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Old 26th February 2013, 07:31 PM   #2731
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none of the parts being used is that small, none of the parts used needs reflow, all are quite solderable with a standard iron and a standard size tip. 40x stereo assembly microscope for this? try a standard 4x $10 illuminated visor if anything at all. SMD is MORE friendly to the DIYer once you get used to it, PCBs are much easier to make if you dont have to punch a heap of holes in them, especially something this size.

fine if you dont want to do SMD, but your reasons as posted do not make a lot of sense IMO. 1x or 1000x its just as suitable.
I always work small parts under a stereomicroscope, and I can tell you, 40x is way too much. 4x magnification is more what you'd want. Look for second hand buys of a good brand, and it won't cost you a fortune. One of the best investments in workshop tools I made.
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Old 26th February 2013, 07:43 PM   #2732
RNMarsh is online now RNMarsh  United States
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I once had the chore to make another designers circuitry work - who quit just before recieving his design for testing -- It took me a full year of daily trouble-shooting and interface testing to computer data acq and control and the like for an In-Situ coal gasification proof of concept experiment. It used 300 digital IC's. All wire-wrapped to one another. A one-off design.

I can appreciate the use of smd and high integration of circuits! But, I am not too worried about the future as it is going more and more digital... with just input interface and output (maybe) being analog. And, input can be IC. So, I wont have to worry about building descrete analog audio any more. And, no worry about home made one-off DIY products with descrete smd, either.

Enjoy the music.

-Thx RNMarsh
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Old 27th February 2013, 02:35 AM   #2733
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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Originally Posted by vacuphile View Post
I always work small parts under a stereomicroscope, and I can tell you, 40x is way too much. 4x magnification is more what you'd want. Look for second hand buys of a good brand, and it won't cost you a fortune. One of the best investments in workshop tools I made.
what are you telling me for? My questions were rhetorical; I didnt mention the need for 40x, that was dchisholm. I have a 4x illuminated visor, but I hardly use it since for sot323 etc its not needed and for larger QFP types I use drag soldering, so seeing each pin is not of any importance.

I was saying 40x was too much and that 4x was about right; if anything is needed. I mostly only use it for checking quickly, but I find taking a high quality macro photo and viewing it in photoshop is more useful for error checking anyway.

40x visor would be impossible to use, move the piece or the iron slightly and it would go from one side of the viewer to the other.

Last edited by qusp; 27th February 2013 at 02:38 AM.
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Old 27th February 2013, 05:58 PM   #2734
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Most stereo assembly microscopes are variable power. I don't think one would invest in one if they were predominantly low power and if they weren't MAC or PC interfaceable. Thanks for your remarks. I'll try the 4x visor before I opt to spend more money. Ray
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Old 27th February 2013, 06:09 PM   #2735
S.A.G. is offline S.A.G.  Italy
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A good alternative for a stereo microscope could be an USB microscope, see:

Dino-Lite-- Digital Microscope

Essentially a high magnification real time video camera. it takes just minutes to get used to work watching the PC screen instead of the real circuit board directly. I've learned this from our ECM that routinely does reworking jobs on very hi-tech boards.

Regards

Giorgio
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Old 27th February 2013, 06:19 PM   #2736
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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Most stereo assembly microscopes are variable power. I don't think one would invest in one if they were predominantly low power and if they weren't MAC or PC interfaceable. Thanks for your remarks. I'll try the 4x visor before I opt to spend more money. Ray
of course, but my point was its not a requirement as suggested, in fact 40x is not even useful for hand soldering and not so cheap, that would make the smallest PCB under discussion here appear nearly 1m x 1m... a single sot23 100mm x 100mm

Last edited by qusp; 27th February 2013 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 27th February 2013, 06:21 PM   #2737
bcarso is offline bcarso  United States
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Originally Posted by S.A.G. View Post
A good alternative for a stereo microscope could be an USB microscope, see:

Dino-Lite-- Digital Microscope

Essentially a high magnification real time video camera. it takes just minutes to get used to work watching the PC screen instead of the real circuit board directly. I've learned this from our ECM that routinely does reworking jobs on very hi-tech boards.

Regards

Giorgio
Intriguing suggestion. I have recently used a visor magnifier but it's pretty disruptive despite freeing both hands in principle at least.
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Old 27th February 2013, 06:22 PM   #2738
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S.A.G.,
My only question is how is one of these cameras different from just an ordinary video camera that we have on a computer? I have a fairly good camera for video on my computer, a top model Microsoft camera. Why not just use the software on an existing camera with what looks like an led light to light up the board you are working on. I assume it would take a little time to get use to looking at a screen and manipulating and iron at the same time.
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Old 27th February 2013, 06:25 PM   #2739
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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S.A.G.,
My only question is how is one of these cameras different from just an ordinary video camera that we have on a computer? I have a fairly good camera for video on my computer, a top model Microsoft camera. Why not just use the software on an existing camera with what looks like an led light to light up the board you are working on. I assume it would take a little time to get use to looking at a screen and manipulating and iron at the same time.
I wouldnt think the macro focus would be so great
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Old 27th February 2013, 06:42 PM   #2740
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qusp,
I have never tried to use the camera for anything close up so you are probably correct. I know it has auto focus but not sure of the limitations of the lens or focal length since none of that kind of information is given. Sure would be nice to have an auto focus though and 4x power isn't much, I have better than that on my stereo visor now.
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