Author Topic: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews  (Read 58477 times)

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Online EEVblog

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EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« on: January 07, 2014, 08:44:32 am »
Dave takes a look at two cheap USB microscopes to see how suitable they are for electronics works and soldering and inspection.
http://amzn.to/JEXuLH
Andonstar/Vividia 2MP 12mm diameter endoscope style USB microscope:
http://amzn.to/1cLfhHr
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/171176517011

 

Offline JoannaK

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2014, 08:55:45 am »
I have one of those cheaper ones, or actually mine even has a brand name (otiez) on it so perhaps it's not the cheapest one available from hunglonchow. But anyhow the included stand is totally **** and totally useledd on aything. This one higher resoltuin camera (not much help with lag, though) and can zoom out all to way (could in theory even used as a webcam). the zoom/focus roll is quite stiff and the photo-button totally useless.   :-DD


http://www.oi.com.hk/node/20.html


(Image added)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 07:45:41 pm by JoannaK »
 

Offline gnif

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2014, 09:41:49 am »
Did you try the software for the cheap on on the better one? Since no drivers had to be installed, they will both be standard WDM capture devices and should work unless there is a hard coded string check for the device name.
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Offline vampi-the-frog

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2014, 09:59:14 am »
It kind of makes sense that there is a low framerate, since, for example, for 1024 * 768 * 24bpp * 30fps, you'd need 1024 * 768 * 3 * 30 = 70778880 = 67.5MB/s, whereas USB2.0 can only throughput effectively 35MB/s (according to wikipedia). JPEG or other compression might help though.

And with USB3.0, you have 4Gbit/s,or ~500MB/s which for could give you 227 FPS for 1024*768.

For 1920x1080, 24bpp, 30fps, you need 177MB/s.
 

Offline Psi

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 10:40:40 am »
I wonder how well a cheap 2ndhand DSLR (like a canon 1000d) with some macro extensions and a cheap zoom lens would work.
You would use the cameras live TV out on a nearby monitor.
There wouldn't be any lag at all and the working distance could be a foot easy.

Resolution would be limited to composite TV, so 580 lines or whatever, but the good working distance would make up for it.
The optics would be much better too, so it would probably look sharper than a HD webcam with plastic lens.

Cheap broken/damaged 2ndhand cameras might work fine for this purpose if the fault was with some part of the camera you dont need. like the build in LCD, hot shoe, auto focus etc..
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 10:52:23 am by Psi »
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Offline zapta

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 11:12:43 am »
I have one like the metal pencil one. It has a very wide range of focus so you can go from very close (high magnification) to a regular web cam. When holding by hand, it's easier to keep the horizontal boom attached, easier to hold and keep the orientation. It's nice but not as good as a stereo microscope.

BTW, my dentist has something similar for many years. A small pen like video camera that Sony markets to dental clinics. When he tells you that you need a feeling, he also shows you the ugly stuff on a large screen so you cannot be in denial.

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Offline nowlan

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 12:02:43 pm »
Still curious about the lcd tv one dave used at the trade show.
Someone mentioned wanting to mimick some mount on amazon uk.
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2014, 12:34:42 pm »
Could you post the VID:PID of the usb cams to check if supported by GNU/Linux?

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Offline MichaelW

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2014, 12:38:59 pm »
While watching the video, I had a thought. I wonder if that pencil one could be connected to a raspberry pi to output directly to a cheap LCD monitor, the pi could be mounted to the back of the monitor, perhaps to the vesa mounting holes.

I looked it up and it's about $99 USD, Dave mentioned a better one for a couple of hundred bucks, anyone got some brand suggestions for stand alone inspection microscope that might show up around $200 used?
 

Offline Dr. Frank

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2014, 01:06:00 pm »
It would be better to use the Andonstar microscope 180° horizontally turned around , so that the PCB is resting on the table, or an ESD mat, instead that the downside of the PCB, and its components scratch around on the stand plate.

Is it possible to turn that around?
And is the plate heavy enough that the stand does not tilt over? (One could put an additional weight on it..)

This microscope is quite interesting especially for people over 45..

I acquired the usual farsightedness since that time, so the SMD components virtually got smaller and smaller over the years  :-//
And the number of glasses, used as loupes, instead grew and grew.

I currently have to use this (real-time) 4x magnifier binocular loupe.
Quite expensive, but nothing gets in the way, and no delay, anyhow..

That USB microscope might be much more comfortable, though.


Frank
 

Offline Terabyte2007

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2014, 01:32:20 pm »
Hey Dave, great video. I am working on an in-depth review on about 6 of these USB type microscopes ranging from low quality to high quality units. Some of the higher quality units I have will easily do to 5MP stills with full 1280x1024 30FPS for video. I will try and get a list together later today and post the MFG and model numbers along with links for each one. I too a while back went through the cheap USB microscope phase and learned through trial and error, along with spending a bit more money on these trials than I wanted, about which ones were better quality and worked well.
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Offline opablo

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2014, 01:41:33 pm »
Could you post the VID:PID of the usb cams to check if supported by GNU/Linux?
Alexander.

I have the first one that Dave reviewed and fyi his opinions matched mine after using it.
Bad selection to use while soldering... good selection for cheap geek toy.
I would have still buyed it now that I know how it works. Come on.. the price is ridicusly low...

And it's VID:PID-REV 1871:7670-0312... It smells like it would work on Linux... Didn't required drivers on Win8 and it got called "USB2.0 Camera"

« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 01:51:59 pm by opablo »
 

Offline baoshi

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2014, 02:51:25 pm »
I have the first one.
One unlucky day I notice some dirt on the lens, so I try open it up and clean... only to find there is a layer of sticky "jelly" on the lens, and the more I clean it, the dirtier it goes  :palm:

Correction: the jelly is on the CCD sensor, not on the lens
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 03:25:25 pm by baoshi »
 

Offline firewalker

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2014, 03:30:05 pm »
And it's VID:PID-REV 1871:7670-0312... It smells like it would work on Linux... Didn't required drivers on Win8 and it got called "USB2.0 Camera"

It seem to work under GNU/Linux with the UVC driver.

 http://www.ideasonboard.org/uvc/
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Offline baoshi

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EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2014, 03:31:10 pm »
Descendants found :d



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Offline KTP

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2014, 03:58:47 pm »
I just bought one on fleabay, thanks Dave.

The form factor looks perfect for mounting to my hobby laser cutter to inspect stainless steel parts I have cut out.  Currently I use my stereo microscope but this involves moving the parts from the cutter bed to the microscope.  It will be much cooler to just tell the cnc machine to move the part under the microscope for inspection, then I can proceed with future cuts without tearing down the setup.  Based on your images, it should look a lot better than what I have captured through my stereo scope on my digital camera (see attachment).  Maybe I can even put a 1064nm filter on the lens and capture the cutting in action...although the vaporized steel produces a very bright arc so a welding lens or something might be needed.
 

