Author Topic: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?  (Read 7519 times)

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Offline wblackledg

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Dave,

Can you do a video similar to your How to buy an Oscilloscope video for a Stereo Microscope for the Electronics Lab?

Do I need one?
What to look for?
What to look out for?
What should I pay/Expect?

thanks.
 

Offline bitwelder

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Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2013, 04:36:05 pm »
Is the stereo microscope such a common need for electronic labs?  :-//
 

Offline dr.diesel

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Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2013, 04:44:27 pm »
Is the stereo microscope such a common need for electronic labs?  :-//

Never needed one in my 20 years of building stuff.

Offline KTP

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Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2013, 04:57:41 pm »
Is the stereo microscope such a common need for electronic labs?  :-//

Never needed one in my 20 years of building stuff.

The 1980s wants their engineer back.

Today building a circuit with 0402 resistors, capacitors and fine pitch TQFP a binocular microscope of 10x 30x or 10x 40x is almost ranked higher than a soldering iron in need.
 

Offline Excavatoree

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Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2013, 05:06:37 pm »
Today building a circuit with 0402 resistors, capacitors and fine pitch TQFP a binocular microscope of 10x 30x or 10x 40x is almost ranked higher than a soldering iron in need.

Some of use have poorer eyesight than others - I need a good magnifier for work that isn't that fine.  I suppose some "eagle eyes" wouldn't need one as much as I do, but eventually, the stuff is getting so small that darn near anyone would want or need to use one.
 

Offline SLJ

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Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2013, 05:20:21 pm »
Unless you are using them 8 hours a day in a production environment these work pretty good also and cost a heck of a lot less and they are 3D.   :-DD
Never needed anything above 6x for electronics.



Sure beats spending $400-$600.

Offline ahnuts72

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Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2013, 06:38:43 pm »
I've been looking at these on ebay
 http://www.ebay.com/itm/AmScope-20X-Stereo-Binocular-Microscope-Boom-Arm-Light-/200757834216
Don't know what the quality is but can't be bad for occasional use
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Offline Alexei.Polkhanov

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Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2013, 06:46:20 pm »
I've been looking at these on ebay
 http://www.ebay.com/itm/AmScope-20X-Stereo-Binocular-Microscope-Boom-Arm-Light-/200757834216
Don't know what the quality is but can't be bad for occasional use
I could be nice solution but that "Incident side light" is most likely just a single (or few) LED - definitely not enough and you cannot fit ring light on square objective lens. Just IMHO.
 

Offline KTP

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Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2013, 06:51:23 pm »
When I get another microscope it will be a trinocular with a camera.  With the experiments I am doing with micromachining, it is just too nice of a feature to pass up.  They are only a little bit more than a binocular model on ebay.

Right now I have to put my non-SLR digital camera in macro mode and take a picture through the eyepiece....horrible.
 

Offline Smokey

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Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2013, 07:10:15 pm »
Is the stereo microscope such a common need for electronic labs?  :-//

Yes.  There are some really good threads about this already. 
The highlights are:
1) Get a stereo head with zoom.  Magnifiers (glasses, or the sheet kind) will make you go crazy if you have to use it for more than 5 minutes.  Trinocular is totally optional and you probably won't use it much if you don't have to send images of production defects to assembly houses on a regular basis or something like that.  0.7x to 4x zoom is a good range for electronics use with 10X eyepieces.   You will probably spend most of your time at the lower magnification anyway.  Make sure it's an inspection microscope with at least a couple inches working distance so you can solder under it and not damage the under side.
2) Get a decent stand and focus rack.  Boom stand if you can find one.  Lots of the Ebay auctions are for just the head which is worthless unless you are a machinist and can make a stand and focus rack (or find a stand and focus rack separately).  You need a stand and focus rack.  The boom stands are heavy so if you can find something locally like at a swap meet or local seller that would probably be better and save shipping.
3) Get a ring light.  The cheap ones work fine.  I like the LED one I got that has brightness adjustment better than the florescent ones, but there was some discussion about this on another thread.

I'm sure someone will point some out here, but I haven't seen an old brand of stereo inspection microscope head that was a total piece of junk and wouldn't work in a home lab.  Assuming they aren't broken, they pretty much all work as expected with some like Leica and Nikon working a bit better than the others.  You just have to pay more for the higher quality.  I got an old AO scope from Ebay for 80 bucks USD a while back and I use it all the time at home with no issues. 
If you wanted to go New, the Amscope systems are really good value.  I use one of these at work all the time.

If you can't wait for a super deal, something around 200USD is pretty doable with some searching.
 

Offline ahnuts72

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Re: Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2013, 07:54:16 pm »
I could be nice solution but that "Incident side light" is most likely just a single (or few) LED - definitely not enough and you cannot fit ring light on square objective lens. Just IMHO.
Wouldn't be to hard to mount a ring light but I can make my own boards at home so I would make one rectangular to fit as a challenge.

Sent from my Milestone X using Tapatalk 2
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Offline ahnuts72

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Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2013, 07:58:43 pm »
Would also ne a good project to implement pwm control of the leds
like in saves video about the mod he did to his mantis.
At the price point I wont quibble over a light I can replace.

As an aside anyone know how to edit post in tapatalk.
.
 

Offline SLJ

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Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2013, 01:13:03 am »
You need zoom.  Any single magnification scope (only 10X, 20X, etc.) will eventually be a problem. 20X might be too high.

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2013, 03:02:03 am »
My microscope is 5x and 10x.  5x is good for most stuff - 0805's, 0603's, etc. 

It's only when you get down to the finer pitches that you really need more zoom, IMO.

Lighting is key.  Stereo is a must. 

Didn't I see a post here not too long ago about the Mantis scopes being on sale?  I seem to remember they were under $1k?  seemed like a fantastic deal.  Maybe I misread it - I looked at buying a Mantis years ago and I thought it was in the $4k range or so.   Maybe my memory is failing.
It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done.
 

Offline ahnuts72

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Re: Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2013, 04:16:08 am »
You need zoom.  Any single magnification scope (only 10X, 20X, etc.) will eventually be a problem. 20X might be too high.
They also have a 10x-20x one as well haven't looked to see if they have a version with zoom.
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Offline SLJ

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Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2013, 11:33:54 am »
The 10X, 20X is most likely a 10X with their Barlow lens added.  The Barlow lens could probably be added to any of their scopes to double the magnification.  I think they sell it separately also.

Offline robrenz

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Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2013, 01:25:17 pm »
Previous threads that have a lot of the info you are looking for.
here 1
here 2
here 3

Offline Smokey

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Re: Dave , How to buy a good lab quality used Microscope on Ebay?
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2013, 07:37:55 pm »
Ya, when they say 10x-20x they are most likely talking about a Barlow lens or two sets of fixed eyepieces.  It's probably not zoom.  You really want zoom.  I guess you could get away with a fixed magnification, but I spend most of my time at 0.7x on the head with 10x eyepieces, so like 7X.
 


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