Author Topic: The Ergonomics of Microscope Soldering: Direct Optical View vs Camera/Monitor  (Read 6887 times)

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Offline Electro Fan

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Re: The Ergonomics of Microscope Soldering: Direct Optical View vs Camera/Monitor
« Reply #150 on: November 09, 2020, 11:38:33 pm »
and another (too big to post together)
 

Offline Renate

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Re: The Ergonomics of Microscope Soldering: Direct Optical View vs Camera/Monitor
« Reply #151 on: November 10, 2020, 05:32:50 pm »
I appreciate the benefits of stereo vision.
So how about an Oculus VR headset and a dual HDMI microscope? >:D

That would actually be kind of cool...  With dual cameras on the soldering iron as well, for the ultimate immersive soldering experience! :D
I'm not sure if it would be a good idea for me.
I was watching Dave's tour of the old lab video.
After about 5 minutes I had to stop as all the camera movement was making me seriously nauseaous.
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: The Ergonomics of Microscope Soldering: Direct Optical View vs Camera/Monitor
« Reply #152 on: November 10, 2020, 06:37:50 pm »
I appreciate the benefits of stereo vision.
So how about an Oculus VR headset and a dual HDMI microscope? >:D

That would actually be kind of cool...  With dual cameras on the soldering iron as well, for the ultimate immersive soldering experience! :D
I'm not sure if it would be a good idea for me.
I was watching Dave's tour of the old lab video.
After about 5 minutes I had to stop as all the camera movement was making me seriously nauseaous.

Just hold the iron steady, you'll be allright!  :D
 

Offline Electro Fan

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Re: The Ergonomics of Microscope Soldering: Direct Optical View vs Camera/Monitor
« Reply #153 on: November 18, 2020, 09:25:42 pm »
Here is a recap of the ergonomic measurements and findings from my microscope project.  (Measurements are provided in the table attached below).

I tried the Amscope SM-4NTP simul-lfocal microscope for soldering and overall the results were good to very good.  I'm sure there are better optics available at a higher price but I believe this Amscope product provides very good value. 

I am very sure that with the improved ability to see detail my soldering skills went from not very good to better :).  Seriously, after a couple hundred components and a few practice PCBs, and after trying some new tips and temperature settings I am certain it is much easier to get at least semi-desirable results, and with much better consistency than without the aid of an optical microscope.  The main thing I have learned is that with an improved ability to see PCB pads, component leads, the iron tip, and the solder melting action I can now much better select tips (size and shape) and temperature settings based on the particular project, which in turn provides better control over the soldering process, and better results.

Eye hand coordination is not an issue as the optical view provides good navigation and iron control in each dimension including height (up and down with the solder tip just above the board.)  The ability to see things on the monitor is nice but the largest benefits so far come from the direct optical view.

One of the keys is now how long I can comfortably solder while looking through the scope which leads to consideration of working distance and in particular whether the preference is to stand or sit while soldering – which in turn drives the decision on lens selection.

IMO, for the SM-4NPT (which zooms from 7X-45X in the base configuration) the working distance is slightly too small without a magnification reducing Barlow lens.  (A magnification reducing lens increases the working distance).  The working distance is the distance from the focal plane of the item being viewed (in this case a PCB and/or components on the PCB) to the bottom of the objective lens – possibly minus a small amount (~2-3mm) for a ring light that protrudes slightly lower than the objective lens.

I tried three Barlow lenses:  SM07, SM05, and SM03.  The SM07 didn’t add enough working distance to make it worthwhile but for someone with good soldering dexterity it might suffice.  The SM05 is probably the sweet spot for most users in terms of working distance but the SM03 is also worth considering. 

I think the best way to make the tradeoff between the 05 and the 03 is to consider not only the working distance but also the height of  your bench from the floor, and whether you will be standing or sitting – as this will determine where you want the oculars for comfortable viewing with your eyes (and for your back, shoulders, neck, and head).

In my case, given the height of my bench (97 cm from floor to workbench surface) and my height, the oculars when using the 03 are just about at eye height when standing (about 147 cm from floor to eye height).  So if I was going to be mostly soldering while standing, the 03 would probably be the best choice.

I am going to try to find a chair/stool, and while sitting I think the 05 might be the right height – this is still TBD.  (I am guessing that knee clearance might also become a consideration when designing the work area layout.)

In addition to the most working distance (240 mm) the 03 Barlow also provides the widest Field of View:  85 mm when zoomed out and 12 mm when zoomed in – these measurements are through the oculars.  Using the digital camera and a 24” monitor the FOV is less:  57 mm when zoomed out and 9 mm when zoomed in. 

(All of the camera FOV measurements were using the Amscope RU050 camera reduction lens; I haven't found other alternatives but they might be out there.)

The FOV, both zoomed out and zoomed in, through the oculars with the SM03 and on the monitor with the RU050 on the camera, is very sufficient for soldering. 

While the 05 Barlow provides a less wide FOV than the 03 it also seems plenty sufficient for soldering.  However, all of this might depend on how big the boards that are you are soldering and what else might be in the way on your bench.  The gooseneck light is the first thing that my boards and board holders bump into; depending on the microscope stand and how it is arranged on your bench I suspect the stand might also factor into how much space you have to reorient a board for microscope viewing.

Moving from horizontal plane FOV back to vertical working distance, something else to keep in mind is whether PCBs will be resting flat on your bench or whether they will be raised slightly with a board holder such as a Stickvise, or whether the board might be somewhat higher off the bench as with a helping hands device, etc.  This is worth considering as the height of a board with these devices will drive the ceiling height of the working distance (rather than simply measuring from the bench surface).  This leads to the ability to adjust the microscope head height.  I was on the fence about the choice of stands and I’m happy that I went with the double boom stand as I have found it very helpful in enabling the scope to be positioned for all of the various considerations (standing, sitting, lens combinations, and the height of the PCB including the use of various PCB holders).

So, I think the choice is best made based on your particulars including whether you will be primarily standing or sitting while soldering.

Configuration:
Amscope SM-4NTP 7X-45X at 1.0 Magnification Microscope
Amscope SM03 Barlow Lens
Amscope SM05 Barlow Lens
Amscope SM07 Barlow Lens
Amscope RU050 C-mount Reduction Lens
Hayear HY-3307 16MP 1080P 60 FPS HDMI Camera
Dell U2415 24” 1900x1200 1080P Monitor

Note:  the measurements in the table attached below were made with a ruler and a tape measure. Millimeters are kind of small so I’d give these about a +/- 2 mm error margin.

Floor to workbench surface = 97 cm
Floor to oculars with SM03 = 147 cm (provides 240 mm Working Distance)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2020, 10:06:56 pm by Electro Fan »
 
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Offline Electro Fan

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Re: The Ergonomics of Microscope Soldering: Direct Optical View vs Camera/Monitor
« Reply #154 on: November 22, 2020, 07:29:47 pm »
Found a stable and relatively high chair/stool with an adjustable up down lever for the seat height.  The 0.3 Barlow lens requires the sitting height to be a bit higher (than the 0.5) which in turn decreases some knee clearance under the bench.  After trying the 0.3 and the 0.5 Barlow lenses while seated I prefer the 0.5 even though it has less working distance and a smaller FOV (see attached table in previous post).  The 0.5 seems a bit sharper (might be due to the higher magnification, or it could just be something in the particular lenses I have) and overall seated with the 0.5 turned out to be the preferred combination.  I'm going to keep the 0.3 for times when I might prefer to sit up higher (not sure why that would be), or stand (and need a little more floor to ocular height), or need the greater working distance and/or FOV.
 


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