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  1. #21
    Beaker bevansmw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoglahoo View Post
    qx3 or qx5? I was looking a couple of days ago on ebay and didn't see that one. Must have been asleep! Anyway, I discovered today that my digital camera will focus through a telescope lens and I appear to be able to get ~ 100X - 150X although there are lighting and stability issues. It's cheaper than buying something else, even though I've always wanted a microscope.

    I'm trying to rehone my blade after rubbing a chip out on 1k Norton, but it still isn't passing HHT. If it ever does, I'd love to get video of it at 100X!
    QX3, I think there are a couple on the bay right now if you do a search for them.

  2. #22
    Member asbjorn's Avatar
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    But beware that QX* is not an holy grail, if you can get optical results that you are pleased with on the telescope, stick with that. the QX* is an toy, and behaves like a toy.
    The lighting is extremely bad, I cannot understand why the would not implement battery operated LED's instead of using the power from USB, and because of that you have to choose to use light under or over, not both.
    Joe Perri at B&B used an lightbox for photos (I think, the ones you use when you sort your dias) so you get lighting under, and a hefty LED flashlight to provide light on top. I have tesdted with some LED's here, and do get some shots, but it is tricky, requires some work.

    And the focus.. ah the focus.. , cheap plastic thingy with which you move the object up and down, and when doing so the object moves all around.

    And the software, the snapshots are stored in some *.SMP files, looks somewhat specific for this application, so you have to export one and one picture, tedious..

    But hey, it's cheap.. and I guess the kids love it! (and we.. )

  3. #23
    Never a dull moment hoglahoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asbjorn View Post
    But beware that QX* is not an holy grail, if you can get optical results that you are pleased with on the telescope, stick with that. the QX* is an toy, and behaves like a toy.
    The lighting is extremely bad, I cannot understand why the would not implement battery operated LED's instead of using the power from USB, and because of that you have to choose to use light under or over, not both.
    Joe Perri at B&B used an lightbox for photos (I think, the ones you use when you sort your dias) so you get lighting under, and a hefty LED flashlight to provide light on top. I have tesdted with some LED's here, and do get some shots, but it is tricky, requires some work.

    And the focus.. ah the focus.. , cheap plastic thingy with which you move the object up and down, and when doing so the object moves all around.

    And the software, the snapshots are stored in some *.SMP files, looks somewhat specific for this application, so you have to export one and one picture, tedious..

    But hey, it's cheap.. and I guess the kids love it! (and we.. )
    Thanks for the review! I guess I wouldn't want one unless I got it cheap
    Find me on SRP's official chat in ##srp on Freenode. Link is at top of SRP's homepage

  4. #24
    Senior Member ByronTodd's Avatar
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    No one - and certainly not me - has said that this is the holy grail of magnification.

    However, if you look at the body of reviews on the internet - as well as what others have posted - you'll find that the QX# can be more than just a toy. Let me just address your points:

    "Lighting is extremely bad" - hmmm... I took the pics in the OP with nothing but the light of the QX3. Could the light have been better? Sure. As someone who dabbles in photography, light can always be better. Was the lighting and the results good for a $40 - $50 device. Yes. At least in my opinion.

    The focus: yeah, it's not so great either. I'll probably end up building something to better hold a razor in place, but still. I took those pictures using one hand to hold the razor in place. Was it tough to do that? No.

    Software: As I stated earlier in this thread. I took the pictures using Adobe Photoshop, I've read of other users using Paint Shop Pro. When the device is installed, TWAIN drivers are installed for general use. It might be easier to take pictues with the crappy Intel software, but I found that it's just as easy to use Photoshop.

    I didn't post this thread as a review thread, it's in "Show and Tell". The reason I posted this was to show that there are alternatives to the $10 Radio Shack microscope, and inexpensive alternatives at that. The nice part of this "device" is that you can record what you're seeing - something that is not available on the majority of magnification devices used by honing guys.

    More than a toy - a tool.

    Quote Originally Posted by asbjorn View Post
    But beware that QX* is not an holy grail, if you can get optical results that you are pleased with on the telescope, stick with that. the QX* is an toy, and behaves like a toy.
    The lighting is extremely bad, I cannot understand why the would not implement battery operated LED's instead of using the power from USB, and because of that you have to choose to use light under or over, not both.
    Joe Perri at B&B used an lightbox for photos (I think, the ones you use when you sort your dias) so you get lighting under, and a hefty LED flashlight to provide light on top. I have tesdted with some LED's here, and do get some shots, but it is tricky, requires some work.

    And the focus.. ah the focus.. , cheap plastic thingy with which you move the object up and down, and when doing so the object moves all around.

    And the software, the snapshots are stored in some *.SMP files, looks somewhat specific for this application, so you have to export one and one picture, tedious..

