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VMU300A  Video Measurement Unit (Scaler)


The VMU series of video calipers from MicroImage Video Systems utilize extensive digital processing to maintain high accuracy and repeatability. Usable with most video cameras, the VMU300A provides fast, efficient and affordable non-contact measurement. Units are compatible with NTSC/PAL/RS170 and CCIR video standards.

The MicroImage VMU series of video measurement units are designed to be highly flexible and powerful, yet easy to use. Unlike analog based units, all mathematics are done digitally, allowing the VMU series to maintain consistent precision regardless of the scale factor. All lines are digitally rendered for solid, repeatable performance over time with virtually zero drift. High precision optical encoders are used for the position controls, eliminating jitter which can plague analog based measurement devices

VMU300A units produced after June 20, 2004 will support both NTSC and PAL (as well as RS170 and CCIR) video standards. The units will automatically detect the signal and adjust accordingly. B&W or S-Video signals are recommended over composite video for the highest performance. The units will also work with composite video signals. NTSC/RS170 models have an impressive 1280 x 480 maximum measurement resolution while the PAL/CCIR units have 1536 x 576 maximum measurement resolution.

Using the VMU series is easy. A size reference is placed in the field of view and the cursors are moved to the reference dimensions. The calibration value is entered on the keypad and can be set to the X or Y axis. This provides far more range and precision than using a rotary control to set calibration. From this point on, the unit is calibrated, provided the distance to the object or magnification (zoom) doesn't change. Ten memories are provided to store multiple calibrations for different optics/magnifiers saving significant time. The units remember all settings in non- volatile memory when turned off.

The coordinate display can be moved virtually anywhere on the screen. Any combination of x, y or diagonal measurements can be displayed at the same time. The number of displayed digits can be limited to make reading easier in some applications. The color and background of the numeric display can be changed while the lines can be changed from black to white from a front panel switch. Any line can independently be turned off, displayed as solid, or serrated for maximum flexibility.

A number of additional features have been added to simplify day to day usage. Cursors may be moved fully independently or may be moved in pairs where one control moves both cursors on the same axis and the second control changes the spacing between them. Each control may be independently locked to avoid inadvertent adjustment. Controls can also be independently locked from within the menu system, regardless of the state of the lock button as further protection against accidental change. The lines may be displayed full screen or can be displayed as a box on screen. A front panel bypass switch allows the user to quickly turn the line and coordinate display off or on as needed. A color bar generator is provided for simple monitor testing and adjustment.

All VMU series products can be powered from a +12VDC, negative ground power source. A serial remote option is also available for use with automated systems. Contact MicroImage Video Systems for units that work with RGB Video signals. For OEM applications, MicroImage Video Systems can provide board level product, private labeling or even custom functions. The units are based on a new MicroImage Video platform which is highly flexible and programmable. All units carry a one year parts and labor limited warranty.

At MicroImage Video Systems we incorporate suggestions from customers when possible. Several customers suggested password protection so that calibration settings could not be changed. We added this capability to all production units with several levels of password protection. It also has a programmable auto time out feature. In the event a key is not pressed within a certain amount of time, the protection is automatically re-enabled. This is important in case it becomes forgotten after a setting is changed. Password protection can also be disabled for easy access in a safe environment.

The VMU300A improves on the VMU300 with higher resolution, sealed optical encoders.

Rack mount and RoHS units are not available for this product.

The VMU300A is available packaged (cased) or as a board level product for OEM applications. Power is provided by a universal desktop power supply (included with cased products) or it can be operated from +12VDC (negative ground). Board level products do not include the power supply and a 12VDC power source must be provided.  The unit is packaged in a durable metal enclosure. Board Level, OEM and Custom products are also available. Please contact MicroImage Engineering for additional information.

The VMU300A has a one year parts and labor limited warranty.


Additional Information Links

VMU300A Printable Literature (PDF)
VMU300A Operation Manual (PDF)

Application Note 3: NTSC vs. PAL Video
Application Note 4: Common Video Signal Standards
Application Note 7: Understanding Video Caliper Accuracy


Ordering Information


Video Measurement Unit for NTSC & PAL

Includes power supply & manual

$1295.00 ea.




Board Level Video Measurement Unit with control board for NTSC & PAL

Circuit board only, includes both circuit boards.
not include case or power supply.
OEM quantity discounts available, contact MIVS or your dealer.

$700.00 ea.




Board Level Video Measurement Unit without control board for NTSC & PAL

Circuit board only,  does not include control board.
not include case or power supply.
OEM quantity discounts available, contact MIVS or your dealer.

$450.00 ea.



