With the continued miniaturization of electronic components, it has become more and more important with a good solder microscope when doing repair and rework.
Unfortunately, a solder microscope is not a protected title, and you need to lớn tự a bit of research when selecting your microscope of choice to lớn make sure that it meets your needs.
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But don’t worry, that’s exactly what this article is for. In this article, we’ll have a closer look at why you need a solder microscope and what features to lớn consider when choosing one. Lastly, we’ll go through the different TAGARNO microscopes and how you’ll benefit from using a digital microscope for soldering.
What is a solder microscope?
A solder microscope is any microscope that has the technical specifications and features that allow you to lớn create high quality soldering connections during repair and rework of electronic components. A solder microscope can thus take many forms depending on your specific needs.
A clean and professional soldering job is important for the overall longevity and functionality of a circuit board. However, with the continued miniaturization of components, it’s difficult to lớn produce high quality soldering connections if you can’t see what you’re doing. For that reason, it’s important with a professional solder microscope that produces high quality images and is easy to lớn use.
But which kind of solder microscope should you choose? That’s what we’ll look at next.
What type of microscope is used for soldering?
Choosing a high quality microscope is crucial for doing high quality soldering. Let’s have a look at the different types of solder microscopes you can use. Later, we’ll look at how you’ll know which one to lớn choose for your business.
If you’re not soldering in large quantities, a desk magnifier can be a great solution. They require little to lớn no training and are available at a very affordable price point. A desk magnifier, however, only offers minimum magnification and may therefore not suffice if you’re working with miniaturized components.
Stereo microscopes are often chosen when higher magnification levels are needed. The stereo microscope is also defined by its ability to lớn recreate three-dimensional images of objects via the eyepieces. This is most identical to lớn how the human eye works and thus creates a very natural experience in terms of depth perception as you’re soldering.
Stereo microscopes, however, require more training than thở a desk magnifier and come at a significantly higher price point. Lastly, stereo microscopes use an eyepiece which can cause musculoskeletal pain if it’s not adjusted to lớn fit you specifically or if you’re using it for long hours at a time.
To create a more comfortable and ergonomic setup, you can choose a digital microscope. Instead of looking downwards through an eyepiece, you’ll be able to lớn look straight ahead at a monitor, relieving you of neck, back and shoulder pain.
Certain digital microscopes also offer additional software that you can use when soldering. They also make it incredible easy to lớn capture photos of the before and after of your work.
What type of microscope you use for soldering can be a matter of personal preference. However, there’s a range of features that you should consider when choosing a solder microscope.
What to lớn consider when choosing a solder microscope
Knowing which solder microscope to lớn choose can be difficult. In this section, we’ll highlight a variety of features that you need to lớn keep in mind when choosing the right microscope for your business:
- Lens to lớn object distance
- Field of view
- Lighting quality
- A steady image
A key part of being able to lớn see your circuit board clearly is being able to lớn achieve the necessary magnification levels. However, you might actually need less magnification than thở you think. In fact 2.5x to lớn 20x should be enough.
Lens to lớn object distance
It’s also important to lớn ensure that there’s enough distance between the top of your circuit board and the bottom of the lens to lớn fit your hands comfortably. This is interchangeably referred to lớn as Working or Lens to lớn object distance. How much room you need will depend on the individual circuit board and may be a question of user preference.
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Field of view
Field of view refers to lớn how much you can see of your sample at any given magnification level. As you increase the magnification level, the field of view simultaneously decreases. With that in mind, it’s important that you can magnify to lớn the required level while maintaining a field of view big enough to lớn see what you’re doing. How big the field of view needs to lớn be will depend on the size of your boards: Bigger boards require a larger field of view, and smaller boards require a smaller field of view.
Without proper lighting, the quality of the magnified image will be grainy and it’ll be difficult for you to lớn see what you’re doing. Depending on where you’ll be working, ambient lighting may suffice. But it’s worth looking into how you can add additional lighting: Does the microscope have built-in lighting – or does the manufacturer offer separate lighting options?
