Using the Oasis UMO19 MCU003 400x USB microscope on Linux via luvcview

Oasis UMO19 MCU003 digital USB microscope

I've been buying quite a lot of (usually cheapo) gadgets recently, which I'll probably introduce / review in various blog posts sooner or later. Let me start with a fun little gadget, a digital USB-based microscope. I found out about it via this thread over at lostscrews.com.

You can get this (or a very similar device) e.g. on eBay for roughly 50 Euros. Mine seems to be from a company called Oasis (though they're probably just the reseller, not sure). The device doesn't seem to have a nice name, but I can see UMO19 MCU003 on the microscope, so I guess that's the name or model number.

It can focus on magnifications of 20x or 400x. The image resolution is said to be a max. of 1600x1200, but in practice most of my images are 640x480, maybe I have to change some settings and/or the resolution depends on the magnification factor and lighting conditions.

The device acts as a simple UVC webcam when attached to USB, so you can view the images easily via any compatible webcam software, e.g. luvcview and also save screenshots of the magnified areas (see images).

UMO19 chip
UMO19 fabric

First three from left to right: SMD LED (400x), clothes/jacket (400x), random PCB (20x). The other two below: A via on a PCB (400x), and the "pixels" of a TFT screen (400x).

It worked out of the box on Linux for me, the uvcvideo kernel driver was loaded automatically.

 $ lsusb
 Bus 001 Device 013: ID 0ac8:3610 Z-Star Microelectronics Corp.

I set up a wiki page for more details (including full lsusb -vvv) and sample images at:


I will also post some more images there over the next few days.

UMO19 via
This is a really fun device for having a look at stuff you'd normally not see (or not well enough), and also useful for e.g. checking PCB solder joints, checking all kinds of electronics for errors or missing/misaligned parts, finding the chip name / model number of very tiny chips etc. etc. I can also imagine it's quite nice for biological use-cases, e.g. for studying insects, tissue, plants, and so on.

Anyway, definately a nice toy for relatively low price, I can highly recommend a device like this. Check eBay (search for e.g. "usb mikroskop 400") and various online shops for similar devices, there seem to be a large number of them with different names and from different vendors. Just make sure it has at least 400x magnification, there are also some with only 80x or 200x which is not as useful as 400x, of course.

OpenDocument Format (ODF) Approved by ISO/IEC Members

Yay! The OpenDocument format (ODF) has now been approved by ISO/IEC members.

For the uninitiated, ODF is

an open XML-based document file format for saving and exchanging editable office documents (including memos, reports, and books), spreadsheets, charts, and presentations. OpenDocument was developed as an application-independent file format by OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), a vendor-neutral standards organization.

ODF is currently employed by OpenOffice 2.0, KOffice, Abiword, and tons of other applications. Lots of other office suites and programs will likely follow. The recently formed ODF Alliance now has more than 150 member organizations.

On a related note: the proposed IEEE 802.11n working draft was not yet approved by the IEEE 802.11 Working Group...

(via Nico Golde)

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