    But hey, it's cheap.. and I guess the kids love it! (and we.. )

  5. #25
    Member asbjorn's Avatar
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    Don't missunderstand me, I did not say that you, or the others using this has called it the holy grail, but I see that the interrest for QX* is growing, and it is better that people understand the shortcomings of the tool, so they don't buy this and expect this to be THE tool. I bougth the QX5 myself, and like it, but there are some things I want to change.

    Maybe we should be constructive, and post how we can modify this tool? like, add external powersupply (ex batteries) so we could add higher wattage LED's? Or improvements of the focus-adjuster?, better backlight etc?

    I'm going to check if I can do something with the software, It looks like the device is registered as an capture-device, and maybe it is easy to talk to it like an webcam, so we could store the pictures in an more userfriendly way.
    There is lot of potential in this thing, if we unleash it

  6. #26
    Senior Member ByronTodd's Avatar
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    I got your points, I just wanted to show that for the money, it's not a bad tool.

    As far as how could it be better, I don't see myself adding a light source, just too much work for not enough payout. As far as a better platform to better hold a razor? No doubt. I will be putting some money into creating a platform that will hold the scales of the razor such that I don't have to do the one hand clamp and one hand hunt for the right button press dance....

    For software? Intel did something funny with the drivers such that the device isn't seen as a camera - but rather it's seen as a scanner type of device. Because of that, you need software that can talk to a TWAIN compliant device. For example, any scanner software that you may have installed should be able to talk to the microscope. I agree that the Intel based software is horrendous. It goes full screen - changing the native resolution of your monitor in the process to 800x600 - which in turns changes every program window that you had open to a smaller size. A true PITA.

    For a website that gives quite a bit of information on the QX3 - try http://www.rmcain.com/pageserver.mv?MCAMAQX3Series and for the information on using other software specifically, chesk http://www.rmcain.com/mcama/special/qx3/QX3Twain.mv

    Also, this site has some great information: http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/optics/intelplay/index.html

    So to sum... Holy Grail? No. Good/great bang magnification for the price? Yes (at least IMO)... But again, this is not a review (or maybe it has become one and needs to be moved to the review area....)

    EDIT: Just checked and found that IrfanView supports image acquisition via TWAIN devices - free software to use with a QX3 - available here: http://www.irfanview.com/
    Last edited by ByronTodd; 04-21-2008 at 11:42 PM. Reason: Added link to IrfanView...

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  8. #27
    Member asbjorn's Avatar
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    Hm, looks like Digitalblue did some changes to the QX5 then, just tested in photoshop here, no twain support.
    Wonder if the drivers for QX3 works on the QX5?, or if there are som drivers that are not installed..

    According to this it is still Twain capable: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/...c04/dwqx5.html
    So I have to check where my twain support have gone, I guess Photoshop should show me the same as paintshop and irfanview.
    Last edited by asbjorn; 04-22-2008 at 06:00 AM. Reason: added link to twain info

  9. #28
    still learning kbs_74's Avatar
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    Those images are amazing, that microscope looks like something I might have to aquire. I have always wanted a microscope for some reason now I guess I have a good reason to get one. Once again amazing!

  10. #29
    Senior Member Kenrup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ByronTodd View Post
    I got your points, I just wanted to show that for the money, it's not a bad tool.

    For a website that gives quite a bit of information on the QX3 - try http://www.rmcain.com/pageserver.mv?MCAMAQX3Series and for the information on using other software specifically, chesk http://www.rmcain.com/mcama/special/qx3/QX3Twain.mv

    Also, this site has some great information: http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/optics/intelplay/index.html

    So to sum... Holy Grail? No. Good/great bang magnification for the price? Yes (at least IMO)... But again, this is not a review (or maybe it has become one and needs to be moved to the review area....)

    EDIT: Just checked and found that IrfanView supports image acquisition via TWAIN devices - free software to use with a QX3 - available here: http://www.irfanview.com/
    Awesome Byron! This will help get the best out this little puppy!

  11. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by asbjorn View Post
    Hm, looks like Digitalblue did some changes to the QX5 then, just tested in photoshop here, no twain support.
    Wonder if the drivers for QX3 works on the QX5?, or if there are som drivers that are not installed..

    According to this it is still Twain capable: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/...c04/dwqx5.html
    So I have to check where my twain support have gone, I guess Photoshop should show me the same as paintshop and irfanview.
    From Digital Blue's website

    Digital Blue QX5 Computer Microscope

    Issue:
    No TWAIN Support (Only WIA)

    Description:
    Unfortunately the QX5 driver doesn't support TWAIN for taking snapshots in other applications. However WIA is supported on Windows Me and Windows XP ONLY.

    The application that shipped with the QX5 is recommend for taking snapshots and videos.

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