Author Topic: What magnifier/microscope to use  (Read 14601 times)

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Offline Jane

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What magnifier/microscope to use
« on: September 10, 2014, 07:45:39 am »
Hi,
We need to  replace  FPC( flexible printed circuit) that  have about 0.1mm pitch between the  pads. To be able to align the FPC against PCB we need to see the pads in a good way/details.

Can anyone recommend a magnifier/microscope to use?

What zoom magnifier a such microscope should have?

Can USB microscope be suitable?

Thanks for your suggestions.
 

Offline DenzilPenberthy

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2014, 10:27:45 am »
What's your budget?

A Mantis is ideal for this but expensive.

http://www.visioneng.com/products/stereo-microscopes/mantis-elite-3d-eyepieceless-inspection-microscope

a jeweller's loupe is very cheap but you have to position your eye very close to the workpiece.

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/surface-contact-magnifiers/0394188/
 

Offline alimirjamali

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2014, 11:35:26 am »
I agree with Denzil that budget is key. It is also necessary to know if it is a laboratory scale job or mass production repetitive task.

In the meantime, Dave reviewed few of these cheap microscopes in . I would recommend you to watch that episode. If memory serves me well, he magnifies his µRuler to demonstrate their performance of magnifying different pitches. He reviewed another microscope and his Tagarno microscope in and his Mantis microscope in

You may also watch the recent by TheSignalPathBlog.
 

Offline fabiodl

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2014, 03:39:41 pm »
I am very interested in the topic as well.
My maximum budget is 2000 dollars. I will use it mainly for hand soldering 0402 downwards in prototypes.

I am considering the following options
1) Dino-Lite AM4113ZTL
2) hozan L50 http://www.hozan.co.jp/E/catalog/Optical/L50.html
3)engineer sl-61 http://www.engineer.jp/products/optics/ot01/item_02/sl-61

This is the things I am worried about each of them
1) is usb, therefore I am worried of the difficulty in soldering with delay
2) has just two settings, x 10 and x 20, not a continuous variation of the zoom
3) is more  expensive than the other options
2+3) I wear glasses, I am nearsighted, so I need to take off glasses any time I solder

« Last Edit: September 10, 2014, 03:46:59 pm by fabiodl »
 

Offline CrashO

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2014, 04:34:55 pm »
I am very interested in the topic as well.
My maximum budget is 2000 dollars. I will use it mainly for hand soldering 0402 downwards in prototypes.
2+3) I wear glasses, I am nearsighted, so I need to take off glasses any time I solder
How about a Mantis Compact? Allows you to keep your glasses on and look in front of you. Don't know the world wide prices, but got one in NL a couple of months ago for about 1300 euro (excl VAT) + 78 euro for a 4x magnification lens. (price offer I got for the lenses was : 2x mag €182,  4x €78, 6x €125, 8x 310 ).

Dave has a review on it's bigger brother ( ), the Mantis Elite (main difference is the Elite supports up to 20x magnification and has a rotatingmount for swapping between 2 lenses). Altough swapping them out on the compact is easy enough, just rotate half a turn and it comes of.

This is what a 44-TQFP looks like with the 4x lens wacked on (and don't forget it's a lot scharper when you look though it, taking pictures of it just doesnt do it justice ). So i guess that with a 6x or 8x on it, even Stevie Wonder could solder 0201  :-DD

 

Offline David Hess

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2014, 04:41:42 pm »
Binocular microscopes like you would use for dissection are ideal for this type of application.  The ones I have used had continuously variable magnification and a heavy variable height stand allowing them to point directly onto the workbench.

That Mantis one looks neat if eyeglasses are a problem.

If your budget is low, I would find a used on on Ebay to try.  With a high budget, you can probably arrange for a demonstration to test various models.
 

