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Discover the Andonstar AD409 microscope, a powerful soldering tool with a 10.1-inch screen and 4-megapixel sensor. Watch as the microscope provides amazing zoom and clarity while soldering PCBs, while also supporting SD card recording and Wi-Fi connectivity.

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[0:00] Hey Everyone!
[0:01] Andonstar has obviously seen how bad my eyesight is getting and have sent me a little present.
[0:06] It’s the Andonstar AD409 microscope.
[0:10] Let’s see what’s in the box.
[0:12] We’ve got an instruction manual - I’ll actually read this for a change.
[0:15] It’s nicely packaged. Everything is secure.
[0:18] This is the screen it’s a 10.1-inch screen and the lens assembly is attached to it.
[0:25] We’ve got the power adapter.
[0:27] I’ll probably be powering this with my USB hub, but it’s nice that they’ve included the correct plug.
[0:32] There’s the remote control - I was initially sceptical about how useful this would be,
[0:37] but it’s actually quite handy as you can avoid jogging the microscope and use it hands-free.
[0:42] Here’s the optical bracket for the screen and lens.
[0:47] And we’ve got these little clips - I’ve seen some suggestions that these should be left off
[0:52] as they get in the way of your PCBs.
[0:54] I’ve got a pretty large PCB that I need to solder so I’ll leave them off for now.
[0:59] There’s a mini HDMI cable for hooking the microscope up to a monitor
[1:03] we’ll definitely give that a go.
[1:05] Here are the USB cables with built-in light controls.
[1:08] And finally, we’ve got the base and lights.
[1:11] Assembly is pretty straightforward, we just align the optical bracket with these holes
[1:16] and use the supplied hex key to screw it together.
[1:19] The lens slides into the optical bracket and is secured by these thumbscrews.
[1:23] There are actually two positions that you can fit the lens, you can either have it all
[1:28] the way inserted - in this position you’ll get the maximum possible zoom.
[1:31] Or you can have only the top inserted.
[1:34] This will give you a much larger field of view which is quite handy when soldering.
[1:38] The USB cable has a Micro USB plug that goes into the back of the display and a separate
[1:44] jack to power the lights.
[1:45] There are also some switches to control the light’s brightness.
[1:49] That’s it completely assembled.
[1:51] Let’s do a quick run-through of the specs.
[1:54] It’s a 4 Megapixel sensor With a 10.1 inch 1280x800 display
[2:00] There’s an SD card slot for recording video and still pictures - the manual says this
[2:04] supports up to 32GB but I tried it with a 64GB card and everything worked fine.
[2:10] There’s also an HDMI output that will drive a monitor at 1080P (which is 1920 x 1080 pixels)
[2:17] - we’ll try that out on one of my monitors.
[2:20] There’s a companion app that works on Windows machines.
[2:23] And it’s also got built-in WiFi that lets you connect a mobile app.
[2:27] That’s enough of the specs - let’s give it a go.
[2:30] I’ve set it up in the standard way with the lens all the way down.
[2:34] Let’s see what magnification we get.
[2:36] I’ve put my metal ruler underneath it and we’ll measure what size it is on the screen.
[2:42] This is as far down as it will go and still be in focus.
[2:45] I’ve got it pointing at the mm scale on the ruler, so it looks like each mm is being zoomed
[2:49] up to 5cm on the screen.
[2:53] Let’s try the same but with my external monitor.
[2:56] Now each mm is about 13cm - that’s pretty big!
[3:00] If we use the digital zoom we can get it magnified up to 3 times - we’re now looking at about
[3:06] 29cm for 1mm.
[3:09] That works out at pretty much 300x magnification as stated in the manual.
[3:14] That’s pretty crazy!
[3:16] Let’s try out some soldering
[3:18] I’ve got some new boards from PCBWay which need some 0603 components soldering on.
[3:23] Here’s an 0603 resistor - I’m filming the screen of the microscope so you can see what I’m seeing
[3:29] it’s a little bit awkward to work around the camera but I’ll do my best.
[3:32] I’m using the technique of putting solder on one of the pads and then melting the solder
[3:37] and sliding the component onto the pad.
[3:40] Once one side of the component is tacked down we can do the other side and then reflow the first side.
[4:11] Let’s try it again without the camera in the way - this is the recording from the SD Card
[4:16] - I’ve also switched to some much thinner solder.
[4:19] We’ll add some solder to the first pad and then slide the resistor on, then we’ll solder
[4:32] the other side.
[4:33] I’ve tried adding a blob of flux to help the process.
[5:06] So, this looks pretty good from the top view, how does it look from the side-on?
[5:18] Well, I’m not too happy.
[5:21] There’s a blob sticking out.
[5:39] Reapplying the soldering iron seems to have made it even more ugly.
[5:43] It’s probably ok, but let’s try removing some of the solder with braid.
[5:51] It’s actually kind of fun to watch this.
[6:00] But now let’s look from the side again.
[6:02] Well, I seem to have removed all the solder
[6:05] so let’s try again.
[6:06] We’ll just flow some more solder onto each side.
[6:25] Now when we look from the side on, it’s not great - but I think it will do.
[6:29] A quick clean with some alcohol and we’ve got a nice shiny solder joint.
[6:34] It looks pretty good.
[6:38] It’s a great tool for inspecting soldering work - I’ve got some IC sockets that I’ve
[6:43] soldered and you can really see the ones where I’ve done a half-assed job.
[6:47] These LEDs and resistors were my first attempts - the soldering is pretty terrible and I’ll probably
[6:52] redo them, but they do light up - so that’s good.
[6:56] Any tips from the audience on how to get better at SMD soldering would be greatly appreciated.
[7:01] There’s plenty of room to work and even though this board is pretty big I was able to get
[7:05] it positioned conveniently.
[7:07] I definitely need some more practice, but even after a few attempts, I can feel myself
[7:11] getting the hang of it.
[7:12] I’ve also captured some still images which have come out really nicely.
[7:17] I’ve put a link to these in the description so you can view them in their full glory.
[7:21] There is some software that you can use with the microscope, but it’s windows based
[7:25] and I’m on a Mac.
[7:26] I had some trouble getting the mobile app to work, I’ll try it again later after a bit
[7:30] of troubleshooting.
[7:32] All in all, this is going to be a pretty useful addition to my set of tools.
[7:35] I think I’ll be looking to invest in a hot air rework station as my soldering is terrible.
[7:41] I’ll be using this microscope to solder up the rest of the boards so I’ll keep you posted
[7:47] on how I find it.
[7:49] Thanks for watching!
[7:49] And I’ll see you in the next video!

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Chris Greening

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A collection of slightly mad projects, instructive/educational videos, and generally interesting stuff. Building projects around the Arduino and ESP32 platforms - we'll be exploring AI, Computer Vision, Audio, 3D Printing - it may get a bit eclectic...

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