USB Microscope

I have just purchased a Veho USB microscope and am quite pleased with the result. I was hoping to use this as a very cheap replacement for a good binocular microscope. When soldering very fine pitch surface mount devices for prototype or repair a good binocular scope is fantastic for soldering under.

Below is a video test of me upgrading the ATtiny261 to ATtiny861 on my MLMC controller PCB. While the system is reasonably good for soldering it is excellent for inspecting finished the finished work.

Microscope Video Test at 22x magnification

I took a couple of test pictures using the windows software (Microcapture). These are shown below. The software lets you draw in measurements based on the magnification which is entered manually. It’s not the greatest but it is nice and functional.

Microscope Photo Test at 22x magnification

This shows the mm scale on my steel ruler.

Microscope Test at 400x Magnification
Microscope Photo Test at 400x Magnification

This shows the 0.5mm scale elsewhere on the same ruler.

High Resolution Photo Test at 20x magnification
High Resolution Photo Test at 20x magnification

I have tested the device on Windows XP, MacOS 10.7, Fedora15. On linux I had a few issues that later turned out to be a faulty USB hub. In playing around to get the scope to work on Linux I discovered the great GTK+ UVC Viewer program. As all three operating systems have “USB Video Class” drivers everything worked out of the box (hub issues aside).

If Linux does give you any grief you may need to do a modprobe uvcvideo. I didn’t need to do this as I have another webcam plugged in as well that uses the same driver.

I’m not sure what tricks the windows driver uses to get the higher resolution as these modes did not seem to work on other platforms. If anyone knows how to get the high resolution modes working on Linux I would love to hear from you.

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