Author Topic: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?  (Read 2896 times)

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Offline tma

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Greetings,

       I am considering the purchase of an AndonStar ADSM301 or ADSM302 for manual soldering of 0805/0603 SMD components. I understand the resolution is sufficient for even smaller components and that these models work well for static inspection purposes. However I have not been able to establish confidence that the video latency (lag) is fast enough for soldering SMD components on a board in an expedient manner. I have watched some videos that leave me with the impression the lag isn't that noticeable. In contrast I have read comments that the lag is very noticeable and would negatively impact real time viewing for board work. Although the spec of 30 frames per second would seem fast enough I wonder how much buffering takes place during the video processing. I wonder if there are lower resolution settings such as 640 x 480 that can be utilized during soldering to speed up the video processing delay? 

       I wonder if anyone here has experience with using an ADSM 301 or 302 for PCB work that would shed light on how practical these microscopes are to use as a viewing tool for soldering?

TMA
 

Offline chickenHeadKnob

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2018, 09:56:08 pm »
There are a few interacting issues to consider. With the Andonstar on an external monitor the field of view and depth of field as well as working distance is very good when you have the microscope inverted and set to magnify about 7x, so no problem there. However not looking at your hands as you move them combined with the lack of binocular vision along with the very slight lag is unnatural. You can train yourself to accommodate its not that hard, I simply prefer to use a visor for hand operations.

It is on my to do list to get an accurate measure  of the actual  lag with a micro and phototransistor/flashing led. There some things that require direct hands on play, deciding if you can adapt to the microscope way of working is one of them.
 

Offline kripton2035

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2018, 09:57:53 pm »
no video speed problem either on integrated screen, or on external hdmi output.
there are lags if you're using an usb connexion to go from the camera to the screen.
here there is not. completely fast enough
you also have to consider the working height of the scope: it's completely enough for (de)soldering.

Offline chickenHeadKnob

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2018, 10:19:27 pm »
no video speed problem either on integrated screen, or on external hdmi output.
there are lags if you're using an usb connexion to go from the camera to the screen.
here there is not. completely fast enough
you also have to consider the working height of the scope: it's completely enough for (de)soldering.

I have never used the usb connection only direct hdmi with mine and yes there still is  a very slight lag. Have a critical look at yours again and see if you can detect it. I don't find that is as important as the fact I have to look at the monitor which is off to the side when the instinct is to look at your hands.
The working distance of my setup is around 20 cm. plenty for soldering.
Ultimately the original poster is asking for reassurance that if he spends his money will he be satisfied. It is like asking someone else  if I buy this steak will I enjoy the taste? Who knows you have to try it yourself.
 

Offline blacksheeplogic

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2018, 10:33:12 pm »
However not looking at your hands as you move them combined with the lack of binocular vision along with the very slight lag is unnatural. You can train yourself to accommodate its not that hard, I simply prefer to use a visor for hand operations.

I find I can get the job done using a digital microscope but I find it much easier and quicker using an optical microscope.
 

Offline kripton2035

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2018, 10:41:54 pm »
I use the internal display of the ADMS302. I just tried the hdmi output once and did not notice any lag. but as my shop is small, I only use the integrated monitor now. it's also better to have the eye in the direction of the work with this setup.

Offline chickenHeadKnob

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2018, 11:01:59 pm »
I use the internal display of the ADMS302. I just tried the hdmi output once and did not notice any lag. but as my shop is small, I only use the integrated monitor now. it's also better to have the eye in the direction of the work with this setup.

Whether you use the internal or external display is perhaps the critical factor between the choice of 201vs302. I bought a 201 just before the 302 came out. This always happens to me! Then I looked at the specs at it appears that what you get with the 302 is a better stand and bigger builtin screen so I thought since I am going to mount inverted to a shelf and use an external monitor I just saved myself some money. Now I see a value to the built in screen and may buy a second unit just for that. That would give me one unit setup and optimized for inspection and one for soldering and have the local screen which is nearly in the same line of sight as my hands and the work.
 

