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Equipment for Hobbyists

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by hugoender, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Speakerguy

    Speakerguy Active Member

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    I've used an ATX as a power supply in a professional environment. It was at a company that spent no money on our department though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  2. Gayan Soyza

    Gayan Soyza Active Member

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    I wont use ATX power unit as a desk power supply.I also have blowed up many after short circuit in the outputs.Not all power units protect them well against short circuitry.

    For a hobby desk power supply 500mA - 1A small transformer supply is more than enough.Regulated output its upto you.If needs variable then variable, if needs dual +/- polarities then make like that.
     
  3. rjvh

    rjvh New Member

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    What are you planing to make/repair in your hoby

    power supplies i would make myself more than one always handy

    function generator i also would make my self also

    a multi meter buy a good one if you're realy serious to stay in the electronics (fluke) but buy also a extra cheap one on top of it
    more than one to mesure simultaniusly is very handy in some ocasion

    soldering station yes it makes life so much easyer

    computer

    scoop is handy but i have to say that i work already years without one and still doing fine

    depens what you do in the electronics

    Robert-Jan
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Gayan Soyza

    Gayan Soyza Active Member

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    You must visit this thread also,it contains the electronic workbenches of electro-tech members.

    http://www.electro-tech-online.com/threads/show-us-your-hobby-workbench.17426/

    You can get ideas that what they have & need to buy for your one.
     
  6. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    I just plan on making basic circuits. From audio circuits (I made a stereo audio amplifer with two LM386N) to radio circuits (I am planning on making an FM transmitter) to even sensor circuits (want to make an IR alarm). Stuff like that. I am just starting off so nothing well be too complicated.
     
  7. skyrock

    skyrock New Member

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    I came across this scope on auction site:

    Agilent 54615B 2 Channel Oscilloscope, 1 GSa/s 500 MHz

    cost: around USD400

    Is it good enough for long term?
     
  8. philba

    philba New Member

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    I am struck by the amount and expense of gear that people think is necessary. I have a Tek scope (2250) that I paid $100 for but even that isn't at all necessary. Signal generator, DSO, fancy power supply - whew! Until I bought my scope, my total investment was a DMM, a home brewed power supply, a cheap soldering iron and a PIC programmer. Maybe $100 total. I do find the scope useful but you can do many things even with out a scope.

    My recommendation is to go slow on equipment purchases. Start with simple projects and gain some experience. You will have a much better idea of what you want or need. Acquire the gear as you really need it. When I think I need a piece of equipment, I always stop myself and give it a few days. For example, right now I think I need a logic analyzer but I'm probably going to hold off because I don't *really* need it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  9. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    What PIC programmer should I purchase? I know it depends on what IC I want to use but assuming I want to use those from Microchip and I want it to be able to handle many sizes... as a beginner in this, what programmer should I purchase that has a ZIF? I was looking at Junebug and PICKit2.
     
  10. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    @Philba:

    You are right. I am going to take it easy and just buy my DMM and soldering station. I will try to make my own power supply but from the looks of the link that Hero posted of his variable supply, it is not without its flaws and so I wonder if I should just buy a power supply and not have to worry about oscillations and noise and stuff. associated with making your own supply.
     
  11. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    Okay so I am now looking for a soldering iron. What wattage should I go for? am I correct in assuming that lower wattage is better for small devices? If so, is there any purpose for a high wattage soldering iron in electronics (since everything in electronics is small)?

    I am also looking to buy some type of drawer container for my components (those little boxes with small drawers that pull out). Any suggestions?

    I want to build my power supply since i really don't need that crazy of a power supply for my projects but I want to look at a couple of schematics first before choosing one. Can anyone send me a link to some (I already look at the one Hero posted but would like some other optiions)?

    Also, someone stated that they made their own function generator... is this easy? Seems like it would be kind of hard and complex.

    Thank you all for your help.
     
