Digital microscope

Man, how did I ever get by without one of these? We got my son a “Zoomy” 35x digital microscope for Christmas and it is super handy for identifying all those minuscule SMD parts. No more squinting through that optically crappy magnifying glass that comes on most third hands. This one is ruggedized a bit to be handled by ages 5+, but was the most reasonable one I could find. It may never make it back to his room :slight_smile:

Of course, Adafruit just added one to their shop today with better specs for the same price ???[url][/url]

Bonus points to anybody that can name the board this part is on!

Easy! Panda II

Thank you, @ ransomhall, for such a great idea!

I don’t have a digital microscope, but what I do have is one of these:

[url]IPEVO | innovating communications

I’ve used it for some of the Gadgeteer demos I’ve done, but it never occurred to me to use it for parts identification, and while it only goes up to 3x magnification, it’s on an articulating arm, so I can get it right up close, and with a little extra light from my worklight, the parts numbers pop like crazy. Here’s a pic I took with it…who knows what it is? (should be an easy one)

Dual OpAmp

@ Architect

Well, drat! You are correct, but you just made me realize that the Sparkfun beginner parts kit I got for Christmas included 3 LM358 OpAmps, but no 555 timer (should have been 2 LM358s and 1 555). Bummer.

On the plus side, Ian was kind enough to send me some spare parts to help me get started, and included a couple 555s, plus I have a couple earlier kits with 556s in them. So I’m probably covered for timers for a while. :slight_smile:

Separate question for you, @ Architect. Once you have a circuit breadboarded that you’d like to turn into a module, what’s your next step in terms of putting the hardware together? I have something I’m working on with the extender and a breadboard, and I think I finally have it working as well as it should and would like to move to something more permanent…

@ devhammer

The next step is eagle. I was able to start using Eagle from ground zero after watching couple of video tutorials. Design you board in eagle following the guidelines and send it to DorkbotPDX.

@ Eric

Looks like lady Ada doesn’t mess around. I like how adafruit hides the side with the name of the scope. And there is no name anywhere in the description. Well, exactly same scope is much cheaper on Amazon.

OK, that just went on my Amazon wish list. You guys are really hard on my wallet, you know that? :wink:

Thanks for the tip on Eagle, I’ll take a look.

Possible to use Fritzing (which I already have installed) for the same purpose?

I haven’t explored that part of Fritzing yet. But I do love Eagle. And with EagleUp you can easily make 3D model of the module (which is part of the module design requirements). Another benefit of Eagle/DorkbotPDX is that they accept .brd files. No need to mess with gerber files or anything like that. Really beginner friendly. Let me know if you need any help or have questions with Eagle.

Fritzing is great for visualizing a breadboard circuit and generating a schematic, but only does single layer PCB layout. This might be fine for a simple through hole circuit that you could solder up yourself, and would certainly be a good stepping stone to something more “complicated” like Eagle. I put complicated in quotes because it really isn’t hard software to use. It just takes some getting used to. It also helps considerably if you have eagle files for all the components your going to use. You can draw anything from scratch, but there are a ton of part libraries out there.

@ Arch - nice find on the cheaper gadget. Having a stand is crucial to getting a clear picture, and the one I used is meant to be hand held. I doubt my son will let me keep it for very long, either :slight_smile:

Anybody know of some decent webcam software that will let me do picture in picture with two webcams? Would be a fabulous demo/teaching aid.

That would be really easy to implement with WPF.

@ devhammer
Just got S107G heli from amazon. Love that little bastard! Amazing stability.

@ Arch - Let me clarify - decent free webcam software. Yes, I could crank one out in SL or WPF, but why reinvent the wheel?

Funny you should mention the helicopter. I was so impressed of the one my son got from a friend, that I got the same one for taking breaks at work (boss authorized :)). I mean, for 25 bucks how can you go wrong? These things rock.

Word to the wise, do NOT charge it with anything but the provided charger. I got cocky and thought I could make my own. Even carefully measured charge rates, etc… now it somehow won’t charge anymore… hmm… luckily Amazon has a great return policy for defective products :wink:

BTW - Is this a public forum? Haha!

It was also on Woot today for $19. ;D

@ Architect

Can you check the tops of the motors for me? Are they black and white, or green and pink?

Unfortunately I’ve run into problems with fake S107 helis on Amazon, and one way to tell is the color of the motor tops (genuine is black and white, iirc).

I have a couple of each, genuine and fake, and the good news is that the fakes fly as well as the genuine, so if all you care about is flying them for fun, it’s all good.

But if, like me, you want to control them by replication the IR output of the controller, the bad news is that the fakes use a different IR protocol. :frowning:

Just something to be aware of. If folks are particularly interest in getting a genuine Syma, I can look up which seller I got my genuine one from and post here.

Also, if you break it, parts are plentiful and cheap on eBay. I ordered 5 replacement shafts, which included the top blade bracket (which I managed to break on 2 different helis) for around $6. A lot cheaper than a new heli, and they fly like new.

Left mine at work. I will check tomorrow and reply here.

Because my office is fairly dark, I use my MS LifeCam HD plus a flashlight regularly for reading part labels. Clamp the cam in the extra hands and you can get some fairly decent photos. Need a little more magnification - insert magnifying glass. I also use it regularly for checking solder joints.

@ devhammer - before sending your module to the factory you might try your hand at toner transfer homemade PCBs.

@ devhammer - on the heli fakes - do you mean the color of the motor wires? I checked mine and have black/white on one and blue/red on another.

[edit] same as @ Architects

I have just checked mine. Front motor - red&blue wires, middle motor - black&white and tail motor- red&blue.

NOTE: my assessment of real/fake, etc. is based on a combination of info on the web (a bing search for Syma 107g fake will get you LOTS of info) and my own experimentation…any of it could be wrong, so take it for what it’s worth. My advice and $2.50 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. :slight_smile:

@ Architect and @ ransomhall

No, sorry…wasn’t clear. I meant the plastic tops of the motors. On the fakes, the motor tops may be green and pink (or light red). Here’s a pic of two helis…the blue one is genuine, while the red one is a fake (the red heli flies fine, and actually has more power than the blue one, but different IR protocol…on my list to R/E it so I can fly either via my Gadgeteer project):

I have blue one like yours.All caps are black. Do you have a link to your heli project by the way?