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Where electronics enthusiasts find answers.

Questions relating to designing PCBs
By smdFan
#48948
Hi there,

I spent a lot of money for magnifying glass and microscope (Dino) for soldering purposes. But none was useful. I am looking for a microscope through which you can actually see while soldering or depositing solder pastes on pads. Can someone suggest a good microscope? Thanks


Regards
By torontogeek
#48950
Bausch & Lomb / Leitz StereoZoom 4 or StereoZoom 5.

Often obtainable on eBay. Most of the time you will use it on minimum zoom, but you soud also try to get the 0.5X auxiliary lens - it will give you wider field of view and gets the objective further away from the work.

The Geek
By Philba
#48957
I have an olympus 1-20X zoom which is really nice. The zoom feature allows you a lot more flexibility than a fixed one. bought used at an auction.
By smdFan
#48959
I myself have the following type of digital microscope. It is very good but its body needs to be very close to PCB. It is very good for inspection and documentation. But not actually soldering. I was thinking of using its stand and watch the process of soldering/pasting on my computer but it does not work like that. It needs to be very close to the board so you can not put anything else (soldering pen or paste dispenser) between the microscope and the PCB.

http://www.bigc.com/products_handheld.php
User avatar
By leon_heller
#48964
You definitely need a proper microscope. The one I use has about 10 cm clearance below the objective lens.

Leon
By smdFan
#48965
leon_heller wrote:You definitely need a proper microscope. The one I use has about 10 cm clearance below the objective lens.

Leon

Leon and others!

Thanks for your responses. However, I am still puzzled as to what type of microscope should I buy? What sort of specs should I be looking for?

I intend to use this microscope main for

depositing solder paste using a dispenser. I want to be able to use my hands in placing paste on pads while at the same time looking at the whole process through the microscope. Similarly, for placing components.

But I have not found a good microscope with good clearance between the lense and PCB.

Also, it should be something that does not cost an arm and leg. Thanks

Regards
By torontogeek
#48966
Philba wrote:I have an olympus 1-20X zoom which is really nice. The zoom feature allows you a lot more flexibility than a fixed one. bought used at an auction.
Olympus, Nikon, B&L, Leitz/Leica, are are good. But make sure you get a sturdy stand which allows you to get things under the scope! At home I have one like eBay item # 230255434551 and we use them at work for everything from inspection to SMT assembly by hand, assembling microwave assemblies and just about anything else. But beware, the base weight around 22kg so it will be expensive to ship! Bu then it won't move on the bench either.

No offence Leon, but the little cheap dissecting scopes don't seem to have the optics, the reach, or the illumination options to make them worthwhile. A good used REAL zoom scope can often be cheaper and much more useful.

The Geek
By khearn
#48969
Are you sure you want a microscope and not a magnifying visor? I'm using a $6 magnifying visor from Harbor Freight for all of my surface mount soldering work and I don't think I'd trade it for a microscope at any price. If I need to shift things around I can without having to worry about keeping it under a stationary lens. I can pick a board up and look on either side or from any angle. I have no problems seeing well enough to solder SMT parts. It only does up to about 5x, but I'm finding that's enough for me. I've also got a 10x jeweler's loupe that I can use for closer inspection, but I never find myself needing it.

Before you spend a lot of money on a scope, it might be worth giving a visor a try.

Keith
By smdFan
#48971
khearn wrote:Are you sure you want a microscope and not a magnifying visor? I'm using a $6 magnifying visor from Harbor Freight for all of my surface mount soldering work and I don't think I'd trade it for a microscope at any price. If I need to shift things around I can without having to worry about keeping it under a stationary lens. I can pick a board up and look on either side or from any angle. I have no problems seeing well enough to solder SMT parts. It only does up to about 5x, but I'm finding that's enough for me. I've also got a 10x jeweler's loupe that I can use for closer inspection, but I never find myself needing it.

Before you spend a lot of money on a scope, it might be worth giving a visor a try.

Keith

Thanks for the info. You just reminded me that I had one like this. Actually I have not used it. It just fell apart on me. But I have bought several different mangnifying glasses. Non of them worked. I even spend $130 on a magnifying glass from Howard electronics. The lens turned out defective and they never replaced it.

Any ways, I work with very very small pitched ICs. My eyes just does not seem to take it anymore. I need something good between my eyes and the PCB so that my eys does not get damaged and I can control the quality of my work. I think I need a microscope but I do not know which one. I do not want to risk money because I lost a log of money for magnification. Thanks

Regards
User avatar
By leon_heller
#48973
I told you that the dissecting microscope I use has about 10 cm clearance. It only cost about 60 GBP.

Leon
By smdFan
#48987
Philba wrote:I have an olympus 1-20X zoom which is really nice. The zoom feature allows you a lot more flexibility than a fixed one. bought used at an auction.
I looked at the Olympus website and they seem to have very nice ones.

May I know, which model you got? and for how much? Thanks

Regards
By Philba
#48989
It's an SZ40 with an SZ-ST1 stand. Google couldn't find a picture of the stand but it looks a lot like the one below. I think that's an SZ40. The boom stand is nice since I can swing it out of the way when it's not needed. I think I payed a bit less than $300 for both. At the time I didn't think it was a great deal but the stands are pretty pricey. Clearance is a bit more than 10 cm. Oh and I was wrong about the zoom factor. It's got 10X eyepieces and a .67 to 4X zoom built in so it goes from 6.7X to 40X.
Image

by the way, it's great for teaching science to my kids.
By smdFan
#49050
Philba wrote:It's an SZ40 with an SZ-ST1 stand. Google couldn't find a picture of the stand but it looks a lot like the one below. I think that's an SZ40. The boom stand is nice since I can swing it out of the way when it's not needed. I think I payed a bit less than $300 for both. At the time I didn't think it was a great deal but the stands are pretty pricey. Clearance is a bit more than 10 cm. Oh and I was wrong about the zoom factor. It's got 10X eyepieces and a .67 to 4X zoom built in so it goes from 6.7X to 40X.
Image

by the way, it's great for teaching science to my kids.
Thanks a lot for the information. I looked around a little bit and I think the one you got is very expensive. Well over 1000. Where did you get it? was it new or used?

I looked at eBay (see link below). This guy (Taximarket) seems to have good ones. Can you have a look at it and let me know which one would be more suitable for electronics assembly purpose. I would appreciate your help. Other people's input is also welcome. Thanks

Regards

http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dl ... category0=
By Philba
#49094
It's hard to say.

I think you want a boom mounted unit - the others look like there is no room to place the work item underneath.

I did notice that some of them range from 20X and up. I would think that you want to go at least to 10X and maybe even lower. I find that 40X is often way too high.

I certainly can't speak to the quality of the products that guy sells. As with anything ebay, be careful.
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