[sdiy] stereo optical microscope for assembly and repair

Roman Sowa modular at go2.pl
Wed Aug 21 10:00:39 CEST 2019

It's used for both, inspection and soldering. When soldering, it's 
soldering all the time, solder iron rarely rests on the stand. And I use 
a lot of flux gel, so fumes all the way. And it's close to the lens indeed.
The lens themselves are not the problem, this can be wiped easily, 
although multiple cleans may damage anti-reflex coating. But it gets 
inside through gaps and sits on the prism. That causes gradual 
degradation in view that you cannot notice, but at some point you get 
the feeling "I can't remember being it so foggy" and have to clean.

I used to read 0603 markings without any optical aid, also soldered 
0.4mm pitch QFN and alikes with bare eyes. Now I can barely see strips 
on THT resistor. But the microscope makes it possible to pretend I'm 17 


W dniu 2019-08-20 o 20:12, sleepy_dog at gmx.de pisze:
> Roman Sowa wrote:
>> Without fumes extractor the microscope would become unusable within an
>> hour. It's always on while soldering, but smetimes not all of the
>> smoke goes to the proper hole.
> 1 hour? Wow. Either you solder a lot more contacts per minute than I can
> :D or my lens is not as close to the PCB. Then again, the amount of
> soldering under the scope for me is not that much, it's more inspection
> for solder bridges. Only the occasional extra tricky thing actually
> soldered under the scope. So far I still can see most things I use well
> tnough to solder it, but I don't trust to spot small bridges or tiny
> gaps where solder should be.
>> Roman
>> W dniu 2019-08-19 o 20:47, sleepy_dog at gmx.de pisze:
>>> Roman Sowa wrote:
>>>> For years I've been using regular Bresser scientific binocular
>>>> microscope bought for about $400 or so if I remember. It has 7x to 40x
>>>> zoom which was indeed helpful and used full range a few times.
>>>> Soldering fumes poluted optics over time and cleaning is a lot of pain.
>>> Would one of those help?
>>> https://vkrepair.com/best-solder-fume-extractor/
>>> I have the DLX426, which is, granted, not very stong, you pretty much
>>> need to have it where the soldering happens, maybe 10cm away. But what
>>> it does is nice for the money.
>>> Or if it's not about capturing the fumes, just keeping them off the
>>> lense - put some larger diameter CPU fan in some wood frame/stand to one
>>> side of the scope to just blow the fumes away?
>>> - Steve
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