Microscope video cameras, Lidl, Bresser etc. drivers, software

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Apr 6, 2015
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I hope the following is a nice surprise to readers

A number of forum members and people elsewhere have struggled to find a software driver for the USB video camera which came with a low cost microscope, such as the Bresser sold by Lidl and apparently offered to beekeepers as an offload of excess stock.

I am successfully using this with Windows 8.1 64 bit, which is thought (wrongly) to be a problem operating system. Based on what I have discovered any Windows PC using XP through Windows 10, 32 or 64 bit should be okay. I'm cynical too, cost is doing it. Trust is earn't.
  1. How to install the operating system driver
  2. Suitable software to go on top, intended for megabucks microscopes

I'm old, retired techie so I am trying to write simply on what is rather complicated. I am avoiding outside links. This post is a give back to the community. I have no vested interest in any of the following.

Skip to the "We are lucky" for faster do-this.

Inside the "camera" is a simple single chip device powered via the USB version 1.1 connection (should work fine for 1.1., 2.0 or 3.0). Low speed and electrical power so would probably work too via a 5 metre USB extension cable.

These "chip" devices have a self identification which they send to a computer if it asks, 'what are you?'. Normally for chip devices this includes an extra number according to the design of whoever manufactured the whole camera. Say one of four different extra identification codes. I mention this because exactly the same chip can seem different, only works with the software supplied by the whole camera manufacturer.

This gives a clue on how to get a wider range of possible basic software which works. Others have described how to modify the software to use the "wrong" camera, or perhaps alter the camera identification. (been there)

If you are lucky then software intended for a different camera works just fine.

We are lucky.

The very critical basic software driver can be downloaded from a reputable low cost camera manufacturer, branded Genius. Model EYE110
We are being cheeky so please be gentle with them.
Download / Driver
"Windows 8,Windows 7,Windows Vista,Windows XP 5.98MB 2012/12/04"

Please be very wary of web sites offering free drivers, most are either advertising riddled or contain infections.

After download copy the innards of the ZIP archive to a new directory named eye110 somewhere general purpose on your hard disk.

Then as a user with administration rights, look inside the eye110 directory, double check for infected with a virus.
If okay run setup.exe which will install a camera driver. Nothing much will seem to have been done.
For older operating systems, reboot the computer, although this is probably unnecessary. Saves rude surprises later.

You need to know where (the disk location) the setup software put the drivers or you will need fiddle later searching. File explorer will let you look.
Guessing, one of and yes the actual manufacturers name appears KYE
"C:\program files\KYE"
"C:\Program Files (x86)\KYE" (for 64 bit operating systems)

web site to zip archive on disk
archive contents to directory eye110
setup creates directory KYE somewhere it decides

Now for the fun, plug in the camera to any USB port.
All being well the operating system will start muttering to itself about what is this? And it will eventually complain it doesn't know how to use "PC camera" or similar.
Info: a start menu (if you have one) program entry will have appeared for eye110, containing a single link, to Uninstall if you need it. (or use add/remove programs)

Now for the more difficult part, getting Windows to look in the right place for the driver.

If the version of the operating system you are using offers a find the driver, fine but lets assume it doesn't.

You have to find as an administrator the system device administration. One route to this (are usually N different ways to do the same thing) is find the Control Panel and there the System Devices or something like that. A key phrase is "Device manager" which shows a list of classifications, Disk drives, video adapters, System devices... and Imaging devices (or similar name) which is the one you want. This should be obvious anyway because the folder will be be open and have a yellow mark next to it. (meaning here be trouble)

Double click the problem device. Select the tab marked Driver and then click Update driver.

This will offer search for driver. Try it since it might work automatically, if it fails it will let you know. Let's assume it fails, no problem, go back and select specify a location (or "I have a disk"), select that and when it wants the location browse for the KYE folder, and say Ok.

All being well nothing much will seem to have happened. If you look at the driver tab again it will be using a driver from KYE SYSTEMS CORP

The camera is now probably live, some versions of Windows might need a reboot.

Now for the bad news. You have a licensed driver but you don't have a car.

Mind adjustment. A variety of application programs / software can use a variety of devices. They have to be told which device to use. Such as a camera.

If the old Bresser or Ocular software works, fine. It's not very good.

If video is all you want try VirtualDub (as in Dubbing studio)
Wry smile, the web site has a banner "Proof I had too much free time in college", it's an old glove of a tool.
I'll not explain more.

Now for the biggie. How about software intended for the Ziess, Nikon and so on microscopes?

Micro Manager, developed under US government funding
Micro-Manager Project Overview

µManager is software for control of microscopes. It works with almost all microscopes, cameras and peripherals on the market, and provides an easy to use interface that lets you run your microscopy-based experiments. µManager runs as a plugin to ImageJ, is Open Source, and is free. µManager is developed in Ron Vale's laboratory at UCSF and is funded by an NIH grant R01-EB007187 from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NBIB).​

This is not intended for toy cameras and really wants to do platform and focus control, not just an imager. Someone had the same want as us and so OpenCSVgrabber was developed, which works a treat with the camera here. (and probably with readers who have better microscope cameras)

Here it is and includes ImageJ, a java based image processing package.
https://www.micro-manager.org/wiki/Micro-Manager Project Overview
Download is 60 or so MB.
They will ask for a name and email, reason given is common with funded projects, need evidence of usage in various fields.

If you need to get the latest OpenCSVgrabber version, here are the providers, comes bundled with Micro Manager

You will need to configure MM for your camera. A wizard does this.
Plug in the camera first.
Select OpenCSVgabber, should be immediate magic, it finds the camera.
Save the configuration.

And off you go. Fair amount of learning.
It can produce stacks but without automation this is of limited use. I've tried to do this as an experiment, such as timed capture which you can see happening, adjust wait adjust wait

The camera handling is good, not a toy.

The Bresser could do with a top illuminator, possibly white LED with lens, very very bight. Ring lights are often used for detail photography.
It could also do with a lowerable stage.
Only poor side given the money is the excessive magnification when used with the camera which itself is minimal. We have what we have.

Good luck.
I'll try and remember to pop back and answer questions. Email if you have my address, can try and help.

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