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Scope To Explore
With a world of gadgets, gizmos and general geekiness to go at you may be wondering what possible reason we could have to be reviewing a handheld microscope. Well it's a fair question and it deserves a fair answer.

The Trekker 35 is no ordinary microscope, it's a very robust portable magnifier that combines very good quality optics with idiot-proof ease of use and a low-ish magnification that make it ideal for a huge variety of applications, either tech-related, educational or just plain fun.

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The Trekker was designed by Rick Dickinson, former design chief for Sir Clive Sinclair and now the owner of Cambridge based design house Dickinson Associates. It uses a folded optics system of precision mirrors to cram the normal 150mm light path into such a compact design. In total there are three front-silvered mirrors, a two-element objective and a three-element eyepiece and the eyepiece can be removed for cleaning or for use as a hardly 10x handheld magnifier (loupe).

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The x35 magnification may seem a little tame but it was chosen after consultation with teachers and professional field workers who wanted a workable magnification that gave enough detail to be worthwhile without the need for large, clumsy lighting requirements. As a result the Trekker works with available light, natural or room, for the majority of transparent or semi-transparent objects, and for the solid objects there's an integrated daylight-corrected white LED to illuminate the subject. A 9V PP3 battery is good for over a 100 hours of illumination.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge



Although robust enough to survive a one metre drop according to the manufacturer, something best not verified if you can help it, the Trekker comes with a soft carrying pouch to keep out the dust and stop it getting too battered about.

Although the main body of the Trekker is primarily plastic, the oval specimen stage, which is on the upper face of the Trekker, is made from steel. This allows the innovative use of a circular magnet which sandwiches the slide and makes it easy to position and move around.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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