As an electronics engineer working in pcb design and production for the last five years, I have worked with pcb inspection microscopes largely at work place. As a hobbyist and electronics blogger I always wanted to own one of these personally. Anyone who has experience in pcb testing & repairing, or salvaging electronics from old pcbs or motherboards knows the importance of a good microscope. But sadly they were always a bit too much for my pocket(specially the good ones).
The system will in the end be mounted on my personal electronics workbench for usage.
The aim is to build a digital PCB inspection automated microscope with an adjustable USB camera mount, a precision xy table and a movable light source to focus on the pcbs. And to control the complete motor system with TAPAS board together with Raspberry Pi device. Such a setup is particularly useful when finding short circuits in pcbs or doing precision soldering (qfn, soic package ICs)
Technical System Setup
A movable xy table will be designed and controlled with precision stepper motor. The stepper motor will position the xy-plate under the lens. The control of the stepper motor will be done using the tapas board. The pcbs under test can be clamped to this xy-plate and viewed with accuracy.
In the nearby a movable stand with led light strips focusing on the xy-plate area will be designed. Also dimmer control for the light will be done using PWM for having a good output. This motor control will be implemented using the tapas board software defined inverters (SDIs).
One of the most challenging part of this project to control the camera mount and lens mount for focusing and de-focusing control. A usb camera or a raspberry pie camera is a good candidate for the project. The video quality of both the device will be tested and one with higher clarity will be selected and used. The image/ video will be fed into a laptop via Ethernet or HDMI for visualization.
The software part of the project involves automating the control using the Tapas board and Raspberry Pi.
Another good addition could be implementing a basic joystick control for fast control of the motors and allow a seamless experience.
As shown Below.
In conclusion, the project aims to develop a low cost microscope setup for hobbyist electronics engineers like myself. We will require one TAPAS board and one Raspberry Pi to build it. Currently we are a team of 2 people who will work in the project.