Category Archives: Swap Program

Update on the better scopes

final enhanced scope, photo from factory

STILL no good word on the new enhanced scopes: my sourcing co. guy is IN China (again)…

(All the way back in MAY {wince}…) The factory reported that they had ‘gotten the scopes all done and were sending examples for final approval before shipping and here were photos of them.’

I completely freaked out, because what they had built was missing the last step (which we had ‘fixed’ back in, like, October?). Thankfully, that fix is (apparently?) an easy one; they left off the metal cap on the bottom of the scopes. (The prototype without the ‘cap’ hangs up on the focusing screw – totally not acceptable!)

final incomplete enhanced scope

Accepted prototype
final incomplete enhanced scope

So, we’re trying to get the English scopes (re-)done and shipped; that will make customers who use English units very happy. (And me, well-nigh delirious!)

The enhanced metric scopes, when the examples arrived at the sourcing co., seem to have something fundamentally wrong (with the reticle? with the focal length? TBD): they’re not measuring correctly. This will further dismay customers who use metric units, as we still have to figure out WHY the metric reticle is not reading correctly, and then fix that problem!

Still, the minute I get the English scopes in my hands, I will make them available in new gauges, and begin the ‘swap program’ for folks who hate the current universal scopes (which are both metric units AND less-fine-measuring: 50 microns per hashmark; the enhanced ones will be 20 microns). ( Have I mentioned the I hate the universal ones?)

Some detail to whet appetites?

Since I am still awaiting word on the actual delivery date for the new scopes, I thought I’d post some info about the various types of reticles that are, and will be, “out there.”

The current universal scope
0.05mm per hashmark:
0.05mm = 50 microns = 0.00197″

the current universal reticle

The old-style English scope
0.001″ per hashmark:
0.001″ = 0.0254mm = 25.4 microns

the old-style English reticle

The old-style metric scope
0.005″ per hashmark:
0.005″ = 0.127 mm = 127 microns

the old-style metric reticle

The enhanced English scope
0.001″ per hashmark:
0.001″ = 0.0254mm = 25.4 microns

new enhanced English reticle

the English reticle drawing

The enhanced metric scope
No photo yet, because I have not gotten a prototype, but it should be pretty similar to the English photo above, since it’s made by the same company.
0.02mm per hashmark:
0.02mm = 20 microns = 0.000787″

new enhanced metric reticle

Glimpse of hope on the enhanced scopes?

24 May, i.e., Sunday of the alleged three-day weekend: remember when we were kids and got three-day weekends off and summers off too?

“The lenses are supposed to arrive next week.”

The sourcing company guy finally got an answer from China. How sound it is? I don’t know — back in mid-December, they said “mid-March” as if they meant it. End of March, they said, “shipping date is 27 April” as if they meant it. Now, nearly the end of May…

And, of course, this news is only the lens kits arriving AT the factory. However, the manufacturing itself shouldn’t take that long.

But the sourcing company guy (who has been working on this harder than it may seem!) is staying on it, and so am I.

Latest news on enhanced scopes

me, behind closed doors!

I am SO sorry to all-y’all waitin’ on the new scopes! I am also very frustrated, of course.

The “new” ship date of 27 April, of course, didn’t occur. My sourcing company guy was IN China then, and worked to chase down what the delay was. The company that makes the lens kits got a huge order, and so (understandably, if infuriatingly) pushed my little order (among a bunch of little orders) back, they said, by “18 days” but I have not been able to find out 18 days from when. The sourcing co. guy is trying to negotiate a ‘expedite fee,’ which he and I hope will succeed (without being too horrific).

He says he should know sometime (maybe? I hope?) in about 10 days (that was from the 11th). I am making sure everything I need is ready to go, the instant I get the new scopes… We have all been waiting (and waiting and waiting) for them: I WISH I could provide any sort of actual news … but this is all I have.

Many a slip twixt… well, it’s a delay anyway

Despite assurances that the new enhanced scopes would take “only” 60 to 90 days for manufacture and shipping, there has been a delay in getting the metric reticles. The new ship date has now been promised as 27 April. I’ve asked that the English-reticle scopes be shipped as soon as they are done, because at least those I could begin offering. No response to that request yet.

OG202 with enhanced scope

OG204 with enhanced scope

I am very sorry because I know how many folks are waiting for the new scopes (not the least of us: ME!). So far, it has been three years and one month since I began the process of getting new scopes designed and manufactured.

Some enhanced scope details

Still waiting for the delivery of the new enhanced microscopes. I thought folks might like to see the scale of the new reticles. (The new reticles are the main reason for the new scopes!)

As mentioned in my last entry: there will be two kinds of enhanced scope: a metric version and an English version. (The difference in size of the pix below comes from my less-than-stellar graphics skills. The two scopes are identical except for the reticle scale.).

The English-unit reticle

English-unit scale for enhanced scope

The metric-unit reticle

metric-unit scale for enhanced scope

Scope Swap Program info

Still finalizing the details for the swap program. I will be trying to contact everyone everywhere who has the universal scope in their gauge(s) to make sure they know about the enhanced scope offer; but please feel free to email me and make sure I reach you!

Special email address for the swap program:

Happy New Year, and great news!

I’ve finally placed the order for the new enhanced, custom-designed, custom-made microscopes for Tooke Gages! (These pictures show the final prototype.)
OG202 with enhanced scope
It’s been a long, long time since I began the process (back in April 2012!). However, the custom scopes had to be both perfect and affordable!

