Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cheap Online Digital Microscope

A USB digital microscope that I bought from www.dx.com turned up today.  I wanted something cheap to inspect soldering and PCBs, and at $30 dollars I didn't have much to lose.

Product Box
USB Microscope
The specs say the sensor is 2.0 Mega Pixels, but I can't get anything above 480x640.  Might be a driver issue, but as the included CD was blank and there is no website to download drivers the from, I'm stuck with it.  Doesn't worry me, I was fully expecting problems.  480x640 is fine for my purposes.

Product Box
Microscope Specs

Product Contents
Package Contents

To focus the scope you manually turn a small black wheel on the side of the case.  There is also a button on the camera to take snapshots, which doesn't work.  I assume it would work if had the right drivers, but I prefer to trigger the snapshot from the computer.  This eliminates any movement of the camera that may blur the picture.  The on-off switch controls a ring 8 LEDs around the lens that are used to illuminate the subject.

It comes with a stand that is pretty much useless, which is what I had expected from reviews of similar products.

USB Microscope
Microscope with stand

There isn't much to say, it does what I want and I'm happy with it.  As expected the product isn't great, but it gets me the results I want at a price that I'm happy to pay.

A few sample shots are shown below to get an idea of the results.  Using a ruler as a test shot I was able to determine that there are about 100 pixels per mm or 2.5 pixels per mil which agrees with the track sizing on a couple of the PCBs imaged.

It also looks as if the images are a little over exposed.  I may have to perform some adjustments there.

Surface Mount Resistor
Surface Mount Resistor

Five Dollar Note
Australian Five Dollar Note

2 dollar coin
Back of Australian 2 dollar coin

Steel Ruler
Metal Ruler with 0.5 mm Markings

PCB
Soldermask, Track, and Pads

PCB
Silkscreen

PCB
Silkscreen

No comments:

Post a Comment