Offline Dubbie

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AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2018, 12:04:53 am »
I use my andonstar all the time for soldering. Extremely tiny stuff too, 0201 etc. works fine. The lag is a non issue. I use an external monitor. Some things I wish it did that would make the job easier: Stereo so I could tell how high things are above the board. Also autofocus would help a lot.

Those features definitely put you well into the next price bracket, so for now I do without.
 

Offline tma

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2018, 02:16:09 am »
Greetings,

          Many thanks for the replies! Fortunately I have a binocular optical microscope which provides excellent clarity of view for me without any lag. However I find it somewhat awkward to use as I need reading glasses. To use the microscope I need to remove my glasses but to pick up a part with my tweezers I need my glasses back on. This routine results in a cyclic inconvenience when installing SMD components. Consequently a video screen for viewing seems like an attractive alternative in my case. I have often wished for a local microscope store where I could go and do some serious playing with the various models to determine personal suitability. I currently use a fairly good quality viewing hood for most of the simpler work and the binocular microscope when the going gets tough.

          Unfortunately the video latency isn't specified for any of the lower cost digital microscopes that I have been looking at. I imagine that if the lag were to be less than about 200mS it should be OK. From what I understand now the lag for these models is not enough to prevent them from being useful for soldering. I also expect there will be a need to get used to using them regarding hand/sight coordination, etc. I hope to be able to use the 5" built in monitor for most things I do.

          I have more or less decided to order an AndonStar to try. I appreciate the feedback received here from those with direct experience which has built my confidence.

Thanks Again!
TMA

 
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Offline rsjsouza

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2018, 03:09:29 am »
TMA, I was going through the same question as you: the only difference is that I only had a very slow USB microscope (Vividia). I ended up with the Amscope SM1TSZV203 (eBay 401057891420) due to the stereo/depth, but I feel that I would be content with the Andonstar as well. I use reading glasses, thus I will have to see how much the optical route will annoy me.
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline tma

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2018, 05:57:21 am »
Greetings rsjsouza,

       That Amscope model your getting looks very professional and reasonably priced - I am confident you will be happy with it! You will have the USB feed should you find you prefer a monitor screen for doing specific tasks. Nothing like binocular optics to really get a detailed view with depth perspective.

       I thought seriously about buying a fairly similar Amscope model about 6 years ago. But at the time the price of the model I was looking at was about triple plus the additional cost of shipping and importing to Canada discouraged me. I ended up destroying my toy budget for a spectrum analyzer/tracking generator combo instead,  :D.

       I think the AndonStar 301 which is available for about $120US from a Canadian depot will complement what I already have nicely.

Enjoy your Amscope and thanks for showing me!
TMA
 
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Offline salavat

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2018, 02:59:39 pm »
I recently bought ADSM301 and very pleased with its quality, both on scope screen (which is very good), as well as on external display (24 inches, 2K - which is half of 4K resolution). On external screen picture looks just fabulous. It is very neat device.

I did not notice any substantiated per se lag, surely it is there and something like 1/10 of second (as someone measured), but it does not interfere during work.

I am in the process of making polarised filters for 2 lamps and scope itself to have a better picture. The only "complain" - I wish it had a longer rail, since it could focus at the twice higher (than rail) height.
 

Offline tma

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2018, 05:56:21 pm »
Greetings Salavat,

          Thanks for the confidence building comments! My 301 should ship today by UPS - still waiting for the tracking info.

          I gather from your comment about adding polarizing filters for the illumination that the quality of view can be improved somewhat - I suppose by reducing reflections. I imagine the filter orientation would need to be adjustable. I wonder about filter availability and how difficult it might be to construct adapters. I need to cruise the web for some info on this. I need to see if I can find some clues about how much quality improvement can be expected with polarized illumination and how one would go about making filters for the lights.

