[vcf-midatlantic] Binocular Loupe vs Microscope for vintage electronics repair

Henry S. Courbis info at reactivemicro.com
Fri May 24 19:39:15 EDT 2019

For daily inspection I use a simple 35 x 50mm loupe:

For a little more power and light I use 40 x 25mm loupe.  This is name
brand.  Clones about as good for $10.

50x only comes out for really fine pitch SMT parts.  And even then I rarely
use it.

For a desktop scope you have several decent choices.  Vision Engineering's
Mantis Microscope is pretty good for no eye strain, large working distance,
light, etc.  Sometimes you can get a deal on a used one on eBay.  Still
might be $1k for used.

Second choice would be AmScope SM-4T.  7x-45x.  Like $500.  See youtube for
reviews.  Best thing it's trinocular so you can mount a CCTV camera and
output to any monitor you want.  So no eye strain if you do lots of work.

Third choice is AmScope SE400-Z.  10x-20x.  As low as $130, but usually
twice that price.  Not trinocular, but you can still fit a camera to the
eye piece.

As you probably already know, main thing with inspection scopes is the
working distance.  Unlike a loupe, you can get your hands on the board with
a soldering iron and not worry about burning off an eyebrow or worse.


Please let us know what you decide and if you like it.  I'm always looking
for new tools too.  Thanks!

Henry S. Courbis

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On Fri, May 24, 2019 at 10:08 AM corey cohen via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:

> The swing lamp magnifier is works but I still need to wear cheaters at the
> same time.  Figured it might be easier just to use one thing.
> corey cohen
> uǝɥoɔ ʎǝɹoɔ
> Sent from my iPhone
> > On May 24, 2019, at 12:23 PM, Chris Fala via vcf-midatlantic <
> vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> >
> > I microscope is awesome but not necessary unless you would be using it
> > daily. It might actually be a bit of a cumbrance. I have a decent quality
> > swing-arm magnifier lamp that serves me well. That doesn't work for you?
> >
> > On Fri, May 24, 2019 at 9:27 AM corey cohen via vcf-midatlantic <
> > vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> >
> >> So trying to decide on getting a binocular microscope or Binocular Loupe
> >> glasses for soldering and such on vintage computers.  I don’t really do
> any
> >> SMD work, so $500+ for a good microscope vs $100 for a decent Binocular
> >> loop is a decision I need to make soon.   Cheater glasses 2.5x used in
> >> conjunction with a large magnifier on an articulating arm just aren’t
> >> cutting it right now.
> >>
> >> What are your experiences with one vs another, if I don’t do surface
> mount
> >> work?
> >>
> >> Thanks,
> >> Corey
> >>
> >> corey cohen
> >> uǝɥoɔ ʎǝɹoɔ
> >> Sent from my iPhone

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