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New Lab Equipment Setup

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Zachary Turner

New Member
Hey guys! I am new here, so if this post is in the wrong spot please let me know. I am a recent graduate from Texas A&M and am designing a new item I hope to bring to market, but am in need of some lab equipment to get me started and move onto larger projects. I have put together a spreadsheet of some of the items I am planning on purchasing and hope that anyone with some insight to the newer technology can steer me in the right direction. Let me know if there are any better options for the equipment I have picked out on the page. I am looking to buy new equipment and not used to last me a long time with no headaches. Thank ya'll for your time!

Equipment Name Eqmt Type Eqmt Price
Soldering Station
Weller Analog 87.23
Oscilloscope
#VALUE! 370
Hantek 100Mhz 2 Ch. 268.98
Siglent 2 Ch. 200 Mhz BW 394.9
Power Supply
Korad 30V 5A Triple Output 224.61
#VALUE! 213.39
Siglent 30V 5A Triple Output 372.34
Waveform Generator
Hanktek O-scope + WG 289.89
Components
5V Relay (10 Pc) 4.73
Arduino Uno (3 minimum) 8.94
4.5mm button (100pc) *China* 1.3
Assorted Buttons (200pc) *US* 12.99
Jumper Wires 7.49
PCB Prototyping Boards 14.99
Alligator Jumper Wires
Resistor Assortment 10.86
Soldering Stand 8.5
#VALUE! 4.83
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Define "better" because I can give you my version of better but it's going to cost.

I assume that the reason you have a second soldering stand is that you're going to junk the one that came with the Weller because you are mainly after the brass wool.

Might want to add an ESD mat and wrist strap in there.

You'll want one or two good pairs of tweezers and maybe some hemostats. Some wire strippers and shear cutters as well. Possibly also a pair of needle nose pliers but I find that I use the hemostats and tweezers so much more for general grasping that I am better off with duckbill pliers specifically for bending leads.

Also a stand for holding PCBs while you solder. I use panavise.

A crimper might be useful too. I like Paladin Tools Crimpall 8000 and the Engineer PA-09 might be better. Gotta know what crimps you want to use ahead of time though when picking a crimping tool.

Then there's consumable supplies like solder, copper braid, flux, flux cleaner and their associated pump dispensers or needle dispensers.

You may want a fume extractor.

Also, you'll want a resistor and capacitor kit. I use SMD so I have kits of those.

Are you planning to stay through-hole the entire time? Because many components now are SMD. There does exist SMD protoboards like from BusBoard. I use their 50x50 mil grid since it is able to accomodate most SMD discretes and dual-row ICs with a pin spacing of 1.27mm and larger as well as SOT components, and surface mount versions of 0.100" headers. I use them with solderable magnet wire so I don't have to worry about shorts mid-wire and can solder straight through the insulation rather than stripping every single end. But note, that you will want a fume extractor for this because the insulation on solderable magnet wire is nylon and polyurethane and you do not want to breathe in the dicyanate-something fumes it creates.
 
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Zachary Turner

New Member
Yeah you are right, I wanted the brass wool and preferably a second stand so I don't have only one spot to put the soldering iron when I have stuff cluttered all over my desk like I always seem to have. I do need the mat and will look into adding that to the list. I have all kinds of tweezers and hardware from being a mechanic/welder/fiberglasser/fabricator/carpenter in my early years. Thanks for the advice on the PCB stand as that is another thing I will need to use. I used to just leave it on the table and solder from there, but flipping it over and over was a pain. I am not sure about the fume extractor until I get into my work area and decide it is necessary. I also already have a large assortment of resistors and capacitors and just need to beef it up a little bit. As for the last item about staying through-hole, I am not sure until I get deeper into developing my product. It all depends on what the demand is for the project as it advances, but I will look into the option to see what kind of benefits it possess. I was also curious to get an opinion of the larger equipment I had listed. What do you think of the choices that I have made? Can I go cheaper in any area? Would you choose one over the other for any particular reason? Would blowing alot of money on one specific item be worth it for me here in the beginning and what are your thoughts on that. Thanks again for the response and your time!
 

KeepItSimpleStupid

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
You need to tell us where your from. Country at least.

For soldering stations look at the Blackjack series from CircuitSpecialists.com

Explain, why in general why you think you need what. e.g Oscilloscope. I need to analyze the I2C protocol and observe signals with a max BW of X, ampllitudes, earth isolation etc. DSO? MSO?

General budget can be discussed later.

I need to make you aware of www.protoadvantage.com and www.aliexpress.com
 

Zachary Turner

New Member
Well I plan on dealing with digital/analog circuit design and need something to view input/output along with motor drive output and numerous other analog input devices that I would like to be able to view via. O-scope. I also deal with antenna design and enjoy using the smith chart the O-scope has to offer as well. I am not too sure about the requirements on the exact BW that I will be dealing with and it will be figured out as soon as the limit is reached, sadly as this is the case for most situations. Thank you for the input, but I feel that the blackjack 30W may be underpowered for the volume that I will be dealing with and the heavier models have a huge price range. The only reason I lean towards weller is because I have gotten to use it before and I drink Wellers Whiskey. Kinda just fits :) I appreciate the inclusion of the websites as I will take advantage of what they have to offer! Thank you! Also I am from the United States. Texas to be exact.
 

KeepItSimpleStupid

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I have a previous version of this: https://www.circuitspecialists.com/...8000-all-in-one-soldering-rework-station.html

In my case, I can't use the iron and the solder sucker at the same time. I had/have minor issues:

1. I had to ream the solder sucker holder because it kept hanging up.
2. The solder iron pens sometimes slips out - friction fit.
3. The pins on the plugs (iron, sucker) are not identified making it harder to troubleshoot.
3a. Not heating (sucker) turned out to be thermal contact.
4. You need to use an thermal anti-sieze on the solder sucker.

The solder sucker needs th most help. I self-contained one would be more useful and more expensive.

It's not a bad price.

Metcal is a recommended iron. It's not resistive, but RF.
 

unclejed613

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
if you are going to do antenna stuff, get a MFJ antenna analyzer. i have a MFJ-259B that's about 20 years old, and it's one of the most useful pieces of test gear i own. you might want to get an RF signal generator and a spectrum analyzer. you could get a hackRF SDR radio to fill in for a signal generator, and another inexpensive SDR like the SDRplay (it's more expensive than the $30 dongles, but excellent performance and receives 10khz-2ghz) )to use as a spectrum analyzer.
https://www.sdrplay.com/
https://greatscottgadgets.com/hackrf/
https://www.mfjenterprises.com/Categories.php?sub=0&ref=7
 
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