USB PC Microscope (88201)

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I've got a PC Link USB Microscope that claims to run without drivers as a
'USB Video Device'

When I plug it in, it tries to run the windows driver installer.  If I abort
out, it says it won't work properly.  When I right click on 'My Computer'
and select Hardware / Device Manager, It shows other devices / usb camera
with a '?'

There is an exe file on the CD that came with the microscope and in the
'driver' folder is an exe file.  When I execute that, It says it will
install the driver, and when I select 'next' it states the camera is not
found.  Plug it in and restart.

I've tried this on three computers.  Any suggestions?

I found an updated driver at:

After installing this driver, which isn't included on the CD that came with
the kit, all is well.

Re: USB PC Microscope (88201)

Sam P wrote:
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That download is an Installshield, so I cannot comment on it. I don't have
any tools for dissassembling Installshield.

USB video cameras come in two flavors. A camera can be UVC compliant,
or it can possess a non-standard proprietary interface. If it is
proprietary, a company provided driver package will be required.

If a camera is UVC, then it can automatically have a driver installed
by Windows. But beware, that even if it is UVC compliant, not all of the
functionality may be controlled or offered by UVC. My camera, for example,
will not present its top resolution choice, when used with Windows
software. But if I install the vendors bloated driver package, then
the top resolution choice is offered. (The driver package is bad enough,
that I uninstall the software, after I'm finished using the camera. It
leaves stuff running all the time in Task Manager, even when the camera
is unplugged. And more than one process.)

If you wish to examine the configuration data offered by the camera,
Microsoft has an old program called UVCView. The download is no longer
offered, but is archived here. At one time, the archive copy was damaged
(missing the last byte), but the archive operators have fixed that problem.

The following is all one URL. /*/

Click the latest entry on the page, and give it a try.

When the program is running, the entries look similar to this. The right
hand pane holds the configuration data.

USB web camera controller ICs, have the ability to support
custom vendor and device ID numbers. That makes it virtually
impossible to trace what hardware is inside. There is a controller
chip and a sensor chip, and if a driver is needed, it needs to
understand both of those parts. And some webcams (like mine), have
additional junk inside, such as a focus motor. Even if you find
a driver which is "close" to being correct, it may not know
there is a focus motor present or what to do with it.

Which is why I say, for USB video devices, the main value of the product
is the software CD, not the hardware. If it doesn't come with working
software, the hardware is worth very little.


Re: USB PC Microscope (88201)

wow, that's a lot of great info.
After I wrote the message, but before I sent it, I was re-reading a FAQ for
the product.  One of the questions said that if you lost the original CD,
you could download from their site.  On a whim, I went to that site and
downloaded the file.  Turns out it was the correct driver.  A filet that was
not on the CD. I ran that program and now the microscope works pretty well.
I'll take a look at the UVC tool you mentioned.

thanks again for your thoughtful reply.

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