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Chrabban 17th July 2011 01:06 PM

So what do i need ? =)
i am just starting out, i am going to be the worlds best amp builder :devilr: hehe no but i will try ;) so what do is the most basic things i need? i have a soldering iron from weller so that i have, some pliers and tweezers. i am thinking that i will need a Oscilloscope and a tone Generator ? wrong or right? is the USB ones enny good? if there is a DIY kit for them i will make one . if there ar no DIY kit then this is a store that i have nere me, so if you can help me find a good one here it whold be realy awsome;

Spiny 17th July 2011 04:44 PM

A multimeter is a basic requirement along side the soldering iron. Given the abundance of cheap but usable digital ones a couple or more is useful.

A good reference book ;) even in these days of the internet. After this comes the fancy bits :D Next up IMO is the scope - for audio I prefer a real analog scope. followed by a lab type variable powersupply. The number of projects the current limiter on the PSU has saved for me is legendary...

The tone generator can be built as the starting project ;)
welcome to the madhouse of diy electronics

Conrad Hoffman 17th July 2011 05:39 PM

One thing you need is to fill in your profile so it shows where you are. Your location sometimes has an effect on the advice you'll receive in terms of how available certain equipment might be.

That said, in general you need the usual hand tools (screwdrivers, pliers, tweezers, small files, X-Acto knives and maybe a Dremel tool or similar), a dual power supply that's adjustable for voltage and current, a DVM or two, a function generator and a scope. Once you have those basics you can do about anything. You'll want a PC/soundcard based measurement system as it's a cheap way to do spectral analysis and distortion measurements, but I would never start out that way or rely on it as the only measurement tool on the bench.

One odd thing is that the longer you do this the less you absolutely have to have. Though I collect test equipment and enjoy the stuff thoroughly, I could probably build a decently functioning power amp with nothing more than a DVM. Starting out it would have been unthinkable not to have a scope probe in hand at all times. I'm not suggesting not having a scope, but that ever more test equipment isn't a substitute for your brain.

Speaking of the brain, you should give it lots to think about by buying books. Not everything in the world is on the 'net in sufficient depth. Get a copy of Horowitz & Hill (The Art of Electronics), Doug Self's amplifier book, Bob Cordell's amplifier book, a copy of Boylestad's Introductory Circuit Analysis book and Jung's opamp book. You should download and read most of the Linear Technology application notes by Jim Williams. Even if you don't do opamps, you'll get valuable insights. There's lots more, but that's a start.

Chrabban 17th July 2011 06:07 PM

yes, i have a realy basic one that sucks so i will get a better one, and buy a backup (a crapy one) ;) so is the analog scope to prefer over a digital one? why is that ? :) ( i think my dad might have a old one) where can i get a lab type variabel powersupply? can i get it from ELFA or Ebay ? :P

hehe awsome i will make the best tone generator ever ;) is there a good kit or shold i make one from scratch? :P

Spiny 17th July 2011 07:11 PM

the lab power supplies (usually 0-30volt *2 at 0-3Amp) can be had from component suppliers like CPC Farnell or ebay. depends where you are in the world.

For audio I prefer analogue but that's a personal preference, others will have their say ;)

Chrabban 17th July 2011 08:07 PM

Conrad Hoffman: dident se your awnser. now you know where i live ;) Sweden
can you give an exampel on a dual power supply that's adjustable for voltage and current? :) (at ELFA, Ebay or from the rest of EU)

is there enny specific brand or model PC/soundcard based measurement system that you can rekomend?

i will order some books this week so i hope that i will start to understand all this.

Spiny: do you speak of the same thing as conrad Hoffman ?
okey then i need to get my hands on a digital and a analog so i can try them out :)

Conrad Hoffman 17th July 2011 08:29 PM

I don't know anything about what's available in terms of used and surplus equipment in Sweden. My guess is not so much. Good power supplies tend to be expensive, and they aren't that hard to build if you can get suitable power supply transformers and minor circuit bits. There are dozens of circuits on the 'net. If you have to buy everything new it might not be worth it; you have to do the same build vs. buy analysis that any business might do. I also don't recommend working with mains voltage until you get more experience. I use surplus Kepco supplies on my home bench. At work I think we have Instek supplies that are pretty decent for the money. You should also look at Rigol, though they probably cost more. Google "dual dc power supply" for a bunch. I'd avoid B&K. They work fine, but the user interface is terrible- you have to use a shifted key to turn the output on and off. When my project is on fire I want to be able to shut down faster than that! My very first power supply was just a box with a transformer and fixed plus and minus 15 VDC regulators. I built a lot of stuff with that before needing anything more. My electronic "education" was only possible because of easy access to a lot of cheap surplus parts. If you have to buy everything new and "per project" progress will be slower. OTOH, you now have huge access to well worked out designs on the 'net, plus a lot of help right here on this forum.

edit/addition: Suggestion- as a first project, build a capacitance bridge. Build a traditional 4-arm bridge, not a digital. It's pretty simple and you'll learn a huge amount and will then have a useful tool for measuring capacitors. More info on my web site.

Chrabban 18th July 2011 09:04 AM

okey, humm how about this one ? Hitta Power supply dual adjustable variable DC 0-30V 0-5A på eBays internationella marknad, där det finns fynd att göra i alla dina favoritkategorier. Allting kan levereras till ditt land! it cost 283$

humm i dont realy know what a traditional 4-arm bridge is :P what dose it do ?

if you whold recomend one book of the one you told me about earlier which one is the best to start with ?

i am trying to find components, someones old stach that i can get cheap´=) but nothing so far :P

Conrad Hoffman 18th July 2011 11:58 AM

That supply looks rather good and the price seems reasonable. You couldn't build it for that.

The best books depend on your knowledge and style of learning. Horowitz & Hill is "friendly" and written in plain English. It covers a lot of area and is heavy on opamps. After you've learned a bit you won't use it much. Boylestead is a textbook and usually can be had used for not too much money. It's not as nice to read, but I still refer to it very often as it has all the basic math concepts. It's a great reference when you get confused or old and want to check something. Those are for the basic general knowledge. For power amp specifics I'm not sure if Self or Cordell is best to start with. You can't go wrong with either.

You can measure caps and often inductors with modern DVMs, but a 4-arm bridge will also give you losses and tell you more about the parts. It's only useful after you have a signal generator. I suggest it more because it's a simple project and once you understand how it works you'll be way ahead of most everybody else in understanding passive components.

tunneldiode 18th July 2011 02:37 PM

For that money, you could buy a 2nd-hand Farnell E30-2, have it shipped to Sweden, and have beer money left over. :)

Or a scope. I'd certainly recommend a 2nd-hand (analogue) Tek, or Gould.

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