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Stereo MircoScope or what ever scope.

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Jamie, Jun 2, 2007.

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  1. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    I'm looking into getting a good microscope
    for bench work. I've decided it's time to upgrade
    to something with a lot more zoom on it other than my
    cheap over head boom arm 5x with light.
    I've looked at stereo scopes that do up to 47x with
    a boom arm that can be attached to the bench..

    Can any of you offer any suggestion of what you maybe
    using at the time ? I really don't want to break the bank
    for something that I may only use once a month.
    My eyes aren't that bad yet how ever, the scale of
    components for things like hand held radio's are small.

    I've even had to custom make some desoldering tips on
    my lathe for some applications. My hot tweezers only work
    for something's.
    I still remember the last tip I made, 45 degree angle.
    after drilling pump hole. I then squeezed the end to make it
    wide and flat with out closing the hole! that was a trick.

    With a little surface grinding it looked good, then
    I plated it.
  2. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Someday I'd like to try a digital video camara with a macro lens
    connected to a computer.
    D from BC
  3. Barry Lennox

    Barry Lennox Guest

    I picked up a used Swift "Stereo 80" It has only 2 preset views, 10x
    and 20x. This is not too much of a problem, given it's low cost and
    I'm very pleased with it.

    What is interesting is I can solder under it at 20x with no soldering
    iron "jitter" the 20x magnification is included within the eye-hand
    optical feedback loop. It's probably obvious, but I had never though
    much about it.

    Interesting, how did you do the plating?

  4. Search for "Digital Blue QX3". This is actually a kids toy, but I
    saw one demo'd at a store several years ago and immediately thought of using
    it for rework and micro level photos. Never got up the energy to order one
    and try it out. From the simplicity end, it's hard to beat. Even replacement
    lenses for real microscopes are more expensive.

  5. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Yes..I'm also aware of the QX3..
    But I like the digital camera idea more ..
    1) A digital camera that can be used anywhere...vacation
    2) Digital camera quality will most likely exceed the QX3
    3) I've been told used macro lens (Ebay) are cheap. (DIY attachment)

    I like buying stuff that's good enough for multipurpose..
    D from BC
  6. AKA Intel Play QX3. Forget it, the software sucks. It doesn't do
    real-time video, just a series of shots about a second apart. Quite
    jumpy. The lenses are cheap plastic, and have too much distortion. I
    have one that hasn't been used in five years. it can take 30 seconds to
    focus the piece of junk, and there isn't enough clearance to solder
    under the cheap plastic nosepiece. IOW, don't waste your money.
    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
  7. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Mantis. Expensive but fabulous optics, great to work under.

  8. DJ Delorie

    DJ Delorie Guest

  9. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    I have a home made plating machine. I've got some
    chemicals used in the plating process you just poor
    in .
    I use variable 12 volt supply, put the source of material
    on the - probe and target on the + problem , then place them
    in the fluid and slowly turn up the current until i can see
    a small bubble action taking place.
    The reaction causes the material to be removed and carried over
    to the target.
    what I got is left overs from a coin shop that use to be in
    I remember years ago when I was a kid, I think I used a salt
    solution or something, it's been a while.

    I use a glass bowl.. and I used nickel this last time as the plating
    material for experimentation. It seems to work, the tip it self is made
    from brass.
  10. Guest

    Baush and Lomb Stereo Zoom, easily purchased used. Get it with a heavy
    table and long arm. About $300. I saw a decent one at the last
    Livermore swap meet, though I didn't inqure to the price since I
    already have one.

    I use the stereo zoom 3. I'm told the models with more magnification
    are not as well built inside, i.e. lots of plastic parts. While you
    can get a used scope relatively cheap, any replacement part you buy
    will be very expensive.

    Here is a Stereo Zoom 4 on ebay:
    I'd sure hate to pay freight on one of these beasts. If you can find
    it locally, you are much better off.

    Illuminators are pricey if purchased new. That is actually a decent
    deal. You could probably roll your own illuminator with white leds.
    You may want to consider a glass filter on the bottom if you are going
    to do soldering. This will keep gunk off the optics. The B&L scopes
    are designed for such a filter.
  11. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    Thanks for the link how ever, It appears that Ebay is having problems.
    The page is not responding at all at first, second attempt gives me an
    error page from Ebay reporting the page or function i'm trying to
    access is not working

    oh well.
  12. Steve

    Steve Guest

    I've been happy with my old SteroZoom 3 bought on ebay. Its 7 - 35X (with
    the 10x ocular that seems to be most common). Plenty of range for small SMD
    parts. I usually keep it toward the 7x end, only using the high power
    occasionally. The long boom arm is a must. Mine is just weighted, not
    clamped. Lets me put the base at the back of the bench instead of the front.
    I don't think I'd like a clamp on the front of my bench.

    Remember that the higher the power, the lower the depth of field, and the
    closer the object has to be to the lens when it's focused. So if there are
    tall components on the PCB, and you are focusing on solder pads on the
    surface nearby, sometimes the tall parts can hit the scope when trying to
    focus. I've encountered collisions working around connectors and vertical
    POL power supplies, for instance. So I reduce magnification or angle the
    board to focus - an inconvenience, but never a show stopper. If you look at
    the cheap models coming out of China, I think you'll find that their working
    distances are less than the better-made scopes. So this is something to
    consider when comparing models.

    Recently bought a 48-LED ring light on ebay. Got tired of waiting for a good
    deal on a dual fiber. The LED is bright enough, and adjustable. Unlike the
    fiber, you can't change the light angle, so you do get reflections off the
    solder and components that you can't do much about. For instance, some IC
    markings are unreadable unless I dim the light, but its OK for the amount I
    use it.

    Good luck,
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