Stereo microscope for electronics

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erazz
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Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by erazz » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:28 am

Hi Guys,

Being spoiled with super-high quality Olympus scopes in my workplace has put me in a problem. I can't keep on bringing my hobby to work. It's nice and all but I feel that some might not take a kind eye to it. Plus, I'd much rather be at home with my girls and a cold beer.

So I bit the bullet and ponied up $140 for a "cheap" stereo microscope.
I hope it's good enough for hobby work. No doubt, the super clear and bright image I have right now has spoiled me. Hopefully I can get around that with a nice bright LED ring.

I'll do a short review here once I get the scope and tell you if it's worth it.
41cfP5BZjcL.jpg
Z

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by cre8tiveleo » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:15 am

very nice

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by erazz » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:42 am

I still want to get a good light ring. It's every bit as important as the microscope itself. It will have to wait though.
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Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by cre8tiveleo » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:10 am

I make mine for all my camera lenses. Just a ring of leds, with difusion in fromt, ans voila, perfect light ring, use two rings for more light And tissue paper for bettet diffusion. Works beautifully, costs under $20

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by kaos » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:12 am



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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by erazz » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:55 am

The second one is fairly decent. However, there is a big difference in image quality.

I work for a company that makes endoscopes so I can tell the difference between a camera and a direct light lense. The microscope is much much better. Plus it's stereoscopic which makes the image that much more clear.


c8l, where do you buy the leds? I saw a led ring with 144 leds for $80. I could just hook it up to my bench PS and be done with it but I do need a lot of light.
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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by erazz » Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:30 am

OK,

I found a cheap, resonable solution to the ring light issue:
http://metku.net/index.html?path=mods/r ... /index_eng


Simple and cheap. Look for "automotive led ring light" or "car led ring light". These can be powered by my bench PSU. Seems like they'll be bright and easy enough to use.
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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by GrootWitbaas » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:47 am

I have one like that, and it works fine for me ...did not get all the extras in your picture, but again for what I use it for it works a treat. I use My magnifying lamp as light source, but will defiantly be getting some kind of LED ring like you have linked above.
The only problem I have with the stereo microscope is now I can see all the bad work ...and my soldering iron tip is MASSIVE ...
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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by ShowMaster » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:39 am

I wear glasses and wonder how that works?
I can take them off if the scope has enough correction but then I'm no good if I have to look anywhere else.
I've often thought the video camera would be a good way to on the computer if working off axis looking into the monitor can be mastered.
I could also take and save images on the computer as I go.
Comments please.
SM

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by GrootWitbaas » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:47 am

well I have a usb Microscope if you want to try it ....it does not work on my mac so is just standing gathering dust. It was a cheap one and can give a indication to you if it could help. I also wear glasses, but take them of for the Microscope. I can still see fairly ok without them so am not completely lost once I take my glasses of.
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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by jhitesma » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:31 am

I've used a cheap ($12) webcam with a plastic 10x jewelers loupe when working on fine pitch parts. It wasn't ideal at all though working off axis never felt right and there was just enough lag to make things tricky.

But in a pinch and a tight budget it worked. That jewelers loupe gets a ton of use, I really should invest in a good glass one since I use it so much ... Makes a decent macro lens when held over a cell phone camera too ;)

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by erazz » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:13 am

I wear glasses as well. The scopes usually have enough correcting power, just change the focus.

Sometimes I keep my glasses on and just look through them. Some other times I taek them off. It's a nuisance but again, I feel that it's much better than a USB microscope.
Z

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by erazz » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:04 pm

Well, it's much less impressive in person.

Again, I'm used to big, heavy, multi $$$ scopes. This one is puny in comparison.
The lenses are small and the FOV is rather restricted.


That being said, I am rather pleased with it. While you can see that they did their best to reduce cost it doesn't FEEL cheap. It's made of metal and is resonably sturdy. The FOV is tight but very clear and bright. Even the supplied light is pretty good. For repairs and micro work it's more than enough!

My verdict:
For the hobbbyist it's a very good value. For $140 you get a clear, bright (if somewhat narrow) picture.

Should you get this or a USB camera?
Tough one.
This blows away any $60 camera. A $140 I'm not too sure. Again, the problem is the restrictive FOV. With a good USB camera you might get more FOV but I doubt you'll get a clearer picture.

Next up I'll fit the ring light. It should make this fantastic.
Z

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by GrootWitbaas » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:21 pm

I replaced the standard light with a LED one similar to this
The inter 12v is not nicely rectified and you have some flickering, but this can be solved easy. Currently I use a external light source and it works perfect for my needs.
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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by Clivew » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:35 am

I just got one of these: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/140615234049? ... 1439.l2649
Quite impressed so far
Mine came with WF10X eyepieces, perhaps WF5X might give a better FOV?
Certainly a lot better than my 2.7X binocular magnifier anyway!
Though the supplied light is quite good, I might try one of those light rings : http://metku.net/index.html?path=mods/r ... /index_eng

Clive

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Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by Rob Thomson » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:09 am

Hey... You got it from Joy! I got mine from her too.

She is is same town so picked mine up :). Nice and friendly seller.


