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Thread: USB Microscope

  1. #1

    USB Microscope

    Over time I've used lots of ways of taking notes when working on watches. The best way for me is to take pictures as I take a watch apart. I've used a small point and shoot, and a DSLR with a macro lens, even a microscope at times. These methods have been somewhat complicated, moving the movement, or the camera, needing a tripod, etc. There are now relatively inexpensive USB microscopes which are ideal for this. This is what I use on a stand I made to hold a one way focusing rail, with a small camera mount attached to the focusing rail. I have a dedicated monitor for looking at the pictures I've taken when putting the movement back together. It is also the monitor that I use when using a movement timing program. Here's a picture of the USB microscope, with the monitor in the background.



    Here's a resulting picture. Not quite as sharp as a picture with a good macro, but plenty good for its purpose.



    It is at low magnification. It can be adjusted for high magnification, if one wants to look at something closely.



    The scratches on the jewel plate aren't from me. ;)

    (I may have shown something like this before. If so, my apologies for repeating.)

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  2. #2
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting that, I'll look into something similar.

    n2
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  3. #3
    Craftsman
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    Excellent, looks like the USB scopes have improved

  4. #4
    Journeyman
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    That looks like a really good set up and good image.
    If I get chance ( remember ) next time I'm in the watch shed i'll post up some of my pictures.

    There's a good chance they won't be as good as yours mind.
    I fitted my USB microscope on a dremel 3 in 1 work station.

    Paul.

  5. #5
    Apprentice Gr4ndp4's Avatar
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    Just ordered something similar from Amazon -
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06WD843ZM/ref=TE_item
    at £14.99 how can I resist.

  6. #6
    I have a more retro microscope setup for a little lathe on a side bench, which is intended for pivot polishing, and the like. (The bigger lathe is in the work shed.) The mount for the microscope is a bit industrial, as I used some left over bits from a railing I put around the storage loft hatch.



    Best wishes,
    Bob

    PS And the bench top is half a pretty nice door the neighbor was getting rid of, and the stand is a chopping board from a charity shop. The other half of the door is a shelf in in the work shed. :)

    When we had the garden room put in, we had it in two parts. 2/3 of the garden room for books, chairs and a desk. 1/3 for me, however I wanted to arrange it. Here's what it looked like in the spring, after I build some benches, some storage stuff, and started to arrange the tools.



    RLF
    Last edited by rfrazier; 16th October 2018 at 22:24.

  7. #7
    Master AlphaOmega's Avatar
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    That USB microscope looks intriguing.

    Didn't know I wanted one until now.

  8. #8
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfrazier View Post


    RLF
    Sherline?
    Dave

  9. #9
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfrazier View Post

    When we had the garden room put in, we had it in two parts. 2/3 of the garden room for books, chairs and a desk. 1/3 for me, however I wanted to arrange it. Here's what it looked like in the spring, after I build some benches, some storage stuff, and started to arrange the tools.



    RLF
    Excellent set up, a small man cave.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave S View Post
    Sherline?
    Dave
    Yes, good spot.

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  11. #11
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    If you want a scope you can work under with lots of room, then I would suggest a Meiji scope ezm series is very good. Fit a 0.5x objective lense and then you easily get enough room for hands and tools underneath.

    I use one for oiling escapements and checking wear and oiling. I have it on an arm so it just gets swung out the way when not needed.

  12. #12
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    I recognise the Elicar focus rail Bob Ö I recall you buying it a few years ago :)

    That's a very neat and tidy workshop.

    Regards

    dunk
    "I know not how to abstain from reading" Ö Samuel Pepys

  13. #13
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    I'm going to give this one a bump. I attended the Hampshire virtual GTG last night and I had thought that I'd be able to show watches using an external webcam but the results were particularly disappointing. Is anybody using a USB microscope or have any recommendations? I see there is some fairly high grade stuff on Cousins and I could probably spend hours on the Meiji site mentioned by me32dc - I also realise that there are so many on sites like Amazon for very little money that it would be difficult to go wrong (but I don't want to just buy something that will end up in landfill).

