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Extra bench & A New toy

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Extra bench & A New toy

Post by CTV » Thu May 19, 2016 2:20 pm

I've started work on building another bench at the back of the workshop, the primary function will be a CTV PCB repair station. I will have my Thorn PSU test rig here and the desoldering station along with the new toy which is a PCB inspection scope.

I would liked to have got one that could be connected to a PC but the budget at present would not stretch to that, maybe one day. For now its 1970's vintage, in particular a Steroscope "Two Ten" Made by Vision Engineering Ltd Of Send in Surrey. The company still exists, still have a presence at the same location in Surrey an still make engineering microscopes. Might even drop them a line to see what the can tell me about it.

http://www.visioneng.com/products/stereo-microscopes

Why, well I have a bench magnifying lamp but I still struggle with my eyes and have missed cracked tracks on a number of occasions now. This will allow me to closely and fully inspect the PCB's at varying levels of magnification. The photo below is just standard mag, without swapping in the X2 or X10 lens. X10 was incredible and solder joints take on a whole new perspective when you see it that close. It has its own illumination as can be seen below.

Obviously what I see is far superior to the photo. Its difficult to take photos down the eyepiece but I will experiment and get the hang of it. That's where a more modern device makes life easier.

pcbscope-1.jpg

pcbscope-2.jpg

pcbscope-3.jpg

pcbscope-4.jpg

 
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Re: Extra bench & A New toy

Post by Mark Hennessy » Thu May 19, 2016 5:56 pm

That looks rather good. We have similar things at work, and I'd love one for home use. I used to be able to focus to within a couple of inches of the end of my nose, but now that I'm in my early '40s, the inevitable presbyopia is setting in. My distance is still good, and I'm fine with computer monitors unaided, but I'm using +1 reading glasses for bench work (or reading in dim lighting). A recent trip to the optician (my first time :ccg) confirmed that, and suggested that I move to +1.5 readers, which gets my minimum focal length to about 6-8 inches in bright light - fine for most things. For SMT stuff, I use those cheap loupes (x4 or x7), which is fine for brief jobs, but gets uncomfortable after a short while. Plus, the focal length is so short that you can't help but breath in fumes, etc... So a stereo microscope of modest magnification and a decent working range is just what I would like.

For "cheap but good" USB microscopes, this is worth a look: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/131560443344 (or http://www.banggood.com/Andonstar-500X- ... 41488.html if you prefer). I haven't used it extensively yet, having only just received it, but first impressions are very good indeed. Dave Jones reviewed it enthusiastically a while back (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2P1_JZYnVc) when it was about $60. The eBay one has the "make offer" button enabled, and I can confirm they will take £35, and wouldn't be surprised if they'd go a little lower. It was shipped from the UK and arrived in just a couple of days.

As well as magnification, I can't stress enough the importance of lighting (and how hopeless incandescent lights are in this context). You can get away with a lot when you're young, but everything changes when you hit 40! But that's been done elsewhere :)

It's surprising how quickly the brain adapts to soldering under a microscope or camera!

 
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Re: Extra bench & A New toy

Post by sideband » Thu May 19, 2016 6:45 pm

CrustyTV wrote:X10 was incredible and solder joints take on a whole new perspective when you see it that close.


The surface of the moon comes to mind....even joints that look good.

 
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Re: Extra bench & A New toy

Post by CTV » Thu May 19, 2016 7:30 pm

Bit more practice taking photo's down the lens, this is standard magnification. I will try taking photos at X2 and x10 later this evening.I think I need to fashion some sort of jig that I can attach to the top of the scope, doing it by hand I keep wobbling and spoil so many pictures.

a.jpg

b.jpg

c.jpg


EDIT: x2 & x10

d.jpg

e.jpg

 
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Re: Extra bench & A New toy

Post by sideband » Thu May 19, 2016 8:31 pm

A thought Chris....when you have mastered your new magnifier, just for fun you can start a 'mystery photo'...something like a close-up of a familiar item....TV related of course.

Philips did something like that years ago in their technical trade magazine entitled 'How good are you'. It was usually a close up of a common component....even part of a knob from a popular TV. I remember one that fooled a lot of people. It was nothing more than the close up of the centre of a spool from an audio cassette. Most people thought it was a gear from a tape mechanism.

