Cheap Magnification Apparatus Recommendations

I found this on AE. Similar to Hunter Jackson’s suggestion only no need for the pc. I’m interested in getting one myself

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Wow, that looks like a winner!

I recently stumbled across this video that has a good comparison of several digital microscopes.

Keep in mind this guy focuses on much more magnification than you’d be using, so some of the ones he doesn’t like for his purpose may still work for you.

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Looks decent for the price!

Disappointing to see none of them live up to their Specs.

I guess part of the required Specs for soldering is focal distance so there’s enough space to get the iron in without melting something…?

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Great point!

Yes, if you set the microscope up on a raised surface such as a stack of books

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I’m assuming the greater the distance between scope and target the less it magnifies ? Is your microscope still good for soldering at say 50mm away?

I’ve got a different (slightly more expensive than the one mentioned above) digital/video microscope (with ‘build-in’ screen), but it does work that way on my microscope; the closer you get the microscope to the thing you want to magnify, the higher the magnification is. (And then I can set the focus with a rotating dial.)

But with the one that I have, even if the microscope is a bit higher up to have enough clearence for SMD soldering, the magnification is still good enough for small SMD components.

(Just to complete the information; the one that I have is the Mustool G1200D (with extra ilumination arms), which I ordered from Banggood a while back.)

EDIT:
I also have a “generic” (4" lens/6" overall) 5x loupe/magnifying with build in (diffused) LED ring, on a adjustable arm, which you can mount on the edge of your desk/workbench and which already would be a good improvement in doing some SMD soldering, although when you go down to the really small components like 0402, it might get a bit tricky. Good thing though is that Aliexpress is full of these things and are not too expensive. (Might post a picture of it later, as long as I don’t forget…)

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0402 is still pretty chill without magnification. Quality tweezers and a somewhat pointy soldering iron are all that’s needed.

On a Lume1 Tri-LED Aux PCB there are 21 0402 components,18 LEDs and 3 Resistors.

My eyes have gotten to the point that I can’t tell the difference between Anode and Cathode with my naked eye.
I’ve figured out a way around that though.
The hardest part now is soldering the wires to the PCB.
I can manage but it’s not as easy as it used to be for me.

Another fun one is the T1616 MCU which is 3mm × 3mm and has 21 connections.
When 2 of the connections are bridged it’s hard for me to tell, without taking pictures and zooming in.

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Yes, as we age eyesight usually deteriorates and hand become less steady. Things just become more difficult. This is something often not appreciated by those who have not experienced it.

I have a few of the visor type magnifiers with adjustable magnification. The problem is that as the magnification goes up, you also need to hold whatever you are looking at closer. The key is being able to place whatever you are working on close enough to your eyes so you can work on it without fatigue.

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Yes, the further away, the less magnification. You have to manually set focus

You’re microscope was 1000x correct? How much space do you have between the target and the microscope for soldering ? Optimal distance ? I see some listings (AE) give a range of 0-50mm.

Also having very bright bench lighting helps a bunch, I have a 2500lm bulb basically stuffed in my face with a tinfoil reflector to prevent it from blinding me

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First photo showing the entire mcpcb was about 100 mm apart

…100m… that’s decent :+1:

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Millimetres , not M

Doh! Typo…

Usually professional electronics repairers and technicians use binocular loupes with long working distance. Amscope seems particularly popular among phone repair shops.