My first taken-through-microscope soldering video

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Mucking About With Things Personal Firsts To see a world in a grain of sand TØØLS
Animated GIF clip of me soldering one pin on a breakout board.
Animated GIF clip of me soldering one pin on a breakout board.

This afternoon, I soldered some breakout boards and recorded the process using the camera on my recently-acquired microscope (a SHOCREX 3800W) and used my other recent purchase (a QUICK 6601 solder fume extractor and purifier) to deal with the flux smoke instead of the makeshift solder extractor I’d been employing up to this point. Unsurprisingly, it was a much nicer experience.

The four boards onto which I soldered header pins.
Two INA333 breakouts (the smaller ones with purple solder mask) and two TS3USB22 breakouts (the larger ones with black solder mask) resting on their header pins which are stuck, in turn, into a solderless breadboard to keep everything steady.

The breakouts came, as they nearly always do, from across the border with the right lengths of pin headers included in their respective anti-static baggies. Today’s four boards (two of each) starred Texas Instruments ICs: the INA333 and the TS3USB22.

I’m a good-enough rather than excellent at it, but getting better. Usually, my error is to use too much solder and the excellent view afforded by the screen displaying HDMI video output from the microscope’s camera is a great help in seeing screw-ups in real-time, giving me a chance to fix them immediately rather than later, after going over the joints with a magnifying glass.

Never perfect, but usually good enough.
The finished INA333 breakouts under the microscope’s LED ring light.

Taking the video was straightforward. I pushed a microSD card into the slot on the microscope’s camera, pressed the video-camera-icon button on the camera’s remote once to start recording, and pressed it a second time to stop. Fiddling with the resulting MOV file in Adobe Premiere was fine. Getting Photoshop to open the Premiere-exported video file so that I could select a short segment and export an animated GIF was a bit of a pain. Like everything else, I’ll get the hang of it all eventually if I stick with it.