Author Topic: Microscope supplier in UK / Europe?  (Read 9178 times)

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Offline AndyC_772

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Microscope supplier in UK / Europe?
« on: November 04, 2015, 10:00:25 am »
Hi all,

Middle-age is catching up on my eyes, and I've realised I can't see to solder the really small stuff with the naked eye any more :(

I've been looking at the various threads on microscopes, and it looks as though Amscope is the popular go-to choice for a stereo microscope suitable for soldering under. I'd also like to attach a camera for documenting modifications, production issues and the like.

I've had a quote from Amscope for something suitable and it works out to just over £800 all-in.

Before I push the button, can anyone please suggest any other potential suppliers I should check out? I'd prefer to buy from the UK or mainland Europe if possible.

Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Microscope supplier in UK / Europe?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2015, 10:18:01 am »
Euromex and Bresser come to mind. Euromex is very present on eBay. Look e.g. for Euromex NexiusZoom. Depending on what you want of course.
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Offline daqq

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Re: Microscope supplier in UK / Europe?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2015, 10:28:38 am »
I'd try ebay - you can get amazing professional stuff occasionally for peanuts.
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Online Fraser

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Re: Microscope supplier in UK / Europe?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2015, 10:37:04 am »
Try Brunel Microscopes. They have a very good, and well deserved, reputation for quality kit and good support.

http://www.brunelmicroscopes.co.uk/

Fraser
 

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Microscope supplier in UK / Europe?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2015, 11:03:42 am »
Different solutions suit different people, and one person's experience won't necessarily be right for you. Best approach is to find a way of trying different techniques.

For me, head-mounted visors are sufficient, and are preferable to illuminated magnifiers and microcopes. They are also be used with glasses, can be used when peering into equipment, and are cheap enough to try on a suck-it-and-see basis.

I use http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/rolson-2-led-12x-18x-25x-and-35x-magnifying-visor-n70fk but they are available from many sources.
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Offline coppice

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Re: Microscope supplier in UK / Europe?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2015, 11:13:00 am »
Different solutions suit different people, and one person's experience won't necessarily be right for you. Best approach is to find a way of trying different techniques.

For me, head-mounted visors are sufficient, and are preferable to illuminated magnifiers and microcopes. They are also be used with glasses, can be used when peering into equipment, and are cheap enough to try on a suck-it-and-see basis.

I use http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/rolson-2-led-12x-18x-25x-and-35x-magnifying-visor-n70fk but they are available from many sources.
I agree with that. Visual aids are such a personal thing you shouldn't buy before you try. If you can get something on sale or return that might be an OK second best, but visiting a place where you can try a few options is the way to go.
 

Offline nfmax

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Re: Microscope supplier in UK / Europe?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2015, 11:13:45 am »
Another supplier is JB microscopes - I've bought spares from them & they have been very helpful. They also have a selection of 2nd user instruments on their website http://www.jbmicroscopes.co.uk/refurbishedmicroscopes
 

Online Fraser

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Re: Microscope supplier in UK / Europe?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2015, 11:28:30 am »
I agree about trying different vision aids.

I have several inspection microscopes but often just need my superb Optivisor. The Optivisor is not the cheapest of its kind but it has interchangeable high quality glaa optics. I user the type 4 lenses for most electronics work. I bought higher magnification lenses for more challenging scenarios. I also own passive optical and high quality digital magnifiers from the Eschenbach Mobilux range. EBay is a good hunting ground for such.

Fraser


 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: Microscope supplier in UK / Europe?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2015, 04:03:33 pm »
Thanks for the suggestions so far, really appreciated.

I've tried head mounted magnifiers before, but find them rather clumsy and awkward to use. It probably doesn't help that the ones I've used have terrible stiff, plasticky head bands that are uncomfortable to wear and difficult to adjust correctly.

A hand held device won't work either; I need both hands free to solder. If I have a spare hand, I just use a cheap 7x loupe, which has served me well for many years.

Offline KJDS

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Re: Microscope supplier in UK / Europe?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2015, 05:07:28 pm »
I try and keep a few in stock but pickings have been slim for the last year.

Andy, if Leicester isn't too far then you're more than welcome to visit to try out the few I do have, which will at least give you a decent idea if this is really the way you want to go.

I do have a Leica MZ12 trinocular, with an assortment of Barlow lenses and a couple of cameras. It's a delightful thing but probably wasted just for some soldering.

An Olympus SZ40 on a double arm boom stand, which is at the upper end of a sensible choice for soldering and inspection.

A Kyowa with either X1 or X3 magnification from the head, which also has 10X eyepieces to give a choice or 10 or 10 magnification. It would need a minor mod to allow it to accept a 0.5X barlow and it's on a stand that appears to have been made by a badly advised 12 year old.

Offline nctnico

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Re: Microscope supplier in UK / Europe?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2015, 12:35:55 am »
I've had a quote from Amscope for something suitable and it works out to just over £800 all-in.
If I had have that kind of money to spend on a stereo microscope and room then I'd definitely go for a used Mantis!
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: Microscope supplier in UK / Europe?
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2015, 09:50:43 am »
I've tried head mounted magnifiers before, but find them rather clumsy and awkward to use. It probably doesn't help that the ones I've used have terrible stiff, plasticky head bands that are uncomfortable to wear and difficult to adjust correctly.

Accepted; I find after the band is adjusted once it is OK, albeit a little uncomfortable - but then I just take it off when not using it.

There's the other very quick'n'dirty technique that might work: go to the supermarket and buy £5 +3.5D reading glasses. They can be "put in series" over existing glasses, or two pairs make +7D. Not ideal for long periods, but it does work. Get one pair with large diameter lenses and another with small lenses and you've got bifocals!

Or you can buy bifocal lenses that stick onto existing glasses; I use them with sunglasses. They can be repositioned until you get the optimum position, since the "adhesive" is water. http://optx2020.com/c-1-hydrotac-stick-on-lenses.aspx
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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