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  • USB microscopes

    Does anyone have a recommendation for any of the USB microscopes currently being offered on ebay etc?
    eg http://cgi.ebay.com.au/200X-USB-Digi...3A1%7C294%3A50

    I guess that being a USB device they will work on a Mac OK, its just that in the ads they mainly refer to windows and vespa.

  • #2
    Looks the same as this one at Dealextreme.com for $46.92 US.

    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.11743

    According to the user review at DX the Mac is no problem.

    Pros: - works w/o drivers- solid (manual) magnification - picture decent on native, and not that bad on interpolation- fps is solid- leds can be turned off- videos can be recorded- snapshots can be done via software- drivers are hacked from logitech - mac osx users can use dinoscope software
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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    • #3
      Mine also plugs into a telescope.
      Excuse me, I farted.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Evan
        Looks the same as this one at Dealextreme.com for $46.92 US.

        http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.11743

        According to the user review at DX the Mac is no problem.
        Check amazon for that one and a host of others there are a wider assortment of reviews most with the same complaints about moving when trying to snapshot it or adjusting the magnification.
        Glen
        Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
        I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
        All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

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        • #5
          . . . with the same complaints about moving when trying to snapshot it . . .
          I expect that is why the review I posted mentions that "snapshots can be done via software".

          A plus for it is that it adheres to the Windows Driver Model (WDM) so it can be used with many different webcam programs.
          Last edited by Evan; 05-06-2009, 01:38 PM.
          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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          • #6
            I bought a "digital blue" brand for about $100 u.s. I bought it mostly for high magnification views of tool edges but found when veiwing anything over 60 x the lenses were too poor to give you good resolution. The microscope would have worked for what I bought it for but I gave it to my nephews son and bought the web cam system that was written up in Digital Machinist magazine awhile ago. It's a cheap system but will allow you to do edge finding ect. I'm still waiting for someone with far more computer skills than me to set up a program for angles,circles, gear teeth ect. You then have a dirt cheap fairly accurate system that would be close to a Optical Comparator or at least pretty good for the home shop, It would be great to grind a tool, Put it under the camera and compare your form tool shape against a accurate outline under high magnification.

            Pete

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            • #7
              Ok, maybe you guys can help me too. I have a Bausch and Lomb StereoZoom 7 Microscope and years ago bought a usb eyepiece hoping to see something usable. The pic is really bad. Mostly red and of poor quality.

              The last time I was using it was to count the mesh of some silkscreen mesh. No good, just a reddish blob of what I can see with my eyeball.

              And with the eye piece in there and my eyeball I can see the threads of the 300 mesh like they were 2" in diameter, I can see the scratches on the individual strands.

              Im not really knowledgeable about microscopes. But my thinking is when I pull out the eyepiece lens thats say 15x Im gonna loose that magnification when I put the USB eyepiece in its place right? So that doesnt help me much, thats where all my magnification is, the objective lens isnt all that powerful..

              So am I correct in thinking that I cant get the same image I see with my eye and the 15x eyepiece with anything available??

              Or would of these 200x usb microscopes be adaptable to my zoom scope??

              I would love to get the same picture I see with the 15x eyepiece on the computer screen.

              I see these 5meg eye piece USB arrangements now but hate to spend the couple hundred bucks for them just to be in the same spot Im in now. My usb eyepiece is a 1.5 MP.

              Any help guys??? Thanks abunch.. JR
              My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

              https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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              • #8
                It takes very good optics to give a usable image at powers of about 50x or so. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding all types of optical gear including telescopes, binoculars and microscopes. Unless you are trying to count the flagella on e-coli or something similar there isn't much reason to have more then about 50x magnification. Even then the requirements for the optical system become pretty stringent. Its because the depth of field goes down as the magnification goes up. Cheap lenses aren't achromatic which means they focus the different colours of the spectrum at different distances.

                Because the range of acceptable focus goes down as the power goes up a cheap lens will become more and more out of focus and will exhibit severe colour fringing too. Even with good optics it can be a challenge to get a good micrograph.

                I use my Nikon 4300 and simply place it to the eyepiece of my 40x stereo microscope. The image scale can be adjusted by zooming in or out with the Nikon lens.

                Here are a few examples of the sort of image quality I am able to get with the Nikon. Keep in mind that the lens in the 4300 is about as good as it gets.

                For reference the wire in this image is .001" OD


                Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                • #9
                  To early in the morning and can't delete them any more
                  Last edited by PTSideshow; 05-07-2009, 06:04 AM.
                  Glen
                  Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
                  I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
                  All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Here are some sites I found in wandering the net looking for a usb camera.
                    http://www.microscope-depot.com/home.asp

                    http://microscopestore.com/category.aspx?id=6

                    And of course the rest of the googled sites,
                    http://www.google.com/search?q=usb+microscope+camera&hl=en&client=firefo x-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&hs=Ek3&start=10&sa=N&cts=1240752215772

                    Haven't made up my mind yet but the first on described in this thread. Is the one I'm leaning towards.
                    Glen
                    Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
                    I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
                    All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      They make a .3 and a .5 objective lens. Finding one that will work with your microscope is a ordeal.

