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Old 28th December 2006, 05:43 AM   #11
sss is offline sss  Israel
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imho variable power supply is one of the first things u should get.
then a freq generator and an osciloscope.
the freq generator and the power supply u can make by yourself
ofcourse ,multimeter is a must .
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Old 28th December 2006, 07:45 AM   #12
Dave is offline Dave  New Zealand
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For my next scope I'll be looking at something from www.picotech.com
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Old 28th December 2006, 07:55 AM   #13
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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A computer screen OR TWO, like me

These have become impossible to work without as it allows me to reference and cross-reference info while I work.

If you will be doing any case construction, a nice handy vacuumcleaner - a clean lab is a happy lab, although I won't know anything about that.
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Old 28th December 2006, 08:46 AM   #14
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any thoughts on using one of the various PC based programs (e.g. Speaker Workshop, etc.) as a "virtual" function generator?

Anyone have experience with the PC based oscilloscopes?
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Old 28th December 2006, 09:22 AM   #15
Gigapod is offline Gigapod  France
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Quote:
Originally posted by mightydub
any thoughts on using one of the various PC based programs (e.g. Speaker Workshop, etc.) as a "virtual" function generator?

Anyone have experience with the PC based oscilloscopes?
PC-based function generators are very good for audio work, if you can get a clean signal out of your sound card. Very flexible, very accurate.
I can recommend two (for Linux): Audacity and Baudline's integrated function generator.

Sound-card based oscilloscopes are OK but you have to accept the limitations: most sound cards will not sample at rates > 96kHz and you just won't see if your op-amp circuit is oscillating at 1~10MHz! So you need a true oscilloscope for that.

Baudline is just fantastic for audio work. It's not exactly an oscilloscope, but it has some neat functions; check their website for screenshots.

I haven't used any of the PC-based digital storage scopes, but I assume they are OK for many things, unfortunately the limited resolution of the high-speed A-D converters means they are not really suited to some kinds of measurements (that's for the inexpensive ones).

All in all I would say having a PC (or two) in the Lab is a necessity nowadays, and given their low prices, they are certainly not a luxury.
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Old 28th December 2006, 10:31 AM   #16
dfdye is offline dfdye  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gigapod
All in all I would say having a PC (or two) in the Lab is a necessity nowadays, and given their low prices, they are certainly not a luxury.
Two words: "Lap" "Top"

I don't have a dedicated box in the shop, but I do carry my laptop out when I need it.
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Old 28th December 2006, 10:59 AM   #17
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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You need an analogue oscilloscope, minimum bandwidth 20MHz. The most important thing you need is bench space. Put a shelf up above your work bench for your test gear - don't let it live on the work space. A PC with decent soundcard will allow you to do audio measurements. One good DVM is a must, but I see no reason to require true RMS or good accuracy at higher frequencies - use the soundcard etc for that. Lots of sockets are a must as is good lighting, and you need lots of storage (steel shelving is good, but ugly)

What do I have?

11 double sockets (so that's 22 switched outlets)
1.5m high frequency fluorescent (to avoid flicker)
300MHz digital oscilloscope
60MHz analogue oscilloscope
Dedicated audio test set (ex-broadcast)
Fluke 89 DVMs
Component bridge
Variac
Various power supplies
Lots of leads and places to hang them
Lots of components in component cabinets
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Old 29th December 2006, 08:33 AM   #18
rephil is offline rephil  Europe
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Hi Stefanoo,

A good DVM is a must, and you will want sooner or later to know of much it will cost you to get it calibrated.

HP - Agilent are sold on eBay from time to time. A 61/2 digit like the HP 34401A shows at around 500 Euro.

Agilent will sell directly to you also. They have many others models (41/2, 51/2 ... digits). You will get very friendly informations in Italy from a very good Eng. : Ing. Carlo Canziani at carlo_canziani@agilent.com. Calibration informations will be there available.

You might think also to look at www.hpw-works.com for some software analysis (THD, ... using the fast Fourier transform). Seller is Hanspeter Widmer, here a fine diyaudio member, that gives a very friendly and generous help. A very good working tool!

If in need of something nice, have a look at www.spectraplus.com for the spectra software. You will have to add our local IVA taxe to the total to be paid. It works very good.

For hardware tools, there is Steve Hodge in Great Britain, at www.test-measure.co.uk. He is able to find many things from TTi, as power supplies, function generators .... A fantastic man, very friendly and honest. You will have no problem with him.

Weller is very good as soldering iron, tips and parts to repair it if needed are easily found. Not that cheap though.

I hope this help.

Best regards

rephil
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Old 29th December 2006, 10:30 AM   #19
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thanks a lot to all of you guys!!
I'm really glad to have gotten all this usefull posts.
I will check out every single link that are quoted in here....just as soon as i will be better (emem i got the stomach flue.....bleeaa!!)

Anyway....a quick thing...


on the other section (pass labs) i've seen a post about distorsion analyzer and this thing just hit my attention.
Do you guys know about this instrument: UPV Analyzer?

(http://www.rohde-schwarz.com/)

Does anybody have more information about this? Cause....accordingly with the description, i would be the best most complete instrument for anybody who amis to buitt and repair amplifier.

Well..hope to figure out very soon a good set of instruments and built my own laboratory.
Just an estimate.....how much do you guys think would cost a lobortatory from scratch?

Tdh analyzer
oscilloscope
Welder
necessary tools
multimeter
software (i have orcad 10.5 and cadence 15.5 with all simulators)




Thanks again for the attention payed.


Best Regards,
Stefano.
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Old 29th December 2006, 10:52 AM   #20
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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How much does it cost? How long is a piece of string?

Let's see, you could buy an Audio Precision Cascade System Two (I think they're about $20k) as your distortion analyser. I got lucky and paid 47.50 for my broadcast-surplus distortion analyser. If you have to ask the question then you shouldn't be spending much because you don't really know what you're doing or what you're going to use the equipment for. I can't conceive of any audio laboratory requiring a 6 1/2 digit DVM - 3 1/2 digits are perfectly adequate and 4 1/2 are nice to have.

99% of faults could be fixed with:

20MHz analogue oscilloscope (100 second-hand, 300 new)
10MHz function generator (100 new)
2 x 3 1/2 digit DVM (10 and upwards each)
Decent soundcard and software

It's not what tools you have, it's what you do with them...
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