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'[EE]: Keeping microscope clean while soldering?'
2003\02\26@012008 by Ned Konz

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I just got (thanks to the miracle of eBay) a reasonably priced Bausch
& Lomb Stereozoom 4 stereo microscope, which goes from 7x to 30x
magnification.

I am hoping to use it when assembling prototypes of surface mount
boards; my ICs seem to be getting smaller while my focus distance is
getting longer.

But after getting it, I realized that soldering under it will probably
result in gunking up the objective lens.

The working distance on the scope is about 4 inches; a 0.5x objective
lens would extend that to 6 inches. So soldering under it would
probably subject the objective lenses to smoke, rosin, etc.

There are (apparently) objective lens shields for this scope, but I
haven't seen one yet.

I can and will provide some kind of fume ventilation, but I can't
guarantee that the lenses won't get spattered.

Do any of you solder under a microscope? If so, how do you keep the
crud off it?

Thanks,
--
Ned Konz
http://bike-nomad.com
GPG key ID: BEEA7EFE

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2003\02\26@091503 by hael Rigby-Jones

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{Quote hidden}

We have a couple of microscopes in our lab that are in use every day and
have been there for the past few years and there is no noticeable buildup of
crud.  An extraction system will definately help your lungs if nothing else
:o)

Mike


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2003\02\26@100324 by Lawrence Lile

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Maybe a microscope is overkill?  I use a big magnifying lamp, with the
highest power I could find (about 3x I think), and I have a small filter
fan to blow away the soldering smoke.  THen when I inspect solder joints,
I use an eye loupe of either 5X or 10X power.  The eye loupes are cheap,
and with the 10X you can really see the tiniest features.  All I do is
dust the lens every few weeks.

I think the filter fan is a neccesity.  I already have asthma, and solder
smoke only makes that worse.  Working up close to a board puts that nasty
stuff right in your face.  Digikey sells items like this for about a
hundred clams.  I made one from a muffin fan with a filter grille, and
mounted it on an arm from an old architects lamp.  More fun to make things
than to buy them, no?  A simple filter seems to eliminate the smoke quite
easily.

I considered getting a fume extraction soldering iron, or even one of
those HEPA fume extraction units that have a hose you can position over
your bench.


-- Lawrence Lile





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2003\02\26@102639 by hael Rigby-Jones

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lawrence Lile [SMTP:@spam@llileKILLspamspamSALTONUSA.COM]
> Sent: Wednesday, February 26, 2003 3:03 PM
> To:   KILLspamPICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject:      Re: [EE]: Keeping microscope clean while soldering?
>
> Maybe a microscope is overkill
>
Not when you're working with 0402 components it isn't!  You only have to
breath a little too hard and most of your inventory ends up on the floor :o)

Mike



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2003\02\26@105650 by Tony Baia

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Can't you just place a small piece of clear glass or
Perspex over the lens to protect it, then when the
Perspex or glass becomes dirty clean it or turf it.

Don't know if this will affect the resolution at the
magnification levels due to impurities if any
in the materials mentioned above

> > The working distance on the scope is about 4 inches; a 0.5x objective
> > lens would extend that to 6 inches. So soldering under it would
> > probably subject the objective lenses to smoke, rosin, etc.
> >
> > There are (apparently) objective lens shields for this scope, but I
> > haven't seen one yet.

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2003\02\26@123612 by Ned Konz

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On Wednesday 26 February 2003 07:02 am, Lawrence Lile wrote:
> I think the filter fan is a neccesity.  I already have asthma, and
> solder smoke only makes that worse.  Working up close to a board
> puts that nasty stuff right in your face.  Digikey sells items like
> this for about a hundred clams.  I made one from a muffin fan with
> a filter grille, and mounted it on an arm from an old architects
> lamp.  More fun to make things than to buy them, no?  A simple
> filter seems to eliminate the smoke quite easily.
>
> I considered getting a fume extraction soldering iron, or even one
> of those HEPA fume extraction units that have a hose you can
> position over your bench.

I'm not going to bother with a filter. My bench is right next to a
window. I'm going to build a system that uses:

* a board to go in the partially-opened window, edged with
weatherstripping, with a hole in it for
* a dryer vent to keep the cold air out when I'm not using it, which
is coupled to
* a length of flex dryer hose, connected to
* a round electric plaster ring, used to mount
* a 110V muffin fan, with another
* round electric plaster ring on the other side, connected to
* another length of flex dryer vent.

Then I'll put the fan assembly inside a box filled with foam for noise
control.
--
Ned Konz
http://bike-nomad.com
GPG key ID: BEEA7EFE

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2003\02\26@131319 by David W. Gulley

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Ned Konz wrote:
> I just got (thanks to the miracle of eBay) a reasonably priced Bausch
> & Lomb Stereozoom 4 stereo microscope, which goes from 7x to 30x
> magnification.
>
<SNIP>
> Do any of you solder under a microscope? If so, how do you keep the
> crud off it?

I have a B&L stereo microscope that has a clip for some (unknown to me)
attachment into which I place a 2"x3" microscope slide. This keeps the
lens clean, is (as far as my eyes can tell) totally transparent, and is
easy to replace/clean.


David W. Gulley
Destiny Designs

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2003\02\26@132148 by Matthew Fries

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My first instinct would be to use something handy and cheap, like maybe
some transparent plastic wrap over the objective lens.

Secure it with a rubber band?

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2003\02\26@180208 by Peter L. Peres

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On Tue, 25 Feb 2003, Ned Konz wrote:

*>Do any of you solder under a microscope? If so, how do you keep the
*>crud off it?

A simple fix is a microscope slide tacked to the lens bezel. A better one
is a plain glass filter for photographic use screwed in front of the
objective.

Peter

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2003\02\27@073346 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Maybe a microscope is overkill?  I use a big magnifying lamp, with
>the highest power I could find (about 3x I think),

Not necessarily overkill. Depends what you are doing. I have an Optivisor
head band magnifier I use when doing "normal" SM stuff on the bench, and
that is suitable for that, with a 2.4x lens. I also have a higher mag lens
(the #10, about 3.3x I think), but that is not suitable for more than short
term use as your eyes need to go "cross-eyed" you get that close, and it
causes headaches when used for extended periods like this.

As a qualified soldering inspector for space equipment, a proper stereo
microscope is the best item to use when doing this. The higher magnification
obtainable is necessary.

>I think the filter fan is a necessity.  I already have asthma, and
>solder smoke only makes that worse.  Working up close to a board
>puts that nasty stuff right in your face.

Ditto this, and for the same reason.

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2003\02\27@074212 by Alan B. Pearce

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>>
>> Maybe a microscope is overkill
>>
>Not when you're working with 0402 components it isn't!
>You only have to breath a little too hard and most of
>your inventory ends up on the floor :o)

Yeah, and if you go smaller, a dust mask is a required item, because it is
possible to ingest the components by breathing them in they are so light.
Roll on "surface-mount-osis" as a companion to asbestosis.

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