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Warning About Buying Motorized Microscopes
(Applicable to both inverted and upright frames)

We have another article about the benefits of motorized compared to manual frames. However, there are also negatives. When we provide a motorized frame to a customer, we ensure all is working and in good order. We also verify that the internal programming is not messed up.

If you buy a motorized frame, as-is, from an auction site, it’s almost certain that the seller has no idea about the functionality of the microscope or how to test and reprogram it.
The seller may have turned it on, hit a few buttons, and possibly got image (rarely).
Most sellers are just trying to flip an item that they got and make a fast profit.
For motorized and programmable microscopes, it’s important to buy from someone who knows what they are doing. Doing otherwise probably will lead to you being the one dumping it on an auction site, and getting a lot less than you paid, plus paying the auction fees.

These frames have to be connected to a computer and fully tested. The computer can run a test on all the microscope functions. Often times, the computer port (RS232 port) on the microscope is damaged and can’t communicate with the computer. This will leave you helpless in trying to fix many issues such as pre-programmed settings that are not matching your current configuration. Many times, servo motors are bad, or the grease has become hardened to the point the motors can’t turn the gears. Often, the z-direction stage movement doesn’t work right, or not at all. Ports for the condenser and computer can be damaged from static electricity and not function properly. Any of those buttons on the frame may not work right or not perform the intended function when they are pressed.

There are a lot of problems that you can encounter with these motorized frames that won’t be an issue with a manual version. Buying one as-is, is a real risk. Plus, even if all is functional, keep in mind that the frame was originally programmed for a specific application by a Zeiss technician. The frame must be reprogrammed to meet your needs and specific configuration. You won’t be able to properly operate it if that is not done.