Author Topic: Magnifying to see LED  (Read 1494 times)

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dan110355

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Magnifying to see LED
« on: May 14, 2018, 06:01:13 PM »
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I just took delivery of some 603 surface mount LEDs and magnet wire.  I'll need some magnification to see these little buggers when I solder wire to them.  I wear glasses, so need to consider that when getting some magnification.  What do the rest of you do to see them in order to solder?

Dan

Steveruger45

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Re: Magnifying to see LED
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2018, 07:32:02 PM »
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I use this one, or one that looks just like it.
SKYZONAL Double Lens Head-mounted Headband Reading Magnifier Loupe Head Wearing 4 Magnifications https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0160O6NFK/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_i_-WH-AbA9S728B
Steve
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RBrodzinsky

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Re: Magnifying to see LED
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2018, 07:45:10 PM »
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I use an Optivisor, very similar to the product Steve linked to.

You may also want to consider the LED-wire holding tool and Intelligent LED Tester found on this page https://www.ngineering.com/other_cool_tools.htm
Rick Brodzinsky
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woodone

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Re: Magnifying to see LED
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2018, 07:54:48 PM »
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Yep, it is the Optivisor for me.
Use it every time when working on DCC installs

peteski

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Re: Magnifying to see LED
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2018, 09:23:37 PM »
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For 0603 size LEDs and up I use Optivisor with #7 lens plate.  I recommend Optivisor  - it costs more than the low-end magnifiers, but it is well worth the money.  For even smaller LEDs (like 0402 and smaller) I like to use my stereo-microscope.  It is pricey but it comes in extremely handy. I bought it on eBay from Amscope. But they also sell direct.   http://www.amscope.com/stereo-microscopes.html
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C855B

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Re: Magnifying to see LED
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2018, 09:38:18 PM »
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^^^^^

What Pete said - Optivisor for the “big” stuff like 0603, Amscope stereo microscope for 0402 and smaller. Latest addition to the toolset is a USB camera that drops into one of the eyepieces for a big view on the computer monitor.
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peteski

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Re: Magnifying to see LED
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2018, 10:23:06 PM »
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^^^^^

What Pete said - Optivisor for the “big” stuff like 0603, Amscope stereo microscope for 0402 and smaller. Latest addition to the toolset is a USB camera that drops into one of the eyepieces for a big view on the computer monitor.

I have one of those too - It is a cool tool, but I still prefer the 3D view through the eyepieces.

Another thing that needs to be mentioned is the soldering equipment. When you get down to small SMD components a hobby soldering iron (even with a fine tip) is just too clunky.  I use an industrial soldering station from PACE. ST50 base with the TD-100 handpiece and a very small tip. http://www.techni-tool.com/612SO0500 PACE makes a wide range of tips for that handpiece.  It is pricey but it makes the job so much easier and cleaner.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 10:57:41 PM by peteski »
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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mmagliaro

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Re: Magnifying to see LED
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2018, 10:46:08 PM »
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For 0603 size LEDs and up I use Optivisor with #7 lens plate.  I recommend Optivisor  - it costs more than the low-end magnifiers, but it is well worth the money.  For even smaller LEDs (like 0402 and smaller) I like to use my stereo-microscope.  It is pricey but it comes in extremely handy. I bought it on eBay from Amscope. But they also sell direct.   http://www.amscope.com/stereo-microscopes.html

These look very interesting to me.  I never thought about using a stereo microscope for fine modeling assembly before.  They have models anywhere from about $350 up to thousands.   If I may be so bold... what model do you have, and if it's one of the super-pricey ones, is there a reason not to use one of the less expensive models?  They have some in the $300 - $400 that still boast a total magnification from 7x up to 45x, which seems like it would be plenty.

peteski

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Re: Magnifying to see LED
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2018, 11:13:42 PM »
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These look very interesting to me.  I never thought about using a stereo microscope for fine modeling assembly before.  They have models anywhere from about $350 up to thousands.   If I may be so bold... what model do you have, and if it's one of the super-pricey ones, is there a reason not to use one of the less expensive models?  They have some in the $300 - $400 that still boast a total magnification from 7x up to 45x, which seems like it would be plenty.

Just to give you some background, I used one of those zoom stereo microscopes for years at work for reworking SMT circuit boards.  Then my company was getting rid of an ancient Nikon stereo-microscope with fixed magnification (no zoom capability).  I grabbed it and used it for my hobby work for few years until I found the Amscope microscopes.

Mine is the basic trinocular unit  SM-3T on a single-arm boom.  Then I added the 10X eyepieces, and a 0.5x Barlow lens (to increase the working distance).   I originally also ordered a fluorescent ring light, but have since upgraded to an LED ring light.  Later I added the 25x eyepieces and a USB video camera.  So you can start small, then as the funds are available you can upgrade your basic setup.

When I was using that old Nikon unit, I really missed the zoom capability of the microscope I used at work. The Amscope unit is a zoom unit, so I now have the same capabilities I had at work, for fraction of the cost. And the Amscope's optics are pretty darn good.
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mmagliaro

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Re: Magnifying to see LED
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2018, 11:19:58 PM »
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Thanks, Pete!

My guess would have been that for the work we are doing, even the "low end" model would be a fabulous tool.  I'm glad to see that is the case.  This needs to go on my "wish list" (right next to the resistance soldering station)

dan110355

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Re: Magnifying to see LED
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2018, 08:46:41 AM »
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Thanks for all your thoughts.  It is all much appreciated.  Now I need to go shopping --- again. 

Dan

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Re: Magnifying to see LED
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2018, 09:09:31 AM »
+1
Optivisors create way too much eye strain for me, so I use drugstore 1.5X reading glasses. If I need stronger magnification, I use a large manifying lens attached to a gooseneck that sits on the workbench, available from most hobby retailers.

As an alternative to wiring your own, 0603 LEDs are available with wire leads already attached. They're pricier than raw LEDs, naturally, but if you don't need many, it's a time- and eye-saving alternative to consider. You can also get pre-wired 0402 and 0201 LEDs as well. They're all over eBay.

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Re: Magnifying to see LED
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2018, 11:39:11 AM »
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Like DKS, I have an Optivisor but have mostly been using reading glasses.
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Re: Magnifying to see LED
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2018, 12:45:58 PM »
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Love my optivisor!  All of my 0402 LED's have been soldered using only them.  I have a rotating 2X magnifier lens that I can swing in, but I really never use it.  I wear glasses too but I remove them when using the optivisors. 

Also buy a roll of thin 3M double stick tape to hold the LED until the wires are soldered.

diezmon

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Re: Magnifying to see LED
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2018, 12:58:45 PM »
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I use the Optivisor, along with my glasses.   a bit of a pain, but it works.