Re: Electronic visual aids for working with SMD (i.e. microscopes)

Charlie Vest

My sight has now deteriorated where even the headband lighted magnifier doesn't help with SMD and I can't read regular transistor numbers or clearly see my through hole soldering . Luckily I have a grandson living with me and a great nephew that is going to be a senior in high school this year that loves electronics and they teach it at the high school he goes to. It is rare for me not to have a part on hand when they want to do a build and they love to use all of the fancy test equipment on my bench . They have become my eyes for reading part numbers and I am still not ready to give up building after only 57 years of doing it !!

Since I can't see my solder joints when I solder them now I have found that the USB Camera / Microscope does a really good job of looking at the finished joint as well as looking for bridges when I look at it on a big monitor . I like it because I can get a really close look at a small area .

Charlie , W5COV 

On June 30, 2019 at 11:44 AM Dave Benson <davek1swl@...> wrote:

I got one of the headset magnifiers with lenses for both eyes,  It ran about $20 with an assortment of snap-in lenses. I used the strongest lenses- a working distance of 4-5 inches,,, and depth perception to boot.  They worked very well....  until I dropped the assembly and the retaining hardware vanished.  The lens is now secured with transparent tape in classic 'nerd' fashion.

73- Dave, K1SWL

On Sun, Jun 30, 2019 at 11:08 AM Johnny Matlock < jomatlock@...> wrote:
Gm guys 
I tried one the imported electronic USB
Magnifiers and didn’t care for it.
The focal length was really close, and I had trouble adjusting it on a Linux computer.
I couldn’t find any Linux drivers, so that may have been a issue?

I went back to my magnified work light and a magnified head set, lots better!!
That’s my 2 cents worth.
Johnny AC0BQ 

On Sun, Jun 30, 2019 at 7:36 AM Paul Goemans < wa9pwp@...> wrote:
We used a stereo “dissecting” microscope with above and below stage lighting in the electronics repair shop I worked in. I liked it!


Sent from Paul’s iPhone 

On Jun 30, 2019, at 6:44 AM, J.K. Wright < wrightjk@...> wrote:

The problem with low end $ usb microscopes is depth of field focusing. It is very narrow. Also depending on lenses, the lens tip may be very close to the work surface.
Magnified head gear may well be better, but if you want something else look at 3x-10x stereo scopes on a stand. They are comparatively pricey, but show up on craigslist and hamfests every so often.
Jerry, NK2C

On Sat, Jun 29, 2019, 6:12 PM jleahy00 via Groups.Io <jleahy00=> wrote:
Hi Bob,

And found it to be outstanding for $10.95.  This unit has a built in light that is adjustable so you don’t miss anything.  I have used it to assemble the Cricket 30, 40 and currently working on the audio filter.  I can’t believe the difference, now I need something to steady my hands !

None of my work has been SMD but this should work for you.


If you need a parachute and don't have one you probably won't need one again.

On Jun 29, 2019, at 18:46, wa2cky < bob.groh@...> wrote:

With a constant shift to building with SMD components (and with my 'aging' eyes), I have been looking at getting one of those USB electronic microscopes for working on SMD boards. Anyone else done any work on this topic and have any recommendations, thoughts, etc to pass on?

Bob Groh, WA2CKY





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