Offline IanJ

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2014, 05:33:09 pm »
Hi all,

Alternative mount:-

Ian Johnston
www.ianjohnston.com
Manufacturer of the PDVS2 & PDVS2mini
 

Offline Winston

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2014, 06:05:35 pm »
Hey Dave, great video. I am working on an in-depth review on about 6 of these USB type microscopes ranging from low quality to high quality units. Some of the higher quality units I have will easily do to 5MP stills with full 1280x1024 30FPS for video. I will try and get a list together later today and post the MFG and model numbers along with links for each one. I too a while back went through the cheap USB microscope phase and learned through trial and error, along with spending a bit more money on these trials than I wanted, about which ones were better quality and worked well.

Looking forward to that. What kind of price range for the cameras you tested?
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2014, 06:35:14 pm »
I have the first kind, and it is usable as a microscope, and is somewhat reasonable. I will agree as to the junk stand, now looking at the second I think tomorrow i will take a trip down to the tool shop and buy a magnetic clamp, just for the base and the articulating arms, and use it as a stand. Must have a small steel plate around to use as a base, where I will leave it clamped as a base. Will have to paint it black.
 

Offline youbecha

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2014, 08:39:31 pm »
 

Offline jquinn11733

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2014, 09:06:34 pm »
FYI.............
I have found both IPEVO cameras (Ziggi and P2V) to
be better than the pencil-cams (mine was a EHEV1-200USBPLUS).
However, I would like to try their new VZ-1 VGA/USB.

However, today I really prefer my older Canon G10 (also had SX110IS)
on an old Luxo arm using Breezsys/PSRemote software with
Raynox macros lenses.

It is rare for me to use the old stereo-zooms or Lynx (similar to the Mantis),
they are just too big and in the way.

just my two cents.......
- Jim
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2014, 10:31:55 pm »
Both are pretty useless due to garbage cmos modules used :(
Proper usb cameras compress image data on the fly (they stream h.264/mjpeg) and do fullhd 30fps over USB 2.0, For example M$ LifeCam or logi c920

http://wiki.oz9aec.net/index.php/Logitech_HD_Pro_Webcam_C920

Even raspberrypee can do proper 1080p 30fps with its camera module and save to a file + stream over a network while displaying data over hdmi at the same time.

Nihaos are too focused on churning out cheap garbage to deliver good product. Meanwhile a combination of good camera module with decent optics sells for $1000 leaving huge gap between chinese rejects like they one Dave looked at and professional gear.

Basically some Chinese 'engineer' looked at available cmos modules and said we are gonna use this $2 one instead of the $12 one because no one would pay more for better product.
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Offline timelessbeing

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2014, 11:51:59 pm »
I have a cheapie like the first one Dave showed. On eBay they are marketed as anywhere from 1 to 3 megapixels. In reality, they are all 640x480 pixels (0.3 MP) sensors, and all the higher resolution modes are simply interpolated so no additional detail is gained.

I find that I can get a much better, higher resolution, less distorted, "microscopic" image by using macro mode on any point-and-shoot camera, and then cropping the image. The only advantage the USB gizmos provide, is a quick, convenient way to get magnified images/videos onto your computer using a live display.
 

Offline Winston

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2014, 12:21:22 am »
Did you try the software for the cheap on on the better one? Since no drivers had to be installed, they will both be standard WDM capture devices and should work unless there is a hard coded string check for the device name.
Same question I thought of.
 

Offline JoeO

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2014, 01:14:03 am »
http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-Digital-Microscope-Endoscope-Magnifier-Camera-800X-2MP-8LED-Lift-Stand-CD-/271366035843?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f2ead1983

Just found that one on ebay...I want one of these two cameras, but don't know which way to go...
"An endoscope is a device with a light attached that is used to look inside a body cavity or organ."
I would not use it as an endoscope.
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Offline lewis

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2014, 02:09:58 am »
Dave, am I imagining it or did you play with a very decent video microscope on an episode once (I thought it was the Electronex one but I can't find it in that episode). I seem to remember the microscope was sitting about a foot above a PCB and there was a huge widescreen monitor in the background with a crystal clear image of the workpiece on it in immense detail. I think it was at a show somewhere, like Electronex, but not sure. It wasn't a Mantis-type scope, I'm sure it was basically a camera on a stand.

I seem to remember watching this episode just after getting my Mantis Elite (feb 2013) and thinking 'bugger'.

Any idea what it was? Or am I dreaming? Whatever it was, I'd love to see a review of that beastie.
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Offline andtfoot

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2014, 02:13:42 am »
Dave, am I imagining it or did you play with a very decent video microscope on an episode once (I thought it was the Electronex one but I can't find it in that episode). I seem to remember the microscope was sitting about a foot above a PCB and there was a huge widescreen monitor in the background with a crystal clear image of the workpiece on it in immense detail. I think it was at a show somewhere, like Electronex, but not sure. It wasn't a Mantis-type scope, I'm sure it was basically a camera on a stand.

I seem to remember watching this episode just after getting my Mantis Elite (feb 2013) and thinking 'bugger'.

Any idea what it was? Or am I dreaming? Whatever it was, I'd love to see a review of that beastie.

I think you are referring to the seat-of-pants Picoscope teardown, here:
www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-521-picoscope-5000-usb-oscilloscope-teardown/
 

Offline lewis

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2014, 02:15:29 am »
That's it! Awesome. Thanks very much! I've been racking my brains all day...
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Offline Rasz

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2014, 03:59:07 am »
yeah, that was a proper autofocus with hdmi streaming couple of thousand $ tool
There certainly is a place on the market for something in the middle, $300-500 range. Parts alone cost less than $100, even stupid rpee with camera module + microscope optics + stand would do.
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Offline leafi

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2014, 04:13:02 am »
I wonder if the pencil scope came with the reflector mirrors. I would love to see how these work (or dont) for looking under BGAs trying to see the bga balls shape and look for shorts.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #31 on: January 08, 2014, 04:19:35 am »
I think you are referring to the seat-of-pants Picoscope teardown, here:
www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-521-picoscope-5000-usb-oscilloscope-teardown/

They have a new model just out, USB 3.0 streaming in full HD with much improved optics, I'm supposed to be getting one...
 

Offline psycho0815

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #32 on: January 08, 2014, 01:22:41 pm »

They have a new model just out, USB 3.0 streaming in full HD with much improved optics, I'm supposed to be getting one...

That's 2500€ + VAT here in germany. actually less than i would've expected. Still quite a lot for a hobbyist.
Not that that's the target market for that thing, anyways.


Still want one...
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Offline lewis

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2014, 01:27:03 pm »

That's 2500€ + VAT here in germany. actually less than i would've expected.


About the same as a Mantis but looks a lot more versatile
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Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #34 on: January 08, 2014, 01:56:19 pm »
I noticed this when passing yesterday: eBay auction: #310796555638



What's  interesting is the interface: USB, VGA, composite video. Plug it into your PC or monitor or TV, so the issue of restricted USB speeds shouldn't be a problem.

Anyone already tried this? I am tempted but skint...
 

Offline psycho0815

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #35 on: January 08, 2014, 02:10:17 pm »
I noticed this when passing yesterday: eBay auction: #310796555638



What's  interesting is the interface: USB, VGA, composite video. Plug it into your PC or monitor or TV, so the issue of restricted USB speeds shouldn't be a problem.

