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Browsing for Magnifying Tools

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by D from BC, Feb 7, 2007.

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  1. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    I did some searching for magnification tools for inspection of
    homebrew PCB's....

    I checked out the toy digital microscope at:

    I read what the pros are using:

    Looked at stereo microscopes dental/surgical binoculars on ebay.

    Then I discovered a hack-your-digicam website

    How about this idea..
    I'd like to find a handheld digital camera with a video output and
    attachable 2x or up to 10x macro lens.
    I'd mount it on a stand to magnify, video or photograph PCB's.
    Then I can move the PCB around and watch the enlarged footage off my
    computer monitor.

    Since the camera is not dedicated for macro use, I can remove it from
    the stand and take it with me for vacation photos/video.

    Has anybody done this? Is it a good idea?
    I did a little google searching and became impatient.. :)
    D from BC
  2. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Do a little more google searching. I've seen digital cameras that still
    accept real lenses from real cameras - you could zoom in arbitrarily
    tight, or photograph the Lunar Explorers, depending what's the budget to
    buy the lenses. :)

    As far as finding one, you know I'm not about to do your homework for
    you! ;-)

    Have Fun!
  3. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Just gambling that someone here might have set up a video/photo
    cam+macro lens to create a computer based PCB magnifier.
    I'll also be looking into crazy junk yard ideas like maybe getting an
    ebay security camera and stick on any cheapo ebay macro lens.

    I'll keep searching and check out digicam's with ~ real~ lenses too :)
    D from BC
  4. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Now that you mention it, I have a "web-cam", which has, I think, 320 x 200
    resolution, that I got off ebay for $0.01 + $5.00 shipping. It plugs
    into the parallel port, and has a Windows driver, somewhere around here.

    It's about the size of a golf ball, and has the quality of lens that
    you see on disposables, but when you unscrew the lens you can see the
    element itself - if you had the proper setup, you could probably point
    just about any lens at it - if you think you'd be happy with 320x200
    resolution. ;-)

  5. john jardine

    john jardine Guest

    I've a colour CCD video camera with a zoom lens. Can have it on it's tripod
    about a foot away from the pcb and with zoom, have useful close ups. Camera
    video plugs straight into a Haupannuage? TV card in the PC, so I've a live
    picture on the iiyama monitor and can adjust zoom and focus at will.
    A click and a pic is frozen to a jpg. Camera needs as min' a 1/3rd inch CCD
    sensor and at least 500k pixels of video on display. (Preferably 1M).
    Beats farting about with those useless, back of camera LCDs and crappy USB,
    low res', low frame rate video. I originally modified a webcam but found
    the video quality from those things is barely at 'toy' level.
  6. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Interesting :)
    I do plan on using above web cam quality..
    Likewise, I have a TV card too with video in.
    Thanks the resolution recommendation.
    D from BC
  7. I have a set of strength 4 reading glasses, available
    at the drugstore or in the supermarket for 10 bucks or so.


  8. Good for you, but they don't work for everyone. All "reading
    glasses" do is make my vision worse. My uncorrected vision was 20/200 &
    20/400 when I was 20, and has become even worse over the years

    In the US you can find them for a couple dollars at flea markets. I
    used to sell over 100 pair a day at $1 a pair. Some people bought them
    by the dozen.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  9. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Michael, Get cataract surgery... aka lens replacement... fastest way
    from 20/400 (which I used to be) to 20/20 ;-)

    ...Jim Thompson
  10. amdx

    amdx Guest

    "Hey I resemble that remark"
    I usually buy 10 at a time, last time they had a sale, I got 12 for $10.
  11. Barry Lennox

    Barry Lennox Guest

    I have 2 (soon to be 3) solutions;

    1. A pair of the cheap magnifying goggles that sit on a head-band and
    you can flip up and down, I find they work very well with my normal
    prescription specs.

    2. A Swift stereo microscope (x10 and x 20) I bought mine from a used
    microscope dealer (I Miller) in Philly, he usually has a good range.

    3. Soon to be. In Oct 01, "Silicon Chip" published an article on
    building one from a cheap digicam, an old SLR lens and PVC waste-pipe
    fittings. It looks pretty good.

  12. Barry Lennox

    Barry Lennox Guest

    You can see the Silicon Chip "Videoscope" here
  13. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

  14. Barry Lennox

    Barry Lennox Guest

    Nope, but it's not a bad start, A much better one does not spring to

    Micro-cam has a bad ring to it.
  15. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Here's the way I do it....

    ...Jim Thompson
  16. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Looks like it does the job :)
    Stereoscopic too for depth...
    I do wonder where that's sold..

    But I can't resist the "cool" factor of a DIY PC based videoscope.
    Just makes me feel like a kid again. New toy microscope :)
    It'll be good for inspection and documentation of PCB's.

    D from BC
  17. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Scopecam?? It's composed like webcam.

    Could make up an acronym such as:
    Digital Video Microscope or DVM?

    I'll have to do some googling.. I've seen doctors on tv using similar
    equipment.. Endoscope??
    D from BC
  18. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    I bought that visor around 1980.

    ...Jim Thompson
  19. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    I would think "resurfacing a watch crystal"
    would be the analogy for cataract surgery.

    Messing with the lens seems much more invasive.
  20. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Used to be that way... fuzzy vision and various infections.
    You obviously haven't had it done... I have.

    They blast away you existing lens with a laser, make a small slit and
    slip it an artificial lens.

    Takes just a few minutes.

    ...Jim Thompson
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