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

corey cohen coreyvcf at gmail.com
Sun May 26 13:13:48 EDT 2019

    I just ordered the same one as you, started doing a lot of research this weekend and I like the idea of extra workspace from the articulating arm since I work on a lot of boards that are about 10x15” in size.  


corey cohen
uǝɥoɔ ʎǝɹoɔ
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> On May 26, 2019, at 3:27 AM, alan--- via vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> 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).
> -Alan
>> 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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