EMRFD Message Archive 4843
Message Date From Subject 4843 2010-08-02 13:52:51 Dino Papas Stereo Microscope for SMD Work With an upcoming purchase of Tom DG8SAQ's Vector Network Analyzer kit I'm thinking about picking up a stereo microscope to aid in its assembly (and of course other projects on the bench). Looking for opinions and recommendations. There are several what appear to be reasonably priced units on eBay and of course a Google search brings up loads of vendors and models.
I've done SMD assembly without visual aid less a magnifier after the fact....but I think it might produce better results to have an optical aid during construction.
Don't want to break the bank but it's often said you get what you pay for.
Thanks in advance!
73 - Dino KL0S
4844 2010-08-02 14:14:28 Leon Heller Re: Stereo Microscope for SMD Work 4845 2010-08-03 05:53:48 Gian Re: Stereo Microscope for SMD Work 4847 2010-08-03 09:33:34 Brooke Clarke Re: Stereo Microscope for SMD Work 4848 2010-08-03 09:43:00 Dino Papas Re: Stereo Microscope for SMD Work Hi Brooke....your note was very timely....was just on the phone with a tech at "AMScope.com" trying to work thru the myriad of models, features, prices, etc. Boy, if you thought picking a ham radio was difficult 'cause of multiple variations try to choose a microscope! I found them on eBay but have gone to their main web site....tech said the prices were better on their home web site vs. eBay.
Thanks to all for their generous feedback....right now I'm leaning towards a triocular, boom stand, stereo microscope with a camera for viewing and documenting stuff, although that's not the driving factor, best vision on the PCB is the key. Now to find a model in a price range I'm willing to pay (which may preclude it all together!).
On 3Aug2010, at 12:33 PM, Brooke Clarke wrote:
> Hi Dino:
> A stereo microscope is a great thing to have on your work bench. Not
> just for SMT work, but a large number of things.
> For more see: http://www.prc68.com/I/SMT.shtml#Mag
> Have Fun,
> Brooke Clarke, N6GCE
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4849 2010-08-03 09:59:36 Vern VanZ Re: Stereo Microscope for SMD Work Bob Miller - KE6F, built a complete SMT work station that was featured in QST
some time back... It was known as the 'BEAST' and used an inexpensive digital
camera and LCD monitor. I don't have the article in front of me at the moment,
but perhaps someone else here will remember the details. A search of the ARRL
periodicals archive should produce results as well. One thing I found extremely
handy was the vise (described in the article) for holding the board you are
working on. I found that it provided a very solid way to grip SMT boards
without damage. I haven't managed to build the beast yet, but that vise and a
magnified visor worked great at considerably less cost than the microscopes I
could find. My eyes aren't as old as some here, but still too bad to see such
----- Original Message ----
4850 2010-08-03 12:20:21 WA0PWK Stereo Microscope for SMD Work I built a lot of prototype boards populated with smt parts for a company
I worked for a few years ago, and we always used a 5 inch 4x lighted
magnifier on an adjustable bench mounted arm (like you would find at
Walmart or craft stores). You'd be surprised at what a difference 4x
magnification makes with even the smallest chip resistors. We had a
stereo microscope, but it was more useful for inspection purposes.
Assembly was easier under the lighted magnifier since you had more room
and a nice wide two-eyed view.