Camera for taking PCB pictures ?

Thread Starter

DarthVolta

Joined Jan 27, 2015
521
I have a decent microscope w/ LCD display, but I really want a camera I can mount and take a detailed picture with, for mapping average PCBs, no bigger than a motherboard I guess. And be good enough to see the finer SMD parts, maybe not all at once, but you know...

What's the spec's for such a camera ? What's some low-mid priced model that can do this ?
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
9,775
EDmund Scientific has such video cameras, you could record the photo on a computer. Their price range went from about $600 up to really expensive. And the field of view that large will mean a quite expensive lens arrangement.
 

sparky 1

Joined Nov 3, 2018
606
focal length can be 4" to 30" with accurate zoom adjustment. Seeing right is often the lighting articulating surface is slightly 3D
If you need to measure 0.2 mm then an xy table can help. If you work under it then video where FPS keep up with hand tool moving about under magnification makes a difference. Someone skilled in jewelry photography might do better than a macro photographer. Having several types switching back and forth and realizing it is what it is.
 

Janis59

Joined Aug 21, 2017
1,356
For making the photo of pcb for, how it was those politcorrect term, adapting under local production (aka revesrse engineering) one may need the very exact linearity. Any cam gives a corners in another scale kike the center. Thus cameras are no-use tech for stoling the pcb layout. For than may be used ith a grace the flat panel scanners. Their plane of focus is far most wider as one may guess. So, few mm distance off the glass is not killing.
For mounting, contrary, most important one may need is free distance to push the hands and solder tools. Therefore any microscope cam is unusable. The best solution for soldering is simple binokular optical microscope, for example cheap and widespread russian MB1, MB2, MB3, and any other with taken off the lower lense. Because of those lense it loss the magnification from 3000x to some 100x but it is enough, yet the distance from objective to soldering place grows from some 3 mm to at least 15 cm.
Exist one exclusive other possibility with cam, but then one must find a high resolution camera with high resolution high magnification (read high focal length) telephoto objective and mount it together. That optically is only way to get microscopy from large distance.
 

Janis59

Joined Aug 21, 2017
1,356
Question - for what the GIMP?? Actually powerful but intuitively VERY hard to start application far away from those intuitive easyness offered by OEM freeware ArcSoft-PhotoStudio v5. However seems even the IrfanWiev is useful ennough for this case or any other input system for microscopes or flat-bed scanners. There are tonns of it.

Lightbox is very essential. All incandescent are too hot, in literary meaning. All plasma lamps including the CCFL are too dark. But large power LED lamps are just what is needed. Some inch to one and half LED sold in building materials stores for cheap is just like what is needed. If something about 60-120 W it is ok.
 

dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
3,939
I have a similar setup. It is an Elmo Video Presenter.
Very good for working on SMT parts. It will zoom in to show about 3 IC pins full scale on the video monitor.
Also, there is an SD card socket for storing photos it can take. Often seen on Ebay second hand for a couple of hundred dollars. Very well worth it!
But for higher resolution, I just use my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 phone on the Macro setting.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,894
I have a similar setup. It is an Elmo Video Presenter.
Very good for working on SMT parts. It will zoom in to show about 3 IC pins full scale on the video monitor.
Also, there is an SD card socket for storing photos it can take. Often seen on Ebay second hand for a couple of hundred dollars. Very well worth it!
But for higher resolution, I just use my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 phone on the Macro setting.
Pretty close to Full Zoom on my setup.
IMG_20200224_080719597.jpg
 

narkeleptk

Joined Mar 11, 2019
545
I use a UHM350 from amscope. The included stand is too small so I had to build a taller one but the working range is very good.
I usually take a series of pictures or a video to capture entire boards in good detail.

Here are some basic quick samples, nothing fancy at all it can do much better. Just all I have on this PC.

20200424185510.jpgJust a quick snap for common failure at the request of a curious customer.



20200501194838.jpgThis on was taken to assist in my question to the forum



20200501223721.jpgDid not have any light on for some reason (think glare was too bad from the IPA) but this is a blown TO-252 IGBT with the package case gone.
 
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Thread Starter

DarthVolta

Joined Jan 27, 2015
521
Ok I see some ones to look up, thanks.

I have the Andonstar ADSM301, it's good enough for me so far, I'm not doing professional work. I finnaly order a memory card for it today(wow did I ever put that off). In the past, I had it sort of working on win8 once, but couldn't save a picture directly, maybe I just had to take a screenshot, but something else was wrong, idr. now I'm on Linux, I better try and see what's up with it again.

