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

RETRO Innovations go4retro at go4retro.com
Sat May 25 23:09:35 EDT 2019

On 5/25/2019 5:51 PM, corey cohen wrote:
> What magnification do you use for though hole?

I used to use 7x, which is the lowest the base sm-4 can go, but I 
recently bought a .5x barlow lens for it, so I can go down to 3.5 (10x 
eyepiece, .7x dial, .5x barlow lens).  That said, I routinely turn it up 
to  1 (5x) for through hole, and then to 1.5 (7.5x) for things down to 
0402.  The nice thing about the .5x barlow lens is that the bottom of 
the scope is 7" off the bench, which allows me to get my Pace in there 
to do rework, or just lots of room for fingers and such.

> Also if I never intend to use a camera is it really worth the extra 
> money for the SM-4T?

I don't use mine very often at all, but I decided that it was worth 
$60.00 on a $300-400 item to get the extra mount.  I find that I use it 
to show others on chat or what not what is going on in a PCB at times, 
so that helps a lot.  I have also made some small videos using it.  I 
figured paying $60.00 for the third mount and not using it was better 
than saving the $60.00 and then needing it later and not being able to 
use it.

I also got the 144LED light ring.  I am sure the others are great too, 
but I splurged a bit.  Tons of light where I need it.

The light is probably my favorite part of the unit.  Using a 2.5x 
magnifier with a side light that I could position was OK, but the light 
always seemed in the way.  Now, light is always there, and not in the way.

I bought the 1.3MP camera on the site at the time.  Total was a bit over 
$500.00.  I am sure folks may balk at that, but I am getting older, and 
I didn't want to be reminded every night that my eyesight is not as good 
as it once was.  $500.00 to feel like you have young eyes is cheap.


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