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Which microscope for repair?

Hey :)

Any of you who use a microscope for repair phones? I need a microscope But dont know which i Should buy? I need one which is not too expensive But good enough for repair Logic board.

Suggestions? Maybe a eBay link og something? :) And which is Best, a microscope where you see The Logic board from a screen Or from a Lens???

Thanks :)

Beantwoord! Bekijk het antwoord Dit probleem heb ik ook

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You could start off by buying a used one to see what you like and don't like. Personally, it is much easier to look through the eyepieces than on a screen.

You will need a stereomicroscope (two eyepieces allowing you to see in 3D) but if you want to make videos, then consider a trinocular micrscope so that you can work and record at the same time.

Look at this video from Louis Rossmann regarding the tools he uses...

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You failed the poster by telling him to start with a used Microscope and not telling him where he can find one. There are not many used Microscopes on the market worldwide that will function appropriately for the electronics repair industry that I have located in the past or present.

Rossmann offers suggestions but he also changes frequently to accommodate his personal whims on usability, functionality, and quality. He is a good source up to a point but like most of us, he is not the expert. As new things come out we adapt and very often that means replacing everything when we only want today's best technology.

Our poster will have to make his decisions based upon what he feels his needs are. I offered insight to help him and others make decisions along with the reasons why to consider the things I spoke of. That is about all we can do to help although listening to others is helpful we need to be careful he does not think we are recommending anyone as an expert including ourselves.


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I think I can partially answer the question by giving some considerations to think about.

I use these on a regular basis, being it in the field of life sciences. Judging from your post, you're an electronics repair man.

From personal experience: when you have to use a stereo microscope for hours in a row, you definitly want a binocular with eyepiece tubes placed at 45°. They're more expensive, but really worth it, unless you don't mind your neck and/or your back feeling like shredded each evening...

Depending on brand and model, those instruments can magnify anything between 5 x and some 150 x. In biology, and I suppose that goes for your line of work as well, magnifications above say 40 x are only rarely used. And even in an excellent instruments, the image quality deteriorates quickly above that magnification. Unless you want to pay $ 10,000 or even more.

There are two types of stereo microscopes: the Greenough (GR) type and the CMO ("Common Main Objective").

Both have their (dis)advantages. The CMO has greater light gathering power (more light in the image) but the GR can easily compensate that by the use of a stronger light source.

The CMO is in the literature explicitly advised as "the workhorse" for "electronics repair" and such, but it is 2 - 3 x more expensive than an equivalent GR. A lot of CMO's are equipped with a zoom function. It can come handy, I suppose.

If you have every once in a while some other, larger repair work, such as computer mother boards and such, you might want to consider a stereo microscope mounted on a boom stand, giving you more work space.

Field of view might be a consideration: a larger FOV is always handy. As a general rule, CMO's have larger FOV's compared to GR's. But there are exceptions.

Working distance might be a consideration. Some have far greater working distance than others.

Illumination might be a consideration. In their basic version binocular microscopes are usually equipped with a single low voltage illuminator, which often leaves much to desire. Better illumination such as an adaptable ring illuminator or (luxury!) a fiber optic illuminator are expensive options.

Regarding brands and models, I can't really give much of an advice, not being an expert on stereo microscopes. I used only two of those: a CMO, the Russian LOMO MBS-10 which I considered usable but nothing more than that and a GR, a 1970's - 1980's Zeiss STEMI DR, which is better than the LOMO, but not as good as the brand suggests.

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O, I forgot: I won't spend my money on a "USB- microscope" displaying the image on a computer screen. Those are usually mediocre toys.

High quality systems, consisting of a high grade stereo microscope, including a high grade camera, connected directly to a computer exist, but they're horribly expensive.


Microscopes and cameras are not that expensive. You can find outrageously expensive items if you are concerned with having only the very best optical quality and best video / still photos, No one in electronics repair needs the best this industry has to offer, our work is not as critical os many other scientific professions might be. If we can see well what we are working on and it is clear without distortion that is all we need.


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Just facts here…

(Seeing things through a microscope or trying to view a screen of some type is purely up to you. I have worked with both and as long as both are in relatively the same position to the work being done both are very usable. By same position I mean a screen above and slight up between your line of sight to the board work area. About the same area where a microscope would be viewed. Small endoscopes are not as useful as a full size microscope.)