    Any thoughts?
    Die Zeit verwandelt uns nicht, sie entfaltet uns nur.

  14. #14
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Consider the options documented on Brunel Microscopes' website. I've not used a digital microscope but have considered using e.g. a Brunel trinocular stereo microscope with a digital camera attached to the trinocular tube and a supplementary focal reducer lens attached to the objective. The set-up would enable 3D viewing through the stereo eyepieces … but instantly switchable to laptop digital viewing. High power e.g. 20x magnification and greater would not be required … any stereo 'scope with a trinocular tube offering e.g. 5x mag. to 20x mag. should suffice. The magnification can be reduced by screwing a 0.5x supplementary lens onto the objective … which would also increase the working distance. Brunel also list s/h and ex-demo instruments. As with all stereo microscopes, the means of illumination is as important as the optics … most 'scopes have built-in incident illuminators … but some do not. And some stereo 'scopes are available with built-in digital cameras.

    http://www.brunelmicroscopes.co.uk/stereos.html … but note not suitable for Mac

    http://www.brunelmicroscopes.co.uk/d...croscopyl.html

    Brunel can likely advise further if you discuss your exact requirements with them.

    Also worth browsing Brunel's 'used' and 'demo' lists but need to look daily as popular items soon sell

    http://www.usedmicroscopes.co.uk/stereomicroscopes.html

    dunk
    Last edited by sundial; 1st April 2020 at 14:06.
    "I know not how to abstain from reading" Ö Samuel Pepys

  15. #15
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Thanks Dunk (as usual). I suspect that's going to be a little rich for me; I'm not anticipating a huge use of this so anything over £100/Ä100 is probably out of scope. I also don't necessarily want something that's going to take up a huge amount of space in a cupboard. I absolutely agree that the illumination is as much part of the exercise as the actual optics. I'm obviously happy to spend at the upper end of the budget but don't just want to buy something that's only worth £25 but has been priced optimistically to give the impression of quality.
    Die Zeit verwandelt uns nicht, sie entfaltet uns nur.

  16. #16
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    I have a fibre optic ring light Iím no longer using that you can have. Only problem is it wonít be till after all this blows over as itís at work.

  17. #17
    Grand Master Carlton-Browne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by me32dc View Post
    I have a fibre optic ring light Iím no longer using that you can have. Only problem is it wonít be till after all this blows over as itís at work.
    That's an extremely kind offer. Depending on how I get on I may well take you up on it.
    Die Zeit verwandelt uns nicht, sie entfaltet uns nur.

  18. #18
    Craftsman
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    Just drop me a message when you know

  19. #19
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlton-Browne View Post
    Thanks Dunk (as usual). I suspect that's going to be a little rich for me; I'm not anticipating a huge use of this so anything over £100/€100 is probably out of scope. I also don't necessarily want something that's going to take up a huge amount of space in a cupboard. I absolutely agree that the illumination is as much part of the exercise as the actual optics. I'm obviously happy to spend at the upper end of the budget but don't just want to buy something that's only worth £25 but has been priced optimistically to give the impression of quality.
    This appears to be the one from the OP, which looks like it produces very acceptable images. At a bob under 34 quid I'm very tempted.

    It appears that the included stand doesn't offer enough distance for your needs but that's relatively easy to address.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...NYBMLIQ3&psc=1
    Don't Panic

  20. #20
    In addition to the Plugable (pictured on left, in use with image on screen), and the Brunel stereo (pictured towards the top of the thread), I have a "Hot" (picture foreground). It is pretty nice, both higher resolution and higher power than the Plugable. I don't use it much because of the angle of view is trickier to work with than the Plugable, which is very easy to use and plenty good enough for my use (documentation of work).



    (This picture was taken with a Pentax K10D and Elicar 90mm Macro lens. :) )

    Best wishes,
    Bob
    Last edited by rfrazier; 5th April 2020 at 22:41.

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