Offline Hugoneus

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2014, 08:20:26 pm »
If interested, please see my video review of the Dino-Lite USB Microscopes and stands:

You can watch the video here: [44 Minutes]
http://youtu.be/1U5wcJ98_rU
Shahriar Shahramian
The Signal Path Video Blog
www.TheSignalPath.com
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2014, 03:11:27 am »
Shahriar I did like the video but for what I could tell, those are not good at all for soldering

The Dino-Lite AM4113ZTL goes for $550 only 1.3 MPixel and at 30 fps.

Don't get me wrong, the software looks really nice but the hardware is too expensive. The hacked Microsoft HD with custom lenses will run circles around that at a fraction of the cost.

Forgot the maker that made it DNYK something?
 

Offline Jane

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2014, 05:32:37 am »
Thank you all for the reply.
As  only alignment is needed, I think only ONE microscope/magnifier/CCD camera is needed( not binocular).
I can connect monitor and see the alignment on the monitor, so the cost will be cut. But what resolution is needed, if the pitch of pins is about 0.1mm, so that it can be aligned properly?

 

Offline fabiodl

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2014, 06:03:34 am »

How about a Mantis Compact? Allows you to keep your glasses on and look in front of you. Don't know the world wide prices, but got one in NL a couple of months ago for about 1300 euro (excl VAT) + 78 euro for a 4x magnification lens. (price offer I got for the lenses was : 2x mag €182,  4x €78, 6x €125, 8x 310 ).


Thank you, I would love the mantis, however the prices seem much higher here in Japan.
head 174,636 yen
universal stand 102,060 yen
6x lens 57,835 yen

which is over 3000 dollars. I cannot buy through ebay, because I am buying for the university lab, and the univ does not allow that.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 06:05:37 am by fabiodl »
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2014, 06:44:33 am »
Well, my 0.3 MP (640x480 at 30fps) over 10 year old (probably 15years) creative labs vf-0040 at close distance can do this at a close distance:

schmartboard QFN 0.5 mm pitch:


upside down QFN chip on top:


Two older pictures I took a while back not sure what off with a different capture setting:


You can even see the dust deposited on the board

Since I took out the IR filter and added a visible light filter (piece of exposed developed film) it only needs indirect incandescent light.

So you figure any cheap modern camera should be able to do this at a close distance as well for aligning the cable.

But of course I have no good working distance to be able to solder it (but could be done with different optics) and it doesn't show a lot of space so it depends on how much you want to see at once and the working distance you need.

A 1.3MP camera is 1280 x 1024 so 4 times this and those cheap microscopes will give you a good enough distance. If you remove the IR filter and add a visible light filter then you don't need that much direct light, Near IR tends to bounce a lot and get in there.

This would be nice if he still sells them:
http://www.eevblog.com/2014/03/15/eevblog-590-diyinhk-usb-soldering-microscope-review-tagarno-fhd-zip/

I think he does:
http://www.diyinhk.com/shop/11-usb-microscope-1080p-for-smt-soldering



« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 06:50:05 am by miguelvp »
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2014, 07:10:57 am »
For comparison here is a 44 TQFP 0.8mm pitch at various distances. Even on the farther distance we are only talking about a couple of inches away.
Edit: in my 15 or so year old modified webcam not the DIYIHK, that one is many orders of magnitude better of what I have.





« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 08:08:43 am by miguelvp »
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2014, 08:02:57 am »
« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 08:04:45 am by miguelvp »
 

Offline sacherjj

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2014, 01:46:44 pm »
I'm working on an AmScope SM-4TX-144A that gets the job done.  Really a decent piece of kit for $400.  I haven't used the camera option on the scope like I thought we might, because it takes one eye away.


But I would trade it immediately for a Mantis Compact, at the $2k level.   I really hope we decide that it makes sense to get a Mantis Elite for an inspection station, once we get into full production.  Those are sweet, but almost 10x the cost of my AmScope.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 01:49:39 pm by sacherjj »
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2014, 01:49:03 pm »
Put a little drop of water on your camera lens and you have a macro camera for literally zero incremental costs.
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Offline CrashO

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2014, 02:56:44 pm »
But I would trade it immediately for a Mantis Compact, at the $2k level.
In the US the Mantis Compact is "cheap as chips", figuratively speaking  ;D You can get them (brand new ofcourse) for about $1200 (including universal stand) and about $100 for a 4x lens.
 

