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USB Digital Microscopes

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Ron Wilton 1271708864Mon, 19 Apr 2010 20:27:44 +0000 (UTC)
Hello

Does anyone know of a USB Digital Microscope that can be used with Ubuntu?

Thanks

Ron
TJ 1271711197Mon, 19 Apr 2010 21:06:37 +0000 (UTC)
On Mon, 2010-04-19 at 20:27 +0000, Ron Wilton wrote: > Hello > > Does anyone know of a USB Digital Microscope that can be used with > Ubuntu?
The Intel Play QX3 [1] (revised as the Digital Blue QX5) were cheap and popular and had supporting projects for Linux [2]. I've used the QX3 for inspecting faulty printed circuit boards and similar tasks [3]. Last time I tried it I discovered and used the Qtx3 [4] package but I as far as I can tell there isn't an up to date package for Ubuntu [5] although there are forum instructions for compiling it on Hardy (08.04). I've just pulled my QX3 out of mothballs to give it a go on Lucid (10.04) and if I'm successful I'll upload an Ubuntu/Debian package for it to my Ubuntu PPA and possibly Debian Mentors too. TJ. [1] http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/optics/intelplay/ [2] http://kim.oyhus.no/Microscope.html [3] http://www.shallowsky.com/micro/ [4] http://qtx3.sourceforge.net/ [5] http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=7132...
TJ 1271715646Mon, 19 Apr 2010 22:20:46 +0000 (UTC)
On Mon, 2010-04-19 at 20:27 +0000, Ron Wilton wrote: > Hello > > Does anyone know of a USB Digital Microscope that can be used with > Ubuntu?
I did a quick test on Lucid (10.04) and found that the Intel Play QX3 works without needing the QtX3 application. I tested it with Cheese. The kernel cpia driver handles the camera. [48209.028055] usb 2-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 6 [48209.236283] usb 2-1: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice [48209.250761] V4L-Driver for Vision CPiA based cameras v1.2.3 [48209.250767] Since in-kernel colorspace conversion is not allowed, it is disabled by default now. Users should fix the applications in case they don't work without conversion reenabled by setting the 'colorspace_conv' module parameter to 1 [48209.253695] USB driver for Vision CPiA based cameras v1.2.3 [48209.253748] USB CPiA camera found [48209.999090] CPiA Version: 1.33 (2.10) [48209.999096] CPiA PnP-ID: 0813:0001:0106 [48209.999101] VP-Version: 1.0 0100 [48209.999163] usbcore: registered new interface driver cpia The camera is assigned a device number after the existing video devices. In my case it is video2: ls -l /dev/video* crw-rw----+ 1 root video 81, 0 2010-04-19 09:36 /dev/video0 crw-rw----+ 1 root video 81, 1 2010-04-19 09:56 /dev/video1 crw-rw----+ 1 root video 81, 2 2010-04-19 22:58 /dev/video2 Unless you experience problems with applications unable to view the camera, *IGNORE* instructions to specify the colorspace_conv parameter. In case an application does need it, here's how: # unload the driver sudo modprobe -r cpia_usb # load the driver with parameter sudo modprobe cpia colorspace_conv=1 Do it automatically (saved to a module configuration file): $ echo -e "# Intel Play QX3 Microscope\noptions cpia colorspace_conv=1" | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/cpia.conf I was able to use the camera using Cheese. From Edit > Preferences I selected the Webcam Device "CPiA Camera". It uses a maximum resolution of 352x288 (I understand the QX5 can do 640x480). The *IMPORTANT* thing to understand is that you must, for now, manually control the top and bottom lights to see anything worthwhile. These are accessed via the cpia module's control file in /proc/cpia/. In this directory will be a device file for the video node. So, for example, if the camera is listed as /dev/video2: ls -l /proc/cpia/ total 0 -rw-r--r-- 1 tj root 3925 2010-04-19 23:14 video2 To view all the options: cat /proc/cpia/video2 read-only ----------------------- V4L Driver version: 1.2.3 CPIA Version: 1.33 (2.10) CPIA PnP-ID: 0813:0001:0106 VP-Version: 1.0 0100 ... read-write ----------------------- current min max default comment ... toplight: off off on off bottomlight: off off on off Write values to this control file using echo. These will only take effect on the camera when an application is using it. To switch on: echo "toplight:on" | sudo tee /proc/cpia/video2 or echo "bottomlight:on" | sudo tee /proc/cpia/video2 To switch off: echo "toplight:off" | sudo tee /proc/cpia/video2 or echo "bottomlight:off" | sudo tee /proc/cpia/video2
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