During the time when my workspace was being rebuilt I kept an eye on Ebay and AliExpress for any interesting kit selling for reasonable prices. Last August (2023) I ordered a Digital Microscope from AliExpress, it was advertised as a 50X=1000X magnification mocroscope and at a cost of just 8.76 plus postage bringing it to 9.97 in total. I thought it would be interesting to see how good a sub 10 digital actually is so here is summary.

The AN104 Microscope arrived in a nice brown carboard box and it contained the microscope, stand and instruction booklet.

The USB cable has USB B, C and microUSB connections along with an in-line rottary knob for control of the built in LED subject lighting.

The microscope itself has a nurled focus ring, a clear plastic lighting shield and dust cover. The focus ring has a nice damped feel to it which makes it easy to focus and to retain that focus.

Assembley of the base was staight forward, screw the flexible snake tube into the base, fit the clamp ring on the microscope and attach it to the snake tube and lastly push on the four non-slip feet.

Fully assembled, however it would have been better to have the USB cable enter from behind the stand!

Getting Started

I'll be using this with my old Windows 8 PC so the obvious place to start is to follow the instructions and download the software. Unfortunately the software does not appear to be on the web site as stated in the booklet. So where do I go from here?

After quick google I came across a suggestion to simply plug in the USB cable and it would appear as a web cam so this is what I did. The next issue was how to do I start the web cam! Looking the through the apps in WIN 8 I came across one called camera so double clicking on that hey presto up came a picture!

My first impressions were that there was a fair bit of glare particularly on any silver areas of the board, by turning down the LED's improved this but the picture stated to get grainy due to lack of light. By adding a bright light from the side made a vast improvement.

Here is some snaps of the same board at increasing magnification. To increase magnification you have to lower the microscope closer to the subject and re-focus.

For the price it is surprising how good it is, at 640x480 resolution it is obviously not a patch on HD versions.