Stereo microscope for electronics

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rperkins
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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by rperkins » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:27 am

thanks for the reply.
Do you know what magnification you typically use. is it 5x, 10x or 30x. what about the working distance ? is it an issue ?


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Rob Thomson
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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by Rob Thomson » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:00 am

Mine is 20X.

What matters most I find is to try get at least 5cm from lens to tray. Any less and it is hard to work on with the Iron!

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by rperkins » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:04 pm

Cool. Thanks very much

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by rperkins » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:04 pm

Well I got the scope model picked out.
http://www.iscopecorp.com/5x-10x-15x-30 ... light.html
has a working distance of 4" @ 10x, 30x. with . 5 barlow working distance of 8" @ 5x,15x. $299

Image


Found 3 places to get them and the prices vary on each location
Precision world on ebay is Amscope. http://stores.ebay.com/Precision-World? ... 7675.l2563
The companies website using yahoo shopping http://www.amscope.com/
the amscope website links here. same contact number http://www.iscopecorp.com

This http://www.iscopecorp.com website had my model for $22 less, however the website is incomplete. Had to register in order to complete order with free shipping, then they were not using https to accept credit card number. My mom called them to get the order complete at the price listed on the website. Santa is gonna be good to me this year :)

The main complaint I found about amscope is that if your item is defective and you send it back for service, be prepared to wait. This was on the BBB page. They have a .5% negative feedback rate on ebay, so it cant be that bad.

Wont have any review on the unit till the first of the year . Never used a scope before so I won't have any experience to compare to anyway.

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by Scott Page » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:29 am

erazz wrote: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.
I made my own using the Hobby King LED's and a 12v transformers brick. cheap and effective. Mounted on Depron.


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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by ShowMaster » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:01 pm

Any more news in what to buy? Anyone getting one for Xmas or just get one? I wear glasses FYI.
SM

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by ShowMaster » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:46 pm

Almost did it but chickened out after the site gave me trouble.
I'll wait for the reviews after Xmas and try again.
They couldn't ship until after the holidays in any case.
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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by rperkins » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:32 am

I'm back in Indiana with my family. My scope is here, under the tree :)
wont be able to do any soldering till next year.

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by ShowMaster » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:09 am

Merry Christmas. I look forward to your review.
SM


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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by rperkins » Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:45 pm

Got the microscope and played with it a little. It came in 2 boxes , received what was ordered, and it works.
Havent soldered any SMD. Did solder a piece of costume jewelry for my daughter. Have had lots of fun looking at different things, and working on my eye hand coordination under the scope. The stereo image is very cool. I never thought about SMD parts having depth, but at 30x when the solder land is in focus, the markings on the top are not. Plus seeing all the bits of hair, flux, and other things on the board are lots of fun.

