With the weekend here, I finally got some downtime and was able to do some Amateur Radio stuff today. I got on the air and worked a few Canadian stations in the RAC Winter Contest and I also worked a station down in the Cayman Islands. Both the Caymans and British Columbia with 5 Watts and no sunspots? Not bad.
What I really enjoyed was the opportunity to finally give that Mustel G600 microscope/camera thingy a whirl that I purchased a few months back through Gear Best. I bought an inexpensive cutting board at the store when I went grocery shopping this morning, and I mounted it to that.
The suction cup at the base seems to hold it in place very nicely. After playing with it for a while, I've come to the conclusion that this will be extremely useful for parts identification.
The printing on tiny capacitors really stands out, as does the printing on transistors:
And it will be also very useful for checking for solder bridges - particularly for SMD soldering. Please pardon the bright yellow spots in the photos, that's the flash from the camera. Those spots aren't there in actual use.
But to actually use it while soldering doesn't seem possible to me. I have to look at what I'm soldering while I solder it. I don't think I'd be able to solder something while looking at a remote screen instead of looking at the actual board itself. For actual soldering, I will rely on the cheapie reading glasses I bought at the drug store.
But for parts ID and solder bridge checking? This thing has a magnifying glass or head mounted magnifying loupes beat nine ways to Sunday! A more expensive unit would probably allow me to zoom in and out. This unit is fixed as far as that goes. The adjustable arm will allow me to move it back and forth a tiny bit, but not much. For the money I paid, which was a pretty small amount, this unit will serve me well.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!