Mobile phone repair microscope
Mobile phone repair is an important industry, servicing tens of millions of damaged phones each year.
Phone repairs aren’t getting any easier however, with phone hardware becoming smaller and increasingly complex.
So, if you’re interested in phone repair work, it’s essential that you get your hands on a decent microscope.
What to look for in a microscope?
There’s a huge range of microscopes out there, so it’s important to know what to look for. Here are some of the general qualities that make for a good repair-work microscope.
You won’t need much in the way of magnification. Everyday inspections and soldering tend to use quite low magnifications, often from 3x to 20x.
While higher magnifications can be handy on occasion when you want a closer look, anything above 100x is not practical.
Working distance (focusing distance)
For soldering, you need space to work in. However, it’s not just about having a lot of room between your microscope and your desk.
At a given magnification, a microscope can only focus on something at a particular distance from the lens. This is known as the working distance.
If your microscope has a working distance of 20mm, a circuit board has to be 20mm away in order for it to be in focus.
In practical terms, this also means you only have 20mm of room to fit your soldering iron and tweezers.
There are some ways to adjust the working distance, such as by attaching a Barlow lens, but you should definitely ensure the working distance of any prospective microscope is large enough to accommodate your equipment comfortably.
Try to aim for 50mm+ to give yourself some breathing room.
Depth perception is a quality unique to stereo microscopes.
By using two eyepieces with slightly different optical pathways, stereo microscopes create a sense of depth.
When you’re working with tiny surface mount devices (SMDs), it can be incredibly helpful to have a 3D perspective.
The practical advantages of depth perception make stereo microscopes a popular choice in professional repair shops.
It’s a good idea to photograph or record your repairs, both as reference material and as evidence of a job well done.
With that in mind, keep an eye out for microscopes with the ability to attach a camera. It’s a common option on digital microscopes, as well as trinocular scopes.
Good lighting is crucial for repair work. It may sound obvious, but you need to be able to see what you’re doing.
These days, most microscopes come with LEDs. They’re a great choice, providing bright, even illumination and a range of other benefits.
If you’re interested in a stereo microscope, you might have to buy a separate lighting accessory.
A good example – the ASZ400B
If you’re looking for a good microscope for mobile repairs, have a look at the ASZ-400B stereo microscope.