Author Topic: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?  (Read 1976 times)

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Offline e100

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Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« on: September 12, 2019, 08:07:51 am »
I'm getting older and wear glasses for reading and distance. Todays fine pitch devices are a real challenge even to do a visual inspection, let alone soldering.
I've used a desk magnifying glass but that isn't very mobile.

What are people's experiences with the wearable magnifying glasses that are typically advertised for jeweler/watch repair applications? There appear to be a range of designs. What features are important. I need something that still allows me to wear my glasses underneath.
 
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Offline e100

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2019, 11:36:48 am »
I use something like this:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33003148364.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.5888270bO0m2LQ&algo_pvid=89483409-0381-48e1-a1c1-edb826f8ec71&algo_expid=89483409-0381-48e1-a1c1-edb826f8ec71-0&btsid=92d30a84-4d0b-444a-83e2-bac9e4a9eb2d&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_1,searchweb201603_53
They're ok from optical point of view but cheaper versions have some mechanical problems which makes initial adjusting a bit more difficult.

How heavy are these?
I see there is a clip on version for normal glasses. Is that what you have?
 

Offline DTJ

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2019, 12:47:19 pm »
I bought some magnifying dental spectacles. They are reasonable quality and create a good image. I think they cost me about $60.

I could not use them for soldering or even inspection work. I think it is because a small movement of your head results in visual feedback that my brain cannot process. I found I could not get the positioning of the soldering iron or solder right either.


I ended up buying a Amscope binocular zoom microscope. It was a great decision.

I got one with a continuously adjustable zoom (7 x t0 40x from memory). I use it for all soldering and inspection as well as lots of other tasks.
I'd be lost without it. With a 0.5x barlow lens fitted I have about 130mm of working space under the lens and a good wide viewing field.

Try to get one secondhand off your gumtree or classified website.
 
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Offline SMTech

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2019, 12:51:35 pm »
I once gave the more basic visor style types ago, but I think they just introduce a new problem, now you can see but eye strain will increase and it also takes a while get used to using them as they are messing with your DOF etc. A better but more expensive solution is to use a digital microscope/inspection camera with a decent refresh rate, there's a whole bunch of them on aliexpress with Sony sensors and some decent lenses that cost a fair bit less than something like a Tagarno
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2019, 12:52:16 pm »
+1 for stereo microscope and 0.5 barlow lens
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32661218238.html
i've used LuckyZoom before, they're a good aliexpress seller

When you say mobile, how mobile does it need to be?
You can pickup and move a microscope around more than a desk magnifying lamp that's fixed to the table.

« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 01:01:32 pm by Psi »
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline amspire

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2019, 01:06:55 pm »
+1 for stereo microscope and 0.5 barlow lens
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32661218238.html

(ive used LuckyZoom before, they are a good aliexpress seller)
My microscope is a Lucky Zoom one and it is really excellent. Very clear, and when set up right, the focus remains sharp over the zoom range.

The stand in this sale is not quite high enough for my liking, and a big part of the costs of bigger stands is the shipping weight.

A longer tube for the focusing arm is not expensive. You can get a longer tube and mount it on a wooden base. When you want the microscope to overhang something, rotate the base to the rear of the microscope and put a weight on it.
 

Offline amspire

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2019, 01:10:39 pm »
When you say mobile, how mobile does it need to be?
You can pickup and move a microscope around more than a desk magnifying lamp that's fixed to the table.
Exactly what I do. You can pick up this kind of stand with one hand very easily.  I do not like the massive microscope stands.
 

Offline Martin Hodge

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2019, 01:12:58 pm »
You want the OptiVISOR. It goes on over your glasses, doesn't attach to them.

 

Online pisoiu

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2019, 01:17:42 pm »
How heavy are these?
I see there is a clip on version for normal glasses. Is that what you have?

