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

alan at alanlee.org alan at alanlee.org
Sun May 26 03:27:56 EDT 2019

Can't speak for the other models listed here.  But I do a lot of SMT 
soldering - usually 8+ hours per week on average (week after week).  I 
have an AmScope SM-6TPZ-64S-3M with the boom arm and the EP20X30 30mm 
eye-pieces and highly recommend it.  Not cheap however (about 1K).


On 2019-05-24 19:39, Henry S. Courbis via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> For daily inspection I use a simple 35 x 50mm loupe:
> https://www.ebay.com/itm/192449543176
> For a little more power and light I use 40 x 25mm loupe.  This is name
> brand.  Clones about as good for $10.
> https://www.ebay.com/itm/283444814303
> 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.
> https://www.ebay.com/itm/223525346066
> 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.
> $.02
> 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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