Excellent USB microscope on sale for $30

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/26/excellent-usb-microscope-on-sa.html


If I got a usb to micro usb adaptor could I plug it into my phone make it portable?


Hows the video latency on it? These microscopes are really useful for highly detailed work (like small-scale soldering), but they have to basically be real-time for that to work.


Had my eye on one of these off of Amazon for some time. Need some more feedback on its usefulness before I purchase…

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One of the questions:

"Question: Has anyone tried this for soldering pcb (printed circuit boards)

Answer: I’ve not used it on PCPs, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work except for the plastic mat that it sits on. That wouldn’t be a problem if you pay attention or move the mat to one side. It would give you the ability to QA your joins. "


That doesn’t really address my concern.

Cheap microscopes can have a significant video delay, making it very hard to maneuver a soldering iron under it since you see everything you do a second after you do it. It’s like trying to speak when you can hear yourself slightly delayed. That’s why I ask about latency specifically.


I have one of these and it’s fun for just playing around with and seeing things up close.

People often seem to have a problem where they can’t get the largest magnifications to work, but you just have to keep turning the focus and it WILL work. You can get it to the point where the raised part of a coin is in focus while the lower part is out of focus, it’s so close.


At least one of the reviews references a “live image” that they use for soldering:

You can always ask a more specific question about the latency of the live image on Amazon if you want.


I have one and the latency isn’t noticeable. Though I never tried to solder with it. The bigger problem is figuring out the reverse orientation. You would probably want a way to fix it more securely too. Tiny jostles are enough to lose track of your image. I mostly use it to read hallmarks and to find splinters. At 250X you see all sorts of sub-splinter sized things embedded in your skin.


Also good for vinylphile audio nerds (like me) for checking the stylus on phono cartridges. Just ordered one; they’ll be back in stock 30 March.

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Been holding out to get one of these for surface mount work… ah fuckit. I’ll get it and let you know how it works for me, @apalatn.


OK I got one of these the last time Mark or someone hawked them.

The resolution is… wanting. But what do you want for $30? That would be my biggest single want of improvement.

I tend to do it hand held vs using the stand, and so I can blur stuff up when trying to get it to focus. I am not really sure how great the magnification is, as it seems to generally have a close and closer focal point, and how many times that is magnification wise depends on how far away it is from the lens, I think. The software is basically freeware USB camera software, so it should work with a phone, I’d imagine with the right adapter. The focal length of course is short - duh - it is a microscope.

I was disappointed I couldn’t find any rotifers when I tried pond water, but I think this spring I am going to try to find some water bears. They are about .5mm, so I should be able to see them with this.

Also, DON’T use it on your body. Even the most clean looking area is full of flaky skin, dirt, and other weirdness. Certain, parts even look like cracked Martian deserts of weirdness.

Here are a few pics I have taken.

Spot of White on an LED monitor.

Ant mandibles in amber

Fly in amber

Another pic of it. You can wiggle the focus to bring different levels into focus.

What is it? No idea, but its in my amber.

And that same thing in the closer setting.

Mosquito looking thing, probably a type of fly though. I dunno.

High thread count sheets.

Same magnification, crappy dish towel.

Some little round crystals in I think pumice sent to me by @japhroaig from the Canary Island of Tanerife.

Same island, sample of a red/brown scoria, volcanic rock.

And another of a black, heavier scoria which I think might be more of a glass.


i have an eyeclops 200x that is completely portable and saves pictures to a usb stick. the images are rather small dimension wise, but it is pretty easy to use and you can take video as well as focus on objects like bugs without touching them. it is illuminated and was made as a kids toy, but i’m still a kid at heart so…

i think i’ll probably get one of these microscopes as well, they look pretty neat.

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Bought one of these on Monoprice quite some time ago, specifically the 41x “Egg” model. It has of course sat around collecting dust ever since.


Well, hardly the fault of the device. Get out there, get some kids, see what stuff looks like close up.


Not recommended for those with delusional parasitosis. Human skin is gross enough that close up, if you are already freaked out or in danger of being freaked out, be kind to yourself and just don’t.

How do I know? I used one to help me pull out a very small splinter, which lead me to look at other areas of my hands and arms. Let me tell you, even small wounds are pretty intense when highly magnified.


Yep. I sorta wish I could have found a mite on my eyelash, but it isn’t that good. But yes we are filthy animals :wink:


And you’ve never wondered what dust looks like at 41x magnification?


But under the microscope would be the one place the dust wouldn’t…

Aww, you edited it.


I used a cheap, generic, usb video camera with my Android phone – I think that I just searched for “usb camera” in the Play store and used the best rated app. It was a waterproof video camera on a 10 meter cable that I used to check out some pipes.

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