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.