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DigiMicro 200X Zooming USB Digital Microscope in ubuntu (linux)

by mat on March 20th, 2010

I’ve wanted a USB microscope for a long time, and I have finally purchased a DigiMicro 200X Zooming USB Digital Microscope from dealextreme (product link) It only cost $40.23 USD (about £27.34 GBP) which I think is quite reasnoble for the fun and cool photos I’m getting out of it.

DigiMicro 200X Zooming USB Digital Microscope

DigiMicro 200X Zooming USB Digital Microscope

Quick Review
Advantages

  • Very Cheap
  • Easy to setup (plug and play)
  • Can take some awesome photos, see below
  • Three illumination settings (full on, half on, off) on top of software compensation

Disadvantages

  • Controls (lights, zoom/focus and snapshot) are located on the body which make using them difficult if you are trying not to move your sample
  • The stand is not very stable, tightening it to maximum holds it steady at certain angles for short periods of time
  • Takes ~ 2 weeks to arrive from dealextreme as they are based in hong kong

Setup

The beauty of this webcam is that it requires no installation with ubuntu 9.10 you simply need to run the software and the camera works! woo! The output of `lsusb` shows the device as:

Bus 001 Device 006: ID 0c45:62e0 Microdia MSI Starcam Racer

and `dmesg` shows the following:

[22844.064666] uvcvideo: Found UVC 1.00 device USB 2.0 Camera (0c45:62e0)
[22844.080844] input: USB 2.0 Camera as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:0b.1/usb1/1-6/1-6:1.0/input/input9

Software
Most video programs will pick up the device, I am opting to use a program called cheese which is awesome not only because of the name but also because of its simplicity.

sudo apt-get install cheese

Screenshot of cheese webcam software in action

Screenshot of cheese webcam software in action

Lens Cap
Remember to take the lens cap off otherwise you will end up focusing on the plastic cap as shown below. It is fairly obvious if this is the problem as moving the microscope will only change the light levels not the image.

Photo of the microscope focussed on its lens cap

Photo of the microscope focussed on its lens cap

Pretty images

200x Microscope image of belly button fluff

200x Microscope image of belly button fluff

Full ~200x zoom microscope image of belly button fluff

Full ~200x zoom microscope image of belly button fluff


200x Microscope image of a £2 coin

200x Microscope image of a £2 coin


Full ~200x zoom magnified section of a £2 coin

Full ~200x zoom magnified section of a £2 coin


200x Microscope image of a custard blob

200x Microscope image of a custard blob


Nonmagnified screenshot of section of screen with the google logo

Nonmagnified screenshot of section of screen with the google logo


200x magnified section of screen with the google logo showing the individual pixels

200x magnified section of screen with the google logo showing the individual pixels


Full ~200x zoom magnified section of screen with the google logo showing the individual pixels

Full ~200x zoom magnified section of screen with the google logo showing the individual pixels


Full ~200x zoom magnified section of my finger

Full ~200x zoom magnified section of my finger


Full ~200x zoom magnified another section of my finger

Full ~200x zoom magnified another section of my finger


Full ~200x zoom magnified section of an LED

Full ~200x zoom magnified section of an LED


Full ~200x zoom magnified section of an LDR

Full ~200x zoom magnified section of an LDR

Any requests for microscope images (within reason) will be considered :)

16 Comments
  1. Andrew permalink

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post. Exactly what I was looking for…saved me a lot of time.

  2. Christine permalink

    Purchased this for my skincare business but I am having a hard time getting it to work… my laptop’s webcam seems to steal the show, any suggestions?

  3. @Christine Well I don’t know what software or operating system you are using, so I can’t really help you. You would be much better off emailing the manufacturer or a forum relating to this subject.

    However I have some vague general suggestions for you. In whatever software your using try changing the camera source in preferences or settings or somewhere. You could try disabling your laptops internal webcam (via control panel / device manager if your using windows) so that the only webcam detected is the microscope. Good luck.

  4. Steve permalink

    Sorry

    but there is no way the LCD monitor shot, and the LDR shot is 200x magnification.

    a LDR is about 1cm which at 200x would make it 2 meters wide, that image is 10cm at best making is 10x magnification

    same with the GBP coin

  5. @steve, Yeah I was just assuming the min/max zoom levels here on the microscope were as stated, I knew they sounded a bit rubbish so I measured the magnification of the microscope in this post. I also got a better microscope which can go upto “400x” (link here).

  6. Angela permalink

    Just set it up but I cannot focus it for some reason. :-( What am I doing wrong? Please help. Thanks!

  7. Richard Feasey permalink

    When I try to install software the computer locks up. I am using Windows 7, do you have a download?

  8. Rafa permalink

    Hi, I have the very same microscope and I manage to make it work with Cheese, but I can not manage to turn on the LEDs

  9. eu preciso instalar meu microscopio
    ele é digi-microscope bw708-2010
    foi perdido o cd e o w7 acha ele mais dá com desconhecido
    então ficou como pendente de instalação .
    alguem pode mi ajuda fico muito grato a todos um forte abraço

  10. Marc permalink

    Thanks for your post. It’s very useful. But, I have a question to you… Could you take photos with a major resolution than 640×480 in Ubuntu?
    King Regards,
    Marc.

  11. Joe permalink

    Too bad there’s nothing that will allow you to take measurements. The software that came with my microscope allowed you to draw on the images to measure distances. Cheese is a good app but it doesn’t allow you to measure anything. Anyone know of something that works in Linux?

  12. dave weaver permalink

    I have one of these digital scopes, It has been as advertised and works great. No problem with software or saving on Win XP.

    Yesterday, the focus knob locked up. I have to focus with distance to specimen. Does anyone know how to fix this, or does anyone know the link to the digimicro people?

    Happy viewing!

    Dave

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