Author Topic: (cheap) LCD microscope VS (cheap) Optical stereo microscope  (Read 749 times)

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Offline BillGeo

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https://www.ebay.com/itm/1000X-USB-4-3-HD-5MP-LCD-Digital-Microscope-Video-Magnifying-Camera-w-LED-light/392088374885

VS

https://www.ebay.com/itm/AOMEKIE-20X-Stereo-Microscope-Binocular-Top-LED-for-PCB-Solder-Phone-Repair-Tool/202618264311

Almost the same price.
Given that one does not care about recording my soldering, which one would you suggest. and why?
(or should I hook up an M$ HD web-cam to an old R-Pi and 14" LCD??? ;-) )

 :-+

« Last Edit: April 27, 2019, 03:15:01 pm by BillGeo »
 

Online shakalnokturn

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Re: (cheap) LCD microscope VS (cheap) Optical stereo microscope
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2019, 03:41:07 pm »
I recently went through the same questions myself.
In the end I opted for a used Motic 20x stereo microscope on an arm, it was in your price range. I have not used it yet because it's lacking the stand and post besides I don't really have a dedicated workspace right now.

I opted for that solution because I prefer good quality used equipment over recent "cheap build" for the same price.
Stereo should be a big advantage when you're not looking directly at the PCB you're working on.
20x should be more than enough for SMD rework.
The video solutions looked too much like cheap far-east junk for the price.

An important point to consider in either case is the focal length, you need to be able to get a tool or two between the PCB and lens.

For a stereo microscope consider a model on an articulated arm, with the one in your link you'll be limited by the distance between the lens and the back of the support only allowing small PCB's to fit under.

Video microscope has an advantage for YouTube or for documenting your work.

There are some stereo models on an arm and with a video camera option (and maybe variable zoom), they are usually costly even second hand.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: (cheap) LCD microscope VS (cheap) Optical stereo microscope
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2019, 07:02:26 pm »
We have various microscopes at work.   I don't like the Mantis or using the camera LCD for soldering and would rather a stereo scope on a boom stand.   I am just more comfortable with using the eyepieces.   

My home microscope started out as a complete 50's style Olympus stereo zoom scope I picked up used.   It gets used for more than soldering and has evolved over the years into a cobbled up pile of junk.   I was wanting some better pictures and tried to make a macro lens for it with mixed results.  I started out just holding the camera to the eyepiece to take a picture.   Then I had an analog camera with one of those Snappy (remember those).  I made and adapter for the camera to fit in place of the eyepiece.   

If you use a microscope often, my advice based on my experience, spend your money on something that will serve your long term needs.  You may be better off buying something used with good optics.   
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: (cheap) LCD microscope VS (cheap) Optical stereo microscope
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2019, 01:18:34 am »
This is my Frankenscope.   Some parts I custom made for it.   I've thought about adding a vertical mic to measure depth.  I will use it to measure parts from time to time.   

The IC is an old Microchip 16C711.  Camera is one of those cheap Amscopes.   


 
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Online DaJMasta

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Re: (cheap) LCD microscope VS (cheap) Optical stereo microscope
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2019, 02:55:38 am »
Enhance!

Wonder if a polarizer on the light and on the objective lens would do much for the shininess of parts of the die.
 

Offline joeqsmith

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Re: (cheap) LCD microscope VS (cheap) Optical stereo microscope
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2019, 03:36:57 am »
To zoom in this far, I have to really crank on the light.   Last two pictures w/o and with polarizer.

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Had it backwards
« Last Edit: April 28, 2019, 03:47:59 am by joeqsmith »
How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline joeqsmith

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How electrically robust is your meter?? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsK99WXk9VhcghnAauTBsbg
 

Offline grizewald

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Re: (cheap) LCD microscope VS (cheap) Optical stereo microscope
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2019, 03:46:00 pm »
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1000X-USB-4-3-HD-5MP-LCD-Digital-Microscope-Video-Magnifying-Camera-w-LED-light/392088374885

VS

https://www.ebay.com/itm/AOMEKIE-20X-Stereo-Microscope-Binocular-Top-LED-for-PCB-Solder-Phone-Repair-Tool/202618264311

Almost the same price.
Given that one does not care about recording my soldering, which one would you suggest. and why?
(or should I hook up an M$ HD web-cam to an old R-Pi and 14" LCD??? ;-) )

 :-+

Without 3D vision, you are more likely to be soldering your fingers than what you should be soldering.

Two lenses win every time!
 

Offline luma

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Re: (cheap) LCD microscope VS (cheap) Optical stereo microscope
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2019, 05:24:57 pm »
The first thing I'd ask is what's the expected use case?  Are you looking to use the scope while soldering, or is this for inspection of a board after it has been soldered?  For inspection you can probably get away with a USB-connected solution.  If you're going to be using this while soldering, you for sure want an optical instrument as even a small latency from a digital solution can be problematic, and you'd be far better off with a stereo solution as depth perception is hugely beneficial when working with small devices. 

As others have noted you'll also want a pretty long focus distance so you have room for your hands and tools.

The bog-standard Chinese solution is the SZM series from a Chinese company called Ningbo Sunny Instruments Co, and is resold by Amscope and others under various names.  For soldering and inspection use you won't be working at crazy-high magnification so I don't feel that having the finest Swiss optics is that much of a requirement, and thus the low-cost Chinese instruments will probably be fine for electronics hobbyist purposes and have the additional advantage of being very widely available with loads of options for things like cameras and stage lighting and barlow lenses or whatever else.
 

Online rstofer

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Re: (cheap) LCD microscope VS (cheap) Optical stereo microscope
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2019, 06:27:31 pm »
If soldering is part of the plan, I wouldn't buy either.  The first doesn't have enough clearance and the second has a weird stage that doesn't seem to be compatible with PCB work.
 


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