Prepare yourself for a particularly geeky diversion. A new gadget arrived via UPS yesterday and already I've got some ideas for what I can do with/to it. The "it" in question is the DigitalBlue QX5 USB Microscope, which I ordered online for about 65 dollars. Intended as a teenage discovery device, the QX5 sports 10, 60 and 200x magnification and a 640x480 image resolution. Don't expect a laboratory grade device, it's made of plastic, but it does sport top and bottom illumination and the ability to disconnect the scope from its stand to go "mobile". Because it's made of plastic, the focusing is a little fussy, and it tends to flex and vibrate, so it's best used "hands off". The software is PC only, but a shareware package called miXscope supports Macs. Both the supplied software as well as miXscope support a number of useful features, such as movie capture and on-screen measurements. Even more interesting are the possible modding opportunities. By appearance, the whole affair seems like a webcam strapped to some high power optics, but that may be over-simplifying the situation. This tool would be useful for all kinds of work, including comparison and measurement. The resolution is a little low, but someone suggested that it might be possible to rig up a digital microfilm reader (or scanner, even.
|theeye.png||image/png||490 kb||Thursday, 28 September 2006||Bill Welliver|