[Health] $30 microscope

Kevin Gordon kgordon at epcanada.com
Mon Nov 1 15:30:32 EDT 2010


The current microscope we have working is the Veho 20x /400x VMS004.

They are available on eBay, in the range $30 through $70.  From what I can deduce from the listings, there is no difference amongst them except the price.  However, I prefer the listings that specifically state 1.3Mp, with 2Mp interpolated, and also say that they work on both USB 1.1 and USB 2.0.  There are many USB microscopes which do NOT work, so it is important to be sure.  There are interesting little issues with the USB drivers for each of the microscopes  on each of the hardware platforms and builds.  The school  here always orders one and tests, before ordering in quantity.  Kevin Olds, jump in here if there are any corrections to my dialogue, or perhaps give a more specific web link.  Only once all the scopes are tested locally in Toronto, are they assigned for deployment to Kenya.

Also, as of this specific moment, it only works on the 1.5's.  We are continuing to work with Daniel at OLPC  and our Texas volunteer,  Mikus, to have a uniform set of drivers and kernels to enable a more consistent deployment environment of all of the science objects, across all of the OLPC  platforms.  But, out of the box, with a secure official build, it's 1.5 only, OS version 205 or above.   I haven't tried it without drivers on Windows, because the vendor-provided Capture Windows software is very good, and is free with the scope.  I did not have the same luck with the Mac provided proprietary software; capture actually seemed better with no installation of added drivers and/or software, in Apple's own Photobooth and iChat.  Strange, but true.  Also, some of the shipments came only with Windows drivers.

As for software, since some the microscopes we tested seem not to be guvcvideo compliant, we have had most success in using Cheese on both the Sugar and the Gnome side, with no customizations to either the kernels or the drivers for all of builds 205, 206, and 852 - but only  guaranteed with that Veho.  Suffice to say, we have had  more that don't work than do.  We also test them on the generic Fedora 11 and Ubuntu 10.04 laptops to ensure that we aren't chasing our tails.

Also, if I can be so bold, please be careful in the magnification ratings, In some cases, it's nothing more than a digital zoom and the bigger number actually gives less quality  Again, we have found this Veho, with the 400x rating and a stated 1.3Mp resolution to be the best price/performance.

Thanks for the info and the opportunity to share, Nick.



Kevin Gordon | CTO

EP Canada Film Services Inc.
130 Bloor Street West, Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1N5
Tel: 416.927.2218 Fax: 416.920.9134
Email: kgordon at epcanada.com Website: www.epcanada.com

Confidential Information: This message and any attachments are intended solely for the use of the intended recipient(s), are confidential, and may be privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any review, retransmission, conversion to hard copy, reproduction, circulation or other use of this message and any attachment is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately by return e-mail, and delete this message and any attachments from your system. Thank you.
-----Original Message-----
From: Nicholas Doiron [mailto:ndoiron at andrew.cmu.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2:10 AM
To: Caryl Bigenho
Cc: Samuel Klein; health at lists.laptop.org; kolds at ucc.on.ca; Kevin Gordon; agordonxii at me.com
Subject: Re: [Health] $30 microscope


You should get in touch with the team from Upper Canada College in Toronto (CC'd on this e-mail). At the SF summit they had hooked up their XOs to a video microscope and sensors from the science education supplier Vernier:
http://www.vernier.com/probes/index.html   I am not sure of the cost of
their microscope, but it worked quite well.  They may be interested in getting a second one for $30 if it can work with their XOs.

Nick Doiron

On Tue, October 26, 2010 12:48 am, Caryl Bigenho wrote:

> Hi Beth....
> Did you get one of the microscopes?  How does it work?  Does it work
> with the XO without the software that comets with it for the PC?  I
> would love to get one, and will, if it works. Caryl
>> Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2010 02:31:03 +0000
>> From: sj at laptop.org
>> To: cbigenho at hotmail.com
>> CC: health at lists.laptop.org
>> Subject: Re: [Health] $30 microscope
>> What was the microscope on display during the hack session at SFSU,
>> and how much was it?
>> On Sat, Oct 16, 2010 at 5:53 PM, Caryl Bigenho <cbigenho at hotmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Hi All...
>>> The paramecium video sold me!  I want one.  Only has software for a
>>> Mac and my eeePC doesn't have an optical drive to load the software.
>>> What to do? Actually if someone can get this to run on the XOs it
>>> would be perfect for what we are doing!  Maybe I'll order one anyway
>>> Caryl
>>> ________________________________
>>> From: beth at waveplace.org
>>> Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2010 09:49:27 -0500
>>> To: health at lists.laptop.org
>>> Subject: [Health] $30 microscope
>>> Interesting microscope I found via Woot! today:
>>> http://www.suntekstore.com/1-3-mega-pixel-led-usb-digital-microscope
>>> -
>>> video-camera-10x__-230x-.html?&utm_source=woot&utm_medium=paid&utm_c
>>> o
>>> ntent=deals&utm_campaign=s0003
>>> For less than a solar panel you could be sending one or more of
>>> these out with every deployment...
>>> Beth
>>> ---
>>> Beth Santos
>>> Outreach Coordinator
>>> Waveplace Foundation
>>> Tel: +1 610 797 3100 x 44
>>> Fax: +1 610 797 3199
>>> Cell: +1 603 661 1273
>>> http://www.waveplace.org
>>> Waveplace on Facebook
>>> Twitter: @waveplace
>>> _______________________________________________ Health mailing list
>>> Health at lists.laptop.org http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/health
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Health mailing list
>>> Health at lists.laptop.org
>>> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/health
>> --
>> Samuel Klein          identi.ca:sj           w:user:sj          +1 617
>> 529 4266
>> _______________________________________________
>> Health mailing list
>> Health at lists.laptop.org
>> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/health
> _______________________________________________
> Health mailing list
> Health at lists.laptop.org
> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/health

More information about the Health mailing list