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All about... microscopes

All about... microscopes

There is nothing like learning to repair devices with a microscope from day one. Having instant visual feedback and the ability to see down to the core circuits or material give you an unparalleled perspective on your daily repairs. Whether you do standard level 2 component repair, display refurbishing, or motherboard repair, there is nothing like being able to examine what your working on closer, to bring you to a better understanding of the problem.

All about... microscopes

Why use a Microscope for Electronics Repair?

There is nothing like learning to repair devices with a microscope from day one. Having instant visual feedback and the ability to see down to the core circuits or material give you an unparalleled perspective on your daily repairs. Whether you do standard level 2 component repair, display refurbishing, or motherboard repair, there is nothing like being able to examine what your working on closer, to bring you to a better understanding of the problem.

Ask yourself the following:

Have you ever wanted to show a customer the true cause of an issue? Up Close?
Have you ever messed something up and couldn't figure it out or just couldn't do the job because you couldn't see it?
Have you ever wished you could look closer at the ACT connections of a display up close?
Have you ever wanted to fix an issue caused by someone else but couldn't see well enough, but knew you could fix it with the right tools?
Have you ever just wanted to see more!?

Then you want a microscope on your desk!


Microscope Pre-purchase Knowledge

What types of Optics should I be looking for to do Electronics Repair?


The number one question you need to ask yourself is, do you want to see and show the problem, or do you want to fix the problem?

 
  Small Hand Monocular Magnifier Desk Sized Magnifier Digital Monocular Scope Stereo Microscope
Justin's thoughts These small hand magnifiers as well as the most basic of hand lenses can easily be used in many situations, especially for the repair tech on the road. Can help you see something in a pinch, but will be the most basic and and a cheap way to get some better optics on problems.

These are the "better than nothing" options.

Great to have these types of magnifiers on your desk if you want a slightly better look into your level 2 work. Harder to miss details when they are 5x bigger! Digital Monocular Microscopes can be a great inspection an asset to a shop to help clients understand complex issues that are too small to see normally. These are recommended for front desk inspection only Stereo Microscopes are the current phone repair endgame microscope, there are lots of ways to implement them as you can mix and match bases and other optics easily!
Limitations These are for the most basic situations where you just need to see something. You will not be able to use these and work at the same time. If your a shop, maybe just keep one at the front counter or in the drawers if you don't have anything else. These are great for level 2 basic repair work, but its limits become apparent as soon as you try to get a real good close look directly at a circuit board. Maybe this will be fine for older through-hole solder jobs, but it absolutely won't cut it for anything "cutting edge" or anything really considered "micro-soldering".

While these seem very cool, they are not great to work under as they do not provide any sense of depth perception and will introduce a whole list of other issues. Being able to see solder change phases might become much harder, as well as the lag between process and screen might cause you to over-correct and damage something. These types of microscopes are not recommended for any real micro soldering.

Based on the modularity of stereo microscopes. It's hard to put limitations on this style of optics.

If you want to move it around easy, fine. If you want to stream to YouTube, also easy. want to custom mount yours? nothings stopping you.

Current stereo microscopes are built to adapt!

Read more in the section below.

 
Otoscope that can be used to do basic inspections
 
Basic Stationary desk magnifier
A monocular style digital microscope
A basic lightweight stereo microscope
 
Small Hand Magnifier Desk Sized Magnifier Digital Monocular Scope Stereo Microscope
I want to see the problem X X X X
I want to See or Show The Problem   X X X
I want to fix basic things with a better view   X   X
I want to fix motherboards and be the best like no one ever was.       X


So as per the chart, the Small Hand Monocular Magnifier, the Desk Sized Magnifier and the Digital Monocular Scope all are just made as is, and don't have any sort of modification on their user's usage, but the stereo microscope has a lot of modularity and adaptability which we will now go over. Its super great to know the next bit of information as it could save you a lot of headaches and money down the road if you get the correct configuration now.


Stereo Microscopes

Stereo Microscopes come in many shapes and sizes and can be super confusing to the new user who doesn't understand which configurations fit the repair industry. For the purpose of this document we can say that the stereo microscope can be broken down into 2 main sections, the head and the body, which each having its own accessory components that we will go over.

The Head

When it comes to Stereo heads there are three main types to choose from: the binocular head, the trinocular head, and finally, and ultimately... the simufocal trinocular head.


Understanding the different types of heads to stereo microscope
As stated above, there are three types of heads for a stereo microscope in regards to repair.


  1. Binocular 2. Trinocular 3. Simufocal Trinocular
  These heads have 2 eyelets and the only way to attach a camera is to block both eyelets and attach an eyelet camera. in my opinion, this is a waste of money and should never ever be purchased for repair purposes as the upgrade pathway for this type of gear is so small and cheap, you shouldn't consider bottoming out on it. Trinocular heads are amazing, they have a third port on the top that allows you to switch between the left eye and the trinocular port on the top where you would attach a microscope camera that was meant to be taking video while you work. Which you cannot do while one eye is shut. Its not feasible or ok to do in a repair shop. Now... this is the head you want from the jump, it allows you to see in both eyelets and use a third trinocular port to view or record video! All at the same time! Enough said!This is the best stereo microscope head unit to purchase if you just want to get the one that will last you and has all the features. I actually don't even recommend you waste your time with either of the two types listed above this unless there some sort of crazy deal.
 
  Binocular Stereo Microscope Head Trinocular Stereo Microscope Head Simufocal Trinocular Stereo Microscope Head
  Binocular Trinocular Simufocal Trinocular
Can see in stereo X X X
Can attach a camera   X X
Can use Camera + Both Eyes     X
       
Should you buy this kind? No No Yes
Why? Can never upgrade and cost is too close to the better one No point to buy this unless you never ever EVER want to share your work with anyone without some sort or weird 3d printed phone holder to go into the eyelet.

Seems like you should just spend the slightly extra now and get something you can show your work with!

Can never upgrade and cost is too close to the better simufocal one. Also what kind of torture is it to want to take a video to show your friends or for your business and when you do your unable to work because you lose one eye!

WEAK!

You can do it all, and you don't waste time or money!

Easy to attach a camera and share content which will allow you to make awesome ads for your company or to document your work for social media or quality control. Could even help show a client an issue!


The Base

Deciding which microscope base is right for you.

The choice is all personal. Need any help? You know how to find me!

Greets, Justin

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