  12. Mikebits

    Mikebits Well-Known Member

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  13. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    Wow I didn't even know they had an IC that did this. Very nice. Now the real question is: Is there an IC that acts as an Oscilloscope? ;)
     
  14. Krumlink

    Krumlink New Member

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    You should go for a soldering iron in the range of 15Watts to 30Watts. Too hot and it could damage sensitive parts, too low and it could fail to melt the solder. I would get 60/40 solder, as it is easy to work with. I was given about 2 pounds of 57/40/3 solder (57 Lead, 40 Tin and 3 silver) for free. Lead free solder is too hard to deal with for a beginner/intermediate, as it does not "wet" the surface. If anybody says you should go for a hot soldering iron, do not do it! If you get the solder too hot it can cause the solder to melt too fast and cause particulates of lead, VERY BAD!

    I have a 15Watt and a 25 watt. The 15W is a cheap radioshack one where the tips disintegrate instantly. The 25 Watt is this one:
    https://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/s...01&catalogId=10001&pa=224611&productId=224611


    and it is NICE. Very sturdy, and it only costs 10 bucks. I am going to get a soldering station hopefully soon. Weller makes the best soldering equipment.
     
  15. Krumlink

    Krumlink New Member

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  16. Krumlink

    Krumlink New Member

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    And as for a power supply, go for the ATX computer power supply. I have 3 of them! They are so easy to use and they can cost around 50$ for a 350Watt supply. That is your best option.

    Another option is to use a 120VDC to about 20VDC and use some regulators, but personally GO FOR THE ATX supply.
     
  17. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    The thing with an ATX supply is that I do not want just 3.3V, 5V, and 12V. I want to be able to adjust this as well as adjust the current. Every how-to that I have seen for the ATX supply just lets you use those voltages (or any combination of them) and that's it. No current or voltage control. If you can find me a circuit or discussion on how to make a variable power supply from an ATX supply then I will think about it (since I have a super duper crazy old gateway lying around my room with an ATX supply).
     
  18. JimB

    JimB Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    When I started in electronics (radio to be more precise) as a hobbyist, all I had was a few hand tools, a 25W soldering iron and a Model7 AVO "borrowed from my father.

    Now, 46 years later I look across at my work area and see amongst other things:

    Oscilloscope, Telequipment D75, bought 25 years ago for £450
    Spectrum analyser, HP 141 series, bought 12 years ago for £900
    Signal Generator, HP8640B, free 15 years ago
    Frequency counter, Racal 1999, bought 3 years ago for 300euro
    Simple PSU, 1 to 20volts 200mA ish, built donkeys years ago from junk, rebuilt several times since.
    PSU 12v 8A, on loan from a friend 10+ years ago, (he has probably forgotten he owns it, he also has some of my stuff which I cant say I miss)
    Audio Oscillator, free, intercepted on its way to the skip (dumpster to our friends in the USA)
    A solderless breadboard, mounted on a case with home made power supplies 5v +12v -12v, variable signal voltage 0 to 12 V, switches, push buttons etc, built 20 years ago from junk (except the breadboards).
    DMM, a reasonable one from Korea, bought ? for ?.

    So, you dont have to spend a fist full of dollars when you first set out in the hobby, just let the stuff build up over time and as and when you can afford it.

    Also dont think of buying the best of something for big money, telling yourself that it will last a lifetime, in 10 years time there will be something much better for much less.
    Consider second hand commercial grade stuff say 5 or 10 years old from the big name manufacturers, which the original owners have now upgraded.

    My opinion, for what it is worth.

    JimB
     
  19. Mikebits

    Mikebits Well-Known Member

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    Those old 141 T's are actually a nice analyzer (Kinda big and heavy though). Did you get a UHF plugin with it?
     
  20. JimB

    JimB Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    8554L, 0 to 1250Mhz

    JimB
     
  21. hugoender

    hugoender New Member

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    I am looking to buy an inexpensive soldering iron that is around 45W but I want one which I can buy tips for. For example, I know it is hard to find tips for the radio shack irons (not to mention the tips for those irons are terrible).

    Also, are there standard tip sizes or do, for example, Hakko irons only accept Hakko tips and Weller irons only accept Weller tips? The reason I ask is because I have found a REALLY cheap 40W iron but I want to make sure I can find tips for it later on.
     

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