My initial perception is good. I am happy. Take into consideration I have NO experience with a microscope. Here are some observations.
  • Fine threads in plastic. The bottom of the microscope head is threaded to allow the installation of the Barlow lense. If you dont use the barlow there is an adapter that is screwed on there to allow mounting of the Fluorescent Ring Light. These threads are very fine and in plastic on the bottom of the microscope head. I'm concerned about cross threading and damaging the threads.
  • Only one set screw. The microscope head sits in the focusing rack. There are 3 holes for set screws to secure the head into the focusing rack. Only one set screw is provided. Looking closely at the sales picture, it appears only one set screw is shown. After realizing this, I guess it's not a big deal. Gravity holds the head into the focusing rack anyway and the one set screw is sufficient. Could always locate a couple more set screws myself.
  • Eyepiece Eyeshieds. The eyepiece Eyeshields were attached to the eyepieces but folded over. I didnt realize this at first. Also the eye-shields are not what is pictured here. Their height is the same across the entire diameter of the opening. IE: they aren't taller on the outside of your eye. It's not a big deal.
  • Glasses or no Glasses. I wear glasses. I am old. If I dont have my glasses on then the image in the scope is brighter. With no glasses the eyepiece eye-shields are nice. The downside is I have to put the glasses on and off all the time. If I leave my glasses on I dont use the eyepiece eye-shields. It is a little harder to get the correct distance between the glasses and the eyepieces, and the image is not quite as bright. This is probably the route I will take as I need my glasses.
  • Working Distance. This was a big concern of mine as we need enough room under the scope to be able to solder. Remember the .5x Barlow lens cuts the magnification in half but doubles the working distance. Without the barlow there is a working distance of 4 inches. However when you add the adapter to hold the fluorescent light, it drops down to just over 3 inches. I think the 3 inches is sufficient, although I havent soldered enough to say for sure. When using the .5x barlow, the working distance is 8 inches, and the adapter is not needed as the fluorescent light attaches directly to the barlow. This is more than enough room, and may be too much in some cases. I found myself adjusting the height to the top of the vertical pillar although I could gain some room by turning over some of the other connectors. I had to raise my chair up also. So I'm thinking you could save a little money by not getting the .5x barlow. Also if you build a LED light ring or source one inexpensively as mentioned here, you may be able to gain the 1 inch lost by the adapter used to hold the fluorescent light.
  • Printed Documentation The small amount of printed documentation provided with the scope is either a generic boilerplate doc, or it was the wrong one. Not a big deal as I was able to figure out how to put the thing together and the website provides good documentation for the various components that make up the scope.
If you have any questions let me know. As I gather more experience I'll update this. Need to find a good place for it on the bench where it can be put into use quickly, but kept out of the way.

This company also sells cameras for their scopes. The reviews I read were mixed, at the best. I was able to take a couple pictures holding my cellphone up to the eyepiece. I think these were 10x and 30x . the wooden thing is a toothpick. If anyone is interested, I could take more pictures, noting the magnification and the size of the SMD parts. I tried to get a really cool pic of the internals of an SMD LED, but my camera wasnt cooperating .
3.jpg
2.jpg
1.jpg

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by ShowMaster » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:02 pm

Excellent review, thank you.
I wear glasses so your info was great on that.
Missed my widow to buy, waiting picked up some unexpected bills.
I'll be good again there by next month.
Hopefully you'll find something needing soldering to add that to your review in the near future when I'm good to go again.
Looks like it'll do the job and the price is right for a hobby tool that may not be used every day


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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by MikeB » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:51 pm

Well now, it seems that s_mack decided I've been doing a good job with er9x etc. so he organised a "whip round":
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1786252
For which I must say THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH. I enjoy doing the coding etc. so this really is a bonus.
So, what to get?
I probably wouldn't have got one of these otherwise, so it seems a worthwhile item to have, arrived safely this morning:
s1.jpg
s2.jpg
The long arm makes it easy to get even a large PCB underneath, and there is 4 inches (100mm) of working space under the lenses, so easy to get a soldering iron in there.

A PCB looks really LARGE through it. I tried taking a coulpe of pictures through the eyepieces, but the quality of the pictures is not very good, I'll try again.
s3.jpg
Right
s3.jpg (5.89 KiB) Viewed 13228 times
s4.jpg
Left
s4.jpg (6.2 KiB) Viewed 13228 times
These are of a SKY board, the chip is the 100 pin processor, only a few pins are visible. The actual view is larger, the camera doesn't get close enough.

This should make swapping chips out very easy to see, who knows, I might find time to put a M128 on a stock board.

With thanks again to all who contributed.

Mike.
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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by jhsa » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:29 pm

Am I going to be the first to reply??, ok then.. :)
Enjoy it Mike, and thank you very much once again for all the time you spend programming and building circuits so we can enjoy our radios better..

I guess you don't need your reading glasses anymore :mrgreen:

what's the next project then?? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by Scott Page » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:37 pm

It's difficult to explain how nice it was to be involved with giving back to one who has given so much to all of us. I'm thrilled that you got something that can't be crashed. ;-)

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by Rob Thomson » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:39 pm

Well done Mike. You deserve it!

Me being slow to the party did not even see the rcgroups post!
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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by Kilrah » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:43 pm

Cool! Me either, never knew about it!
Anyway enjoy it! I think I'll have to take the plunge one day too...