Anyone already tried this? I am tempted but skint...
Looks nice, but judging from the pictures i doubt you're gonna have enough working distance to comfortably solder under that thing.
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Offline JoannaK

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #36 on: January 08, 2014, 02:43:39 pm »

Looks nice, but judging from the pictures i doubt you're gonna have enough working distance to comfortably solder under that thing.

Unlike those other cameras this one has interchangeable optics (C.-mount, common on security cameras), so if you need more working distance, you just need to find/purchase another lens. Also the widest blob at the low end of the lens seems to be led-light ring. So if you have enough light (or better lights available) just use the optics without led.light.
 

Offline Jorpy

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #37 on: January 08, 2014, 03:17:49 pm »
I noticed this when passing yesterday: eBay auction: #310796555638



What's  interesting is the interface: USB, VGA, composite video. Plug it into your PC or monitor or TV, so the issue of restricted USB speeds shouldn't be a problem.

Anyone already tried this? I am tempted but skint...

That seems like a reasonable price  :-+
I like how they call the 0 ohm resistor an IC   ;D
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #38 on: January 08, 2014, 03:26:00 pm »
Well just modified mine a little, improved the stand using a new one and the original clip.

Went out today and bought a magnetic clamp, $12, and it works a treat. Rigid and if needed I will use a metal box as extra mass on the heavy base.
 

Offline Terabyte2007

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2014, 05:02:08 pm »
Here is one of the better fair priced USB microscopes that I use. The build quality and optics are pretty good. The stand that comes with it should be tossed, and a low cost alternative stand is about 50 bucks. Both microscope and stand are shown in images. I own 4 of these microscopes, 1) 1.3MP Standard Video, 2) 5MP Infrared, 3) 1.3MP Ultraviolet and 4) 5MP High Resolution.

The company is Aven Microscopy and their website is http://www.aveninc.com

The models mentioned above are as follows:

1) Mighty Scope 1.3M (26700-200)
2) Mighty Scope NIR 5M (26700-207)
3) Mighty Scope 1.3M UV (26700-205)
4) Mighty Scope 5M (26700-209)

1) http://www.aveninc.com/avens-complete-product-line/microscopy-and-inspection/digital-microscopes/mighty-scope/mighty-scope-500x-1-3m-usb-digital-microscope#.Us2AX_RDt8E

2) http://www.aveninc.com/avens-complete-product-line/microscopy-and-inspection/digital-microscopes/mighty-scope/mighty-scope-nir-5m-usb-digital-microscope#.Us1_7_RDt8E

3) http://www.aveninc.com/avens-complete-product-line/microscopy-and-inspection/digital-microscopes/mighty-scope/mighty-scope-uv-1-3m-usb-digital-microscope#.Us2AMPRDt8E

4) http://www.aveninc.com/avens-complete-product-line/microscopy-and-inspection/digital-microscopes/mighty-scope/mighty-scope-5m-usb-digital-microscope#.Us1_t_RDt8E

Here is a link to the high quality stands and accessories, some a bit pricy but very robust.

http://www.aveninc.com/avens-complete-product-line/microscopy-and-inspection/microscopes/stereo-microscopes/microscope-accessories/stands-and-focus-mounts#.Us18EvRDt8E

The stand shown in the images is a lower cost fairly stable stand with adapters to fit most USB scopes. It has a LED lighted base, battery or USB. X/Y micro worm gear controls for a smooth movement of the bottom glass plate. The vertical movement is tight and fairly smooth. At maximum magnifications you get very little shake. Sometimes a slight shift in video but not to bad. The scope mounts tight with no play. Here is the link to this mount/stand.

http://www.aveninc.com/avens-complete-product-line/microscopy-and-inspection/digital-microscopes/zipscope/universal-digital-microscope-stand-w-backlight#.Us19sPRDt8E

A quick note on software. The software that comes with the unit is licensed, you will get a serial number with a keycode and their are two version, one Windows version and MAC OSX. Updates can be downloaded from their site. The software is so far the most useful and functional from most I have tested and reviewed. I will upload screenshots and video capture soon.

A note on Aven website prices. The prices on Aven's website are full MSRP, these can be bought through distributors such as Amazon and others for much lower. For example, the 5M (26700-209) was purchased for 177 US dollars on Amazon.

Please note, this is a quick update on a few of the scopes I use. My full video review will be coming soon. I have been very busy with work, and I apologise for the lack of detailed info in this post. I will post some scope images, screenshots, video capture and etc. hopefully by tonight. Please be patient, it's coming...

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Offline Huluvu

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2014, 07:13:57 pm »
I use this stand which is rock solid and easy to use but the cam itself lacks on the working distance as already discussed by Dave.

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Offline Zbig

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2014, 09:35:14 pm »
I use this stand which is rock solid and easy to use but the cam itself lacks on the working distance as already discussed by Dave.

I have a Celestron microscope like SeanB and just ordered a stand like yours for it here:
http://www.conrad.com/ce/en/product/191381/Conrad-DP-M14-3D-Adjustable-Digital-Microscope-Stand (also available here: http://www.adafruit.com/products/969). The scope itself is capable of focusing reasonably far so I hope I'll get a decent budget combination with those two.
 

Offline Terabyte2007

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #42 on: January 08, 2014, 09:43:57 pm »
I use this stand which is rock solid and easy to use but the cam itself lacks on the working distance as already discussed by Dave.

I have a Celestron microscope like SeanB and just ordered a stand like yours for it here:
http://www.conrad.com/ce/en/product/191381/Conrad-DP-M14-3D-Adjustable-Digital-Microscope-Stand (also available here: http://www.adafruit.com/products/969). The scope itself is capable of focusing reasonably far so I hope I'll get a decent budget combination with those two.

I do like that stand. A quick search looks like it's not available from a US distributor. I may have to order this one international.  ;D
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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #43 on: January 08, 2014, 09:44:36 pm »
That's 2500€ + VAT here in germany. actually less than i would've expected. Still quite a lot for a hobbyist.
Not that that's the target market for that thing, anyways.


Of course not, it's a pro tool for the pro inspection industry.
 

Offline Zbig

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #44 on: January 08, 2014, 10:03:52 pm »
Both are pretty useless due to garbage cmos modules used :(
Proper usb cameras compress image data on the fly (they stream h.264/mjpeg) and do fullhd 30fps over USB 2.0, For example M$ LifeCam or logi c920

http://wiki.oz9aec.net/index.php/Logitech_HD_Pro_Webcam_C920

Even raspberrypee can do proper 1080p 30fps with its camera module and save to a file + stream over a network while displaying data over hdmi at the same time.

Nihaos are too focused on churning out cheap garbage to deliver good product. Meanwhile a combination of good camera module with decent optics sells for $1000 leaving huge gap between chinese rejects like they one Dave looked at and professional gear.

Basically some Chinese 'engineer' looked at available cmos modules and said we are gonna use this $2 one instead of the $12 one because no one would pay more for better product.

