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148 posts

Master Geek

#306619 8-Aug-2023 02:04
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I've reached the age where looking at tiny things just doesn't work that well with the naked eye, and I am looking for a quality magnifying lamp with a good glass lens and LED lighting.  If I were doing micro-electronics work I'd be looking at a microscope but I'm more in a position where I recently purchased a used CPU and it arrived with bent pins - and while I could see that they didn't all reflect the same way so they were bent - I couldn't see them well enough with a pair of reading glasses to fix it myself as I did in the past.  I don't need the best tool in the world, but if I'm buying something why not buy something good?


I assume that many of the units I see on TradeMe or other sites are going to be junky poor lenses and built poorly - that may be true or not.  Looking around, I see that Jaycar and a couple other electronics sites do sell something like I'm envisioning for $400, and they don't seem to have as much magnification as what I see in online reviews from overseas.  Are a 3x magnifier with a good-sized lens good enough to use, and are they the right mix of function and quality?  I'm aware that some sellers (and many manufacturers) may promise huge 10x magnification but have a terrible lens and I don't want to get stuck in that trap, but if there were an option of something that gave you the option of better magnification wouldn't we usually choose that if there weren't trade-offs?


Does anyone have experience or recommendations?  I'm thinking I want a lamp that can be bolted to the workbench with a swinging arm rather than a little desk lamp, and frankly as large and good a magnifier as is practical.  I appreciate any thoughts you might have.

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85 posts

Master Geek

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  #3113054 8-Aug-2023 06:29
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As you mentioned wanting something on a swinging arm with a light, I just thought I would recommend against getting something like this style of magnifier for electronics work. I have the one linked to from Jaycar, with the 3 different magnification lenses, and I use it for electronics, but it is really not up to the task. The magnification is just not high enough and it is a little cumbersome. Perfect for removing splinters from fingers, but a struggle for electronics.




edit - just re-read your post, even for straightening CPU pins in may struggle for magnification. You would need to try one in-store.


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7616 posts

Uber Geek

  #3113690 9-Aug-2023 13:18
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Banggood might be good place to start.  They have a range of that sort of thing built using Locline.  


For example Aluminum Alloy 6-Claw Soldering Station with USB Magnifying Lamp A High-Powered Solution for Precision Work and Hobbyists. Reviews - Banggood Southeast Asia Online Shopping


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Uber Geek

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  #3113791 9-Aug-2023 16:48
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You can also get head-mounted magnifiers, with lights. They do take some getting used to, especially at higher magnifications. And the cheap ones I bought have distinctly non-linear lenses. If you get a rechargeable one, it'll probably be lighter (and cheaper in the long run) than one that uses AAA batteries.






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Uber Geek

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  #3113814 9-Aug-2023 18:30
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I got some of these for the same reason 





You can get ones pretty much identical to that on TM for not very much, I got one for fine electronics work after looking at the cost of getting various good-quality ones in from overseas and it's been fine, I can easily solder stuff that I'd never have been able to do otherwise.


148 posts

Master Geek

  #3113817 9-Aug-2023 18:48
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These which are listed on Banggood for $30 USD - what is the key difference between those and this one at Jaycar for $179 or this one at Synergy Electronics for $460?  I guess I'm not clear on the factors which apply on the pricing.  I would think the construction of the arm materials, the quality of the lens perhaps, I'm not sure if LEDs actually have any meaningful difference.  I know you take a chance when you buy for cheap out of China - but would there be any reason to spend a lot more for the others?

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