Inspect-a-gadget lenses

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I have had a Mercator illuminated magnifying glass on a stand for decades.
It is well made in every respect except that the lens is so misshapen that
it is tiring to look through.
Jaycar and Altronics have similar devices for about $110. Those of you who
have one, are the lenses any good? If you move your head from side to side
while looking at, say, a circuit board, do you get a rippling effect? There
is nowhere locally that I can see one before I part with my money, and your
advice would be valued.

Thank you

Re: Inspect-a-gadget lenses

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I've never seen a large single lense that doesn't distort the image,
though it sounds like yours has surface imperfections as well. I don't
know what the Jaycar and Altronics lenses are like, or what sorts of
things you use it for, but for surface mount soldering and inspection,
I use a Jaycar QM3510 head-band magnifier, which is under $30. They're
better than any single lense could be, though when I have really fine
stuff I still don the plastic-surgeon's binocular loupe (>>$).

The headband is good because it has selectable magnifications, but it
could be improved by the addition of a white LED illuminator. The more
magnification you use, the more light you need.

Clifford Heath.

Re: Inspect-a-gadget lenses

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I haven't had a really good look at the cheap stuff from Jaycar et al
but I would be surprised if they could be as good as a Maggy Lamp
which uses a "real" glass lens. I have one which is over 30 years old
and it still performs well without any distortion.

Re: Inspect-a-gadget lenses

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Ahhh thanks - just what I've also been looking for.


Re: Inspect-a-gadget lenses

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Very $ though , watch ebay as they do come along occasionally for around
$100.00 , I found mine at a garage sale for $50.00 and ran away with it
smirking .

Re: Inspect-a-gadget lenses

I use a CT-200M from here, he's a local guy in
Melbourne with a lot of good priced imported tools,
soldering gear and stuff,

I have this one
there's a cheaper bench mounted one

The key to it being easy to look through is the 'diopter lens',
on these models anyway, when he came by with these and other
non-diopter models it was good to try looking through them
We also got a high magnification non-diopter CT-200D,
it is much more tiring to look through...
The page says 'out of stock' on these for now, but if you enquire
he usually does have stock coming in and out regularly.

catalogue page %



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