Computers & Mobile Science
Turn a Mac into a microscope on the cheap

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I really like the old Intel Play microscopes, you can find them on eBay for $20. They really weren’t meant to work on Macs, but you can grab this tool (miXscope) and you’re pretty much good to go. While the microscope isn’t professional grade, it does have 3 zoom levels and a light, so I usually use it for some electronics and weird experiments – here are some picture of it in action, images it can take and features…100 0521
Side view.

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Photo taken at 10x.

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Photo taken at 200x.

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Photo taken at 60x.

Grab
Snapshot mode.

Grab2
Time lapse movie mode. I want to do a time lapse with some type of food that spoils.

Grab3
Overlay mode.

Grab4
Angle measurement.

Grab5
Line drawing.

More on the scope here – Link.

6 thoughts on “Turn a Mac into a microscope on the cheap

  1. I used to work at a chemical company, and one day I got a request from the head chemist to hook one of these up to his PC. I joked about the company not giving him the money he needed, and he said that these were actually really good scopes. He’d bought one for his son, and once he played around with it decided he needed on at work. His main reason for getting one was when he went to conferences. He used to take the $1000 delicate scope with him, but now takes his Intel. If it gets broke, the company’s only out $50 instead of $1000.

  2. Is there a way to measure lengths using this scope?

    I suppose you could lay an appropriately scaled ruler next to the object you’re measuring, but where could you find a rule that can measure tenths of a millimeter or thousandths of an inch?

    I suppose you could also measure the image on screen, but then you’d have to compute reproduction ratios, and I believe doing so would require you to know the exact distance from the top of your object to the lens.

    Any ideas?

  3. you can measure lengths by simply finding something that you no the length of, and putting that in the frame along with the item. then screenshots, and the angle measurer, will allow you to work our lengths.

    having a built in measuring thing will not work as it would not know the distance from the item

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