A bit heavy but if you don't use them all day long, that's not a problem (at least for me). Also, they may slip a bit from time to time due to head movements, sweating, etc. Mine came exactly as in the pictures, with plastic frames and lenses, not attachable to existing glasses.
As stated somewhere above, you need to get used to them, a small head movement translates into huge fov movement. Besides steady hands you also need steady neck :)
 

Offline asmi

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2019, 01:20:04 pm »
I tried several different head-mounted magnifiers, but they all were not very practical as they limit the depth of view, and so I had to raise and lower them all the time. Stereo microscope is the ultimate tool for me now - it's good for placing even super-tiny 0201 parts, and at the same time it's great for post-reflow and post-soldering inspection (as I can easily change magnification by changing eyepieces from x10 to x20), and it's relatively cheap (150 USD + shipping).

Offline nigelwright7557

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2019, 01:21:56 pm »
I use 2.5 mag reading glasses for basic viewing.
For getting up real close just a hand held 10x magnifier.
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Offline SMTech

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2019, 02:34:04 pm »
That is the simplest option isn't it, cheap and nasty clip on illuminated magnifier, popular with "crafting" cross stitch types.
 

Online thinkfat

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2019, 02:35:57 pm »
I use 2.5 mag reading glasses for basic viewing.
For getting up real close just a hand held 10x magnifier.
Yep, the kind you get at the drugstore for cheap works just fine for soldering. For really fine work I use a stereo microscope. But for basic soldering, reading glasses are just fine.

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Offline e100

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2019, 02:54:26 pm »
I have a stereo microscope that is collecting dust. It has 10x eyepieces and 2x objective but the field of view is so narrow that you spend half the time trying to figure out where the soldering iron is. I bought a pair of 5x eyepieces thinking that would solve the problem, so yes the magnification was less, but the field of view was also less!  |O
I didn't know about reduction barlow lenses until they were mentioned in this thread.
 

Offline e100

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2019, 03:02:35 pm »
I bought some magnifying dental spectacles. They are reasonable quality and create a good image. I think they cost me about $60.

I could not use them for soldering or even inspection work. I think it is because a small movement of your head results in visual feedback that my brain cannot process. I found I could not get the positioning of the soldering iron or solder right either.


I ended up buying a Amscope binocular zoom microscope. It was a great decision.

I got one with a continuously adjustable zoom (7 x t0 40x from memory). I use it for all soldering and inspection as well as lots of other tasks.
I'd be lost without it. With a 0.5x barlow lens fitted I have about 130mm of working space under the lens and a good wide viewing field.

Try to get one secondhand off your gumtree or classified website.

Yes, I've used a zoom microscope in the past. It makes it so much easier to navigate around a large board, see the relative position of the soldering iron and have everything in focus. Once you're in the right location you can zoom in to do the actual soldering.
 

Offline rea5245

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2019, 03:08:53 pm »
I got one with a continuously adjustable zoom (7 x t0 40x from memory). I use it for all soldering and inspection as well as lots of other tasks.
I'd be lost without it. With a 0.5x barlow lens fitted I have about 130mm of working space under the lens and a good wide viewing field.

Since it's a binocular scope, don't you need two barlow lenses?

There are zoom scopes starting at 3.5x available. Would that eliminate the need for barlows?

- Bob
 

Offline amspire

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2019, 03:23:04 pm »
Since it's a binocular scope, don't you need two barlow lenses?
- Bob
No. It is just a single large diameter barlow lens just below the two stereo objective lenses.
 

Offline jfiresto

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2019, 03:33:07 pm »
... Since it's a binocular scope, don't you need two barlow lenses?...

One is enough, even on the Greenough-design microscopes you are probably thinking of. You just make the "barlow" lens large enough so that both optical paths pass through the lens: one left of center, the other right of center.

The other type of stereo microscope does that even higher up the microscope. It has a single, large main objective and passes both the left and right optical paths through it. Such "Common Main Objective" (CMO) microscopes can give brighter, sharper images and are more flexible, but suffer greater lateral chromatic aberration (color fringing) because the paths pass through the less well corrected sides of the lens. CMO microscopes are also more expensive.
 

