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Trainers for a beginner?

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plot

New Member
Wow... really pricey... but really nice... includes everything needed - power supply, function generator, breadboard, logic probe, etc. all in one.

Is it good for learning? Well, it supplies all the tools you need in one nice package, but it's not a learning tool per say... ie: it's not designed for learning, won't come with different parts and components and instructions to build stuff, etc. If you want to track down the parts yourself and build your own circuits via tutorials on the internet, then it's great.

...i wish i had one.
 

stevez

Active Member
For others I've called attention to the 50 in 1 or 100 in 1 "toys" that one might purchase at a Radio Shack or science store. While their "Age 10 and up" description gives one the impression that they are toys there might be an argument to the contrary. They come with parts that are the same parts you'd purchase to put in the $475 trainer. The instructions may not have the technical depth but your own research can fix that.

Nuts & Volts magazine has been running a nice series of articles on transistors. It appears, though I've not verified this, that the circuits use the same common transistors, resistors, etc so that one could probably purchase $20 worth of components and build most of the circuits shown.

The tools/equipment you use to measure are important. A good DVM would seem to be essential. One of the best additions for me was a scope. Doesn't have to be fancy but it does need to work. With it you can "see" the square wave, sine wave, etc.

There are some prototyping boards with power supplies available for much less money. The one you've described certainly is a nice one. It's hard to comment on what is best for you without knowing where you are at in terms of knowledge and where you want to end up.

Just some thoughts.
 

Gandledorf

New Member
The lab I worked in as a student had a PB-505 for every person in it. I can attest to the quality of those things. The price though, IMHO, is outrageous. That being said, if you can afford one, the function generator is really nice, by far the nicest part of the entire board.

Of course, I'd rather have a scope, but they are even more pricey on average.
 

GrayFox

New Member
Well, what to look for in a o'scope?

Basically I am a retired guy looking for something to do...In my previous life I was a self taught professor of computer science with my formal education in mathematics.

I am also considering a oscilloscope but it is not clear what features might be important... There seems to be a pretty good price jump once you get past 20MHz. The Velleman handhelds look interesting also.

I have read several warnings about scopes being used on line powered equipment...

--Jerry
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Re: Well, what to look for in a o'scope?

GrayFox said:
I am also considering a oscilloscope but it is not clear what features might be important... There seems to be a pretty good price jump once you get past 20MHz. The Velleman handhelds look interesting also.

I have read several warnings about scopes being used on line powered equipment...

A 20MHz scope will do pretty well most things you need, as you say, above that they go up fast!.

To use a scope on line powered equipment, that is on the live mains side, you should power the equipment through a mains isolation transformer. If you are working on an isolated secondary section, there's no problem.

There are other simpler and cruder methods, but it's not appropriate to mention them in a public forum - anyone who's suitably qualified or experienced will know what to do anyway.
 

plot

New Member
...everyone that doesn't have a scope wishes they had one, me included. :(

20MHz is enough to do most electronic circuits, and unless you are plugging it into your power outlet, you shouldn't have any problems. if you use it to test circuits you build on a breadboard, you'll have no problems at all.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
plot said:
...everyone that doesn't have a scope wishes they had one, me included. :(

After many years I've now managed to accumulate three of them, 10MHz, 20MHz, and 30MHz double beams :lol:

If anyone in England wants to fetch an old scope, I've recently been given an old (ABSOLUTELY HUGE!) Tektronixs valve scope, I think the model is a 546?. I plugged it in and it lit up, but seemed a bit 'strange', it might have been that I couldn't work it :lol: - it's covered in knobs!.

Anyone who cares to turn up at Matlock in Derbyshire can take it away with them!.
 

Gandledorf

New Member
Wish I had a ticket to Derbyshire. The only scopes I've used have had knobs, and not a single one I can call my own. We actually built a VERY simple Digital Scope once as a project, but it required a $100 daughter board.
 

Exo

Active Member
Nigel Goodwin said:
plot said:
...everyone that doesn't have a scope wishes they had one, me included. :(

After many years I've now managed to accumulate three of them, 10MHz, 20MHz, and 30MHz double beams :lol:

If anyone in England wants to fetch an old scope, I've recently been given an old (ABSOLUTELY HUGE!) Tektronixs valve scope, I think the model is a 546?. I plugged it in and it lit up, but seemed a bit 'strange', it might have been that I couldn't work it :lol: - it's covered in knobs!.

Anyone who cares to turn up at Matlock in Derbyshire can take it away with them!.

Got a 40Mhz from work last year. They were throwing it out, i just made sure they threw it in my direction :lol:
 

Barry

New Member
Hello all,
Software to use your PC as a acope with inputs via soundcard. Is that any good?
Thanks,
Barry.
 
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