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Stereo Zoom Microscope Ring Light: Mounting Tape

The tiny lip holding the new LED ring light into the microscope snout lacked enough traction and deposited the ring light on the desk. Having picked up a roll of Scotch Extreme Mounting Tape to see how well it works to attach LEDs to vacuum tubes, I’ll see how well it affixes a ring light to a microscope:

Stereo zoom microscope - taped snout

Stereo zoom microscope – taped snout

The red plastic film separates the tape layers on the spool; the tape itself consists of incredibly sticky, gooey adhesive on a very flexible foam backing. As you can tell from the ragged edges, cutting it requires some effort, with the adhesive instantly gumming up scissors. I applied a razor knife around the microscope snout’s perimeter, pressing from the red film side and pulling the cut sections apart as I went.

The adhesive exposed on the edges of the roll will glue it to anything it touches, so hang up the roll. Laying it on a shelf will definitely cause heartache & confusion.

The instructions on the back label suggest 2 square inches of tape will hold 1 pound:

Scotch Extreme Mounting Tape - label

Scotch Extreme Mounting Tape – label

Given that the ring light weighs a few ounces, tops, those two strips should do fine.

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  1. #1 by Vedran on 2017-08-04 - 08:29

    I used a similar one 6 months ago to glue my custom LED fixture to the backside of the bed. Used some 20cm2 of tape (fixture is 180cm long, weighs maybe 500g) and it shows no sign of letting go. Before that I tried super strength carpet double sided tape and it fell off in two days. I have no doubt you could lift the whole scope with that much tape :)

    I always save non stick backing from larger pieces of double sided tape, and use it when cutting stuff like this – it’s much easier to handle when both sides have protective non stick on them, and cutter has little less tendency to collect sticky gunk on it. We just got a (toy) 5W laser cutter so I think I’ll try laser cutting the stuff next time.

    • #2 by Ed on 2017-08-04 - 18:34

      I may have overdone the tape, but the light really is a permanent fixture, soooo it’s all good.

      Vent the laser outdoors: burning super-sticky tape will surely release The Big Stink!

  2. #3 by Keith Ward on 2017-08-05 - 11:13

    VGB? (Very gooey bond). I have used the 3M VHB a number of times with great success, but recently a co-worker bought a second roll from Amazon and it did not work nearly as well on the same project. Everything was prepped the same way and under the same conditions. I immediately suspected it fit was counterfeit but really no way to tell for sure. Is nothing safe from counterfeiting?

    • #4 by Ed on 2017-08-05 - 14:09

      This tape looked good, although nowadays you can’t tell just from package production values.

      Amazon has become a cesspit of counterfeit junk, to the extent I suspect everything I buy. It certainly wasn’t that way a few years ago and I don’t see how moving tons of fakes supports Bezos’s customer-experience-centered claims.

  3. #5 by Vedran on 2017-08-07 - 08:54

    Unfortunately, customers are the one to blame at least in part. We’ve all bought stuff from eBay at 1/10 of regular cost knowing full well it’s not the real thing. It sends a pretty clear message to reputable vendors (or at least the ones who want to survive). Hopefully we’ll find a new equilibrium where cheap stuff is a bit more expensive then now but is at least clearly marked as such.

    • #6 by Ed on 2017-08-07 - 11:48

      Absolutely! I haven’t expected cheap eBay parts to be anything other than what’s claimed; those counterfeit FTDI chips came as a mild surprise. Other than that, I’ve been paying a bit more to get somewhat faster delivery (which is difficult to measure) and avoiding the obvious scammers.

      If I thought I’d get better stuff, I’d be willing to pay more; it seems an unreasonable expectation for the widgets I buy.

      • #7 by Vedran on 2017-08-08 - 08:32

        Oh yeah, the gap is so big I’d gladly pay twice their asking price if only they had some QC and consistently mediocre product.

        It would also help if name brands got their game together and start offering products through their webshop outlets in reasonable quantities. I tried buying some 3M thermally conductive double sided foil locally from the distributor and smallest they could/would get was the 100m roll or some such monstrosity (I needed 30x35cm pad for heated bed).

        I know they can’t make money on it, but I’m mostly buying cheap stuff off eBay because of availability and not the price itself.

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