Megapixels alone won't do any good when not backed by sufficiently high resolving optics. Also, more pixels on the same area = smaller pixel size = higher noise. To counter for this properly, you'd have to use faster (more expensive) lens, and so on. There's a reason somewhere in the Canon Powershot G series timeline, some new model actually had smaller megapixel count than its predecessor - people finally got sick of the insane "MORE MEGAPIXELS!" marketing hype and actually demanded a more capable camera with less pixels but actually higher picture quality. Anyway, this topic has been done do death on pretty much every photography forum.

Sniff... sniff... do I smell a flamewar brewing? :P
 

Offline Zbig

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #45 on: January 08, 2014, 10:04:59 pm »
I do like that stand. A quick search looks like it's not available from a US distributor. I may have to order this one international.  ;D

Adafruit (second link) is NYC-based.

EDIT:
Haha, she just happens to be using this very stand in their video-blog post from 10 minutes ago:
http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2014/01/08/shine-activity-monitor-teardown-wearablewednesday/ (0:38) ;D
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 10:57:45 pm by Zbig »
 

Offline Terabyte2007

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2014, 10:29:34 pm »
I do like that stand. A quick search looks like it's not available from a US distributor. I may have to order this one international.  ;D

Adafruit (second link) is NYC-based.

Cool, my bad! Did not even see that one...
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Offline kc9qvl

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2014, 01:11:35 am »
Have the celestron too. My diy stand.  Modified optics working height 120mm Small acromat lens glued in bottom. Decreases magnification and increases working height. Bottom is picture of lens on a quarter for scale
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 01:15:24 am by kc9qvl »
 

Offline vikpc

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2014, 01:23:29 am »
I use this stand which is rock solid and easy to use but the cam itself lacks on the working distance as already discussed by Dave.

I have a Celestron microscope like SeanB and just ordered a stand like yours for it here:
http://www.conrad.com/ce/en/product/191381/Conrad-DP-M14-3D-Adjustable-Digital-Microscope-Stand (also available here: http://www.adafruit.com/products/969). The scope itself is capable of focusing reasonably far so I hope I'll get a decent budget combination with those two.

if buy some cheap stands and cheap microscopes.. why not buy cheap china normal microscope?
in my local repair shops i can buy YA XUN YX-AK04 for 174$





 

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2014, 03:33:53 am »
Did you try the software for the cheap on on the better one? Since no drivers had to be installed, they will both be standard WDM capture devices and should work unless there is a hard coded string check for the device name.
Same question I thought of.
And me too.

If the more capable software for the garbagecam is downloadable from some support site created by one of the sellers or the OEM and works with the better camera, that would be great.
 

Offline upl8

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #51 on: January 09, 2014, 05:32:05 am »
I bought the second model yesterday from the same seller, but with some extra accessories.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2MP-USB-Digital-Microscope-Endoscope-Video-Otoscope-dental-oral-ENT-Camera-AU-/200994145191

The box contained two mirrors, three nose/ear inspectors, and two plastic tubes. It's a few dollars more, but I thought the mirror might come in handy.

It arrived this morning, and it's slightly different to Dave's one. The cable doesn't slide out when I zoom. The tail section telescopes out to reveal a black plastic tube.

The software is also different. The application is called "andostar 1.exe", and the timestamp is 7/7/2011. So if anything, this appears to be an older model than Dave's. No "hair" in this one either.

BTW Dave, the User's Manual explains how to pull it apart for cleaning. Of course, it also tells you not to disassemble it in a different section!

 

Offline Rasz

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #52 on: January 09, 2014, 07:56:17 am »
I noticed this when passing yesterday: eBay auction: #310796555638


>800 lines Definition

its a PAL cmos camera module with a USB/VGA combo adapter
composite output is a dead giveaway

(C.-mount, common on security cameras)

because it IS a security camera :D just adapted to a microscope role
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 08:03:23 am by Rasz »
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Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #53 on: January 09, 2014, 11:01:16 am »
Quote
because it IS a security camera :D just adapted to a microscope role

I don't see that as necessarily being a show stopper. The question is whether it works in its desired role.

Actually, for me, I would prefer the composite output since it is real-time up to the display. USB can be laggy but also requires a PC/laptop, so immediately you've cluttered up your desk with junk you'd rather wasn't there before you start. OTOH, nowadays plain video is hard to display without converters to VGA...

I can see the attraction of just paying $300 or so to that Lifecam chappy in order to get a job done, as opposed to tinkering with the tools and not actually getting around to doing the job.
 

Offline sleemanj

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #54 on: January 09, 2014, 11:38:35 am »
Linking this thread for those who haven't seen it:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/buysellwanted/fs-new-1080p-usb-microscope-for-easy-smt-soldering/
(short version, poster took the good stand with a custom head, a microsoft lifecam, replaced the lifecam's lens assembly, and seems to get good results, if rather more expensive).
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Offline Zbig

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #55 on: January 09, 2014, 05:06:25 pm »
if buy some cheap stands and cheap microscopes.. why not buy cheap china normal microscope?
in my local repair shops i can buy YA XUN YX-AK04 for 174$



I'm sure it's great for examining specimens but I can't quite picture myself leaning against it while doing some work like soldering, etc. Or am I missing something and it has a camera, too? Plus, I have some sight deficiency which prevents the views from both of my eyes to converge properly while using binocular-type instrument.
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #56 on: January 10, 2014, 02:23:24 am »
Linking this thread for those who haven't seen it:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/buysellwanted/fs-new-1080p-usb-microscope-for-easy-smt-soldering/
(short version, poster took the good stand with a custom head, a microsoft lifecam, replaced the lifecam's lens assembly, and seems to get good results, if rather more expensive).

http://www.diyinhk.com/shop/home/48-1080p-smt-microscope.html

finally, thats what Im talking about. True 1080p hardware compression, M$ lifecam + microscope optics at $200-300. Good middle ground.
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Offline upl8

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #57 on: January 10, 2014, 09:30:00 am »
Andonstar support sent me this URL for the latest version of the software. It has the same timestamp as the one Dave tested.

http://share.cx.com/ngc54v

They said that the USB button is not supported in this version, but there is a software button for photo and video.
 

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #58 on: January 10, 2014, 09:31:42 am »
http://www.diyinhk.com/shop/home/48-1080p-smt-microscope.html
finally, thats what Im talking about. True 1080p hardware compression, M$ lifecam + microscope optics at $200-300. Good middle ground.

I'm getting one of these for review.
 

Offline psycho0815

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #59 on: January 10, 2014, 09:47:15 am »
Linking this thread for those who haven't seen it:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/buysellwanted/fs-new-1080p-usb-microscope-for-easy-smt-soldering/
(short version, poster took the good stand with a custom head, a microsoft lifecam, replaced the lifecam's lens assembly, and seems to get good results, if rather more expensive).

http://www.diyinhk.com/shop/home/48-1080p-smt-microscope.html

finally, thats what Im talking about. True 1080p hardware compression, M$ lifecam + microscope optics at $200-300. Good middle ground.

