Olympus OM system close-up and macro equipment

Transformers

The Epi-Illuminator and the Trans-Illuminator use a high-intensity, low-voltage tungsten bulb, which is powered from a transformer. The transformer has a voltage control knob and a power indicator light on the top surface, and an earth socket and a pair of 4mm sockets for the 2 “banana” plugs from the Illuminator at the rear.

The bulbs in the Illuminators burn out quickly at maximum voltage, and the filament is quite fragile. To get maximum life from the bulbs, do not run them at more than 6 volts. Before switching on the transformer, make sure that the voltage is at minimum, and increase it slowly after switching on. Before switching off, turn the voltage slowly to minimum.

The maximum setting of the voltage control knob can be adjusted, to help prevent burning out the bulb.

  1. Adjust the brightness to your preferred maximum, either visually or by using the voltage scale.
  2. Press and hold down the flat collar surrounding the base of the knob.
  3. Turn the collar anti-clockwise as far as it will go.
  4. Release the collar.

If you cannot turn up the brightness as far as you want, then its maximum has probably been set as above. Press down the flat collar and turn it clockwise to allow the brightness to be increased

There were 3 models of transformer supplied with the Epi-Illuminator and the Trans-Illuminator, and each model was available in versions for different mains voltages.

TE-II Transformer

The oldest of the 3 models, introduced to the OM system in 1972 although it was available as a microscope accessory before then. The metallic body parts are finished in a “hammered” medium grey, similar to the grey parts of the Auto Bellows. On the top surface, there is a control knob and a circular, analogue meter reading from 0–12 volts (0–6 marked black, 6–12 marked in red). The markings on the scale around the control knob are all black, with no numbers. The top surface also carries an on-off switch and a red power indicator light. There are separate versions for 110 volts and for 220 volts.

TE-II Transformer Rear of TE-II Transformer
Olympus OM TE-II Transformer Rear of Olympus OM TE-II Transformer

Input 110 V 50–60 Hz 220 V 50–60 Hz
Output 6 V 5 A 6 V 5 A
Mains lead 1600 mm 1600 mm
Microscope ref. TE-2 TE-2
US catalog no.   n/a
Introduced 1972 1972
Discontinued    

Versions

An older version, pre-dating the OM system, is finished in a smooth pale grey.

TF Transformer

The second model also has its metallic body parts finished in a “hammered” medium grey, similar to the grey parts of the Auto Bellows. This model does not have a volt meter. The scale around the control knob is part black (0–6 volts) and part red (above 6 volts). There are separate versions for 110, 120 and 220 volts.

Input 110 V 50–60 Hz 120 V 50–60 Hz 220 V 50–60 Hz
Output 6 V 5 A 6 V 5 A 6 V 5 A
Mains lead 1600 mm 1600 mm 1600 mm
Microscope ref. TF TF TF
US catalog no.     n/a
Introduced      
Discontinued      

Versions

There is another version of the TF transformer, with a rectangular 2-pin socket for use with the coaxial incident light fitting of an Olympus metallurgical microscope.

TGHM Transformer

The most recent model has its metallic body parts finished in a smooth pale cream. On the top surface there is an LED voltage readout. There are separate versions for 110/115 and 220/240 volts.

Input voltage 110/115 V, 50–60 Hz 220/240 V, 50–60 Hz
Input current 0.7/0.6 A 0.35/0.30 A
Output 6 V 30 W 6 V 30 W
Fuse 7 A Fast 7 A Fast
Microscope ref. TGHM TGHM
US catalog no. 104-139 n/a
Introduced    
Discontinued 2003* 2003*

* Still available for stereo microscopes

Versions

There is also a TGH transformer, but this provides a 12 V 50 W output for the lamps in some Olympus microscopes.

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Created 18th May 2001   —   Updated 21st December 2007
Copyright © 2001–2007 Alan Wood

Olympus OM system close-up and macro equipment