A steady image
When soldering, having a steady solder microscope that creates sharp magnified images is equally as important as having a steady hand. Especially if you’re working in a high traffic area or with vibrating machines nearby. It can be difficult, however, to lớn say anything about the steadiness of a microscope based on pictures and technical specification. Instead, we suggest looking up reviews and asking for an online or in-person phác họa before making your purchase.
Other things to lớn consider when choosing a solder microscope
For a state-of-the-art solder microscope and soldering experience, you can also consider the following:
- Image capturing
- Frame rate and tự động focus
If you’re planning on using the solder microscope frequently or for longer periods of time, we recommend paying special attention to lớn the ergonomics of the microscope and how comfortable it is to lớn use. If you’re looking downwards through an ocular for longer periods of time to lớn see your circuit board, you’re likely to lớn experience neck and back pain. However, choosing a digital alternative that displays the circuit board digitally on a monitor allows you to lớn sit up straight instead. This creates a more comfortable and healthier setup that also improves productivity and job satisfaction.
If you need to lớn document the before and after of your rework, a solder microscope with easy image capturing capabilities, such as a digital microscope, is worth considering.
Frame rate and tự động focus
If you’re using a digital solder microscope, it’s important to lớn pay special attention to lớn the frame rate of the camera inside the microscope and whether it has tự động focus or not. 60 frames per second is absolute minimum for a smooth experience with no lag or delay on the monitor as you’re moving your hands and the soldering iron underneath the microscope. Similarly, tự động focus will ensure that the image is always in-focus as you’re moving the circuit board around.
How to lớn use a digital microscope for soldering
A key difference when using a digital microscope compared to lớn other magnification systems is the fact that you’ll be looking straight ahead at a monitor rather than thở downwards through an eyepiece or magnifying glass.
For some, this may take some getting used to lớn, but you’ll also notice early on that the ergonomic setup is more comfortable and strains less on your neck, shoulder and back.
When using a digital microscope for soldering, you can also use a footswitch to lớn control the magnification level of the microscope or, if you’ve changed to lớn manual focus, where it should focus. The benefit of this is that you can keep your hands on your solder iron and PCB as you’re adjusting the microscope instead of having to lớn put them down to lớn tự ví. Instead, use the footswitch to lớn control the microscope as you’re working.
Once you’re done soldering, don’t forget to lớn save a photo of your complete work. With a digital microscope, all it takes it a press of a button.
Best microscope for soldering
Knowing that there’s additional benefits to lớn reap from choosing a digital microscope, let’s have a look at the best digital microscopes for soldering. All of the microscopes below meet the features and technical specifications mentioned above, but there’s important differences to lớn keep in mind.
ZIP as a solder microscope
With built-in light and no height adjustment needed, ZIP is a great low-entry solder microscope. The microscope is easy to lớn install and due to lớn its compact and light weight design, ZIP can easily be moved from one workstation to lớn another if needed. To capture photos of your work, however, you need to lớn connect the microscope to lớn a computer via a USB port and use the built-in Windows OS Camera phầm mềm.
ZAP as a solder microscope
Although ZAP also needs to lớn be connected to lớn a computer if you want to lớn capture photos of your work, it’s unique because of its flexibility and customizability. In fact, with ZAP you start with the camera head and select the accessories you need to lớn install it. This creates multiple installation options and allows it to lớn be installed almost anywhere. Unlike ZIP, it doesn’t have a built-in light, but it is compatible with the TAGARNO ring light to lớn ensure adequate lighting.
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TREND as a solder microscope
If you have high documentation needs, being able to lớn capture photos with a press of a button rather than thở connecting it to lớn a separate computer, is a feature worth considering. For this, we recommend TREND as a solder microscope. TREND also has built-in light, has a larger working depth to lớn accommodate bigger circuit boards and can be height adjusted to lớn achieve higher magnification levels.
There’s more to lớn read
Now that you’ve made it to lớn the kết thúc of this blogpost, here’s a few other blogposts that you might find interesting.
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