Saturday, February 06, 2021

USB Microscope works well with macOS

Magnified headsets, magnifying glasses, a lamp with a big magnifier - I must be getting old, but trying to see surface mount components is getting harder. This week I purchased a USB Microscope via eBay. I didn't get the cheapest model, this one is AU$20.

This one came with a suction cup mount, which isn't great. The zoom feature has a side-effect that at high zooms the lens has to be very close to the subject which probably means it would get solder flux vapour depositing on it if used for soldering.

It came with a mini-CD with drivers but I found that when plugged in to macOS 11.2 it just worked and appears as a camera in apps that let you select cameras. I used the built-in Photo Booth app.

The photos come out at 640x426 for me.

Here's a picture of some tiny LEDs on an Arduino board.

I am impressed with the resolution and colour. Sometimes exposure can blow out highlights and there's no manual override that I can see. 

This will be useful for inspecting small solder joints. Recommended.

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