That looks really interesting. Even with import taxes that's quite reasonable, if it wasn't for the customs hassle i might think about getting one.
actually i might anyway...
If you like, check out my blog (german):
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Offline hikariuk

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #60 on: January 10, 2014, 05:38:49 pm »
I wonder how well a cheap 2ndhand DSLR (like a canon 300d) plus a cheap macro zoom lens would work using its TV out on a nearby monitor.  There wouldn't be any lag at all and the working distance could be a foot easy.

Resolution would be limited to composite TV, so 580 lines or whatever, but the good working distance would make up for it.
The optics would be much better too, so it would probably look sharper than a HD webcam with plastic lens.

Macro photography was usually around trying to achieve a 1:1 magnification on the 35mm film. To get more than that would require an additional extension of the lens from the film (or sensor) plane in the form of tubes or a bellows. Apart from optics refined for close up focusing the chief difference of a macro lens to a standard lens was the macro lens had a very long focusing helical to get the initial separation of the lens from the image plane conveniently. Many macro lenses came with a tube to take it from 1:2 to 1:1  life size. It hadn't changed that much with the transition to digital. A bit more because the sensor was smaller in most dSLRs.

Working distance is part of the physics of magnification. More magnification implies less working distance.

You absolutely will not get 30cm working distance. 30mm would be more likely. Even then 1-2x magnification is as much as you could expect. At 1x magnification you would lose 1/2 the light coming through the lens, and it gets worse quickly.

The laws of physics are immutable. i.e. unchanging over time or unable to be changed.

The Canon MP-E65 macro lens is a x1-x5 one.  Although at x5 with the aperture open all the way to f/2.8 your DoF is something like 0.04mm (it rises to a massive 2mm if you go to x1 and stop it down to f/16).  You can use it to do some lovely focus stacking shots though :)  Does have a reasonable minimum focus distance though, about 25cm.
I write software.  I'd far rather be doing something else.
 

Offline jesuscf

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #61 on: January 11, 2014, 04:22:10 am »
Has anybody tried using an smart phone as a "microscope"?  My old Samsung Galaxy S3 is pretty good at it.  I use a little app called "Magnifying Glass".

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.davidparry.magnifying&hl=en
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Offline andtfoot

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #62 on: January 11, 2014, 11:18:09 am »
I wonder how well a cheap 2ndhand DSLR (like a canon 1000d) with some macro extensions and a cheap zoom lens would work.
You would use the cameras live TV out on a nearby monitor.
There wouldn't be any lag at all and the working distance could be a foot easy.

Resolution would be limited to composite TV, so 580 lines or whatever, but the good working distance would make up for it.
The optics would be much better too, so it would probably look sharper than a HD webcam with plastic lens.

Cheap broken/damaged 2ndhand cameras might work fine for this purpose if the fault was with some part of the camera you dont need. like the build in LCD, hot shoe, auto focus etc..

Here is my attempt at doing that.
It's a Canon 550D with a Sigma 70-300mm macro lens. I'm using the HDMI out.


For reference, the IC on the left has 0.5mm pin pitch.
 

Offline kodi

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #63 on: January 12, 2014, 09:57:52 am »
I wonder how well a cheap 2ndhand DSLR (like a canon 1000d) with some macro extensions and a cheap zoom lens would work.
You would use the cameras live TV out on a nearby monitor.
There wouldn't be any lag at all and the working distance could be a foot easy.

Resolution would be limited to composite TV, so 580 lines or whatever, but the good working distance would make up for it.
The optics would be much better too, so it would probably look sharper than a HD webcam with plastic lens.

Cheap broken/damaged 2ndhand cameras might work fine for this purpose if the fault was with some part of the camera you dont need. like the build in LCD, hot shoe, auto focus etc..

Here is my attempt at doing that.
It's a Canon 550D with a Sigma 70-300mm macro lens. I'm using the HDMI out.

For reference, the IC on the left has 0.5mm pin pitch.

That's what I call WORKING DISTANCE :)
How is the lag?
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 12:48:42 pm by kodi »
 

Offline andtfoot

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #64 on: January 12, 2014, 11:14:41 am »
That's what I call WORKING DISTANCE :)
How is the lag?
It's actually not that bad. There is a bit of motion blur at 1920x1080, because it's only doing 25fps. Drop it to 1280x720@50 and it smooths up a bit.
 

Offline MrAureliusR

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #65 on: January 17, 2014, 11:36:15 pm »
Just wanted to update those interested on the New Andonstar model. After watching Dave's video I finally got pushed over the edge, and the Andonstar one definitely seemed good for me.

I found an eBay seller that is based in China, but who has warehouses in the US, UK and Australia. Here in Canada it only took 5 working days to show up, not bad for China prices!

My model is the exact same one that Dave reviewed, with the nice aluminum stand and adjustable... everything.

A REALLY important note: The "jell-o" effect Dave noticed at higher resolutions is easily resolved by increasing the amount of light! With my auxiliary LED lamps on and pointed at the board, I can SMD solder fullscreen at 1280x1024 no problems at all. 1600x1200 is still a little bit laggy but it's still workable. The version of the software I have doesn't have 800x600, it jumps from 640x480 to 1280x1024.

Believe it or not, I must say this New Andonstar microscope is very, very good value for money. Attached are two shots, inspecting an SMD resistor. It's a board where it appears an 0805 was soldered into the place of a 1206. Having this microscope for the last few days has been a blast! I've been checking out all sorts of boards I have where I was thinking "If only I could get a better look at that..."

Anyway, just my two cents.



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Offline MLXXXp

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #66 on: January 19, 2014, 05:35:12 pm »
I found an eBay seller that is based in China, but who has warehouses in the US, UK and Australia. Here in Canada it only took 5 working days to show up, not bad for China prices!
Details?
 

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #67 on: January 23, 2014, 04:57:22 am »
My Andonstar camera arrived yesterday.  It worked out of the box quite nicely in two out of three computers.  In the third computer there was too much blur and lag using the software provided.  Finally I got it to work using Yawcam, which by the way is quite a nice free program:

http://www.yawcam.com/

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Offline ferrix

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #68 on: February 01, 2014, 07:26:03 pm »
Has anyone got a recommendation for a dongle computer that would be fast enough to interface a USB microscope to HDMI so I could basically just plug an Andonstar right into an LCD panel, rather than having an entire Windows machine dedicated to this?
 

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #69 on: February 01, 2014, 08:11:49 pm »
I received an Andonstar microscope yesterday. It was recognised and worked under Ubuntu Linux straight out of the box. So, a Raspberry Pi might work as a HDMI converter.
 

Offline ferrix

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #70 on: February 01, 2014, 08:13:59 pm »
I thought of that, but I am a little concerned about whether there's enough throughput.  I'm hoping someone here has one, and has tried something like this :)
 

Offline MLXXXp

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #71 on: February 01, 2014, 08:53:23 pm »
I thought of that, but I am a little concerned about whether there's enough throughput.
That's why I said a RPi might work. I wasn't sure about the throughput either. You mentioned dedicating a Windows machine to the task, so I just wanted to point out that a Linux based machine could be an option.
 

