New Difficulty Soldering

Thread Starter

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
9,183
I recently had successful cataract surgery on both eyes. Normally, I don't require glasses anymore. However, I have lost my close up vision - even with glasses. I used to be able to focus at 5"-6" as clear as day. When constructing or soldering, this was a precious ability.

Soldering for the first time since the surgery and I am nonplussed! I can no longer see the leads and the pads to which I am trying to solder. Even worse, I cannot tell when I have a bad solder joint, including solder bridges or not enough solder. Suddenly, everything seems 10x smaller.

In preparing this post, I have one tool, although awkward. Take a pic and zoom in. But I see a lot of re-soldering with this technique.

Any advice, techniques or ideas that you can share?

HELP
Soldering.jpg
 

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,224
I buy $4 drugstore, "cheaters" for soldering. I can not focus closer than about a foot away, but two pairs of, "+3.25" reading glasses can get me in to 3 or 4 inches and include some good magnification.
 

dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
4,495
I purchased a Video Presenter from Ebay to do my surface mount work.
It allows zooming from the full base size to looking at only a coupple of surface mount IC pins full screen. And it can take photos and movies to an SD. Mine has a VGA out and USB too.

It is something like this, but a different make (Elmo) and model.....
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Samsung-...300389?hash=item58b45fd125:g:Oi8AAOSwxH1T46g3
There looks to be a lot available in the US, But here in Oz the selection is a lot less and the postage can be a killer!

But this may be another way..
https://hackaday.com/2017/04/26/get-up-close-to-your-soldering-with-a-pi-zero-microscope/

If you get a video camera system, don't get a microscope type of camera as they usually need to be close to the board. But get something that is placed a distance far away to allow you to work while watching.

My video presenter has been the best money I've spent on a tool. After showing it off to a friend who also designs PCBs, he went and purchased a couple.
I would heartily recommend you have a look for one!
 

Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
2,234
This may help a lot...
Ignore most of the equipment in my bench picture. Look at a board on the blue antistatic mat,
look at the 'bullet' camera by the left keyboard, mounted at the tip of the beheaded magnifier/lamp anchored at the edge of the bench,
look at the monitor image and look at the clearance from the camera to the board with plenty of room for manipulation/soldering/probing.

And it was not expensive ! Under $100. All soldering done by looking only at the hypermagnified monitor image, even fine pitched surface mount, with no extra illumination.

----> http://s588.photobucket.com/user/Innernet/media/Dolby bench_zpsa9dvmyu8.jpg.html?sort=3&o=124
 

dendad

Joined Feb 20, 2016
4,495
Yes! Safety glasses!
I'm a bit of a nag about them. Many people do not bother. In my many years of soldering ( 50+) I have always worn some and really it has only been once that I had a wire spring off and fling solder up to make a track across my face and fortunately, GLASSES!
But it only takes once.
I was so grateful I had the glasses on so only got stings across my face and not my eyes.
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,009
Yes! Safety glasses!
I'm a bit of a nag about them. Many people do not bother. In my many years of soldering ( 50+) I have always worn some and really it has only been once that I had a wire spring off and fling solder up to make a track across my face and fortunately, GLASSES!
But it only takes once.
I was so grateful I had the glasses on so only got stings across my face and not my eyes.
The story would have been much more interesting if you would have left your glasses on your desk. I'm glad to hear your boring story.
 

GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,009
Yes! Safety glasses!
I'm a bit of a nag about them. Many people do not bother. In my many years of soldering ( 50+) I have always worn some and really it has only been once that I had a wire spring off and fling solder up to make a track across my face and fortunately, GLASSES!
But it only takes once.
I was so grateful I had the glasses on so only got stings across my face and not my eyes.
Distasteful but effective.

image.jpeg
 

Thread Starter

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
9,183
Welcome to oldde I use a visor as shown with light added bonus it makes decent set of safety glasses
Momma never told me it would be like this. In the last couple of months, I've had eye surgery, scheduled a hip replacement and have been fighting a gastro problem... I'll look into the magnifying visor options.

Not terribly expensive is relative. Recently became unemployed and living on a fixed SSDI income (US Social Security program). The $4.00 drugstore cheaters are within my budget.
 
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Bernard

Joined Aug 7, 2008
5,784
Welcome to the club, I finished drops yesterday. I felt lucky in finding two pair of bi focal reading glasses, +3.25
one clear & one for sun.
& a pair of straight reading glasses, +3.5, all for US $ 30. Seems the spacing on solderless breadboard went from 1 mm to 2.5 mm. Recently wired a 5 chip board with out a mistake- a first.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
30,243
I started doing my soldering under a stereo microscope about fifteen years ago while my vision was still good and got addicted to it. Even when I wasn't doing 0.5 mm pitch and 0402 parts I used it -- even on 100 mil pitch stuff. The quality of the results was just so much better and it was so much more comfortable on the eyes.

I've always wanted to set up a camera/monitor system and if I ever get the chance to get back into this stuff it's one of the first things I will do.
 

Thread Starter

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
9,183
Yep. Not stylish at all, but good results for under $10.;)
I took my Microsoft certification exams with a pair of prescription reading glasses under a dime store pair of reading glasses. Here at BJs, you can buy four pair for $20. Might be what I do.
 
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