SMT Soldering Microscope

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Comments

  • I have a Panavise like Tracy's. One huge advantage it has is that raises the PCB about 6" from the bench surface, so I don't have to bend over so far to examine or work on it at close range.

    -Phil
  • I do lots and lots of smd assembly and the Panavise is not at all useful for this. There is no need to tilt the board over etc, and the spring loaded rails only jar the pcb. But if I need another 6" I either sit 6" lower or these Parallax shipping boxes can come in handy too :smile:
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  • dgatelydgately Posts: 1,385
    David Betz wrote: »
    Cluso99 wrote: »
    Beware the fleabay magnifying glasses and led lights are usually cheap and crap. Don’t waste you money. Been there.
    Do you have a suggestion for a pair of magnifying glasses to buy? I found this on Amazon.

    https://smile.amazon.com/Headband-Magnifier-Head-Mounted-Binocular-Magnification-1-5X/dp/B07M7H3P95/ref=pd_ybh_a_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=RVCRCD4VQHZMG79VRVF3

    Between the start of this thread and now, I bought this exact headband unit from Amazon and it works really well!
  • dgately wrote: »
    David Betz wrote: »
    Cluso99 wrote: »
    Beware the fleabay magnifying glasses and led lights are usually cheap and crap. Don’t waste you money. Been there.
    Do you have a suggestion for a pair of magnifying glasses to buy? I found this on Amazon.

    https://smile.amazon.com/Headband-Magnifier-Head-Mounted-Binocular-Magnification-1-5X/dp/B07M7H3P95/ref=pd_ybh_a_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=RVCRCD4VQHZMG79VRVF3

    Between the start of this thread and now, I bought this exact headband unit from Amazon and it works really well!
    Great! Thanks for the recommendation.

  • I agree that the binocular headbands are indispensable. I've found that my favorite is 5x power. I use that far more than 3x power.

    I also have one that has three fold-down lenses as pictured. One is a loupe that can bring the combination up to nearly 10x power, which is really useful in a pinch, having it right there to pull down. Of course, the field of view and the focal length change accordingly. The quality of construction of this is not, shall we say, stellar. The headband needs breaking in and easily goes loose, but what do you want for $15? These are all over on Ebay and Amazon.
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  • I use microscope and the vices/board holders for rework, not for initial assembly of SMT boards. Tilt and rotation are more useful for assembly of through-hole, where you need to flip the board to trim leads.

    Though for rework and for close examination troubleshooting though, the 'scope and the tilt are a boon. For example, I can tilt to see the connections on an SMT microUSB connector, which are hidden from above by the shroud. Those connections don't even show up on an x-ray.

    I do have a Zephyrtronics board cradle that gets a lot of use. I recall seeing one of these in back at Parallax too. The heat fountain from below brings the board up to 150°C, below the reflow temperature. I also get use from a welder's vice-grip, held in a pana-vice for quick release of the pcb.
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  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,191
    @dgately Are they glass or plastic lenses? If plastic, do they linear and clear? For the price it looks ideal.
  • Cluso99 wrote: »
    @dgately Are they glass or plastic lenses? If plastic, do they linear and clear? For the price it looks ideal.
    The Amazon listing says they are glass.

  • Yes, buyer beware when using fleabay depending on what you want. I went looking for scopes a few years back and bought my 4 channel tek there. Took some pressure to get it actually shipped, but what arrived looked like maybe a few days removed from new. My loupes were from a dental student. Guessed he either quit or graduated and could afford the > $1k devices. There were many sellers then as now, but I got lucky; ebay is loaded with junk. Pays your money.......
  • Yes, buyer beware when using fleabay depending on what you want. I went looking for scopes a few years back and bought my 4 channel tek there. Took some pressure to get it actually shipped, but what arrived looked like maybe a few days removed from new. My loupes were from a dental student. Guessed he either quit or graduated and could afford the > $1k devices. There were many sellers then as now, but I got lucky; ebay is loaded with junk. Pays your money.......
    At least Amazon makes it pretty easy to send stuff back.

  • dgatelydgately Posts: 1,385
    Cluso99 wrote: »
    @dgately Are they glass or plastic lenses? If plastic, do they linear and clear? For the price it looks ideal.
    Yes, the lenses are glass!
  • David Betz wrote: »
    At least Amazon makes it pretty easy to send stuff back.

    Actually have not tried to send anything back. Happy with what I have gotten. My point was you need to be knowledgeable and/or do your research. There were at one point lots of the tek storage scopes that were cheap, but the typical problem part was a CCD chip that is made from unobtanium. Mine had a channel fail. Almost 2yrs later the chip qty 1 turned up, $50. Much lower than it should have been. Tossed the dice and won. Again got lucky, (sh)could have been a scam. So loupes, said dental student, only the one pair, other listings of user consistent with someone like that having virtual garage sale. Likely legit. Using them more these days as the eyes gain more experience.
  • While we are on the subject of vises, the Hakko Omnivise is my new hands-down favorite for both small SMD assembly and rework. You’ll have to pry this thing out of my cold, dead hands. Pricey, but I do love it.
  • JRoark wrote: »
    While we are on the subject of vises, the Hakko Omnivise is my new hands-down favorite for both small SMD assembly and rework. You’ll have to pry this thing out of my cold, dead hands. Pricey, but I do love it.

