Electronics > Manufacturing & Assembly

An idea; Home made video microscope for SMT work.

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Hi All,

Of late, I've found myself doing more and more work with SMT parts of smaller sizes, and some of the less friendly packages.

I had asked around some of the other electronics workshops on our campus, and two of them use these, while another uses a plain-old binocular microscope.

My trouble is that our department doesn't have the cool, free, $15 grand  or so to buy a Lynx, nor can I use a stereo microscope without going cross-eyed.

During my last, particularly arduous project, I kludged together a system using a small camera of a  name that has escaped me, and a tiny screen I salvaged from an autoclave that was being decommissioned. It was poor quality video, onto a small screen, but it got me there.

While my system worked, I can't help but wonder if some of you have a better solution? I'm presently toying with the idea of using a HD CCTV camera and a near-focus zoom lense, but I'm not as yet sure if that's possible.

When  I get back to the office, I'll throw up some pictures of my current arrangement.

Surely such things are possible, but the two problems to overcome are depth of field (focus) and binocular vision. With a small enough camera (like the ones smartphones use) the depth of focus problem is perhaps solvable, but how easy is it to move and manipulate 3D objects with a 2D view? I've always found that peering through a magnifier with a single eye giving a flat field of view is OK for inspection, but it is not easy to work that way.

You can probably get a camera that will work with your existing microscopes.  Some scopes have a trinocular port which is specifically made for mounting a camera.  If your scopes don't have this then you may be able to connect a camera to one of the eyepieces.  You can then use a PC monitor or TV instead of using the eyepieces.

There are USB cameras that connect to a PC via USB and cameras that output the picture directly to a TV.

Here are some links to an Ebay seller...

USB PC cameras
Cameras with TV output

usb camera's don't work well. there is too much time lag between what happens and screen refresh. it throws you off...

video will work.
Get a used Mantis on fleabay. i got mine for 150$ .. no need to spend 15K on  a lynx

Like this one:  https://www.eevblog.com/forum/projects-designs-and-technical-stuff/smd-assy-station/msg79393/#msg79393 ?


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