Offline ferrix

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #72 on: February 01, 2014, 09:09:00 pm »
Agreed.  I look forward to hearing whether anyone has had success with RPi or any mini-HDMI-type computer.
 

Offline GiskardReventlov

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #73 on: February 04, 2014, 12:23:48 am »
It would be better to use the Andonstar microscope 180° horizontally turned around , so that the PCB is resting on the table, or an ESD mat, instead that the downside of the PCB, and its components scratch around on the stand plate.

Is it possible to turn that around?
And is the plate heavy enough that the stand does not tilt over? (One could put an additional weight on it..)

I had the same questions, I didn't see an answer.   Did you get an answer yet?  In Dave's video I was waiting for him to try that.
 

Offline kc9qvl

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #74 on: February 04, 2014, 01:09:30 am »
Go to about 3:20 into Dave's video you will see the stand can rotate.
 

Offline MLXXXp

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #75 on: February 04, 2014, 01:11:39 am »
It would be better to use the Andonstar microscope 180° horizontally turned around , so that the PCB is resting on the table, or an ESD mat, instead that the downside of the PCB, and its components scratch around on the stand plate.

Is it possible to turn that around?
And is the plate heavy enough that the stand does not tilt over? (One could put an additional weight on it..)

Yes, the horizontal arm can be spun around 180° or more (It rotates freely and continuously until locked down).

Yes, the plate is heavy enough that it doesn't tilt over, with the arm rotated 180°. It can even support the full weight of the cable. Adding more weight on the base wouldn't be a problem but it's not necessary.
 

Offline Selectech

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #76 on: February 04, 2014, 01:18:48 am »
Linking this thread for those who haven't seen it:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/buysellwanted/fs-new-1080p-usb-microscope-for-easy-smt-soldering/
(short version, poster took the good stand with a custom head, a microsoft lifecam, replaced the lifecam's lens assembly, and seems to get good results, if rather more expensive).

I bought one a week ago and it was delivered today { to Canada }.

Did a quick test setup out of the box and it works great.  A busy week for me but I'll see if I can get some time to post some views of using it with real circuit boards.

At 1st glance it has good lighting, focus, field of view. Lots of room to work on a board with SMT tools without the camera getting in the way. The optical scope I use where I work is more for inspection and is hard to use with typical tools.

I have a collection of cheap USB scopes and none did what I needed. This is way better.

 

Offline GiskardReventlov

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #77 on: February 04, 2014, 04:21:37 am »
Yes, the horizontal arm can be spun around 180° or more (It rotates freely and continuously until locked down).

Yes, the plate is heavy enough that it doesn't tilt over, with the arm rotated 180°. It can even support the full weight of the cable. Adding more weight on the base wouldn't be a problem but it's not necessary.

That's good to know, that makes it more useful.
 

Offline Mike Warren

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #78 on: February 20, 2014, 10:46:54 pm »
I bought an Andonstar after Dave's review, and for $60 I think it does a good job.

Anyway after a couple of weeks the LED light would no longer turn off. I figured the pot had failed , and since I don't find the light practical I thought I'd just unsolder the wire from the pot. To my surprise, the light stayed on.

I couldn't work out how to get the body of the camera apart safely, so I wrote to Andonstar support to ask how. They wrote back saying they would send me a new unit, which tuned up a week later.

Very good service for a cheap Chinese supplier.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 10:55:51 pm by Mike Warren »
 

Offline GiskardReventlov

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #79 on: February 22, 2014, 03:31:47 am »
They wrote back saying they would send me a new unit, which tuned up a week later.

That is rare but a good sign. They are learning that being honest and treating your customers well equates to repeat business.  And word-of-mouth adds more sales.

As to the failure, you're saying that something failed open, but it was in the camera body not inline?
 

Offline Rubi

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #80 on: March 04, 2014, 01:02:38 pm »
I bought the diyinhk lens and modded a life cam and am pretty happy with it.
I already found a fault on my sdr cube build and therefore could fix it.

Example pics:
https://secure.flickr.com/photos/12416978@N06/sets/72157641206389593/

Cheers
OE1MIS
 

Offline pedro48

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #81 on: March 17, 2014, 12:42:23 am »
I too bought the Andonstar after Dave's review ... what a neat little unit, does everything I was looking for .. so thumbs up !!!..

One thing it does, I was not expecting ... if you start to record a video .... but then forget to turn it off... it does not stop... just keeps recording and chews through all the available disk space... in  my case 55Gb. .. then the PC crashed

pretty boring movie ... what an idiot !

 

Offline joseph.anand

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #82 on: March 17, 2014, 06:47:27 pm »
A REALLY important note: The "jell-o" effect Dave noticed at higher resolutions is easily resolved by increasing the amount of light!

I was initially planning to buy the cheaper USB microscope as a SMD soldering aid, but after this video decided against it because of the latency issue. However since I plan on building my own reflow oven controller(s) (with individual control of the bottom and top elements) I would need something for inspection. So I decided to buy one with the lowest possible zoom from ebay India (http://www.ebay.in/itm/USB-200X-Magnification-Digital-Microscope-8-LED-3MP-Interpolated-For-Windows-/261342134683). It cost me ?2699 (USD 45 approximately). I  The first thing I observed (in daylight) using "guvcview" was there was hardly any latency (low enough for me to solder by hand) or odd effects due to low frame rate. However at low light the frame rate dropped significantly. I had a look a the box and the specifications mention 30fps at 600lux ambient light). In the meantime I placed an order for a PS3 eye camera and hoping to see if I can get even lower latencies.
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #83 on: March 18, 2014, 02:48:30 am »
PS3 eye camera

you can control exposure directly on eyetoy = light has no influence on fps
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Offline joseph.anand

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #84 on: March 19, 2014, 12:07:13 am »
Well I can control exposure manually with most webcams and even with the USB microscope using guvcview on Linux. With PS3 eye with or without the auto exposure  there is no latency or drop in frame rate.

PS3 eye camera

you can control exposure directly on eyetoy = light has no influence on fps
 

Offline tjxkeith

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #85 on: July 27, 2014, 06:18:13 pm »
Hi

 I am thinking of buying an Andonstar after watching the review. I cannot find a  Manufactories Website for Andonstar so I am unable to check about a new version of this item.

It was posted  on U-tube by Yaodong Liu about 4 months ago. It looks as if it has the design of the stand has been changed and the new arm to move up and down may be operated by a plastic knob. I wonder if the spec of the microscope has been changed.

Does anyone know of the Website address for Andonstar also any supplier that has UK stock on E-bay someone else asked this question but haven't seen a reply.
 

Offline nixfu

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #86 on: July 29, 2014, 01:36:20 am »
They seem to be selling models with a gooseneck style mount.  I think I like the type Dave had with the metal bars instead. 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Andonstar-2MP-USB-Digital-Microscope-Camera-Magnifier-video-Endoscope-Camera-US-/201001891642?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ecca5773a



I have also seen that they are making one even THINNER now, that would make it theoretically even easier to get your soldering iron around.  It seems to have a very similar design with the twist at the top for the focus etc.  I wonder if the image is as good.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dental-USB-LED-Microscope-Endoscope-Magnifier-Oral-ENT-Camera-Vedio-Otoscope-/261473927434?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3ce10f810a
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 01:46:18 am by nixfu »
 

Offline tlk

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #87 on: August 29, 2014, 07:20:32 pm »
The twist-to-elevate mount for the Andonstar is wobbly.

