Topics

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

wa2cky
 

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

John KK4ITX
 

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.

John
KK4ITX 


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

J.K. Wright
 

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=yahoo.com@groups.io> 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.

John
KK4ITX 


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

Paul Goemans
 

We used a stereo “dissecting” microscope with above and below stage lighting in the electronics repair shop I worked in. I liked it!

de WA9PWP



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=yahoo.com@groups.io> 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.

John
KK4ITX 


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

Johnny Matlock
 

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.
72
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!

de WA9PWP



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=yahoo.com@groups.io> 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.

John
KK4ITX 


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

--
Check out the 4SQRP website at 4sqrp.com

Dave Benson
 

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.
72
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!

de WA9PWP



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=yahoo.com@groups.io> 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.

John
KK4ITX 


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

--
Check out the 4SQRP website at 4sqrp.com

Leland Lannoye
 

Sounds all too familiar



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Dave Benson <davek1swl@...>
Date: 6/30/19 11:44 (GMT-05:00)
To: main@4sqrp.groups.io
Subject: Re: [4SQRP] Electronic visual aids for working with SMD (i.e. microscopes)

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.
72
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!

de WA9PWP



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=yahoo.com@groups.io> 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.

John
KK4ITX 


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

--
Check out the 4SQRP website at 4sqrp.com

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.
72
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!

de WA9PWP



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= yahoo.com@groups.io> 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.

John
KK4ITX 


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

 

 

 

 

--
Check out the 4SQRP website at 4sqrp.com

 

 

John Clements
 

Most of the time I use my magnifier lamp (with an eye loupe sitting on top) and use a cheap set of head mounted magnifiers.  But when it gets real tough or I want to take a picture/video I use a USB microscope with my 32" TV.  My first one was a $15 kids microscope, worked OK  but took poor video.  I upgraded to a $50 one which for static images is about the same but video's are much cleaner.  I gave the $15 one away to a fellow ham.  The hardest part is adjusting focus (depth of field as mentioned in this thread) and my TV is at an angle to the bench so hand/eye coordination between TV and work can be a little challenging at times.  A few pictures can be seen in this link:  https://kc9on.com/ham-radio/smd/

73 John kc9on

John KK4ITX
 

While cleaning out my In Box I reread your query and thought although it might not totally work for you that it might be worth reminding folks like myself of a tool literally in your hand.

I often use my IPad to look at and enlarge projects through the camera app.  If you then take a clean picture you can enlarge it greatly and cleanly so you can inspect your work.  Perhaps Android phones and tablets are equally as good or better..... give it a shot.   Just take 2 fingers and spread the image, squeeze to return.

I attached a photo for reference.

73,
John 1603
KK4ITX


tom martin
 

Great idea something most of have on hand

Tom


On Aug 7, 2019, at 10:24 PM, John KK4ITX via Groups.Io <jleahy00@...> wrote:

While cleaning out my In Box I reread your query and thought although it might not totally work for you that it might be worth reminding folks like myself of a tool literally in your hand.

I often use my IPad to look at and enlarge projects through the camera app.  If you then take a clean picture you can enlarge it greatly and cleanly so you can inspect your work.  Perhaps Android phones and tablets are equally as good or better..... give it a shot.   Just take 2 fingers and spread the image, squeeze to return.

I attached a photo for reference.

73,
John 1603
KK4ITX


Dennis Shelton
 

But not me.


On 8/7/2019 11:34 PM, tom martin wrote:
Great idea something most of have on hand

Tom


On Aug 7, 2019, at 10:24 PM, John KK4ITX via Groups.Io <jleahy00@...> wrote:

While cleaning out my In Box I reread your query and thought although it might not totally work for you that it might be worth reminding folks like myself of a tool literally in your hand.

I often use my IPad to look at and enlarge projects through the camera app.  If you then take a clean picture you can enlarge it greatly and cleanly so you can inspect your work.  Perhaps Android phones and tablets are equally as good or better..... give it a shot.   Just take 2 fingers and spread the image, squeeze to return.

I attached a photo for reference.

73,
John 1603
KK4ITX



Virus-free. www.avast.com

Dave Benson
 

Nice idea!

I have one of the Samsung Android devices.  5MP resolution and it focuses down to 3 inches. 'Newer' is probably better as the technology improves.    73- Dave


On Wed, Aug 7, 2019 at 11:24 PM John KK4ITX via Groups.Io <jleahy00=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
While cleaning out my In Box I reread your query and thought although it might not totally work for you that it might be worth reminding folks like myself of a tool literally in your hand.

I often use my IPad to look at and enlarge projects through the camera app.  If you then take a clean picture you can enlarge it greatly and cleanly so you can inspect your work.  Perhaps Android phones and tablets are equally as good or better..... give it a shot.   Just take 2 fingers and spread the image, squeeze to return.

I attached a photo for reference.

73,
John 1603
KK4ITX


W4OED
 

I got one of those $40 USB digital microscope cameras and it works very well for me.

Since it has its own flexible stand, I do not need to hold a device, which allows me to see what I am doing in real time.

The built-in LED flashlight provides good lighting over the covered area.

They are available on-line from various vendors.

Just make sure to get the one with the flexible arm stand, as it has a wider reach than the other stand.

73 de W4OED
Oscar

Brian Crittendon
 

How much distance between lens and work?

On Thursday, August 8, 2019, 10:31:24 AM EDT, W4OED <w4oed@...> wrote:



I got one of those $40 USB digital microscope cameras and it works 
very well for me.

Since it has its own flexible stand, I do not need to hold a device, 
which allows me to see what I am doing in real time.

The built-in LED flashlight provides good lighting over the covered area.

They are available on-line from various vendors.

Just make sure to get the one with the flexible arm stand, as it has a 
wider reach than the other stand.

73 de W4OED
Oscar





W4OED
 

In these cameras, the zoom is digital (controlled by the software) and the focal point is optical (controlled on the camera).

With mine, I worked as close as a few millimeters from the PCB to as far as more than an inch.

I could get magnification from 40x to over 250x, depending on the setting of the focal point.

In addition, using a large monitor helps to see small details better than a phone or tablet.

I learned that zooming and focus varies with each camera type and price range, so I suggest downloading the User's Guide before buying.


73 de W4OED
Oscar