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Old 16th January 2013, 07:57 PM   #11
Telstar is offline Telstar  Italy
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Definitely my new (used) JBC soldering station.
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Old 17th January 2013, 12:15 PM   #12
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I will add that clothes pins are good when you don't have a third hand to solder -- and they are insulators as well.
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Old 17th January 2013, 02:19 PM   #13
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Over 50 years ago, I bought a set of "service tweezers" for my shop. I had no idea how useful they would prove to be. One tweezer you squeeze and then can slide a little latch to hold them closed, another one you squeeze to open. perfect for holding a wire in place or whatever.


And all this time, I never thought to grab some of my mother's clothes pins. Great idea jack.
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Old 17th January 2013, 02:58 PM   #14
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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I do love my little cable tester. Especially since I work in pro audio, where cables are constantly being connected and disconnected and coiled up and transported. Mine is an old Whirlwind, but I do love it. Newer units include Speakon cables and other more recently popular cable types.
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Old 18th January 2013, 07:26 PM   #15
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I'd say my most useful tools so far have been:

  • Uni-T UT61E multimeter - This is by far my favorite tool. It's incredibly well built (for the price), easy to read, and its pretty much agreed the best meter from the perspective of features and accuracy in the sub $60 category. I call it a great starter meter when you want something more serious than a sub-$20 POS model but can't afford one of the top name flukes. It's not perfect (input protection could be better but it does do CATII 600V and CATIII 300V with certification in Europe, just not the CATIII600V and CATII1000V it claims). It's 20,000 count, TrueRMS, auto-ranging, very nicely accurate (does much better than its specs claim), etc.
  • My o-scope (got it from a member on here) there are likely better values out there for someone buying it themselves(I got it for free just had to pay shipping) but in my day-to-day usage the scope has been very valuable.
  • My 936 clone soldering station. Once again its a great starter iron when you want to step-up from the radioshack wall plug model. The tips (and pretty much every other replacement part) are easily available everywhere (and for cheap). The latter is very important when you are learning soldering for the first time because you will destroy a lot of tips.
  • Electrodroid - an incredibly useful android application that contains all sorts of things you could find easily on google but puts them all it one convenient place. Things like cut-off frequency calculator (RC or LC, you can hold any two values constant and calculate the third), resistor color band calculator, heatsink temp calculator, pinouts, voltage drop on a pcb trace, etc. Oh yeah and its free (there is a donate version that adds a few small features but these are not really anythign special, its mainly just to donate to the programer for the awesome app).

Last edited by PedroDaGr8; 18th January 2013 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 18th January 2013, 07:40 PM   #16
Telstar is offline Telstar  Italy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PedroDaGr8 View Post
[*]Electrodroid - an incredibly useful android application that contains all sorts of things you could find easily on google but puts them all it one convenient place. Things like cut-off frequency calculator (RC or LC, you can hold any two values constant and calculate the third), resistor color band calculator, heatsink temp calculator, pinouts, voltage drop on a pcb trace, etc.
Does it exist also for iphone?
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Old 18th January 2013, 07:42 PM   #17
oz7aff is offline oz7aff  Denmark
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If I do not have the DEN-ON SC-7000Z Soldering and desoldering tools at hand, then lots of solder wick.
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Old 18th January 2013, 07:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Telstar View Post
Does it exist also for iphone?
I'm sure there is an equivalent (couldn't find one via a quick google search but I'm sure its there) but at this time Electrodroid is only available for Android and Windows Phone (just released).

Here is the website for electrodroid:
Link
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Old 19th January 2013, 10:10 PM   #19
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Test equipment: Fluke 45 (and assorted handhelds), Hitachi 100MHz analogue scope, HP200CD audio generator. Dunno if the AVO mkIV valve tester qualifies as favourite given the time I have just spent repairing and calibrating it, but it sure is nice looking!
Hand tools: Weller magnastat iron (bomb proof and I have lifetime's worth of tips and spares for it!), little Lindstrom smooth jaw pliers, an assortment of screwdrivers by Belzer, and so it goes on. Hard to pick absolute favourites with some of these since the tool drawers represent a life-long fascination with electronics
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Old 19th January 2013, 10:41 PM   #20
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I use these often. Often enough that I have 2 sets - 1 for the bench and one for the toolkit. The Xcelite R3322 and P12S mini screwdrivers. Mine are 25 years old and still good as new (even though they can be handy for more than just turning screws). Available from most Cooper/Weller/Xcelite/Apex dealers.
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