The camera end of the arm has 4mm backlash.

I drilled and tapped 10-32 UNF into the retaining ring above the knurled sleeve.

I added a thumbscrew to lock the shaft in place.  Works great.
 

Offline sugi

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #88 on: October 05, 2014, 09:40:18 am »
I tried the document camera of EPSON ELPDC20.
I think that it has the function which was excellent as an SMT micro scope.

Youtube.
http://youtu.be/XgScwj0IcK8

Explanation blog.
http://blog.livedoor.jp/sugimlabo/archives/40834310.html
It is Japanese. However, I think that you can understand by Google translation.

 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #89 on: October 05, 2014, 08:57:20 pm »
Frame rate is not that good for real time soldering. Looks pretty laggy.
 

Offline sugi

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #90 on: October 06, 2014, 12:27:13 am »
I also think so.Soldering in USB connection is impossible.
HDMI connection is very fast.
However, HDMI Monitor's response is worrying for me.
I like a magnifying glass.
 

Offline sugi

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #91 on: October 07, 2014, 11:26:25 am »
EPSON ELPDC20 is connected to PC monitor by HDMI, and it is photoed with a camera.
I think that Frame rate in HDMI is not bad.

http://youtu.be/C3qZXNJFLeU
 

Offline Futterama

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #92 on: December 16, 2014, 01:00:31 pm »
So if anything, this appears to be an older model than Dave's.
Actually, I just got a reply from Andonstar sales, the model where a black plastic tube is becoming visible when adjusting focus, is the new type, Dave got the older type where the USB cable moves when adjusting focus.

Also, they have a new stand which they claim to be more stable than the older one, like the one in that Dave's review. The new stand with the new style focus system is attached.

 

Offline sugi

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #93 on: February 13, 2015, 07:56:32 am »
I tried many things.
However, the substance microscope was the best to me.
It is perfect real time.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #94 on: February 13, 2015, 04:09:13 pm »
An old DSLR with HDMI output and a cheap macro lens seems like the best option by far. Mounting is a bit of an issue but there are cheap mounts on eBay.

Most cameras don't give you a live update on the HDMI output and they only use it for playback.
Maybe indicating what cameras supports a live preview update will be helpful to others.
 

Offline Seekonk

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #95 on: February 16, 2015, 09:52:32 am »
I just bought a cheap USB scopr on ebay, $16 US ship.   This is a handy tool for identifying chips.  Following picture is a .16 inch package and the black on black etch is easy to read. No photoshop was done to this photo. Beats any hand magnifier I've used!
 

Offline metRo_

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« Last Edit: April 25, 2015, 01:51:11 pm by metRo_ »
 

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #97 on: April 25, 2015, 02:16:31 pm »
Got a USB type sometime back, but never really use it as needing a PC is just too inconvenient.  This just came out in China, and shall take a while to appear on ebay.  If you can wait, the next version shall be even better as the mount is made of plastics so wear out almost immediately for my set.   
 

Offline metRo_

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #98 on: June 18, 2015, 11:27:59 am »
Can anyone share the andonstar software?

Thank you
 

Offline Icchan

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #99 on: June 24, 2015, 11:02:56 am »
If someone already posted these to this thread, please remove this, but i found these reviews of the lapson model just the other day... only reviews on YouTube for these cameras.





From this it seems that  Lapson takes their customers complaints seriously and that the devices are good for their price even if the optics that they offer are just "OK". But they offer c-type mounting like someone in this thread previously mentioned, so just whack on what ever optics you want basically.

I'm seriously considering these for the basis of my soldering/inspection station in the future.

You'll find these things from Ebay in 3 basic models that offer different specifications.

I would consider the 1080p @ 60hz model that they offer and add to that an HDMI capturing card and off you go. With decent optics you can get really nifty inspection/soldering microscope for under a 1000€ and it surely is better than anything else you can get from ebay with similar price tag.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 11:04:30 am by Icchan »
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #100 on: July 04, 2015, 11:54:45 am »
Can anyone share the andonstar software?

Thank you

I just got one of these yesterday. I'm pretty pleased with it, very well made. It really doesn't need any specific software, just any generic webcam viewer. It works on bot my Linux netbook and my Windoze machines. Comes with attachments for the tip end - not sure what all of them do, I think one is so a female can look up inside herself ...  :-[
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Offline Internetausdrucker

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #101 on: March 31, 2017, 02:57:51 am »
Any recent Uupdates on these Lapsun systems? Has anyone bought one recently? I am just thinking about ordering one for me.
 

Offline Internetausdrucker

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #102 on: April 01, 2017, 04:07:01 am »
So I am thinking about ordering this one here, as the Lapsun ones do not seem to be available any more.

-> Link to Aliexpress

The only problem is that it is unclear to me, if these things put out 1080p over HDMI.
 

Offline KeebRDB

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews 1600 x 1200 @ 30 FPS!
« Reply #103 on: April 02, 2017, 02:21:29 am »
Regarding Dave's review of the Andonstar USB Microscope:

It's worth noting that you can get 30 frames per second at the full 1600x1200 if you simply change the "Color Space / Compression" to MJPG in the Options | Video Capture Pin settings.   (see the attached image)
That looks fine for my needs and I really like the faster response time.  :)

« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 02:23:09 am by KeebRDB »
 
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Offline Nagle

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #104 on: April 07, 2017, 07:02:41 pm »
I've used this Plugable Technologies USB microscope for placing SMT parts. It's pretty good for $35. No special software; it talks to "Cheese" on Linux and webcam programs on Windows. Depth of focus is OK for SMT; board and tops of parts are both in focus at the same time. You can move the lens in and refocus if you want a close up. There's a ring of LEDs around the camera lens for illumination. Color fidelity is not great, but for assembly, that's not a big deal. It's not zoom, but magnification is about right for SMT placement.


The camera gooseneck attaches to the base with a suction cup, so you can attach it to other things.

I do SMT assembly with this watching the laptop screen, not looking at the board. It's much easier than with the usual lamp with a lens setup.
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #105 on: April 09, 2017, 07:59:49 pm »
 That is exactly the one I have. I did find the cheesy base and suction cup didn't work very well, it kept falling odd. So I unscrewed the suction cup and for now, until I can engineer an alternative mount for it, I just have the shaft stuck under my scope on the lowest shelf over my work area, which holds it in place. And even though it's a much greater distance than just bending the arm as shown, it still can focus at that distance.
 SO far I've mostly used it for parts ID. I tried soldering under it - it will take some practice to adjust my hand-eye coordination (which never was awesome to begin with -0 musical instruments and being really good at most handheld controller type video games is beyond me, but I've been soldering so long I can do that in the usual manner just fine - I just can't see as well and even through hole I tend to look over my glasses and solder inches from my face because that's the clearest view. Haven't burned myself yet) so I can effectively solder while looking at my video screen. But it does do the job, and I'm quite impressed for the cheap price.