Offline nigelwright7557

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2019, 08:13:45 pm »
I use 2.5 mag reading glasses for basic viewing.
For getting up real close just a hand held 10x magnifier.
Yep, the kind you get at the drugstore for cheap works just fine for soldering. For really fine work I use a stereo microscope. But for basic soldering, reading glasses are just fine.

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Its the fine SMD 0.5mm micro's I have trouble with.
Even if it looks good under magnifier there can sometimes be a short behind a pin.
What I do is when I design the pcb is put a row of vias next to the micro so I can buzz between adjacent pins.
Spent half an hour trying to remove a short on an A2D converter only to find they were connected on pcb anyway ! doh !
For fine scale SMD I stick it down with solder paste first to help stop  it floating around.
I then solder tack it and check it hasn't moved.
Then apply big blob of solder to iron tip and slowly run it along pins making sure every one gets solder.
Quite often there are blobs of solder so I remove them with copper braid.
A final buzz with the DMM and all is well.




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Offline NorthGuy

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2019, 01:49:49 pm »
+6 reading glasses still work for me when soldering (compare to my normal +2 for reading). You just need to remember to take them off once you're done, or you may get disoriented. For some reason, they don't sell them in Canada (+3.5 is the best I could find). I had to order mine from eBay.
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2019, 02:28:52 pm »
I'm getting older and wear glasses for reading and distance. Todays fine pitch devices are a real challenge even to do a visual inspection, let alone soldering.
I've used a desk magnifying glass but that isn't very mobile.

What are people's experiences with the wearable magnifying glasses that are typically advertised for jeweler/watch repair applications? There appear to be a range of designs. What features are important. I need something that still allows me to wear my glasses underneath.

A solution that works for one person may not work for another; it is highly personal. That suggests starting with flexible simple cheap solutions.

With one exception, I find stereo microscopes impossible to use, even though I've been taking stereoscopic pictures for 35 years. There's the added complexity of ensuring nothing gets deposited on the lens.

My preferred solution is a cheap head-mounted visor with multiple lenses. They aren't heavy, can be used with spectacles, can be used for other things (e.g. peering into equipment), have 1.2/1.8/2.5/3.5 magnification lenses and you can put two lenses "in series". The LED is not much use.

Example, but they are widely available under different brands: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rolson-60390-Loupe-Magnifier-Visor/dp/B001MJ0JW2
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Offline asmi

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2019, 05:08:51 pm »
With one exception, I find stereo microscopes impossible to use, even though I've been taking stereoscopic pictures for 35 years. There's the added complexity of ensuring nothing gets deposited on the lens.
AmScope SE400 microscope has a working distance of over 200 mm! This is more than enough for just about any work I can think of. Infact this was too much for me, so I had to return it and get SE410 instead with lower distance of about 150 mm.

Offline jmelson

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2019, 07:53:41 pm »
I have a stereo microscope that is collecting dust. It has 10x eyepieces and 2x objective but the field of view is so narrow that you spend half the time trying to figure out where the soldering iron is. I bought a pair of 5x eyepieces thinking that would solve the problem, so yes the magnification was less, but the field of view was also less!  |O
I didn't know about reduction barlow lenses until they were mentioned in this thread.
Well, they are all different.  But, I have used 3 different stereo zoom microscopes, and they all had a decent field of view.  One trick is to use them without eyeglasses, if you normally use them.  Getting your eyes closer to the eyepieces expands the field of view a lot.  The biggest requirement, though, is "working distance".  If the distance from objective lens to object is 20 mm, there's NO WAY you can do soldering with it.  Inspection, yes, but soldering no.  The units I've used all have something around 100 mm working distance or better.  That is enough room to get your hands and a soldering iron under it.

