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Basic tools for EEs?

Thread starter #1
A friend (an ME) asked me what basic tools professional EEs typically have on their bench these days. Back in the dark ages, when I was still doing design work, I would have said an EE's bench would include a scope, signal generator, soldering iron, wire clippers of some sort, and a wire-wrapping gun. These days, I think that stuff might still work for home projects but maybe not for real developers. So I am curious: For the real developers out there, what are the four or five go-to tools on your bench?
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#2
You might have not needed a power supply on the bench back in the dark ages, but we definitely need one now ;)

You need tweezers now since you aren't getting very far with SMD components without them. Hemosats, needle nose pliers. Lots of little grabby tools.

Needle probes for the multi-meter.

I have a microscope but I probably don't use it as much as I would like to since it's not a boom mount so I can only use it for inspection rather than work under it.
 
Last edited:
Thread starter #3
Forgot about the dc supply, probably because for what we were doing, we wanted power lines with zero-point-zero-zero-zero percent noise, so we generally just used batteries.
 

JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
#4
A friend (an ME) asked me what basic tools professional EEs typically have on their bench these days.
That would depend a lot on what the EE was doing.

These days, I think that stuff might still work for home projects but maybe not for real developers. So I am curious: For the real developers out there, what are the four or five go-to tools on your bench?
Being retired, I am just an enthusiastic amateur these days.
Having said that I am now better equipped than ever I was doing my day job, which did vary a great deal over the years from being a lowly bench technician in an equipment manufacturers large service/calibration department, ending up as a Project Engineer working on subsea oil production equipment, mostly doing paper engineering.

Coming back to your original question, as my main area of interest is RF stuff, my "must have" equipment is PSU, multimeter, frequency counter, signal generator, spectrum analyser with tracking generator, and of course all the usual hand tools.

JimB
 

gophert

Active Member
#5
A friend (an ME) asked me what basic tools professional EEs typically have on their bench these days. Back in the dark ages, when I was still doing design work, I would have said an EE's bench would include a scope, signal generator, soldering iron, wire clippers of some sort, and a wire-wrapping gun. These days, I think that stuff might still work for home projects but maybe not for real developers. So I am curious: For the real developers out there, what are the four or five go-to tools on your bench?
Visor with 3x and 5x magnifying lenses.
Flat-nose Tweezers (squeeze to open) for SMD parts
DMV with frequency counter and %duty cycle
Scope with frequency counter.
Power supply (50v 1amp) - I have several - extremely low noise (not amps)
PIC microcontroller programmers (PICKit2, 3 and a new-fangled one I haven't even tried yet. )
A PC for simulation, PCB layout, and Programming Microcontrollers.
A thermostat-controlled Soldering iron
Shear-style flush-cut wire cutters
PC with internet connection for looking up data sheets, searching parts and ordering parts.
Drill press and sub-mm carbide drill bits for PCB.
Wire stripper
Laser printer and PET film for making positive photo-resist from pre-sensitized PCBs
A fluorescent lamp with cold fluorescent tube for exposure of sensitized PCB
Internet connection to look up data sheets, as well as search and place orders for parts
 

dr pepper

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#6
My most used, a good selection of bargain shop reading glasses.
That depends on your age I spose.
 

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