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Workbench addition


I hope this post is not out of line but if so will understand Bill's deleting it.  I'm not selling anything but this is a plug for a product.  I'm writing about it because of the great price that I got and because I thought it might have appeal in the RPUG.
Because my hands aren't as steady as they were 30 years ago I decided to shop around for a soldering station to aid my LM-S2 installation efforts.  I had 3 conditions:  it must have a light source that is 120 VAC powered; it must have a magnifying glass; it must be stable.  I didn't need an iron because I have a reliable Weller.

After much googling around and reading reams of user critiques I found 2 products that fit my needs:  the Carson Pro Soldermag CP-50 and the RC Logger Helping Hand.  There are also a slew of similarly designed products, mostly all less costly, and it appears to me that there may be design/patent pirating going on in Asia.  The Soldermag and the Helping Hand are virtually identical with one exception - the Helping Hand has an additional alligator clip  that is on a flexible shaft.  Incidentally, both do illuminate on 2 AA battery power if AC current is unavailable.

The RC Logger is priced at $74.95 plus shipping and is sold in brick-and-mortar stores and online.  I offered an e-Bay vendor ten bucks less to defray the shipping cost but got no response.  The  Soldermag has a msrp of $134.99 and is sold in brick-and-mortar and online stores from prices that range  from list down to around $60.  I was about to spring for a $60 item until I came across one priced at $39.99 including shipping.   At the time of my order in early April,  the vendor,, stated that they had 14 Soldermags in stock.

The device is everything that I'd hoped for.  It's solid and the 16 LEDs built into the magnifier's frame provide plenty of light.  I used it last night and it made soldering DCC harness leads to NMRA plugs a breeze.  The shipping was via UPS first and USPS locally and one of the shippers seriously banged the carton and the internal retail package around but no product damage occurred.

William Brillinger:
Sounds like a great set of tools for model work!

Feel free to post some links.


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