phillips Head screws, 3 shown here.. Use a PH2 Phillips head screwdriver. Do not let the screw driver slip and smear the cross head. The size is right for a #2 PH tip, so go get one, or you risk ruining the head and might never get it out.

6. This is the top half of the FE Arm shell after splitting the bottom half away, [it's upside down here]. Remove all four Phillips head screws on the top side, and one single Phillips head screw on the bottom side near the center. You must also remove the filter holder to split the two shells, and once that is out, it comes apart easily, Be careful not to drop it.

7. Another view. there is a lens in that hole to the left, which needs to be cleaned.

8. This is a view of the bottom half, removed. See the center hole where one Phillips head screw was removed. Don't mess with anything else, it's not necessary.

9. A view of the guts on the bottom shell of the FE Arm, including the wavelength filters. I have not been able to get this wheel off it's column, but you can see how it's put on. I do not have the tool needed to remove it.

10. Another view. The hole on the left is the clear lens in the light path. This needs to be cleaned. I just used a Pec-Pad wrapped on my finger to reach down there and clean it.

11. A better view. Yes, there is a lens in there.

12. A view from the front. Here you can see a ring at the center of the wheel. That is the part that needs to come off to lift the wheel out. See the two slots. You need a wrench to fit those.


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