Using the Oasis UMO19 MCU003 400x USB microscope on Linux via luvcview

Oasis UMO19 MCU003 digital USB microscope

I've been buying quite a lot of (usually cheapo) gadgets recently, which I'll probably introduce / review in various blog posts sooner or later. Let me start with a fun little gadget, a digital USB-based microscope. I found out about it via this thread over at lostscrews.com.

You can get this (or a very similar device) e.g. on eBay for roughly 50 Euros. Mine seems to be from a company called Oasis (though they're probably just the reseller, not sure). The device doesn't seem to have a nice name, but I can see UMO19 MCU003 on the microscope, so I guess that's the name or model number.

It can focus on magnifications of 20x or 400x. The image resolution is said to be a max. of 1600x1200, but in practice most of my images are 640x480, maybe I have to change some settings and/or the resolution depends on the magnification factor and lighting conditions.

The device acts as a simple UVC webcam when attached to USB, so you can view the images easily via any compatible webcam software, e.g. luvcview and also save screenshots of the magnified areas (see images).

UMO19 chip
UMO19 fabric
UMO19 LED

First three from left to right: SMD LED (400x), clothes/jacket (400x), random PCB (20x). The other two below: A via on a PCB (400x), and the "pixels" of a TFT screen (400x).

It worked out of the box on Linux for me, the uvcvideo kernel driver was loaded automatically.

 $ lsusb
 Bus 001 Device 013: ID 0ac8:3610 Z-Star Microelectronics Corp.

I set up a wiki page for more details (including full lsusb -vvv) and sample images at:

   http://randomprojects.org/wiki/Oasis_UMO19_MCU003_USB_microscope

I will also post some more images there over the next few days.

UMO19 TFT
UMO19 via
This is a really fun device for having a look at stuff you'd normally not see (or not well enough), and also useful for e.g. checking PCB solder joints, checking all kinds of electronics for errors or missing/misaligned parts, finding the chip name / model number of very tiny chips etc. etc. I can also imagine it's quite nice for biological use-cases, e.g. for studying insects, tissue, plants, and so on.

Anyway, definately a nice toy for relatively low price, I can highly recommend a device like this. Check eBay (search for e.g. "usb mikroskop 400") and various online shops for similar devices, there seem to be a large number of them with different names and from different vendors. Just make sure it has at least 400x magnification, there are also some with only 80x or 200x which is not as useful as 400x, of course.

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LED Flash Switching

Any idea how to switch on the 8 LEDS to on/off from userspace linux ???

Resolution

The claimed maximum resolution is a lie, it's the same thing with these as with the normal el cheapo webcams, the sensor in this thing is 640x480, so no getting anything more regardless of the maximization or light conditions.

When used in windows, the drivers can perform interpolation to blow up the image size to the marketing value, but it's not going to give any increase of detail, of course.

Pondering about getting a similar toy, has it stood the test of time?

thanks

Thanks for the pointer. I got one of these from ebay and I'm having a great time with it!

Optical vs. digital zoom

I wonder what the optical resolution of the microscope is. There are some very similar microscopes in eBay stating "Up to 600× Digital zoom! (200× optical Zoom)". Is the resolution of your microscope really 400× optical? This would be cool.

usb mikro

They are really not very expensive, however don't forget the shipping costs at ebay.

Thanks Hermann for this

Thanks Hermann for this great tip. Could you point me to the webshop you bought it from? The first 80 hits in Google for the device are all your blogpost ;)

Thanks,

Allard

eBay

Hi, I got mine from eBay, e.g. via this vendor.

Cheers, Uwe.

microscope

how about using it as eyepiece for a astronomical telescope...I would like to hear results.....gtayton2@NEXTCOM.CA