As for the soldering iron, you need to know where it is by feel, to avoid burns.  This is something you learn by experience, to know if you hold your hand like THIS, then you KNOW the iron will be THERE.  it develops over time.

Jon
 

Offline ivaylo

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2019, 06:34:57 am »
I use something like this:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33003148364.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.5888270bO0m2LQ&algo_pvid=89483409-0381-48e1-a1c1-edb826f8ec71&algo_expid=89483409-0381-48e1-a1c1-edb826f8ec71-0&btsid=92d30a84-4d0b-444a-83e2-bac9e4a9eb2d&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_1,searchweb201603_53
They're ok from optical point of view but cheaper versions have some mechanical problems which makes initial adjusting a bit more difficult.
These work. Mine were made out of some weird plastic though which disintegrated in the course of 12 months or so. First started cracking, then broke in smaller and smaller pieces. Probably a bad batch and manufacturing fixed long time since, but am hesitant to buy the cheap ones again.
 

Offline jfiresto

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2019, 08:25:52 am »
These work. Mine were made out of some weird plastic though which disintegrated in the course of 12 months or so. First started cracking, then broke in smaller and smaller pieces. Probably a bad batch and manufacturing fixed long time since, but am hesitant to buy the cheap ones again.

Plastics continue to react after formation, some much more slowly than others. My father has some coupons from the 1960s that have gotten sticky over the last couple decades. As the eldest son, I shall continue the experiment.
 

Online IanJ

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2019, 09:53:16 am »
Flip up headset x1.0 / x2.0 here to get me a bit closer on the fine stuff. The ones I have have 2 sets of lens and you flip both down to get x2.0.

For quick work I just put on x1.0 reading glasses.

I am short sighted so need glasses for computer also.......its a nightmare switching out glasses every few minutes!

Getting old sucks.

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Offline nigelwright7557

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2020, 05:20:04 pm »
I use 2.5 mag reading glasses for basic viewing.
For getting up real close just a hand held 10x magnifier.
Yep, the kind you get at the drugstore for cheap works just fine for soldering. For really fine work I use a stereo microscope. But for basic soldering, reading glasses are just fine.

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Mine were £5 from Tesco. The magnifier was a couple of GBP on ebay.
The alternative was prescription glasses but they were going to be £130 !
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Offline jfiresto

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2020, 06:14:04 pm »
It is funny to have this thread reactivated today.

I had just ordered a pair of mid-grade, correctable 2.5X achromatic loupe glasses after using a simple-lens magnifier for a few years.

Zeiss has some really nice ones with Keplerian optics, but they cost the earth.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2020, 06:23:27 pm by jfiresto »
 

Offline MudMan

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2020, 11:45:55 am »
I like this one: https://www.eschenbach-sehhilfen.com/en-GB/278/product-overview/detail/65/maxDETAIL. It has a large working distance of 40cm. No more burn marks on your nose from soldering.
 

Offline jfiresto

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2020, 04:51:44 pm »
I would have liked to have bought those, but my left eye has too much astimatism and the model can not correct for it (correct for cylinder). I am ordering the 2.5X achromatic model, I linked to, as they give the maximum working distance and field of view, 340 and 74 mm, respectively. I hope 34 cm will be enough.
 

Offline 1276-2449-1-ND

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Re: Wearable magnifying glasses for soldering?
« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2020, 01:38:56 pm »
Commenting on the reading-glasses:

I wear glasses, and had a set of "computer glasses" made, which are just lenses ground so the optimal focus is about 40-50 cm away. Then bifocals were added with the focus at 10-20cm. Now I can look at the monitor (schematic) and the desktop (soldering or breadboard) without having to focus on either. There's little magnification, but everything is in razor sharp focus with no eye-strain so I can work for hours. I rarely need use a magnifier any more.

They came out better than expected because the very top of the glasses are out of focus in a way that makes them just like regular glasses so there are three usable zones of focus. I used a cheap online glasses vendor and did the lens calculations myself using online calculators.
 


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