Author Topic: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering  (Read 15304 times)

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Offline baElectronic

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« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 07:57:45 PM by baElectronic »
 

Offline mazurov

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 08:45:06 PM »
I have the last one - it is very good.
 

Offline baElectronic

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2013, 09:11:59 PM »
I have the last one - it is very good.

It looks like the working distance is 4" as opposed to the 6" or 9" that the other scopes offer. Do you have any issues with SMD soldering?
 

Offline TerminalJack505

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2013, 09:27:11 PM »
You'll probably want to get one with a 0.5X Barlow lens.  This increases the working distance by 2x.

BTW, I have an Amscope stereo microscope and I'm very happy with it.  The one I have is similar to the one in your last link.  It has the same stand but came with an LED ring light and a 0.5X Barlow lens.  The ring light isn't quite bright enough at maximum magnification but I never use the max.  The working distance with the 0.5 Barlow lens is about 8".  There's plenty of room to get a soldering iron under it.
 

Offline baElectronic

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2013, 09:39:57 PM »
You'll probably want to get one with a 0.5X Barlow lens.  This increases the working distance by 2x.

BTW, I have an Amscope stereo microscope and I'm very happy with it.  The one I have is similar to the one in your last link.  It has the same stand but came with an LED ring light and a 0.5X Barlow lens.  The ring light isn't quite bright enough at maximum magnification but I never use the max.  The working distance with the 0.5 Barlow lens is about 8".  There's plenty of room to get a soldering iron under it.

Hmm, it sounds like it would be well over $300 for this setup. I'm thinking that I may go for one of the cheaper models for now, or I can do without the Barlow lens and LED ring for a bit. Tough choice.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 09:42:17 PM by baElectronic »
 

Offline lgbeno

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Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2013, 01:07:20 AM »
I just bought a Nikon smz-1 microscope with a fiber optic light source for $250 plus $30 shipping, I thought that it was a pretty sweet deal.  I started out in the same boat as you but the problem was that the cost of shipping the boom stand is so much because they are so heavy.  Most people charge $50 for that.  In the end though, you get what you pay for so what's an extra $80?  Good luck!
 

Offline baElectronic

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2013, 03:03:07 AM »
I just bought a Nikon smz-1 microscope with a fiber optic light source for $250 plus $30 shipping, I thought that it was a pretty sweet deal.  I started out in the same boat as you but the problem was that the cost of shipping the boom stand is so much because they are so heavy.  Most people charge $50 for that.  In the end though, you get what you pay for so what's an extra $80?  Good luck!

Yeah, I had a chance to sleep on it. Although I didn't want to spend that much for a scope, I'm leaning towards buying the last one I listed, including the Barlow lens. It appears to be the more professional and versatile scope of the four. I can add other things like a camera and LED lighting later.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 03:06:34 AM by baElectronic »
 

Offline lgbeno

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Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2013, 05:53:18 AM »
Smart choice, currently I don't have a Barlow on mine but I want to get one.  From some of the people that I've talked with, they say that .5x might be a little extreme and recommend a .7x because it is better for ergonomics and work area.  I don't know what to say more than that. 

I still think that a fiber optic light is going to be better that any led light, it allows you more light without the bulky light ring, probably why they are pretty expensive though.  If you watch eBay for a few weeks, you'll see scopes listed by people who don't really know their real worth, they usually have bad pictures and descriptions but then you can swoop in with a low bid and grab it.  It's poor marketing working in your favor...

Good luck.
 

Offline baElectronic

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2013, 07:20:26 AM »
Smart choice, currently I don't have a Barlow on mine but I want to get one.  From some of the people that I've talked with, they say that .5x might be a little extreme and recommend a .7x because it is better for ergonomics and work area.  I don't know what to say more than that. 

I still think that a fiber optic light is going to be better that any led light, it allows you more light without the bulky light ring, probably why they are pretty expensive though.  If you watch eBay for a few weeks, you'll see scopes listed by people who don't really know their real worth, they usually have bad pictures and descriptions but then you can swoop in with a low bid and grab it.  It's poor marketing working in your favor...

Good luck.

Great. Thanks for the tips. I have an immediate need for a microscope, so I'll have to make a decision by Monday.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 07:24:27 AM by baElectronic »
 

Offline mazurov

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2013, 12:49:22 PM »
I have the last one - it is very good.

It looks like the working distance is 4" as opposed to the 6" or 9" that the other scopes offer. Do you have any issues with SMD soldering?

I don't. Here you can see my setup in action -> https://plus.google.com/u/0/114645657478782700234/posts/C9ryS3Jx8mP
 

Offline baElectronic

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2013, 05:24:43 PM »
I have the last one - it is very good.

It looks like the working distance is 4" as opposed to the 6" or 9" that the other scopes offer. Do you have any issues with SMD soldering?

I don't. Here you can see my setup in action -> https://plus.google.com/u/0/114645657478782700234/posts/C9ryS3Jx8mP

Nice! Thanks for the pictures. I must admit that this is all a bit overwhelming - way too many choices. Would you consider buying a trinocular scope if you had to do it over again? I was thinking that I might want to have the flexibility to add a camera later:

http://www.amscope.com/Stereo-BoomStand-4.html
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 06:07:14 AM by baElectronic »
 

Offline robrenz

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2013, 05:59:04 AM »
Spend the $40.00 now if you can. A thread on my experience here  You may want to consider zoom also.

