Here are our "Top 5" tools that we find indispensable from board fabrication to finished project.
This find is one of the most used items on the bench when designing a new product. This flat, flexible, all steel ruler is unique in that it has 4 scales we're always using!
On one side it's a fractional ruler with divisions in 16th and 32nd's (see top image below). The other side is marked in 10th's and Metric making it perfect for measuring component where some vendors cataloge their parts in one measure or the other but not both! No more converting.
Both sides have a "Sub-Zero" section for very precise micro measurements. Material is thin .020" stainless steel with etched and black pained rules.
Available from GAEBEL Model #609-12, Priced at $8.85
This section comprises 4 items: Headband Magnifier, Eye Loupe, High Intensity Light and replacemnet bulb.
One of the most used items whenever on the bench. The headband "stereo" magnifier by Donegan Optical is the best unit on the market and not terribly expensive. We've tried the cheap ones and you get what you pay for! Donegan also makes a swingdown "single-eye" loupe for the occasional real close up along with a special high intensity light that is worth it's weight in gold!
The OptiVisor is a precision binocular headband magnifier which permits unrestricted user efficiency while reducing eye strain. It leaves both hands free and allows three dimensional vision. Can be worn over prescription or safety eyeglasses. It is available with several stereo lens magnifications. We've always been preferential to the #5 strength. (Range of optics: #3 = 14" focal length / 4 = 10", 5 = 8" and the 7 = 6"). Lenses are interchangable.
Optivisor is equipped with these unique features:
- OptiOcal Glass Prismatic Lenses - ground and polished to precision optical standards
- It tilts! - adjustable pivots allow the visor to be tilted out of the way when not needed and at your fingertips when you need magnification.
- Adjustable Headband - conforms to fit all head sizes. Fabricated from a special blend of lightweight material.
- High Impact Visor - provides a tough, durable, always new appearance.
- Headband - padded with orthopedic felt inside leather comfort band enables extended use without discomfort
Available from Kit Kraft
Model #074209, Priced at $48.99
The OptiLOUPE is an attachable lens that adds the additional power of an Eye Loupe to the OptiVisor.
- Designed for Monocular use the OptiLOUPEeasily flips up or down providing additional 2.5X magnification.
- Easily attaches to either eye of any OptiVISOR
Available from Kit Kraft
Model #ATS-DLP1, Priced at $11.99
Put a strong light source right where you need it. Battery pack mounts on the side with clips to keep the power cable out of the way. Rotate the lens to turn on and off. You'll wonder how you ever got by without it! (Req. 2 "AA" batteries).
- Hands Free Light
- Xenon Laserbeam
- 6000 Candle Power
- Clips Secure Wire To Head Set
- 5 Hour Battery Life
Available from Kit Kraft
Model #CAS50, Priced at $24.99
OptiLight Replacement Bulb: (Accessory)
Replacement Hi-Performance "Laser Spot/Xenon Lamp Module provides a collimated laser sharp hi-intensity beam.
Available from Pelican-Case
Model #2204, Priced at $3.41
NOTE: Several other vendors can be found for these and other items at "The Find" .com. Just enter the name of what you're looking for, like "optiVISOR"
Since our system can image down to .005" trace widths you might want to verify transferred toner is perfect before adding the GreenTRF protective layer. And after etching, it's most important to give some spot checks to areas that might look suspect.
Superb, 6-power, folding magnifier with a photographic-quality glass lens. The base is clearly marked with engraved, white lines and numbers in both inches and millimeters. Focus is preset to view 1 sq.in. within the view finder.
Rugged, metal frame folds up to a 3-level square the size of the base x 1/2" high. Protective, snap-lock, leatherette case included.
Lens Diameter: 1-1/8"
Viewing Area: 1" x 1"
Overall Size (opened): 2" x 1-1/2" x 1-7/8"
Available from Precision Graphic Instruments
Model #110, Priced at $4.95
If you plan on transferring and etching both sides of a PCB at the same time, it's necessary to register both artwork printouts in preparation for the dead-registering technique. A light table is necessary to first be able to optically register two opaque transfer patterns.
Its shatter-resistant opal 1/4" (6mm) thick Plexiglas top gives maximum light diffusion and minimum glare, with no hot spots.
All light boxes contain 5000K 90-92 CRI lamps that provide excellent graphic arts quality color. The 10"x 12" light box #55309-1001 has one 8 watt lamp and does not include a reflector. This model is the lowest price light table that can get the job done. Porta-Trace has a rust-resistant steel frame and aluminum chassis. UL listed. Other light boxes also shown on their website.
Available from BLICK Art Materials
Model #55309-1001 Price $45.50