DIY Digital Microscope

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About: ...working on daily life problems, with scientific solutions

This DIY instruction is mainly focus on the reuse of old electronics parts into valuable electronic gadgets in scientific way to meet the challenges of the advanced technology. Digital Microscope is the modification of normal traditional microscope that uses digital camera sensor (COMS sensors) to make image output to computer monitor.

Step 1:

Step 2: Ingenuity

Don’t throw any old electronic device to garbage, may it has a great application to your creative mind.

Step 3: Requirements

o Old CD/VCD mechanism tray with burner lens

o Old USB camera sensor or COMS sensor

o Hardboard (for body construction)

o LED lamp

o USB cable

o Variable resistance

o Acrylic sheet (transparent)

Software and tools:

o Any webcam application

o Soldering tool

o Wire cutter

o Foam cutter

o Glue stick

o Onion peel (optional)

Step 4: Base Construction

A piece of 2mm thick hardboard was taken and cut into 19cm × 9cm (length × breadth) for base construction.

An old CD/VCD mechanism tray was extracted from damage VCD player and all unnecessary parts were removed. The burner lens was separated carefully for further use. Next, the mechanism tray was attached perpendicular to the base made of hardboard with the help of angle cleat in such a way that the sliding wheel facing front as shown in photo plates below.

Step 5: Assembly

A piece of hardboard was used support the camera sensor and attached to the sliding part of the VCD mechanism. The burner lens was attached exactly middle of the COMS sensor of the camera circuit. And also a light box were made using hardboard and installed exactly below the burner lens. Acrylic sheet were used to make upper window of the light box. LED lamp was attached inside the light box with a variable resistant connected in series to control the brightness of the light.

Step 6: Circuit and Connection

Step 7: Finishing Up

Step 8: Demonstration

Please vote for me on CREATIVE MISUSE CONTEST

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    21 Discussions

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    ins_rakeshjwzumwalt

    Reply 2 months ago

    thank you sir...its my first instructable...wil try my best on next...nd i also made Arduino control CNC plotter using Old DVD stepper motor

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    GordonM19

    2 months ago

    Nice attempt , but I have 2 observations here.

    1) Assuming that this is indeed USB bus powered , how many milliamps are you pulling from the bus powering the camera and the LEDs ?

    2) You do not control LED brightness this way. The way you have done it gives you very little control. You need to control the input voltage to them by using a PWM input signal. You can use a simple 555 to give a fixed frequency variable duty cycle waveform to adjust the brightness.This can also reduce the amount of current draw on the USB bus..

    Good Job!

    5 replies
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    Chico da RaveGordonM19

    Reply 2 months ago

    The ideia here is to keep it simple and (almost) free, I dont see why to put an Arduino, this is like a cannon shot in a fly.
    Ins_rakesh, nice work bro, your project can be done without spending a single penny but still a marvelous science device for who cant buy one.

    The issue about the power and the LED brightness is a real question.
    1. Make sure you is not drawing too much current from the USB port (just measure it).
    2. Maybe try another way to dimm the LEDs, but a simple way, not Arduino.

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    charles543GordonM19

    Reply 2 months ago

    Ohm's law states that the Induced current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the Electromotive force across the two points, and is inversely proportional to the Resistance. That's the way George Ohm said it.

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    charles543GordonM19

    Reply 2 months ago

    The best way to control led brightness is to power it with a current source. led brightness is controlled by the current flowing through it. A current source is not hard. You simply put a resistor in series with the load, and use a voltage regulator to control the voltage across the resistor. I=E/R

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    ins_rakeshGordonM19

    Reply 2 months ago

    thank you so much sir...your commt wil help me to make this project improve...i'm beginner here nd its my first instructable...

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    GordonM19ins_rakesh

    Reply 2 months ago

    Super , im glad I can help.. Whatever you do , dont forget , enjoy it!

    Just a an idea for you , an Arduino will do the PWM for you , and then you can also control the focus motor as well , as its a stepper motor i believe.. That would be a good upgrade for you!

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    Mr. E

    2 months ago

    Nicely done. Can you put up some image or video captures from the Camera?

    1 reply
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    JohnC430

    2 months ago

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

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    bcarpenter1

    2 months ago

    I caution builders to make sure your old webcam works with your OS first. I have an old webcam (Logitech V-UM14) that won't work beyond Windows 7. I hate to have someone build this only find out there aren't any drivers for it.

    Other than that I think your instructable is pretty concise... I built one somewhat like this for a USB Microscope, but I used a wood frame.

    2 replies
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    ins_rakeshbcarpenter1

    Reply 2 months ago

    go for driver updates on device manager...hope it wil work

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    cobourgdave

    4 months ago

    Very nice project! As you said, "don't throw any electronic device away." Great ingenuity here and nicely carried out. Good luck in the contest

    2 replies
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    seamster

    4 months ago

    Very interesting project - and a great 'creative misuse' idea. Good luck in the contest! :)

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    bionicbenjy

    4 months ago

    What If... you had 2 drives... mounted the camera head on the second drive mech, you could have an all singing X Y Z moveable scope, save fiddling with the slide to move another area into view... still a good idea in first place