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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by GrootWitbaas » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:40 am

I see your are already with LED lights ...Got mine from German supplier, and added a bridge rectifier to run my LED's lights, works great and better than the standard lights that was in before. For "hobby" work it is perfect.
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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by kaos » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:50 pm

Just received this ad in the mail. may be this will help you guys do the cpu find soldering. cheap too, i may just get one to try out:
http://www.focalprice.com/HQ0103B/20X_A ... US_HQ0103B

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by Clivew » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:28 pm

I just ordered one of these :- http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/320893382582? ... 1439.l2649
Looks ok for £18 delivered in U.K. Will post the results when I get it.
Not for windows 7 though!
More toys to play with, thanks a bunch erazz :D
P.S. Oops, looks as if they only had one of them, sorry about that.

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Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by Crucial » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:04 am

kaos wrote:Just received this ad in the mail. may be this will help you guys do the cpu find soldering. cheap too, i may just get one to try out:
http://www.focalprice.com/HQ0103B/20X_A ... US_HQ0103B
I have a pair of those. They don't work well for soldering because you have to get too close to the work to see and then you are too close to the hot iron. I used them for inspecting my fine soldering. Also, if I remember right I paid a lot less for them.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/20X-Magnifier-M ... 4633wt_979

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by Clivew » Wed May 02, 2012 12:38 am

Clivew wrote:I just got one of these: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/140615234049? ... 1439.l2649
Quite impressed so far
Mine came with WF10X eyepieces, perhaps WF5X might give a better FOV?
Certainly a lot better than my 2.7X binocular magnifier anyway!
Though the supplied light is quite good, I might try one of those light rings : http://metku.net/index.html?path=mods/r ... /index_eng

Clive

Don't bother with the WF 5X eyepieces. FOV exactly the same, and you find yourself closer to the soldering iron :(

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by erazz » Thu May 03, 2012 8:30 pm

Well, after using it quite intensively for the last couple of weeks I have one impression:

I like it!


I got used to the narrow FOV quite easily. The built-in light is bright enough and I found that I don't need to play around with it. The image is quite clear and bright and the depth of field (dof) is pretty good too.
All things considered, it made working on the small stuff very easy. I even managed to solder some 0201 resistors!


I have played around with a friend's USB Microscope. It is usable, especially for inspection. But for working it's much easier to use a microscope. I was unimpressed with this one at first but have come to really really like it! Highly recommended!
Z

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by Clivew » Tue May 08, 2012 11:38 pm

Just fitted one of these :-
http://dx.com/t10-21-led-white-light-ca ... eter-25511
to the lens with hot glue. Great improvement!
Strange switch mode psu in mine for the light. It says on it 3v-12v.
With original single led, it produces 3v. With the light ring, 12v.
Can it really be that clever? It's about 1/2" cube.
The 10 ohm 1 watt resistor in series with the mains input was cooked (before my mod)
Have a 5 watt ww one in there now :o .
I suspect it was cooked before I got it due to a faulty smps being fitted perhaps.
Anyway well pleased with the result :D

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by ReSt » Wed May 09, 2012 8:19 am

It's probably some kind of constant current source.
Current will be the same independent of the load. So voltage goes up (with several LEDs in series) to hold the current at the same level.

Reinhard

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by Clivew » Wed May 09, 2012 11:40 pm

Of course!
My first encounter with a constant current smps.
Thanks Reinhard :)
The improvement is well worth it anyway :D

Clive

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by rperkins » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:31 am

Hi guys. I'm looking to get an amscope and called the company, or maybe the us supplier @ amscope.com since I wasnt sure exactly what to get. When I said I wanted to solder on SMD boards the salesman stated that the models with the ~2inch working distance did not offer enough room to solder. He suggested the scopes mounted on a boom with ~8inch working length. What is your experience with the 2inch working length.

What I was leaning towards and similar to what is meentiined in this thread
http://www.ebay.com/itm/10X-20X-30X-60X ... 2ea91657e0

Mount type recommended by salesman
http://www.ebay.com/itm/AmScope-20X-Ste ... 2ebe1971e8

Also what magnification level do you use the most ?

Lastly I asked about linux compatibility with the video camera's, but he said no. I'm not getting a camera now but would like the ability to use one in the future.

Thanks

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by rperkins » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:32 am

Test. Last reply required moderation ?

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by ShowMaster » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:38 pm

I've been thinking about one and discussed it last year but never got back to it. I'm glad you're discussing it again. Maybe it'll motivate me to buy one. What ever it is it has to clear your soldering iron while you're looking through it. My magnifier on an arm I use now hits my iron a lot.
SM


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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by rperkins » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:37 pm

Still doing research. The salesman said I should get a zoom scope, one that had a continuous range of magnification, (7-45x) but I'm not sure I need it . I'm thinking something with 5-10-15-30x steps would be sufficient. That's why I was asking what magnification was most commonly used.

Also realized an attachment called a barlow lense can be used to double the working length. A .5x barlow will halve the magnification and double the working length. This option is available for most models except the low end 'SE' models. Adds ~$50 to cost but makes the lower end scopes more useable.

It's the eyepiece magnification that reduces the FOV, so wanna keep that low , 10x is the most common..
So with 1x,3x objective , 10x eyepieces, and .5 barlow would get 5,10,15,30x with 5,15x @ double working distance of ~4-8inches depending on model.

My budget was > $200 but may creep up depending on feedback I get regarding most common magnification factor and desired working distance. Havent seen anything else that compares to amscope. May get one without any lighting and buy a led ring ( or make one ). Top light would be nice but bottom light is not needed

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by Rob Thomson » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:15 am

I don't think a zoom scope is needed. Typically you seldom adjust the focal point at all once you place your pcb!

I haw a cheap one - then did the led ring. It works well.
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