Microscope (AmScope SM-3T)

My eyes are getting old. I can no longer focus on close items. For the last few years I used a magnification visor for close up work. But in recent time, even that is not good enough. To get close enough to solder tiny parts you set your face on fire with the soldering iron.

So, I took a deep breath and purchased a 3D microscope. I have used them for years at work and loved the ability to work for long times in relative comfort and with little eye strain. But $500 seemed like a bit much for a hobby.

But the way my eyes are, I can’t solder a 1/2 watt through hole resistor to a protoboard let alone a small SMT part. So I ordered an SM-3T from AmScope with 1/2x and 2x barlow lenses. I also got the 80 LED ring light. I did not order the video or camera options. I will wait a bit to get those.

It arrived and the unboxing went smooth. The only hiccup was their idiocy in requiring a password to download the user manual. They told me it was printed on the box, but after trying 10 different numbers I called them and gave them a piece of my mind. Would it have killed them to print a copy and include it in the box, or make it publicly available on the web?

So now I find I am spending all kinds of time in my lab looking at things. I find myself reverse engineering random PCBs because I can. I am sure the novelty will wear off in time.


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3 Responses to Microscope (AmScope SM-3T)

  1. Felix says:

    Good upgrade but I think you overpaid. I got a used Bausch&Lomb 7-30x microscope (+ barlow & 15x eye pieces & original case) from ebay for about $200 about 2-3 years ago and prices have been steady. I have been quite happy with it. These are stereoscopic, and that’s great but true high end 3d microscopes are much more expensive – see http://www.visioneng.com/products/stereo-microscopes/mantis-elite-3d-eyepieceless-inspection-microscope

    • Skye Sweeney says:

      It may be that I paid too much, but I liked this scope. I use this same one pretty much every day at work. Its controls are smooth, the optics bright, and the standoff distance is great. It also has the ability to add a camera or video in the trinocular port.

      I also have a Mantis available at work, but strangely I have never gotten the knack of adjusting and using it. I still prefer the AmScope.

  2. Again, we must be in the same age group…
    What are your comments on this 2MP 8LED USB 40X-1000X Microscope Endoscope Magnifier Digital Video Camera (http://www.banggood.com/2MP-8LED-USB-1000X-Microscope-Endoscope-Magnifier-Digital-Video-Camera-p-978314.html). I was considering bying something like this, but now i have doubts…

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