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Old 15th August 2001, 09:31 PM   #1
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I'm just starting out in the world of diy audio and would like to start building some amplifier and preamplifier circuits, but I have no testing equipment of any kind. Not even a DMM. I would like to start probably with a passive pre-amp and then move on to building either a Zen project or maybe even an Aleph 3, but I would like to purchase equipment that could be usefull to me for a few years as I am a student and probably won't have the resources to buy any additional equipment in the next 3 years. I have a budget limit of $220 dollars, but if possible would like to end up well under that target as it would delay any projects for a couple of months. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I sould buy, what specs. I would need on a DMM, how much I should be willing to spend, or even (best possible senario) have a model # of a DMM that would suit my needs or that I should look into. By the way I won't be dealing with tube circuits, and probably won't be dealing with digital circuits either. Thanks so much for your help.
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Old 15th August 2001, 10:33 PM   #2
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If you want a DMM right away, you can go to any Radio Shack. I picked up a Sperry DMM from Lowes hardware this weekend. Lowes has a price ranger of about $20 to $79 for DMM. You want to get one with the widest range of settings and capabilities as possible: Ohm, vdc, vac, capacitance, diode and trans tester, freq., ect -for your price range. DMM can go for several hundred $'s for such model Like Fluke and Tektronics.

You could check the internet. I couldn't find anything on Ebay, but I didn't look really long either.

A DMM and A oscilliscope would be 2 excellent tools for for starters.

Vince
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Old 17th August 2001, 06:41 PM   #3
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Thanks Vince,
What about accuracy on the DMM, is that usually an issue, something i need to be careful with, what tollerances should the it have. Should I worry more about how small a signal the DMM can measure or how large of one it can handle. Thanks so much for your help.

Rob
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Old 17th August 2001, 06:51 PM   #4
haldor is offline haldor  United States
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Hi Rob,

Another thing you might want to think about buying is a signal generator. I bought a Leader 10 Hz to 1 MHz sine and square wave generator on Ebay for around $75. It has really gotten a workout. I use it to check the frequency response of gear I build, to adjust crossovers, you name it.

The alternative is to buy a test CD's, but those can cost $50 and are not nearly as flexible and easy to use as a good signal generator.

Phil
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Old 17th August 2001, 08:02 PM   #5
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Accuracy is important. Compare tolerances between models you're interested in. Comes in handy when measuring low value resistors and other components. Some amps use resistors under 1 Ohm. make sure it can read into meg Ohms.

Unless you're doing high voltage testing, you can get away with most DMMs, but it's nice to have that headroom for safty. I would say yes to both extremes. This is also a factor in price tag.

Good Luck!
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Old 18th August 2001, 01:48 PM   #6
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Default Stuff I borrow the most from work...

is sorta a guide I guess. A GOOD DMM you ought to have around the house period if you are one step from moron. I then tend to borrow the freq gen/counter alot (I work in the broadcast area, so the engineer's shop has better eqquipment than I can afford, so I borrow...). Scope is next, then they have the really good HP analyser that I steal on the weekends. If you are doing design work at all, then a variable powersupply is a big buy, along with for safety sake, a good vent system for solder.

Beyond the DMM, you can get good used stuff for all of this.
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