Thanks again!

tma
 


Offline jfiresto

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2018, 09:35:36 pm »
... I have a binocular optical microscope which provides excellent clarity of view ..., however ... to use the microscope I need to remove my glasses but to pick up a part with my tweezers I need my glasses back on, ... a cyclic inconvenience when installing SMD components....
What sort of eyepieces do you have on the microscope? Most from 30+ years ago were that way, but a pair of more modern, "high eyepoint" eyepieces should give you the full field of view while wearing glasses. If you look a little, you can get some quite acceptable 10x/20mm to 10x/22mm Chinese-made eyepieces for US$30-60. Just make sure they have an eyeglass symbol, and are adjustable if you don't know the microscope(s) they immediately target.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 09:54:25 pm by jfiresto »
 

Offline salavat

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2019, 07:07:54 pm »
I gather from your comment about adding polarizing filters for the illumination that the quality of view can be improved somewhat - I suppose by reducing reflections.

Polarizers are essentially film polarizers (I guess), where you could smarphone polarizer glasses, cut to certain sizes and you have somehow remove glue from the film). Better would be to have glass or plastic ones, but I have not explored that yet.
 

Online thinkfat

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2019, 02:44:25 pm »
Speed isn't a problem with the Andonstar microscope, but the missing depth information will be. Especially since you're used to using binoculars. You will discover that soon enough.
 

Offline ironcurtain

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2019, 12:47:45 pm »
I would never buy from that guy (the one selling the polarizers on ebay). I should create a thread but a friend of mine had a very negative experience with the seller, where he seemed mentally ill or just plain vicious (he insulted my colleague, creeped into his eBay history, left misleading/false feedback -my friend asked for a cancellation early on, the seller essentially marked the items as shipped right after and sent a message that read like this : "too bad you couldn't get the address right, no returns and shipped!", he opened a case and he backed off... after a long list of insults and the aforementioned creep act altogether). The detonator was just my colleague asking for a cancellation BEFORE anything was marked as shipped, and eventually it became evident the seller had not shipped anything yet (he was on vacation so he ignored the request, marked as shipped, never provided a tracking number, then backed off and said he actually had not shipped it, and said my colleague was a 'scammer').

I have screenshots of everything, but like I said, it deserves to go into its own thread. Based on this and the fact that my colleague has an excellent track record of never having trouble with eBay sellers until this loon, I would strongly not suggest putting your money into the pockets of someone of this low caliber. You can also make your own polarizers like another poster mentioned.
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2019, 01:01:46 am »
Quote
To use the microscope I need to remove my glasses but to pick up a part with my tweezers I need my glasses back on. This routine results in a cyclic inconvenience when installing SMD components.

Even if you can't find eyepieces that work with glasses, this isn't necessarily a dealbreaker. The way around this is to put a bunch of components down on the fluxed board at a time before you put it under the microscope. You just have to determine how big your reach is, so you don't end up with the components on the edge of your flux coated hand. I sometimes load the pcb under a mag lamp, but usually just naked eye. This saves a ton of time. The components won't move as long as you hit the fluxed area, and even if some of the salt bounces to the wrong spot or you get a couple extras on there, you can easily identify most components under the microscope and just sort it out later.

The biggest hassle was the solderwire. I put a solderwire feed onto the microscope head, so it holds solderwire in my FOV. I can reach up and feed more solderwire as needed without looking away from the microscope. My iron stand and brass wool is accessible without looking, as well.

I also mounted a fan to the head to suck fumes away.

The focal distance of the microscope is fixed, so mounting this stuff to the head keeps it in the exact right spot, all the time.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2019, 01:05:21 am by KL27x »
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: AndonStar ADSM 301/302 Digital Microscopes - Fast Enough for Soldering?
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2019, 01:27:53 am »
I would never buy from that guy (the one selling the polarizers on ebay).

Let alone the polarizers don't even work well! I have them, and the weird rainbow pattern on a glossy surface (say, solder mask) annoys me more than enough.
 


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