It can save nice pictures in close, but IDK if I go moving it off the stand. The stand is too close, I want to make a better arm for it.
 

bwilliams60

Joined Nov 18, 2012
1,419
I have a few different methods but I also have an ELMO that takes great pictures and rely on it quite often. It is set up to a dedicated PC where I load all my pictures to. It I
I think an Amscope is on the horizon though as I get older and my eyesight weakens.
 

sparky 1

Joined Nov 3, 2018
606
When investing in a camera for PCB it must be well planned and ultra streamlined to beat large corporations who own the rights to most technical secrets. An ultra precise and streamlined PCB production system would be independent of supply chain inclined toward underground supply networks. Anything but surplus minded online bargain hunters.

The camera by itself can copy but it better serves private projects in the forseeable future, the world condition has the cost of labor
and supply chains cannot manufacture outside what the elite owned enterprises will allow. All manufacturing at this time must compete with $3.20/hour USD. Until this becomes less attractive and not subject the interests of majority who are unemployed or corporate media orchestrated to
elect globalist party. The boards are available it's the parts, the surplus auction lots 2 or 10 pcs not like before, pallet loads rare.

A domestic R&D deserves careful consideration. Because of the wide income gap all venture now needs billionaire sponsor support. The technical sector foreign investment trend of selling short made venture go ultraconservative, developers are left on hold for decades labeled as unicorns. So the cameras and equipment most manufacturing equipment (massive movement) shows online catalog no guarantee other than the bank will repossess to serve the corporate agenda to take out millionaires. All services and labor of production in the world competes with low wages under the control of globalist.

A good flatbed printer for PCB are not cheap. The print head is not driven XYZ by open source like a loud slow CNC engraver. The precision technology is available but most attempts cannot pass a quality control. Therefore an effort to use photography for PCB ultra precision relies on sending out your hard work to a board company. Use a clothes iron and hand drill to build your own FPGA on the kitchen table.
 
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jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
When investing in a camera for PCB it must be well planned and ultra streamlined to beat what the large corporations own the rights to most technical secrets. An ultra precise and streamlined PCB production system
would be independent of supply chain inclined toward underground supply networks. Anything but surplus.
So the best camera by it self would better serve private projects in the forseeable future unless the cost of labor
and supply chains will allow manufacturing outside the elite enterprises. All manufacturing at this time must compete with $3.20/hour USD becomes less attractive and not subject to election results. A domestic R&D deserves careful consideration because of the wide income gap all venture needs billionaire sponsors. The technical sector foreign investment trend of selling short made venture ultraconservative left on hold for decades labeled unicorns. So the cameras and equipment most manufacturing equipment shows online catalog no guarantee other than the bank will repossess to serve the corporate agenda.
Why do you need a "camera" for real time work? Why is surplus bad?

Several years ago, I picked up a virtually unused Nikon dissecting (stereo) microscope with WF oculars. Relatively large working distance. No lag. No reversed image. Have never needed nor wanted more.
 

sparky 1

Joined Nov 3, 2018
606
That's true a nice microsope. There are different stages in design where the microscope is helpful. Finalized ;ater in ACAD
I started documenting prototype with an SLR, one picture needed for accurate placement of holes. Another photo needed to be transparent to the ACAD layer mostly thermal and parasitic found using standard bench equipment. Here is a simple thru hole board that came from photo. I have enjoyed working with copper, SLR for this was done over 48 years ago, it has some small errors. Later when mmics came out it was not the camera equipment, the problem was editing the fine details. This is a copper layer with the various photo layers turned off. The accuracy back then would not make a very good gerber file today. So in the final photo the parts fit because of CAD. The old microscope was helpful
in hands on work trouble shooting in some places were thermal dissipation effected other components The cad allowed the photography to be modified. In a big company different departments might have photo department but I am working from scratch, sometimes the photo is just a nice way to capture the progress when things go wrong I can back up and start over.
phase correction.JPG
 
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Thread Starter

DarthVolta

Joined Jan 27, 2015
521
I have a digital camera (for birthdays/people) that I would think can zoom in enough, but it can't it just turns to a bluury mess
 

Thread Starter

DarthVolta

Joined Jan 27, 2015
521
What about a document scanner ? The 1990s/2000s type that was standalone or on a printer..I have 1 of those, I should try, might be ok for a through PCB picture,, if it can actually see anything like that
 
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