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Topic: Best way to solder with magnification ? (Read 14108 times) previous topic - next topic

Best way to solder with magnification ?

Hello,

I'd like to have some feedbacks about your experiences in soldering small parts.

Indeed, I'd like to buy a microscope but suppose there's a different "feeling" while soldering :

- seeing through a microscope
- seeing separately a screen while manipulating parts under a USB microscope, for example.

I read some positive advices about models such "7X-45X TRINOCULAR STEREO ZOOM MICROSCOPE +3D BOOM STAND" from AmScope.

Detail : i have glasses. Perhaps, better separate screen (but feels strange seeing not "directly" the soldering parts) ?

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Re: Best way to solder with magnification ?

Reply #1
I bought a USB microscope and a magnifier lamp. The magnifier lamp is by far and away more useful, even for small pitch (0.4mm) parts.

Re: Best way to solder with magnification ?

Reply #2
IME, avoid a USB microscope - they're generally laggy (so very annoying for precision work), quite low resolution (also annoying) and need to be rather close to the work piece, giving you little room for the soldering iron, tweezers etc.

Magnifier lamps are way more useful - the illumination alone makes things much better, and even the modest ~1.3x magnification of cheap ones (often with an embedded higher-magnification lens for examination use) is sufficient to make a huge difference.

Of course, the ideal is a proper binocular microscope intended for soldering, but they're vastly more expensive...

Re: Best way to solder with magnification ?

Reply #3
Hello,

Thank you very much for sharing your experiences.

I have noted the magnifying glass.

Quote
Of course, the ideal is a proper binocular microscope intended for soldering, but they're vastly more expensive...

Any model just for my information ?

Thank you.

Re: Best way to solder with magnification ?

Reply #4
I use a cheap 20x zoom microscope that I brought from a school supplier. You dont want much more magnification than that for everyday use, and you dont need amazing optics. I think I paid £150 for mine. If you do get one, try and get one with a light underneath the plate as its really useful for tracking down solder bridges! It was worth the money alone for a very sneaky short in the PCB trace.

Mat

 

magnifying lamp vs. visor?

Reply #5
I've been using a visor w/ the extra loupe magnification snapdown.  Is a magnifying lamp easier?

Re: Best way to solder with magnification ?

Reply #6
Quote
try and get one with a light underneath the plate as its really useful for tracking down solder bridges!

Thanks :)

Quote
I've been using a visor w/ the extra loupe magnification snapdown. Is a magnifying lamp easier?

If possible, i'm going to compare these two ways. Thanks.

Re: Best way to solder with magnification ?

Reply #7
[quote author="temptemp"]
Quote
Of course, the ideal is a proper binocular microscope intended for soldering, but they're vastly more expensive...

Any model just for my information ?
[/quote]

I'm afraid not - I'm just speaking from experience of using one at a previous employer. I think when I looked for similar ones on ebay, they were in the hundreds of pounds territory, whereas a no-name desk magnifier cost me < 20 pounds.

Best way to solder with magnification ?

Reply #8
I have a stereo inspection microscope and a headmount visor magnifier.  I rarely use the microscope for actual soldering, the visor is excellent.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0015IN8J6/ref=biss_dp_t_asn

Cheers,
Tom


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

Re: Best way to solder with magnification ?

Reply #9
[quote author="TomKeddie"]I have a stereo inspection microscope and a headmount visor magnifier.  I rarely use the microscope for actual soldering, the visor is excellent.[/quote]

That's the same Donegan visor I have...only one w/ glass lenses (others on the market are plastic).
I still find I wish it had a bit more magnification, but when you get the higher mag ones, you have to be closer to the board for things to be in focus :-P
I have the loupe attachment, but find it's a bit annoying to focus as well.

Re: Best way to solder with magnification ?

Reply #10
Thank you all for so many answers :).

Quote
I'm afraid not - I'm just speaking from experience of using one at a previous employer. I think when I looked for similar ones on ebay, they were in the hundreds of pounds territory, whereas a no-name desk magnifier cost me < 20 pounds.

OK, thanks.

Quote
I have a stereo inspection microscope and a headmount visor magnifier. I rarely use the microscope for actual soldering, the visor is excellent.
Quote
I still find I wish it had a bit more magnification, but when you get the higher mag ones, you have to be closer to the board for things to be in focus :-P
I have the loupe attachment, but find it's a bit annoying to focus as well.

I just right bought one (waiting to buy the magnifying glass) with 3.5x magnification and it's awful (focal lenght) to use...

Obviously it depends on some factors, but, which magnification do you use generally for soldering ?

Thank you.

Thinking about the magnifying glass : perhaps the best way...

Re: Best way to solder with magnification ?

Reply #11
[quote author="temptemp"]Hello,

Thank you very much for sharing your experiences.

I have noted the magnifying glass.

Quote
Of course, the ideal is a proper binocular microscope intended for soldering, but they're vastly more expensive...

Any model just for my information ?

Thank you.[/quote]
That would be the Mantis. http://http://www.visioneng.com/. Expect to pay several thousands. (Hey, you asked for the best way... :p)

But any stereo microscope is fine. I used to work with the Mantis. In my lab, I now have a cheap stereo microscope, totally in the other nd of the scale. And that just fine. There is no funny feeling seeing through it, no issues there. I need reading glasses, but I use the microscope without. No problems. You want stereo vision (so usb solutions are out), around 5x magnification wnd good lights. Most important spec for a microscope fot this application is focal lenght. You want at. Least 20 cm or so, otherwise there is not enough room to work.

Re: Best way to solder with magnification ?

Reply #12
Quote
Most important spec for a microscope fot this application is focal lenght. You want at. Least 20 cm or so, otherwise there is not enough room to work.

It's very nice :) !!!!

But, just to be sure : I have read all datasheets and max focal length (for Mantis models) seems to be....~16cm.

Am I Wrong ? Do you think it's still nice for soldering works ?

So glad to discover such a miscroscope (My glasses hate "classic" microscopes :) ).

Re: Best way to solder with magnification ?

Reply #13
But why do you keep your glasses on while using the microscope?  I have glasses with +1.75 on one eye and +5.25 on the other and I take them off while using the stereo microscope and can get perfect vision since the focus of each eyepiece is individually adjustable.

Re: Best way to solder with magnification ?

Reply #14
I use this stereo microscope: http://store.amscope.com/se303-pz.html which was pretty cheap delivered downunder. Focal distance is a little short, 2 1/8", but good enough for soldering. I generally use 10x for soldering SMD parts and 20x for inspection.

I leave off my glasses too. Unlike Mats one, only one eyepiece is individually adjustable, but you simply focus using the non-adjustable one, then setup the adjustable one for the other eye (which invariably is non-identical). The inbuilt tungsten lamp is great.

I also have a magnifier lamp which I use mostly for the bright light rather than the magnifier which itself is pretty weak. However, you might like to start with it, in case it is sufficient for your needs.