Offline baElectronic

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2013, 06:08:39 AM »
Spend the $40.00 now if you can. A thread on my experience here  You may want to consider zoom also.

Ok. I like your setup. So, I've narrowed my choices down to a trinocular scope. I was considering this one, since the working distance is 8". I'm not sure that I'd ever need anything greater than 30x. Also, I'm not sure if I want to shell out the money for a zoom scope right now: http://store.amscope.com/sw-3t13x.html
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 06:55:36 AM by baElectronic »
 

Offline robrenz

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2013, 06:27:01 AM »
AFIK the 5X and 15X will have the 8" working distance because the 0,5 barlow is mounted.  The 5X to 15X change is with a little slide rod on the left side of the head.  To get the 10X and 30X you will remove the 0.5 barlow which will make the working distance now 4" which is still not too bad and the 10 to 30 change will be with the slide rod again.  In real life if you are doing a lot of work with the scope this will be a PITA.  For me, having zoom and being able to pick the perfect mag for the job at hand is not a luxury, it is a must.

You should talk to Amscope to verify the above.  They will honor thier ebay pricing and free shipping(when buying direct) if you ask them. If you intend to try to work under the scope using the eyepieces while videoing you need to ask if that is possible on this model. some scopes blank one or both eyepieces totaly while set for camera.  If you didnt read my text on the thread i linked above you should, it discusses this topic.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 12:02:43 AM by robrenz »
 

Offline kripton2035

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2013, 06:50:50 AM »
I've got the first on your list for Christmas and I'm quite happy with it, althought I havent greatly used it for now.
the 20x is ok for smd, I dont see why the other propose 40x I dont see when you can use that magnify.
the working distance is quite ok, but I must be very straight on my chair. I plan to buy a chair that I can move up and down
but with it you have plenty of room to manipulate...
at last, the light could be brighter, but I have quite a lot of light on the desk so it helps.

Offline nctnico

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2013, 07:34:05 AM »
IMHO 20x or 40x is way too much. I have used a Mantis a lot and based on my experience with that machine 8x is already too much. 6x would be optimal. You also need an overview on the work piece. Unfortunately I no longer have access to the Mantis so I bought a magnifier lamp (8 dioptre) which is a bit wobbly but works reasonably. I have been looking for a stereo microscope but have not been able to find one with low magnification for a reasonable price.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline baElectronic

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2013, 09:58:39 AM »
Well, I ended up completely blowing my budget out of the water  :palm:

 http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewitem?itemId=200596773862&index=1&nav=SEARCH&nid=99490970459
 

Offline robrenz

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2013, 10:07:04 AM »
That is the same unit I showed in my thread I linked above. You won't be sorry.  The only negative is the only the right eyepiece is functional when the camera is engaged. That really isn't a big deal unless you planned to do a huge amount of videos.

Offline baElectronic

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2013, 10:59:07 AM »
That is the same unit I showed in my thread I linked above. You won't be sorry.  The only negative is the only the right eyepiece is functional when the camera is engaged. That really isn't a big deal unless you planned to do a huge amount of videos.

Great! It seemed to be right in my sweet spot (my ever-expanding sweet spot  ;)) in terms of features and versatility.
 

Offline kripton2035

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2013, 06:35:36 PM »

Offline baElectronic

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2013, 07:01:27 PM »
 

Offline kripton2035

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2013, 04:02:38 AM »
That is the same unit I showed in my thread I linked above. You won't be sorry.  The only negative is the only the right eyepiece is functional when the camera is engaged. That really isn't a big deal unless you planned to do a huge amount of videos.
so it's not really a trinocular ? it's a binocular with 3 entries ..?

Offline robrenz

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2013, 05:25:05 AM »
It's better than a binocular with the camera stuck in one eyepiece tube and using your wrong eye on the other eyepiece :-+

It's worse than a simufocal trinocular where both eyepieces and the camera port are all active at the same time :--


It's when the camera is active you can put your head in normal position on both eyepieces but you can only see thru the right eyepiece.  A simple slide rod changes between one eyepiece and camera or both eyepieces. Camera can be adjusted to be in focus when the eyepieces are in focus.

Offline baElectronic

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2013, 09:14:23 AM »
 :D
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 09:16:41 AM by baElectronic »
 

Offline KJDS

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Re: Moderately-Priced Microscope for SMD Soldering
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2013, 11:15:28 AM »
I'm currently using an Iroscope, however also have Zeiss, Leica, Scienscope, Kyowa and optika available. The Leica is very special indeed and gives beautifully clear images. The Zeiss is also good. If the rest, even the worst is more than ok for my poor eyes to perform the finest of SMD soldering.

I know I would struggle with a non zoom scope, and a 0.5x barlow lens is essential to provide adequate working distance. Things like 0603 resistors I'm soldering with minimal magnification, perhaps only 5x, however if I want a close look at a fine pitched IC then I want at least 20x magnification.


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