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Plugable USB 2.0 Digital Microscope with Flexible Arm Observation Stand for Windows, Mac, Linux (2MP, 250x Magnification)
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- Useful and fun for students, collectors, testers, and anyone interested in exploring the microscopic world.
- 2.0 Megapixels, up to 250x magnification (Note: Final magnification corresponds to monitor size)
- Uses a webcam chipset and sensor to support nearly any operating system using standard webcam software. Users with an Oculus Rift may require additional setup.
- LED halo light with brightness adjustment control. Flexible arm stand with observation pad includes graduated marks for easy measurement.
- Optional software for Windows and OS X adds additional features
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Explore the Microscopic World Around You
Great for kids, hobbyists, and professionals, the Plugable USB2-MICRO-250X Digital Microscope allows you to work quickly and effectively at the microscopic level. Common uses include classroom exploration, stamp or coin analysis, micro-soldering, garden parasite identification, and much more.
The companion software available on our website for Windows and OS X allows you to control aspects of the camera functionality directly from your computer. Capture resolution and exposure can be changed with a few clicks, and video or time-lapse modes allow for continuous observation of a subject.
The Microscope includes built-in LEDs that can be dialed through a range of brightness levels to properly illuminate your subject. Unlike many other USB microscopes, these LEDs shine through a diffuser to combat glare.
This is especially useful when viewing reflective objects like coins. Instead of harsh glare, the diffuser gives even light distribution across the object being viewed.
Capacitive Capture Button
We used a capacitive touch button to initiate image capture rather than a physical push button. When viewing small objects at microscopic levels, the slightest bump can offset an image to an unviewable state. With a capacitive button, the lightest touch snaps a blur-free image.
Image capture can also be initiated from within the downloadable companion software, along with video or configurable time-lapse capture.
Support is built in to all versions of windows from XP and above. This includes Windows 10, 8.1/8, 7, Vista, and XP.
Companion software is available on our website for Windows that allows finer control of the device, or any other video capture software can be used.
Mac OSX versions 10.4.2 and above have built-in support for USB Video Class devices.
Companion software is available on our website for OSX that allows finer control of the device, or you can use any video capture software, including Photo Booth.
Built-in support for kernels 2.6.26 and above, works on Raspberry Pi with Raspbian Jessie. We recommend using GTK+ UVC Viewer.
Works on all Chrome OS devices with the built in Camera application.
Many newer Android devices support the microscope using an OTG cable and a viewing application. Select devices many not, and it's up to the device manufacturer to support external cameras.
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Seller Warranty DescriptionWe love our Plugable products and hope you will too. All of our products are backed with a 1-year limited parts and labor warranty and Seattle-based email support.
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At the $35 price point, I certainly wasn't expecting "Dino-Lite" quality or performance, but I must say that I was not disappointed. The Plugable is all plastic, but appears to be reasonably well made. It was easy to setup and get the software installed. The drivers and software are not included, but there is a link to them in the included "quick start" guide. I prefer to download software and drivers to get the most recent versions.
Once the software is installed and the microscope is assembled on the stand, just plug in the USB connection and you're ready to go.
The software is easy to use and appears to provide just about everything you need to make the most of the microscope. You can take photos or videos. There is a button on the camera for photos, but you can also click on the software button to take a picture. Since the microscope is so sensitive and can be easily moved out of position, I found it much more beneficial to take photos by clicking the button in the software.
Fact vs fiction???
The specs state that the microscope will provide 10x to 250x magnification. I didn't see any way to vary the magnification so I contacted customer service. They told me that the magnification depends on the distance the microscope is from the object in conjunction with the focus ring. It's somewhat confusing and takes getting used to, but you will get "interesting" results. In reality, there is no way to even come close to guessing what magnification you're at.
I have included some photos of a quarter at various "magnifications". As I said, it's just a matter of moving the microscope closer to the quarter and focusing accordingly. If you place the microscope right on the object and continuing turning the focus ring towards the "+", you will get two focus points, the later one being the highest magnification possible. Hopefully, the photos will demonstrate what I'm talking about.
Overall, if you just want to have some fun and you're not doing serious research or lab work, this is worth a try. It won't break the bank and it's fun for "kids" of all ages. I'm 63, retired and always looking for new "toys".
I did have to contact customer service regarding a minor issue I was having with the software. Sam, the customer service rep was very patient and knowledgeable and stayed with me until he reached a satisfactory resolution. His customer service made this purchase well worth the very reasonable price!
I was a bit nervous about the quality of materials at purchase, but I was pleasantly surprised. The suction cup is strong enough to resist the strength of an adult male when engaged yet releases easily when the clamp is released. The arm is strong as well, comparable to that of a good-quality desk lamp. Assembly is intuitive enough, but again lacks any real instructions on how to do so.
The controls are divided between the actual device and the desktop application. Focus and zoom are tied together on the device, so only two magnifications are possible. This removes a lot of the potential control and fine-tuning. Unless you manually re-adjust the resolution under Settings, the default is 0.3MP instead of the quality 2MP. Speaking of the Settings menu, this is also where other controls such as contrast, brightness, saturation, and hue are hidden. Contrast/brightness are basically required as dark objects tend to "black-blob" and lose detail on the digital side. Magnification is done with the focus knob (going from in-focus through a lot of fuzz until it's back in-focus at higher resolution). For those unused to microscopy, the depth of focus is expectedly low - so you will need to focus in and out for anything larger-scale.
All in all, the capabilities are really quite remarkable for only $35. Images produced are quite nice, and functionality isn't all that far behind a non-digital $700-1000 Leica Microsystems 10447197 EZ4 Stereo Microscope with 10x Eyepieces. Attached are some images of a 1 mm ant (a) antenna and (b) full body; an acrobat ant (c) full body and (d) thoracic spine; and a 4mm chalcid wasp (e) eye and (f) wing taken with the Plugable scope.
Where do I even begin with this product. It took less than a minute to put together. Windows 10 recognized it immediately. After downloading the software, I was up and running. It was truly plug and play.
The magnification is incredible! I bought this to be able to zoom in on Insect and Tarantula exoskeletons to better be able to determine the sex of the animals I own, and this can go so much further!
I started zooming in on EVERYTHING near by. It can zoom so far in that you can get to the point where only 3-5 ridges from your fingerprint will fit on the screen. Now I see why they say wash your hands.
View my pictures attached. The ones of George from the one dollar bill are successive magnification levels into his eye.Another one is the MICROPRINT signature line that checks have. At the furthest zoom level I could only fit "AUT" on the screen. I zoomed into the MP, and could not even fit that on the screen. The microscope can magnify to such a small level it is impressive. The picture with all the red green and blue dots is a magnification of the screen of my Samsung Galaxy S6. The dark part of that picture is the letter "Y".
I attached pictures of the scope in action with the monitor visible. To get the super zoom that you see, like in the picture with the blue and black dots (zoom into the sticker from a Sterilite tub) or the edge of the coin, you have to have the item pressed up against the scope.
If you need this for soldering or electrical work, it would work wonders and give you enough room to work. The software is easy to use and overall this product is just amazing and well worth the money spent!
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