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by Flaps 30 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:46 pm

Brilliant guys.. I also missed the fun on RC groups.. Yes Mike. Get that M128 onto your stock board. :)

I am always happy to give something to those who contribute so much to the development of software.hardware, which no doubt does cost a fair amount in time and money to do.

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by ShowMaster » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:45 pm

I missed the whole donation post.
If your still in the hole Steve I'll pm you for details.
What model# did Mike end up with details please. I hope to downsize some hobby stuff and get one for myself this year. I see zoom and non zoom versions and the focal lengths confuse me.
SM


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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by MikeB » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:50 pm

It's non-zoom, fixed 20x, but this seems fine to me. I wanted the long-arm version as it gives plenty of space to reach over large PCB's abd it also gives plenty of height between the objective lens and the workpiece (4 inches).
I think you can get an alternative objective uniot to give just 10x.

Mike.
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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by rperkins » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:57 pm

Cool story and nice scope. Thanks for all your work on er9x

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by ShowMaster » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:43 am

+1


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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by nsf » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:23 am

Rob Thomson wrote:Well done Mike. You deserve it!

Me being slow to the party did not even see the rcgroups post!
Me too. I'm sad I could't contribute

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by Hasse.69 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:21 pm

No sweat guys , it´s never to late.
Mike probably need more stuff :lol:
Just follow the link:
Mikes donations

It´s great to give. :mrgreen:
Especially to some one who has put so much in to this project.

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by MikeB » Sat Jan 12, 2013 5:26 pm

Well I can now see what I'm doing. I've just replaced the Mega64 with a Mega128 on my "spare" stock board. I thouight about getting "chip-quick", but decided I didn't really have a use for the Mega64, and a new one was probably cheaper than "chip-quick" anyway.
So, I just used a VERY sharp modelling knife, and carefully cut through all the pins where they energe from the plastic of the chip. Then it was easy to de-solder the pins one by one, clean up the board, and solder the new chip on.
Set the fuses OK, then loaded the latest er9x(frksy), allowed the EEPROM format and it look OK.
As soon as I have time I'll set about er9x/eepe support for the '128. I have a test bed now!

Mike.
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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by ShowMaster » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:49 pm

MikeB wrote:It's non-zoom, fixed 20x, but this seems fine to me. I wanted the long-arm version as it gives plenty of space to reach over large PCB's abd it also gives plenty of height between the objective lens and the workpiece (4 inches).
I think you can get an alternative objective uniot to give just 10x.

Mike.
How is your microscope working out mike? I'm rethinking buying one and thought I'd give you some time to use it. The main thing is having room to get the iron on the part leads with some wiggle room.
SM


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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by MikeB » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:03 pm

With the long arm version yo really do have plenty of space to work in. There is 4.5 inches from the bottom of the objective to the bench, and it focuses over a wide range of distances. No trouble getting the iron in there.
20x magnification is plenty, but you still get a good view area as well.

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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by ShowMaster » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:26 pm

Is the link in the old post pretty much the Mscope you ended up with? I know it's been a while?



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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by MikeB » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:27 am

erskyTx/er9x developer
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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by ShowMaster » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:13 pm

I see the specs say

Binocular, 45°inclined (front)
Eyepieces WF10X/20mm
Objective LWD 2x
Magnification 20x
Illumination Incident 10W, halogen
bulb
The magnification must be ok if your able to perform your tasks. My confusion was what magnification I need or accessory to work on our boards, skyboards, and USBasp programmer boards replacing SMD parts and CPUs.
I want to keep the price down but not skimp on what I should have.
I see this one is in the $400 range $usd and that's about what I was ready to spend.

Any other user thoughts on it? I know there was a discussion about changing the light source to led?
SM



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Re: Stereo microscope for electronics

Post by MikeB » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:33 pm

Yes, the 10W halogen bulb didn't last very long, it's very small and got very hot.
As there is so much space between the objective and the uint you want to work on, I can easily use an ordinary 'angle-poise' desk lamp to give enough light.
I intend to hook up some LEDs in the light housing when I get some time.

Mike.
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