Microscopes for SMD Soldering || $15 VS $45 VS $189


When it comes to soldering a SMD component to a PCB then it is quite obvious that Due to the small size of the components it can be a rather difficult task without magnification that that is why I’ve been using this microscope for while now, which is certainly not perfect But overall it does a job pretty well and many viewers really seem to like it’s recording quality as well Only problem is that costs one hundred and eighty nine dollars Which is a big price tag for people who just want to solder one SMD circuit per year The good news though is that they exist cheaper microscope alternatives like this $15 one or this $45 one? But are such cheap microscopes really suitable for SMD soldering tasks Or is investing in the expensive microscope the way to go Let’s find out This video is sponsored by JLCPCB Upload your Gerber files today and receive high quality PCBs for ridiculously low prices Currently even of without shipping costs and make your projects look more professional As a true test of those microscopes. I will be trying to complete two assembly circuits through the help of their magnification So let’s not waste any time and unbox the cheap microscopes When it comes to the packaging of the microscopes, then there’s really not much to say about it. They all do the job just fine the only silly thing which is pretty common for Chinese packaging, Is the exaggeration like for example I highly doubt that we will see something like this or this with the microscope But anyway after unwrapping the cheapy, I noticed that its material and build quality Regarding the microscope itself and its partly metal base was actually not half bad To judge its recording quality though. I firstly had to install its driver and software which were delivered on a CD After then connecting the microscope via USB to my computer. I started its software and was greeted with a blurry image Which means that everything worked correctly But to be precise there were actually two different pieces of software delivered But since they were so similar and only differentiated themselves through the missing video recording But instead image editing feature of the second software. I’m only going to focus on the first one Now after positioning the microscope above the PCB and Adjusting the brightness of the LED light as well as the focus of the microscope itself I actually got an acceptable image on the screen The resolution is 640 by 480 which can be altered But that is basically only down scaling or up scaling on the side of the microscope we also got a snap button to take pictures and the zoom button to obviously utilize the digital zoom and With the basics out of the way I started to use the microscope for SMD soldering which did actually kind of work Now don’t get me wrong It is annoying that I have to look at my computer screen while soldering and the PCB microscope distance is fairly small But for one SMD circuit in a year it does work. Just fine as the last tests Let’s take some pictures whose quality You are also acceptable for the price tag even video recording did work with 30fps at 640 by 480 But don’t make the mistake to increase the resolution because the frame rate will drop down to 7.5 fps Which is a nightmare to watch The last positive feature, I noticed was that you can adjust quite a few picture settings But sadly that does not improve the video quality greatly But all in all the $15 microscope does for it’s low price a lot of things right Moving on to the $45 microscope whose most important improvements in comparison to the cheapy Are 4.3 inch LCD a micro SD card supports and a builtin Li-Po battery Which means no cable chaos But as positive as all that sounds there are quite a few of negative aspects about this microscope First of the material and build quality of microscope and its base looks and feels very cheap The suction cup of the base does also not work on my workbench only on perfectly smooth surfaces The battery is charged thru mini-USB Be which works just fine But why do they bother giving me a 2 AMP power supply if the charging current is limited to slow 500 milliamps? Maybe there were cheaper But before I nitpick even more let’s position the microscope properly Put it up and adjust the LED light brightness as well as the focus The only problem was that no matter how precisely I tried to focus the SMD circuits it always looked a bit blurry At first I thought the LCD was the problem, but even the recorded video Showcased the same problem and while we’re at subject of video recording Let’s just say it does not look particularly nice. Heck I think the 15 dollar microscope achieved similar results and Worst of all even though microscope claims that it records in 1080p Its video files clearly present a recording resolution of 720p Now taking pictures with this microscope is also possible But since they take around a second to shoot and the microscope space is rather wobbly the pictures will often look very blurry well at least the digital zoom does work and While all of that sounds like you should stay away from this microscope I actually do prefer it for SMD soldering instead of the cheaper one Simply because it’s battery-powered and I don’t have to look at a computer screen But of course that does not excuse the other problems So all in all I had high hopes for the $45.00 microscope, but it was kind of let down But for positive change of pace let’s not forget my favorite microscope It’s completely made out of metal its height can easily be adjusted it has relatively big working space has bright LED lights offers an LCD Takes microSD cards has a mini HDMI outputs to connect bigger screens and most importantly it does record true 1080p footage with amazing quality and Can take pictures with 12 megapixels which also looked decent? There definitely do exist better microscopes for SMD soldering But for me this one offers a very nice balance between price and performance But of course not everything is perfect For example that not only the LED lights need fifl power, but also the microscope itself through a mini USB port Which can result in a cable mess and? While the firmware kind of hints at a battery capability there is no built-in one which might have even solved the last problem Which is that whenever the microscope restarts all its settings are reset to defaults which includes the annoying screensaver timer which starts after 2 minutes and makes you blind while soldering and with that being said my SMD circuits are finally complete and Work like a charm, and you should now. Have a good idea, which type of microscope would suit your SMD soldering demands I Hope you enjoyed watching this video if so don’t forget to Like share and subscribe Stay creative, and we’ll see you next time

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