Key Specifications

Calibration Entry Range 0.0001 to 9999, entry via keypad
Numeric Display Range Approx. 0.00001 to 15998400 (higher for PAL/CCIR)
Line Resolution NTSC/RS170: 1280 x 480 (thin), 1280 x 240 (thick line)
PAL/CIR: 1536 x 576 (thin), 1536 x 288 (thick line)
Significant Digits Selectable at 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6
Scale Text Display Layout Row or Column
Calibration Axes Can be calibrated on X or Y axis
Measurement Axes Any combination of X, Y and Diagonal measurements
Scale Text Display Position Movable anywhere within 90% center of screen
B&W Select Menu setting to remove chroma (color) from composite video to support B&W video
Line Attributes Individually selectable as off, solid or serrated
Rule Mode Full line or box display
User Memories 10
User settable units of measure 8 (2 digits each)
Color Bars Eight color full field bars for NTSC systems and all RGB systems, eight bar monochrome only for PAL/CCIR composite & S-Video systems for all B&W systems.
Display colors Note: PAL systems only display gray levels
  Foreground NTSC - (8 colors) Black, Blue, Red, Magenta, Green, Cyan, Yellow, White
PAL - 8 shades of gray for PAL/CCIR systems
Background NTSC - (9 colors) Black, Blue, Red, Magenta, Green, Cyan, Yellow, White, Transparent;
PAL - 8 shades of gray for PAL/CCIR systems
Character Cell Display 16x20 pixel cell, interlaced (HxV)
Non-Volatile Memory type EEPROM (50 year typical retention)
System Microprocessor 16/32 bit
Line Generation Digitally generated with custom circuit
Display controller Custom MicroImage Video Integrated Display Controller
Front panel controls (2) Line position controls, multi-turn precision, optical encoders
Front panel switches (25 total) Power, Lock 1, Lock 2, Track, Scale Position, Scale Set, Display On/Off, B/W, X/Y, Menu, Store, Recall,  0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, ".", Backspace, Enter
Front Panel Indicators (10) Power, Lock 1 on, Lock 2 on, Track on, Scale Position on, Display on, X, Y, Store, Recall
X axis line width NTSC/RS170: 40.75 nS (Narrow), 81.5nS (Wide)
PAL/CCIR: 35 nS (Narrow), 70nS (Wide)
Y axis line width 1 scan line (Narrow), 2 scan lines (Wide)
Adjustment range 98% of raster minimum
Sync system NTSC/RS170 (North American NTSC Timing)
PAL/CCIR (European Timing)
Automatic detection and switching
Color Processing NTSC/RS170 (composite video and S-Video)
PAL/CCIR units will pass color image but will not display color bars, color menus or color dimensions. Gray scale overlay only.
Chroma Frequency NTSC/RS170 - 3.579545Mhz, PAL/CCIR - Not Applicable
Horizontal Frequency NTSC/RS170 - 15.73426Khz, PAL/CCIR - 15.625Khz
Vertical Timing NTSC/RS170 - 59.94Hz, PAL/CCIR - 50Hz
Scan Lines NTSC/RS170 - 525 Total, PAL/CCIR - 625 Total
Genlock    Precision Phase Locked Loop (PLL), square pixel
Bandwidth Greater than 30 Mhz
Input Levels  
  Composite 1.0Vpp composite, 75 ohm
S-Video 1.0Vpp (Y), 0.286Vpp burst (C), 75 ohm
Output Levels  
  Composite Same as respective input, +/-5% into 75 Ohm
S-Video Same as respective input, +/-5% into 75 Ohm


Composite BNC Female
S-Video 4 pin mini-DIN Female (std. S-Video connector)
RS232 8 pin mini-DIN Female (unused for custom functions only)


Operating 0 deg ~ 50 deg C (32 deg - 122 deg F)
Storage -40 deg ~ 60 deg C (-40 deg - 140 deg F)


Operating 10% ~ 90% (non-condensing)
Storage 5% ~ 95% (non-condensing)
Power Power supply module included with all cased units.
Voltage 12VDC (Approximately +9 to +20 VDC)
Consumption Approximately 270mA typical at +12VDC

9.00" (W) x 7.63" (D) x 2.88" (H)
229 mm (W) x 194 mm (D) x 73 mm (H)


1 lbs. 14 oz., (851g)

Country of Origin

Manufactured in the USA by MicroImage Video Systems

Power Supply Country of Origin Taiwan or China
The VMU300A is designed and manufactured in the USA by MicroImage Video Systems, Boyertown, PA, USA.
Cased units come with a universal power supply (USA style power cord) and operation manual.
Board level products do not include a power supply module.
Specifications are subject to change without notice.