OG204 with enhanced scope

It’s going to be another 60-90 days or so before the scopes are actually manufactured, shipped, and in my hands, but from that point, there will be two types of scope (as there once were): scopes with a reticle marked in English units (with 1/10th-mil between hashmarks) and scopes with a reticle marked in metric units (0.02mm/20 µm per hashmark). (This compares to the 0.2-mils/50 microns between hashmarks in the Universal scope.)

To allow easier ordering, I will be using the following ‘part numbers’ to differentiate the type of gauge being ordered.

  • OG202 (Aluminum-bodied gauge with English reticle)
  • OG202M (Aluminum-bodied gauge with metric reticle)
  • OG204 (Plastic-bodied gauge with English reticle)
  • OG204M (Plastic-bodied gauge with metric reticle

enhanced scope

I am also “designing” a swap program, so those of you with the current Universal scope (marked in mm) can swap-out the Universal scope for one marked in English units, if you wish. Also, the enhanced metric scope has a finer reticle than the Universal scope, and that may be a consideration for folks using the Universal scope in its “native” (metric) units.
The three types of scope

If you have a very-old-style Tooke Gage, I also offer a rehab/upgrade program. I have done this for some owners of old Tooke Gages, replacing and upgrading various parts, and even the whole body, to create a ‘new’ Tooke Gage by re-using their original scope.

very old-style OG202

Coming soon: enhanced/upgraded microscopes!

It’s been a long difficult slog, but it looks as if Micro-Metrics will finally have the new enhanced microscopes for the Tooke Gages in the next several months! (I started locating scope designers and possible production facilities back in April 2012!) I was able to test the penultimate version a few months ago, but there was one (what I hope was the) final problem with the design:

My sourcing company and the factory say this can be easily remedied. I won’t approve production, however, until I have received and tested the actual, final, perfect prototype — these new scopes have to be beyond excellent! One of my Micro-Metrics customers has been trying out the prototype for the past few months (it works, it just hangs up on the focusing screw) and he says his guys are very happy with it because it’s clear and easy to read.

I am also having designed an enhanced version of the metric scope; rather than continuing the universal reticle (which has approximately 2mils between hashmarks), I working for a “finer” reticle, with at least a fineness equivalent to the new English scopes. I don’t have the final specs on the metric reticle yet, but I’m hoping it will be at least as fine (in microns) as the new English reticle is (in mils).

For those of you with the current universal scope in your gages, I will be offering a swap program if you wish to upgrade your scope to the new enhanced version. Details to come.

(And yes, the next upgrade I will be working towards after the new scopes is a camera adapter for the Tooke Gage!)

More on the microscope problem

I’ve been trying (since shortly after Michael’s death) to get my supplier to provide a good photo (or ANY photo!) through the new scope — unsuccessfully. I have managed to take a ‘decent-enough’ photo through the reticle. If you’d like a higher-resolution version of this photo, please let me know.

Through the universal scope

A week or so ago, I met for a couple of hours with a microscopy expert and he is helping me find a company that will manufacture microscopes to my specifications. I’m hoping to go back to a scope as close as possible to the ones we used a few years ago, which were of higher quality and had finer/better reticles. (Remember these?)

Old-style scope

That means (if I can find a good-and-affordable mfg, which this expert thinks I can) that Micro-Metrics will be going back to using the metric-only-marked reticles (i.e., 20-microns between hashmarks) for customers who want them and English-marked reticles (at 0.1-mil per hashmark) for the others. It is my plan, depending on how much the new scopes turn out to cost, to offer a reduced price to the folks who’ve bought the current “universal” scopes, for them to send their gauges in and have the universal scopes swapped out for the new scopes. (And yes, that’s a staggeringly huge job (which I will have to schedule so as not to be swamped by several hundred gauges at once!) — but I very much want to get the so-called “50-micron / universal” scopes out of circulation!)

The old-style scope in an OG202

I am also hoping to be able to have made scopes with a 75X magnification and hashmarks at 0.0005″ (for customers who may desire that fineness) — however I will not be able, at this point, to consider making those scopes in a metric version. (Design and set-up charges, ordering quantities, and pricing, you know?) I do not know if the finer-measuring English version would be desired in Europe (and other metric locales), but an English-version at this level is a possible next step after (or perhaps while) replacing the “universal” scopes.)

I welcome comments and suggestions and information about your microscope needs. I know getting to the ‘old-scope versions’ back in place will go a pretty good way to making Tooke Gauges more useful. But I want to make Micro-Metrics responsive to customer needs.

The Microscope Problem

When the original source for the long-time scopes (Edmunds Scientific) stopped making them (completely), Michael had to find a substitute, which he did, with the current “universal” scope. As I’m sure many have noticed, this scope is just not sufficient for many of our customers’ needs.

I’ve been researching and looking and contacting folks trying to find a scope with a better, finer reticle. The old scope:
old scope
was divided so the smallest hashmark equaled 0.1 mil.

The new “universal” scope:
new scope
is divided so the smallest hashmark equals 0.2 mil.

I have not found a source for a better scope, so I am looking into having them made specially for Micro-Metrics. If I can manage to get a factory to ‘build’ me scopes with 1 division (hashmark) equaling 0.1 mil (or better? Would that suit? Please leave me a comment!), at a price that won’t make the gauges astronomically expensive, I will do that.