    So I had to search to see how they get used but you still need two for larger boards. Except for the height adjustment for when you place a fan heater underneath, I can't see the advantage especially considering the price. Two magnetic paper clips and a metal base for a few bucks. The clips stay in place but can be placed anyway and don't get in the way. I also sit this on a turntable to make it easier to change the angle when I place components.

  • @JRoark And here I thought you were about to go off on a tangent about vices........
  • CJMJCJMJ Posts: 143
    edited 2021-01-10 01:35
    A few years ago when I decided to get into SMT stuff I purchased a cheap lighted head loupe like @"Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)" @Cluso99 @doggiedoc , some Tenma 21-8230 SMD Soldering/Desoldering Tweezers and completely depopulated a CDROM mainboard just to see if I could do it (see attached pictures). Mission Accomplished. Since then I've discovered an old USB microscope like @erco. I'm currently designing a 3D printed base using the longer sliding rods from a couple of CDROMs and some small stepper motors [if I can find some I like] to move the microscope over the work area using two encoders.

    What I'd really like to have is the device @cgracey was using in the video where he's trying to mount a Rev C P2 to [I believe] a P2D2 or was it one of @Cluso99 's boards for testing.
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  • @CJMJ - Us guys who do smd assembly all the time were very much amused and puzzled that Chip decided to mount the P2 chip on my P2D2 with this big magnifier and a fine tip soldering iron!!!! So so much easier to run a bead of solder paste on each side and on the center pad, place the chip and heat to reflow. It would have been perfect and Chip wouldn't have forgotten to solder the center pad either on the first attempt!. Then when he tested it he didn't worry about bypass caps and local regulation. No, he used long leads back to a power supply! Please don't try this at home folks. btw Cluso99 has only very recently had his board available.
  • So I had to search to see how they get used but you still need two for larger boards. Except for the height adjustment for when you place a fan heater underneath, I can't see the advantage especially considering the price. Two magnetic paper clips and a metal base for a few bucks. The clips stay in place but can be placed anyway and don't get in the way. I also sit this on a turntable to make it easier to change the angle when I place components.

    FWIW I routinely do 6x6 inch boards with just one and think I could go a bit larger if needed. They are quite heavy bits of kit. By 8x8 you’d definitely want two.

    Your magnetic clip trick sounds interesting. I may try that tomorrow.
    @JRoark And here I thought you were about to go off on a tangent about vices........
    Hehehe. Ah... vices! Would you prefer redheads, scotch, or fast cars for this discussion? :)
  • Hmmm, tough choice. D, for all of the above!!!!!!!!!!! Or at least a prop controlled dispenser for option B.
  • I use those little tiny flip top smd boxes and use my magnetic plunger to pick-up parts that I place onto a bent edge card so I can pick them up with the smd tweezers. When I need more flipped into the correct position I just tap the card and some bounce into just the very position I want. When I am finished I can either slide the remaining parts back into the bin using the edge on the card or pick them up again with the magnetic plunger.

    Here's a photo of ones I might use in one project all put together in a carrier along with some of the smd tools I use.
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  • Hey, Peter,
    and what is that white paste in the syringe with a blue collar needle ? A flux of some sort ? Looks unfamiliar. The other one looks like solder paste.
  • RS_JimRS_Jim Posts: 1,436
    I did not know this b4but the Erco effect even applies at walmart,the endacope is now over $20!

    Jim
  • In case any of you haven't seen this, he's Strange Parts video about a microscope he uses.


    It's likely overkill for most purposes but I personally love overkill. I purchased one and it's really fun to use.
  • RS_JimRS_Jim Posts: 1,436
    Erico,
    received the USB microscope yesterday! Oops, has anyone made a windows driver work
    under wine? Running linux mint 20 here.
    Jim
  • Did you plug it in just to see if it would do anything?

  • Peter JakackiPeter Jakacki Posts: 9,952
    edited 2021-01-23 23:01
    RS_Jim wrote: »
    Erico,
    received the USB microscope yesterday! Oops, has anyone made a windows driver work
    under wine? Running linux mint 20 here.
    Jim

    If it appears as a standard webcam you can just use something like Cheese to view it.
    EDIT: or try guvcview

    btw, you can upgrade to 20.1 from the update manager menu.
  • RS_JimRS_Jim Posts: 1,436
    Frank,
    Yes I plugged it in and the light lights. pbj, I'll try guvcview. I may still have a bootable win7 disk I can try just to check it out, or sneak the driver onto the wife's windows box.
    jim
  • RS_JimRS_Jim Posts: 1,436
    edited 2021-01-26 01:05

    Peter,

    That worked! when I first started guvcview it found my web cam, but some playing with the control panel, I found the microscope camera. I need to study the docs to see if I can get it to default to the microscope. Thanks for the software suggestion.

    Jim

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