 

Online frozenfrogz

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #106 on: April 11, 2017, 08:56:22 pm »
Bought one of the Andonstar ones recently. Not too bad for the price point. However, the first unit I got was mechanically well made, but there was something wrong with the sensor. Images looked solarized and flakey (see attachment).
The second unit seems not as good mechanically and the LEDs are flickering on lower brightness settings, but the image quality is as expected.

After all, you can clearly make out it is coming from far off lands :/
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Online Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #107 on: April 11, 2017, 11:56:12 pm »
Oh, that is hard to look at.
 

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #108 on: April 12, 2017, 07:06:57 am »
Oh, that is hard to look at.

My initial thought was: Awesome! FLIR microscope for 50€!

But nah. Its just looking funky. :)
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Offline daveyk

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EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #109 on: April 12, 2017, 09:11:32 am »
Are they really fast enough to solder under? When I tried one at work a few years ago, there was a noticeable lag from mechanical movement until the display showed it, so soldering was impossible. Would you need a high end gaming computer or gaming video card for the display to update fast enough for these to really be useable?


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Online frozenfrogz

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #110 on: April 12, 2017, 09:32:44 am »
These are just "sort of" usable for soldering. There is a lot of lagging going on and you need to use lower resolution video stream.
After all, these are just camera modules hard wired to USB 2.0 without compression. They are doing a reasonably well job for documenting and inspection however.
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Offline rrinker

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #111 on: April 12, 2017, 01:42:40 pm »
 The image from mine is MUCH better than that Adonstar, none of that false color and artifacting. You can clearly read the designation on SMD parts. There is maybe a slight lag but with a little practice I believe I will be able to solder under it. As I stated, my issue is more the hand-eye coordination when not looking at my hands but rather watching the screen. I can;t type without looking at the keyboard - and even then it's not the greatest. It often looks like I can't spell even basic words but if you ask me to verbally spell things I am actually pretty good at it - won the spelling bee in elementary school  :D It's all typos. I swear.  :-DD

 

Online frozenfrogz

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #112 on: April 12, 2017, 03:17:31 pm »
Just to clarify: The image quality of the Andonstar is not too shabby either.
What I posted above was from the defective one.
See the attached screen grabs from maximum distance the mount mechanically allows up to minimum focusing distance.
Depth of field is obviously not the best, but that is to be expected with such a tiny pin-hole camera.
Lighting conditions were a little sub-optimal.

By the way, this is a Wifi-Relay I ordered of eBay. Chinese manufacturer / QC department fucked it up again mounting the rectifying diode in the upper left corner (F1) backwards - not wanting to offend any of you coming from China of course :)



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Offline bktemp

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #113 on: April 12, 2017, 03:29:07 pm »
Chinese manufacturer / QC department fucked it up again mounting the rectifying diode in the upper left corner (F1) backwards - not wanting to offend any of you coming from China of course :)
It is even worse, because F1 should probably be a fuse.
First mistake: Put the fuse after the voltage transient supressor diode. It should be next to the input, so an overvoltage can blow the fuse when the TVS diode starts conducting.
Second mistake: Place a diode instead of a fuse.
Third mistake: Mount the diode backwards.
 

Online Brumby

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #114 on: April 12, 2017, 03:30:58 pm »
Much better images...  :)
 

Offline Zbig

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #115 on: April 12, 2017, 03:42:08 pm »
 

Online frozenfrogz

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #116 on: April 13, 2017, 12:08:11 pm »
Yes, facepalm much indeed xD

However, the ESP12F is a pretty capable Wifi module with more than enough GPIOs and 4Mb flash memory to tinker with for 3€ :)
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Offline Grapsus

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #117 on: December 10, 2017, 04:54:43 pm »
Hi there !

I just got the cheapo USB2 andonstar A1 from amazon and spent some time playing with it on Linux.
It looks like the chip used in this product supports real-time MJPG compression which helps getting more images through the USB2 bottleneck.
The original software doesn't make use of this mode and only streams YUV bitmaps hence the 5 fps limitation in 1600x1200.
With MJPG enabled, I could get a steady stream at 16.66fps@1600x1200 (you have to make sure there is enough light otherwise the autoexposure will slow down the framerate).
It is quite usable for soldering in this mode.

I'll try to use a raspberry pi zero to get a dedicated device which just outputs HDMI. Maybe also wire two buttons one for taking snapshots and another one for recording video.
 
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Offline xzswq21

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #118 on: December 16, 2017, 08:34:49 am »
Hi
I have 20 pieces of 0201 SMD resistors on my FPGA board, if I buy the below microscope, can I solder them?

http://optix.com.my/index.php/product/andonstar-2mp-usb-digital-microscope-video-otoscope-endoscope-loupe-camera-cam/

Thanks
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Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #119 on: December 16, 2017, 09:04:20 am »
Quote
I have 20 pieces of 0201 SMD resistors on my FPGA board, if I buy the below microscope, can I solder them?

Unlikely, because the focal length is too short to get a soldering iron under there. Or tweezers if you're doing to it properly and reflowing paste.

But these things are cheap enough to try it anyway, and then you'll know what 'features' you don't want in the next kit you buy ;)
 
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Offline xzswq21

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #120 on: December 16, 2017, 09:15:23 am »
Quote
I have 20 pieces of 0201 SMD resistors on my FPGA board, if I buy the below microscope, can I solder them?

Unlikely, because the focal length is too short to get a soldering iron under there. Or tweezers if you're doing to it properly and reflowing paste.

But these things are cheap enough to try it anyway, and then you'll know what 'features' you don't want in the next kit you buy ;)

I have a big boom magnifier, when I see a 0201 resistor with the boom, I see the 0201 resistor in similar a 0603 resistor with my eyes.
is there any chances to solder 0201 resistor?

also I have a SMD rework station (Hot Air) and 0.3mm solder wire.
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Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #121 on: December 16, 2017, 10:58:29 am »
I would suggest that this is a case of suck it and see. Different people will have different success rates, and only you will know how you might fare.
 

Offline amspire

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Re: EEVblog #566 - Cheap USB Microscope Reviews
« Reply #122 on: December 16, 2017, 11:13:00 am »
Quote
I have 20 pieces of 0201 SMD resistors on my FPGA board, if I buy the below microscope, can I solder them?

Unlikely, because the focal length is too short to get a soldering iron under there. Or tweezers if you're doing to it properly and reflowing paste.

But these things are cheap enough to try it anyway, and then you'll know what 'features' you don't want in the next kit you buy ;)
You can choose whatever distance you want - the closer the higher the magnification.

I tried a 25mm gap to the object as I think this is probably the closest you would want for comfortable soldering. Here is an screencapture image of a 0.2mm grid using a Chinese clone of the Andonstar microscope at 25mm. The resolution was set to 1600x1200.

0201 is 0.25 mm × 0.125 mm so it is slightly longer then one of the divisions.

« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 11:28:22 am by amspire »
 
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