                      Best way, type in the model number of your microscope and objective lens. People on ebay make money off frustrated people searching for something rare.

                      I'm still working on the box of microscope parts I bought off there, have some nice nikon widefield eyepieces now, hunting a objective lens now for increased work distance and reduced image magnification.

                      Each thing to do, you find out there is something else you must learn, not bad, but stumbling blocks.
                      Excuse me, I farted.

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                      • #12
                        Here are 3 shots of a new insert, 10x, 60x and 200x (taken with a digital blue scope).
                        Cheers, Bob





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                        • #13
                          Focus?

                          Originally posted by JRouche
                          Ok, maybe you guys can help me too. I have a Bausch and Lomb StereoZoom 7 Microscope and years ago bought a usb eyepiece hoping to see something usable. The pic is really bad. Mostly red and of poor quality.

                          The last time I was using it was to count the mesh of some silkscreen mesh. No good, just a reddish blob of what I can see with my eyeball.

                          And with the eye piece in there and my eyeball I can see the threads of the 300 mesh like they were 2" in diameter, I can see the scratches on the individual strands.

                          Im not really knowledgeable about microscopes. But my thinking is when I pull out the eyepiece lens thats say 15x Im gonna loose that magnification when I put the USB eyepiece in its place right? So that doesnt help me much, thats where all my magnification is, the objective lens isnt all that powerful..

                          So am I correct in thinking that I cant get the same image I see with my eye and the 15x eyepiece with anything available??

                          Or would of these 200x usb microscopes be adaptable to my zoom scope??

                          I would love to get the same picture I see with the 15x eyepiece on the computer screen.

                          I see these 5meg eye piece USB arrangements now but hate to spend the couple hundred bucks for them just to be in the same spot Im in now. My usb eyepiece is a 1.5 MP.

                          Any help guys??? Thanks abunch.. JR
                          JR,
                          Did you try to re-focus after putting the USB eyepiece in? If so, it sounds like you never actually got focused. The view in the eyepiece, and the camera are not likely to be in focus at the same time.

                          I'd try setting the zoom on the microscope as low as it goes. That should give you more depth of field. Then focus looking at the monitor with the USB eyepiece in. You may even have to pull the USB eyepiece up a little if you've focused all the way out. If so, you can probably make a spacer to go under the USB eyepiece.

                          Since we don't know what the optics in the USB eyepiece are, you may have a REALLY high magnification setup. As Evan said, you don't need a lot of magnification for most uses. Sending the image to your monitor also causes an increase in magnification by itself. So, drop 'er down and give it another try.
                          .
                          Mike

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mwechtal
                            JR,
                            Did you try to re-focus after putting the USB eyepiece in? If so, it sounds like you never actually got focused. The view in the eyepiece, and the camera are not likely to be in focus at the same time.

                            I'd try setting the zoom on the microscope as low as it goes. That should give you more depth of field. Then focus looking at the monitor with the USB eyepiece in. You may even have to pull the USB eyepiece up a little if you've focused all the way out. If so, you can probably make a spacer to go under the USB eyepiece.

                            Since we don't know what the optics in the USB eyepiece are, you may have a REALLY high magnification setup. As Evan said, you don't need a lot of magnification for most uses. Sending the image to your monitor also causes an increase in magnification by itself. So, drop 'er down and give it another try.

                            Thanks for the replies.. Um, well lets see. Yeah, I did focus it as best as I could, and tried moving the "camera" out a lil in the eyepiece, still a lousy picture. Even on the lowest setting for the scope, low mag.

                            Im just frustrated cause when I look at the sample pictures shown by the dealers of the usb cameras they all show full color, sharp images. My picture was like looking through a bowl of strawberry jello. Even at the lowest magnification.

                            I kinda think its the camera, it was only like a hundred buts. And as far as optics, I dont see any. I can look into the end of the barrel of the camera and see the chip (CCD ?) Is that normal?? Should there be optical lenses there??

                            I know there has to be a way.. And I do have a spare digital camera that I could use. But it doesn't link up to the computer.

                            I just want to be able to have images like this
                            http://cgi.ebay.com/7x-45x-Stereo-Zo...QQcmdZViewItem
                            And Ill spend the money, but dont want to spend it with the same results as I have now.. Any help??? Thanks, JR
                            My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                            https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                            • #15
                              They are awfully proud of that camera at the e-bay link. No way it's worth that much. You don't need to spend that sort of money either. All you need is a decent digital camera such as the Canon A470 or something like it. The ideal is a digital camera with a threaded ring surrounding the lens so that auxiliary lenses can be attached. This is what I have on my Nikon. Even without that you can get away with just sticking a magnifying lens in front of the regular camera lens. Put the camera in macro mode and full optical zoom. Then hold, or if possible attach a small magnifier lens to the front of the regular lens.

                              This is an example I just took today using a cheap
                              lens from a dollar store magnifier held by hand in front of the Nikon. I took this image at an angle to emphasize the very small amount of depth of field. The Nikon is only 4 mega pixel but to show how much detail it captures I included as the inset a small crop from the original image that hasn't been down sampled. The photo was entirely handheld. It is the Print Screen key on my keyboard.

                              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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