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Magnifying tool for tiny circuit boards and surface mount?

tomadom

Jan 18, 2013
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I'm on the hunt for a powerful magnifying tool to magnify tiny circuit boards and small surface mount components etc.

I've looked around. The market seems flooded with cheap plastic rubbish from china with fake magnifications.

I'm looking for one of the below.

1 - A very powerful magnifying glass. 2x doesn't seem to be enough. I noticed that the small magnifier inside run of the mill magnifying glasses used for greater magnification seems to blow the item up significantly. I was hoping to find a whole magnifying glass which would do that. It would need to have a reasonably long focal length so I can solder and clean damaged tiny circuit board tracks.

2-A binocular type of magnifier like the dentists use. They blow things up very well but are up around $2000. That's too much.
I'm trying to keep this feasible.

Any suggestions?
Thanks
 

Delta Prime

Jul 29, 2020
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Well dang nabbit! I don't know why? but after reading your post; I'm angry too.
So here you go... Grumble Grumble Grumble.
What is your price range? Are you only looking for spectacles... those things you wear on your head?
Digital microscope with LCD display?
How small of a surface mount component?
Gosh darn it!!!!
:pScreenshot_20231105_234212.jpg
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tomadom

Jan 18, 2013
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Well, thanks for your reply.
I'm looking at the smallest surface mount components, 1mm, and as I mentioned in my post there were two options. Binocular type arrangement (yes that's a spectacle type of arrangement) or a very good magnifying glass.

My price range. Well, as cheap as possible. If something is really good, I would pay up to 200 but I would preferably keep it below 150. I see you've posted an electronic option with a screen. Maybe there's a plug-in arrangement I can use on my pc?

I thought you might have some recommendations?
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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Well, thanks for your reply.
I'm looking at the smallest surface mount components, 1mm, and as I mentioned in my post there were two options. Binocular type arrangement (yes that's a spectacle type of arrangement) or a very good magnifying glass.

My price range. Well, as cheap as possible. If something is really good, I would pay up to 200 but I would preferably keep it below 150. I see you've posted an electronic option with a screen. Maybe there's a plug-in arrangement I can use on my pc?

I thought you might have some recommendations?
There are. You could even look at borescopes for use with mobile phones but a standalone dedicated device will be far simpler and not a lot different in cost.

A few years ago I bought an old 'viewer' that was originally intended to assist those with poor eyesight to read. The book was placed on a moveable platform under a camera/screen arrangement and the output was on a 15" LCD display above. Great for SMD work but too bulky for my workshop - this kind of device is sometimes seen on eByay.
 

Delta Prime

Jul 29, 2020
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I see you've posted an electronic option with a screen. Maybe there's a plug-in arrangement I can use on my pc?
That would go against you correcting me.
and as I mentioned in my post there were two options. Binocular type arrangement (yes that's a spectacle type of arrangement) or a very good magnifying glass
Not in your price range.
"Inside every cynical person there's a disappointed idealist."
-George Carlin
 

Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
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For PC, there are ‘pen’ types of USB magnifiers. But not sure whether you’d have enough space under it to solder etc.
I prefer the camera option which can be used with microscopes and then output the signal via HDMI to a monitor/TV.
I think you would need to double your budget to get a cheap one.
Failing that, the small screens with incorporated microscope seem very popular and fall well within your budget.

Martin
 

tomadom

Jan 18, 2013
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Well I think I have found what I am looking for.
It's a digital microscope that has plenty of clearance under the lens to solder and work on a board.

It's just Chinese, well within my price range, less than $100 US.

Yes it is cheap but it will do the job the reviews on these are fine.

When Delta Prime posted that picture of a microscope it gave me an idea.

Thanks for the tips.
I think we have moved beyond just standard lenses now so I will keep this in mind for the future.
 

tomadom

Jan 18, 2013
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Digital microscope 1000x is also helpful.
That's exactly what I just bought. It's a cheap Chinese product with dodgy specs but it will do the job.
The reviews on these are fine.
There are a lot of models out there and China just seems to copy them.
 

Delta Prime

Jul 29, 2020
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The reviews on these are fine.
There are a lot of models out there and China just seems to copy them
Well they had an excellent example us.
That's usa we flooded Europe with inexpensive copies of all kinds of stuff right after world war II. And then hey it was Japan's turn all the vehicles; all the way down to fingernail clippers. Now it's China's turn. All this moaning and groaning. What happens when your unit breaks down you're 1,000 times digital magnifier?How you going to fix it?
Darn it!
I wish I bought those spectacles.
But the consumer electronic products; they're cheap enough or I should say inexpensive. Do what everybody else does...throw it in the gutter and go buy another.
 

poormystic

Jul 23, 2023
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Jul 23, 2023
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I'm on the hunt for a powerful magnifying tool to magnify tiny circuit boards and small surface mount components etc.

I've looked around. The market seems flooded with cheap plastic rubbish from china with fake magnifications.

I'm looking for one of the below.

1 - A very powerful magnifying glass. 2x doesn't seem to be enough. I noticed that the small magnifier inside run of the mill magnifying glasses used for greater magnification seems to blow the item up significantly. I was hoping to find a whole magnifying glass which would do that. It would need to have a reasonably long focal length so I can solder and clean damaged tiny circuit board tracks.

2-A binocular type of magnifier like the dentists use. They blow things up very well but are up around $2000. That's too much.
I'm trying to keep this feasible.

Any suggestions?
Thanks
I'd be looking for a jewellers loupe. I've tried using a stereo microscope (on an industrial board) and I think the loupe is probably better.
Passive glass lens technology is still available :)
 
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