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An easy-to-build combination Video Camera and Microscope!

Design by Peter Rosenthal, Words by Peter Rosenthal and Ross Tester.

A number of years ago, SILICON CHIP featured a story about an industrial microscope with an inbuilt camera, capable of displaying images on a monitor. It sold for about twenty thousand dollars or so.

And just as we were preparing this article for publication, a press release arrived featuring a similar device from Sony – selling for not much less (see separate panel).

Click for larger image
A screen-printing stencil, magnified about 3200 times, taken with a web camera instead of the video camera.

Well, this VideoSCope will do a similar sort of job – perhaps not with quite the same finesse as the Sony but similar nevertheless. And even if you have to buy all the bits to make it (unlikely!), you should spend no more than a couple of hundred dollars. Some people may well have most, if not all, of the components gathering dust, just waiting for a use.

"So that’s what I can do with that old SLR camera lens I knew was too good to throw away . . ."

In fact, this project grew from a Sunday afternoon pulling apart some old scanners, wondering what the lenses could be used for. It has grown into one of the most indispensable workshop instruments.

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