Do you have any safety advice about travelling with an OFM ?
Asked to @r.w.bowman and here his answer:
Usually I put it in a cardboard box that’s about 15x15x25cm, and pack it with a bit of brown paper. If you need to put it in hold luggage, it’s best to remove the objective – usually, it’s the objective that causes problems (because if it gets dropped, the objective has enough momentum to cause damage to the flexures that are holding it).
maybe you can share some other tips or experiences ?
It seems that no one has anything to add, even though the OFM is very portable. I have never taken mine far.
The delta stage seams much more stable. Mainly due to avoiding the already mentioned weakpoint of the heavy objective mounted on a flexure mechamism. But also the actual stage itself seems to be more robust compared to the stock microscope version.
I traveled with the OFM recently quite a bit. The first time I wrapped the 3 microscopes in bubble wrap and put them in my carry on luggage. TSA made me unwrap all of them because the scanner tagged it as a potential bomb! I am using the simple controller board with the arduino and the 3 stepper motor drivers. A plastic thing with lots poorly arranged wires and a microcontroller could look like that.
The second time I learned my lesson. I decided to take them apart. I packed the plastic parts with me and checked in the electronics. It passed the TSA test. However, 2 of the 3 scopes did not work when I assembled them.
The 3rd time I modified the electronics. I replaced the simple controller board for an arduino motor shield and got rid at all the cables. I made cardboard boxes to size and stuffed it in my carry on. This time it passed the TSA test and made it fine to my destination.
I plan to use this same last approach to travel for the OpenFlexureCon 2022.
Hope this helps and looking forward to see you all shortly at OpenFlexureCon 2022.
My OFM has a very long trip ahead so this is useful info. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Looking forward to meet you all at OpenFlexureCon
I forgot to add that I put them in a hard shell suitcase.
Safe travels and see you soon!