Microscope Setup

This page contains step-by-step instructions for setting up your microscopes for the first time.

1. Install the MiScope
        1.1 Install the MiScope drivers
        1.2. Install the Video Toolbox Software
        1.3 Open Video Toolbox
        1.4 Change settings in the Video Toolbox
              1.4.1 Changing photo settings
              1.4.2 Changing video settings
2. Power up the Celestron
        2.1 Viewing Celestron Videos


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1. Install the MiScope

In the box containing the MiScope, you will find the MiScope handheld microscope, a USB connector, a CD and an instruction booklet. The first thing you’ll need to install is the CD. The CD contains drivers and software for operating the MiScope on your computer.

To install the contents of the CD, follow the steps in the instruction booklet. The steps are summarized below. when you get up to installing the MiScope drivers, Make sure you install the setup.exe file in the folder labeled with your version of windows.

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1.1. Install the MiScope drivers

(For Windows)
a. Insert the CD
b. Open the “My Computer” window and double click the CD-ROM icon.
c. Open the “MiScope drivers” folder. In this folder, you will see a number of subfolders and a setup.exe file.

Make sure that you install the setup.exe in the folder corresponding to your version of Windows.

Note, if you are running any of the alternative versions of Windows (Windows Vista, Windows XP, or an older version of Windows), you should NOT install the setup file in the MiScope drivers folder. Instead, go to the “MiScope Alternative Drivers (09-2007)” folder, and double click to install the setup.exe file there.

Also note, there may be some problems installing the MiScope on Windows 7. If you are running Windows 7 please contact us.

To complete the setup, follow the instructions in the booklet.


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1.2. Install the Video Toolbox Software

There is only one version of the Video Toolbox for all versions of Windows, so this installation is much easier. Open the CD and double click on the Video Toolbox installer program. Follow the instructions in the instruction booklet.


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1.3 Open Video Toolbox

Now, you will have your MiScope plugged in and you will see two icons on your desktop.

- the Vimicro USB PC Camera icon

- the Video Toolbox icon

Double click on the Video Toolbox icon to launch the program.

The first time you open Video Toolbox, you will need to tell it to use the MiScope as the video source. Go to settings -> Video Device, and select the MiScope (labeled “ZC0302”) from the Video Device dropdown (your MiScope must be plugged in, otherwise it will not appear here). Wait about 10 seconds for the program to recognize the MiScope, then click “Done”. When the window closes, you should see the MiScope view in the Video Toolbox viewer. You can adjust the zoom on your MiScope to test zooming in and out.

Errors you may encounter:

“Your video device is not registered for use with this software. Contact your software supplier to have us register your camera”

Exit out of Video Toolbox. Open the “Vimicro USB PC Camera” (double click on the icon on your desktop), This allows your computer to recognize the MiScope (you should see a live view through the MiScope). Then reopen the Video Toolbox.

“ImageViewer — Directory monitoring utility has stopped working”

Close Video Toolbox and re-open it. The image viewer should work when you reopen it. If you have problems, you can also view your images in the folder into which they are saved (by default in a folder called “Video Toolbox” in your Pictures folder).


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1.4 Change settings in the Video Toolbox

When you use Video Toolbox for the first time it is important to configure the software to take the best image and videos for the MicroGlobalScope website.

It is essential to change your settings so that your photos and videos are displayed properly on the blog.


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1.4.1 Changing photo settings:

When you capture photos using the video toolbox software, the default file type is a bitmap file. These files are large and also cause some formatting issues when uploaded into the blog. Instead, please change your settings so that files are saved as jpegs. To do this, go to settings (in the menu bar at the top), the click on “capture file”. Select .jpg from the “file type” dropdown menu.


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1.4.2 Changing video settings:

Go to Settings -> Video Device and select your resolution from the “Video Format” dropdown. The default setting is 640×480. This setting is for large, high resolution images. For most videos, we recommend using 320×240 rgb24. Using this setting, your videos will upload much faster. (If you want to capture a lot of detail for a particular movie, you can change to the 640×480 dimensions.)

We also recommend changing your settings to 12 frames per second (in the Frame Rate box). (If you are observing a fast moving sample and you want good time resolution, you can change the frame rate for that particular movie.)


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2. Power up the Celestron

Unlike the MiScope, the Celestron does not require installation. To use the Celestron you will need to plug the power adapter into a wall socket. NOTE: If you are in a country that has a 220V power supply (most countries except for North America and most of South America), you will need a 220 – 110 voltage converter as well as a plug adapter to be able to plug in your Celestron.


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2.1 Viewing Celestron Videos

The Celestron and MiScope capture photo and video files in a few different formats. Your computer will be able to play most of these files already, but if you use a PC you may not be able to view the 3gp files taken with your Celestron.

If you use a PC you may need to download additional software to view the 3gp files taken with your Celestron.

To view these files, you can either:
-install quicktime player, or
-add 3gp functionality to windows media player by installing one of these additional decoders

Note: You will only need this player/decoder to view the files directly from your microscope. Once schools upload their files to the blog, the files are converted to a common format, that can be played on all computers (PC and Mac) within the blog.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully completed your installation!