What are the minimum tools for beginner electronics?

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TLDR ; ) at bottom.

I've been looking at used equipment on CL and could use a little advice on what the other members feel is an adequate tool set.
Of course I'd like something ideal like a Tek 465B but there aren't any up right now. (generally speaking and I know that isn't a PS)

So far I've only had batteries, transformers and rheostats or resistors as DC power supplies.

What voltage range would you want?
Current?
Would you be willing to commit bench space to a large older model or get something small and modern?
Then again basically the same questions on AC or variacs.




TLDR; )
I currently only have a DMM and some assorted low quality kit and might buy this.
https://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/ele/5577887128.html

The power supply looks borderline useless to me due to the low current. Do you feel otherwise?
Here is a google result with model # https://www.google.com/search?q=twi...EwiT16_KjdHMAhXMpR4KHarXAT8Q_AUIBigA&dpr=1.71
Function generator is Elenco GFG-8016G

Worth buying? Good deal? Pass?
I need better tools!
 
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You are asking a "how long a piece of string should I buy?" type of question. The answer is "what are you planning to use the string for?".

You haven't told us whether you are interested in valve or solid-state audio, line stages or power amps, conventional circuitry or esoterica.

As a general rule, the greater your knowledge and experience the better you can use quite simple facilities - perhaps DIY facilities.
 
Why not use all of them? A little dumpster diving should get you everything you need for free.
That was pretty much the plan ;)
Maybe I should have made the title "Is this a decent set of starter tools for a 10 year old who's interested in EE ?"

Not only do I dumpster dive, I've been saving choice bits of devices for 15+ years and it's accelerated lately as scrap prices have gone down.

This is a nice little bit I found about FG and 'scopes. TESTING ESR OF ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITORS, without an ESR meter
 

mcandmar

Member
2012-02-23 7:02 pm
Dublin
For the DIY option i can highly recommend this little board for $12 B3603 LED DC DC Digital Control Step Down Module Power Supply Adjustable Buck | eBay I built mine into an enclosure with a transformer and filter caps.

It lets you set current and voltage limits, and it will display real time voltage, current, and power output. It really is a great little board. It is limited to 30volts and 3 amps, but i rarely need any more than that unless mocking up tube amp builds, then i switch to a couple of old Heathkit bench supplies that i reconditioned.
 

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:cop: As the subject matter did not match the question in the title the thread title has been changed.

Since it is against policy to question moderator actions I will make a statement.

My question is about power supplies,
What voltage range would you want?
Current?
Would you be willing to commit bench space to a large older model or get something small and modern?
Then again basically the same questions on AC or variacs.
two replies have dealt with power supplies.

Another reply is a troll who posted in my thread in the "Tubes" section, then asked what I was going to do with the power supply. :rolleyes: Obviously I'll be relocating electrons.

Now thanks to the title change I'm being advised to buy pliers..... no offense to Nigel who I know is a nice chap.
Thank you for replying Nigel, we have many many tools in my shop. Too many sometimes. :(

For the DIY option i can highly recommend this little board for $12
That does look like a great little board and is also a NO answer to a larger unit.
Current limiting might allow the kid to smoke less components.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN USING IT?

SMPS has changed SO much in the power supply world but just because they drive an LED doesn't make it suitable for other work.
Or at least it doesn't help me sort through Ebay listings.
To be clear, I've been using LED driver boards for many years now but they'd been so prone to failure that I hadn't considered them for a bench supply.

I really ruined a lot of them before getting smart and buying a Ungar 9900 and pointy tips. Tiny tiny stuff on the 14mm flashlight boards. :h_ache:

Be careful buying cheap, old units. Cap replacement could cost as much or more than you paid for it..

There seems a fine line between "cheap and old (and unservicable therefore undesirable)" vs "cheap and old (because they were made so well that most are still running and the prices stay low)"
That is part of what I'm trying to feel out.
 

wintermute

Administrator
Paid Member
2003-08-03 11:43 am
Sydney
Gratewhitehuntr said:
Another reply is a troll who posted in my thread in the "Tubes" section, then asked what I was going to do with the power supply. Obviously I'll be relocating electrons.
It is possible that the insult was directed at me. Just in case it was, the OP needs to understand that I don't remember all the people I have replied to, what they are currently working on, what their particular likes and dislikes are, what their particular confusions are etc. For long-term residents here who I regularly interact with I may gradually build up a picture which may affect my replies. However, I also have a policy of not reading too much across from one thread to another: this means I can have a robust technical argument with someone in one thread and yet still reply courteously to a sensible question in another thread; I don't always manage to do this 100%, but not everyone on here even tries - some follow others around and deliberately annoy them.

So my humble apologies for not instantly remembering that the OP is only interested in valve circuits. That only narrows things down a little, so most of my post 2 still stands as a valid reply to a very vague question.
 
That does look like a great little board and is also a NO answer to a larger unit.
Current limiting might allow the kid to smoke less components.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN USING IT?

SMPS has changed SO much in the power supply world but just because they drive an LED doesn't make it suitable for other work.
Or at least it doesn't help me sort through Ebay listings.
To be clear, I've been using LED driver boards for many years now but they'd been so prone to failure that I hadn't considered them for a bench supply.

I really ruined a lot of them before getting smart and buying a Ungar 9900 and pointy tips. Tiny tiny stuff on the 14mm flashlight boards. :h_ache:

Not sure, at least a year. I've used it for small 3.3v and 5v digital circuits right up to 2.5amp filament supplies. It also doubles as a fume extractor when soldering, hence the 120mm fan sitting on top :)
 
My bad. I took the comment (humour aside) at face value. It seemed you were more interested in oscilloscopes, function generators and other things than power supplies.

Tony.
No problem Tony , but ..uh.... can I at least spell the title correctly ? :happy2:

+Mcandmar I meant to ask what you are using as a voltage source and how much flicker there is at low voltage.
I'm going to see if the people at CandlePowerForums are familiar with this board and can suggest something similar with higher voltage.
I did just pick up some tubes with 36v heaters.....

Everyone else
Being cheap isn't the primary objective. Remember that I'm not buying items solely for myself, but also a 10yo wannabe EE. She could use the fabrication skills and it's be more better if she trashed cheaper items LOL.

40vdc 500ma too low to be useful?

+Mr. DF96 I'll submit for consideration that you do not remember the other thread because your post was not substantive or even on topic.
Perhaps you can't read or can't comprehend. I asked "minimum" and you said "how long", I stated that I'd been in the valves section and you read "only interested in valves".
Anyone with understanding of psychology and English as a mother language can clearly interpret the syntax of you writing as belittling or mocking.

Now, if you are not the sort to
follow others around and deliberately annoy them.
then kindly see your way out.
Regarding your offer to provide
I'll have to politely decline. Life is simply too short and I refuse to acknowledge your subsequent posts unless they are relevant and considerate.
 
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Gratewhitehuntr said:
+Mr. DF96 I'll submit for consideration that you do not remember the other thread because your post was not substantive or even on topic.
Thank you for your kind and encouraging words.

Perhaps you can't read or can't comprehend.
I will continue dribbling on the floor.

I asked "minimum" and you said "how long",
Sorry. If you want to know the minimum PSU for starting in audio then the answer is a 9V battery.

I stated that I'd been in the valves section and you read "only interested in valves".
Sorry, you told me off for not noticing that you were interested in valves. Now you tell me off for noticing. Are you always this friendly to existing members of clubs when you join them?

You asked a context-free question. I pointed this out. You took exception and insulted me. Not a good start, is it?
 
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