 
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Re: Extra bench & A New toy

Post by Lloyd » Thu May 19, 2016 11:22 pm

Hi Chris,

Your new toy looks brilliant! I've had one daft thought for it, how about getting hold of a CCTV type camera and trying to make up something to fit it to one of the eyepieces? Then get hold of one of those nice Sony broadcast monitors or somesuch thing, maybe even one of your old telly's rigged up next to it!

It really does make all the difference having something like this to help you see, I can't get on with those illuminated bench magnifiers, they make me go bozz eyed and give me a headache after more than 3 seconds looking through them! One place I worked had a great big microscope with a big viewing area that you pretty much stuck your head into, might have been called something like a mantis?! That was great.

Regards,
Lloyd.

 
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Re: Extra bench & A New toy

Post by Mark Hennessy » Thu May 19, 2016 11:44 pm

Lloyd wrote:One place I worked had a great big microscope with a big viewing area that you pretty much stuck your head into, might have been called something like a mantis?! That was great.


Yes, Mantis: http://www.visioneng.com/products/stereo-microscopes

I've never had the chance to try one of these, but I'm very interested to do so. I've see a lot of positive reviews of them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3o0EWHEH08

Rather expensive, as you might expect.

 
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Re: Extra bench & A New toy

Post by ntscuser » Fri May 20, 2016 11:21 pm

Have to admit when I first saw this I though it was a compariscope! :ccg

 
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Re: Extra bench & A New toy

Post by CTV » Sat May 21, 2016 7:14 pm

Spent the afternoon building the new workstation at the back of the workshop. As mentioned this will be the PCB repair and inspection station. Will put it to good use soon as I have another two Thorn 3500 PSU modules ( Marconi 4711 & Ultra 6714) up on the bench soon along with a raft of line timebase modules and all manner of PCB's that need work. I'll probably move the de-soldering station to this bench too, for now it's over on the main bench.

bench1.jpg

bench2.jpg

bench3.jpg

 
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Re: Extra bench & A New toy

Post by sideband » Sun May 22, 2016 10:02 am

It's reminiscent of the 'PCB repair service' offered by some of the Grade A approved Philips dealers back in the 80's. You could have run a very lucrative service for dealers who didn't have the facilities/interest/desire to fix their own boards.

 
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Re: Extra bench & A New toy

Post by CTV » Sun May 22, 2016 10:42 am

Hi Rich,

I would have liked your idea although being at the customer service end of the chain would have been interesting, offering a board level repair service to dealers who farmed it out would be quite appealing. My last couple of months have felt very much like that having had four Thorn power supply modules up on the bench for repair.

Funny thing is back in the mid 70's I was surround by TV rental/repair shops. There was even one repair shop at the end of my road when I was a kid. Another large firm called Smiths had a distinctive Round window as it was also sited in the corner of two roads then the third was a little budget affair offering sets to mainly students. All these within a short walking distance of my house and each other. I often used to peer through the windows to see what was on offer at them all, never occurred to me to think of it as a career, from 12 all I wanted to do was work in computing. Oh to travel back in time and choose a different career path, still cannot pull at the threads that make up the tapestry of your life as it just all unravels in a heap. What's good is to enjoy the hobby as it is now without the pressures of crusty having to make a crust :qq1

I had my first stab at soldering or to be more accurate desoldering under the scope late last night, boy is the tip of the soldering iron BIG :ccf It takes some getting used to but after a while the coordination starts to become second nature. One really good thing is to be able to keep a good eye on the track so as to not cause damage or lifting. I think this is going to be invaluable when I start on my GEC board repairs, double sided print and for spotting track cracks etc.

This new workstation is going to see a lot of action as can seen below, I have a few boards in for repair and that's just one side of the store. The plan is to start ploughing through them all now as I have very few working spares for the 30+ odds CTV's in my collection. Some of them are beyond repair but will yield some useful spare parts to get other working.

store.jpg

 
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Re: Extra bench & A New toy

Post by ntscuser » Sun May 22, 2016 2:51 pm

CrustyTV wrote:Funny thing is back in the mid 70's I was surround by TV rental/repair shops.


The same was true for me where I grew up in the 1960s, my friend Charlie's mother even owned one of them. Despite his best efforts I failed to learn anything from the experience! :ccg


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