A poor mans microscope.


I'm getting older and my eye sight is no longer what it was.

When I work with electronics, I have a magnifying glass on a stand, like the one on the picture on the left.

That's well and good for through hole soldering, and most else too. However it is impossible for me to read what's on a chip or in some instances even what's written on a PCB, if it' small enough.

Most SMD (Surface Mounted Devices) are also too small to work with without real powerful magnification.

In the wintertime (in non-corona-times) i live in Greece in a small house I own there. 

Last time I was there I had already started this hobby, and then I had a microscope app, Cozy Magnifier & Microscope installed and made a stand that could hold the cell phone so it was held steady and still could connect the charger, so the battery didn't run empty.

A microscope for electronic work cost from 50€ and up, but this app costed 2€, since I wanted to get rid of the ads that I found disturbing when soldering.

I needed a working stand here too.

The difference is that here I do not have all the tools I need yet, since I moved here just about nine months ago.

I do have a drill and all the small tools like a jig saw and sander. But a table saw I do not have. However i do have a tile saw, and if I were careful I could use that to slowly cut wood. I have ordered a saw blade that should fit it, since I don't need any bigger table saw for what I'm making.

However this was a quick and dirty job. I just need it to work.

So this is the important stuff:

  • It have to hold the phone at the correct height.
    At the right height it will be a bit below my eye height, but still high enough to not be in my way for me working beneath it.
  • It have to be dead steady, even if i touch the screen or controls.
  • The lens had to have free sight down to my work piece, with no restrictions.
  • It must be possible to reach all controls on the phone.
  • The screen of the phone had to be unobstructed.
  • It must be possible to connect the charge cable while the work is to be done.

That's all! No need to look good - no need for fancy parts or any CNC-work.

I made the thing with old scrap wood I had laying around.

There might be a version 2 of this stand. That will use my CNC and be nice looking, but temporary things that work perfectly have a tendency to become permanent.


As always on my pages (well, close to always), you can click the pictures to get a bigger version in it's own window.


And as always, Hope you learned something!