Offline sacherjj

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2014, 03:49:17 pm »
But I would trade it immediately for a Mantis Compact, at the $2k level.
In the US the Mantis Compact is "cheap as chips", figuratively speaking  ;D You can get them (brand new ofcourse) for about $1200 (including universal stand) and about $100 for a 4x lens.

I don't know what kind of chips you are eating that are over $1k.  ;)
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2014, 04:20:48 pm »
 

Offline sacherjj

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2014, 06:32:36 pm »
I don't know what kind of chips you are eating that are over $1k.  ;)

Unless you can live with the cheapest stand ever, or no stand at all:
http://gokimco.com/vision-mantis-mbs-002-universal-bench-stand-with-dust-cover.html

http://gokimco.com/vision-engineering-mch-001-mantis-microscope-compact-head-only.html

Oh, I get that Mantis can be under $1k.  I'm still trying to make "cheap as chips" work with the $1k level.  My chips seem expensive when they get over $3/bag.  :)
 

Offline CrashO

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2014, 07:09:53 pm »
I don't know what kind of chips you are eating that are over $1k.  ;)

Unless you can live with the cheapest stand ever, or no stand at all:
http://gokimco.com/vision-mantis-mbs-002-universal-bench-stand-with-dust-cover.html

http://gokimco.com/vision-engineering-mch-001-mantis-microscope-compact-head-only.html

Oh, I get that Mantis can be under $1k.  I'm still trying to make "cheap as chips" work with the $1k level.  My chips seem expensive when they get over $3/bag.  :)
Notice the "figuratively speaking" part  :palm:
But compared to the rest of the world, US gets it at bargain prices. ($1300 in the US, $1900 in Europe and $3000 in Japan) for the same product.. So yes, if you can buy a Mantis Compact in the US, they are cheap as chips.
 

Offline fabiodl

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2014, 12:09:41 pm »
I tried two options, the DIYINHK and a normal binocular microscope sub-500$ (http://www.hozan.co.jp/catalog/Microscopes/L51.html)

I find that for soldering 0402 the microscope is more comfortable, with a 10X magnification.
Even using glasses I had no problems whatsoever.

The only thing that I found annoying is that the ESD mat it comes with melts with the hot air of  air guns.
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: What magnifier/microscope to use
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2014, 01:31:20 am »
One thing to note is that the specs on the Mantis Elite seem quite disappointing for the field of view and working distance.

eg for x4 the working distance collapses to 96mm and the field of view is only 34mm. I would find this to be a source of fatigue in itself especially when doing inspection at higher magnification. The high mag lens in Dave's video looks like a view down a narrow pipe and the working distance looks to be very minimal at this magnification.

At the moment I'm using an old Zeiss stereo zoom microscope with a cold light source and it has a working area that is nearly double the Mantis for a given magnification and a higher working distance for soldering and inspection. Even at x25 magnification the working distance is over 120mm.

I'm not trying to claim my creaky old Zeiss is 'better' than the Mantis but I would want more for my money than the Mantis can deliver if I was going to upgrade the old Zeiss. I'd hate to lose the zoom feature and the wide working area and 125mm working distance across x5 to x25 magnification.

I don't do long sessions of soldering with it so fatigue isn't really an issue. However the huge bonus with the Zeiss is the big working area (field of view) and also long working distance and this makes it much easier to find loose SMD parts and to align the iron or hot air tool with the work area. It also has a huge and long heavy duty swing arm allowing it to be tilted away from the work area and back again whilst retaining focus.

The Mantis would drive me a bit potty with the wobbly performance at high zoom. However, maybe it's better than it first appears?

« Last Edit: November 27, 2014, 05:25:30 pm by G0HZU »
 


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