You need to see things closely but not so closely where you can not see the area your are working on. Minimum required magnification is 3.5X. Best for the large view to see damage areas, bad connections, and cleanliness of the PCB.

You need to zoom in on some things more closely to determine what needs to be done. Maximum required magnification at least 45X.

You may desire to be able to get extreme close views of things occasionally but it is unlikely it will help you work. Maximum magnification goes as high as you are willing to spend with my recommendation set around 135X to 200X, both are great for looking inside an IC circuit when opened up but it is not something you will ever fix.

I suggest getting a stereo scope with camera port, these scopes are also know as Trinocular Microscopes.

I suggest a good quality microscope camera (video and still for customer photos of damage repaired and repairs done.) NOTE: The camera will help your business over the long run after showing your video/still photos to friends and word gets around, pictures are unique and people remember them while they forget ordinary comments.

You need a quality light system, there are several available and each are good,. Decide which one is best and a light system that can remove shadows or allow shadowing from various angles can be helpful but is not required. Shadowing can make things easier to see because of the contrast it creates in the image. If you are looking to go for least cost look into a ring light or buy an external light you will constantly have to re-position (not a good idea). NOTE: LED lights come in various light wave frequencies, choose a frequency that allows you to see best. My suggestion is a bright white or slightly yellow lighting. These are the colors we are used to in home and offices,. I find bluish lighting makes it difficult for me to see as well, you may be different so try it before you buy it or have an options to return the light for another spectrum color.

You need a way to suspend the microscope over you work area. Find a boom or other system that will allow you to move the microscope around over the entire surface of your work area. The less time you have to spend adjusting fasteners to move a microscope the easier it will be to use and enjoy.

Cost of equipment depends on what you buy. There are microscopes that can run from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars and essentially do exactly the same thing. Very high quality optics are very expensive, all you need are quality optics that are clear and bright. Big brand names Leica, Nikon, and others add dollars to cost for no real return other than the reputation they have for quality. Today I have to admit China is producing some good Microscopes for electronics SMT (surface mount) technology or BGA (ball grid array) repair work.. Some Chinese choices are less than excellent but one I find pretty good is “AMSCOPE” which you will find on eBay or Amazon web sites.

IMPORTANT: Making choices like Stereo Binocular or Trinocular to allow a camera must be made knowing is you choose Binocular now you can not change the microscope to add a third view port later. If you want a camera and can not afford it now get the Trinocular Microscope so you can add the camera later. Anything that can not be changed after you buy your microscope needs to be purchased to accommodate future plans. If you do not do this you in the beginning will have to buy a new microscope later to have what you eventually want.

For electronics work everything you need is in detailed above. You know your finances and you have to decide what to buy beyond what is required. Expect to spend a minimum of $400.00 and a Maximum of $1,500.00 unless you go with a long time respect brand like Leica where cost could go sky high. It’s your money!

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The first questions is: what do you need it for? The second is: do you really need it?

If you just want something to play around with, any of the $40 Amazon digital ones are fine. If you want it for doing board level repairs, forget about seeing it on the screen. I have the Amscope SM4TZ with the camera. The camera is really only good for taking pics...not much else. It actually gets in the way more than it helps.

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Release photos, before and after shots of your work to your customers when they pick up their equipment. You will be surprised what this tiny extra step brings you in new business over time. People remember photos and videos much more than they do word of mouth. People who are shown your work will remember it and this is your encouragement to make your photos and videos with care so they will be shown to others.


I just use a fake AmScope one from china and digital viewer on my imac.


This is a good one and its not too expensive either, have a look on it


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You might want to review what Jessa uses and how she does micro-soldering Introduction to Microsoldering with Jessa Jones.

Besides having the tools you do need to be able to read schematics and understand how things work. Have you taken any college level courses in microelectronics? You may want to start there.

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I can never express how simple electronics is and it is terribly confused by many who see a PCB and go away thinking this is complex stuff. It is not.

This is why the recommendation to take a few courses and learn the basic circuits used in nearly all electronic devices. I find electronics similar to computer programming and Lego blocks. Nearly everything electronic is a combination of multiple smaller blocks of simple interconnected circuits which vary little between one device to another. A good practical teaching college will help you inderstand those basic electronic circuits and take away the stigma electronics repair is complex.


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Another thing that I would look for, a Simul-focal microscope. Can view through both eye pieces and use the camera, at the same time.

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