Author Topic: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab  (Read 44604 times)

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Offline SnakeBite

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EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« on: April 29, 2011, 11:59:22 pm »
i just finish watching the eevblog #168 on youtube and here is dave's conclusions  :



[] two multimeter - stick to the brand names like bk precision , amprobe , uni-t , extech   , must have uA range , nice to have temperature option(get thermocouple)  - 50$ each
     []pocket multimeter - 20$
     [] voltage dectector - if you work with the mains.
[] oscilloscope - don't get near USB scope and nano scope just digital bench one , still recommand the rigol ds1052e - 400$ ,
     []analog scope- recommand also to have analog scope as well, 20mhz dual channel.
[]function generator - 2hz-5mhz freq. range,  instek 1003 is a bargain- 150$
[]bench power supply 15v@1A - at least two or get dual rail PS , get one with variable voltage and current with 10 turn pot NOT single turn or with fine and corse - 100$
[]soldering station - stick to brands name - hakko , metcal ,pace , weller ... , get a chisel tip not the conical, get one with variable temperature - 100$ + 20$ (tips)
    []hot air station - nice to have if you got a need for it for melting heatshrink and smd rework -60$
[]solder - get the 60/40 not the lead free , rusin core flux get 0.5mm or  0.02" and under diameter - 20$
    [] solder spool holder - nice to have.
[]solder wick - 2.2mm for general use , get quality brand - 20$
[]solder sucker pump - 5$
[]flux pen - for smd use - 5$
[]fine Straight tweezers - important to get anti magnetic and stainless -10$
[]fume extractor & safty goggles - you can get the full size one with the filter but they're expensive so you can just take a fan that blows air and keep the fume away - 20$
[]magnifier device - don't need to get high end microscope  you can buy hand magnifier with 4x - 10x magnification to inspect soldering joints  and to read parts numbers on ICs  you can buy
  head magnifier as well , you can also get the magnifier lamps .
[]interconnects - BNC to banana and vice versa , bnc splitter etc.. - 20$
[]side cutters - make sure that the under side of the blade is flat - 10$
[]pliers - niddle nose,blunt nose - 10$
[]wire strippers - auto adjustable one are nice  or you can use your side cutters - 10$
[]allen key and spanner kits - for pots and general use - 10$
[]hot glue gun - 10$
[]set of files   - you can get nibbler if you want to make holes in a front panel - 15$
[]X-Acto knife or utility knife - with replaceable blades - 10$
[]ruler and digital caliper - 30$
[]screwdrivers and screwdrivers sets - all bunch of screwdriver - plat head , philips , hex etc... - 50$
    []magnet -to magnetize or demagnetize you screwdriver
    [] plastic screwdriver - if you doing a lot of trim pots and capactior pots.
[]dave cad  ;) - self adhesive paper notes - 5$
[]heatshrinks in different sizes and crimp terminals kit is nice too - 10$
[]leads and alot of them - alligetor to spade , bnc to banana , alligetor to alligetor  , bnc to alligetor , bnc to bnc , banana to alligtor , alligetor for you multimeter... - 50$
[]tapes - electrical tape ,  duct tape , double side tape , masking tape... - 15$ 
[]wires - solid core 30awg , ribbon cable , power cables etc... - 50$
[]bread board - two will be better ,  double size is good , buy jumper wires or buy a spool and cut you own - 30$
[]vera board or strip board - if you into vera board prototyping get vera board cutter to cut off a copper strips  - 30$
[]spray - electronic cleaning solvent and compressed air
[]dremel of other Rotary tool - if you can afford one.
[]electronics components - through hole and smd , resistors , inductors ,  leds , voltage regulators ,  transistrors etc... - 50$
[]esd mat - with wrist strap - 50$
[]bin to throw away all you failed projects


i think you need also :

*a vise to hold the PCB while soldering
*a bottle of alcohole 90% or more to clean stuff
*good light sourse
*some oil spray like WD-40 to freeup somw stuck bolts
*esr meter
*capacitor meter

what do you think?
Ido

p.s. i'm sorry if i got spelling errors , english isn't my mother language.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 12:07:22 am by SnakeBite »
Ido Aricha , Israel.
 
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Offline adam_lumpkins

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2011, 12:44:16 am »
I think you will also need pin extractor tools for wire looms.  Also if you have flouresent lighting add a few incondesent bulbs so you dont get  headache. "do to the fluresent osalation"
 

Offline buxtronix

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2011, 01:00:14 am »
A nice summary! It'd be nice to see a followup sometime, more on the bench layout, as I have been setting up
my home lab and spent ages getting everything laid out in easy reach. he following have
proven absolutely essential (more on the setup and convenience):

- One of those movable lamps (the type with the dual arms and springs) so you can get light where you need it. I hacked mine with a pushbutton switch on the lamp head, much better than reaching for the inline cord switch.

- Shelving is critical when you have more than a very basic lab.

- A dowel for storing spools of wire (mounted under a shelf).

- Multi-drawer parts boxes. In fact, lots of little storage bins, you will fill them.

- Lots of power points! (Count how many you think you need and double it)

- For thru-hole work, a calibrated lead-bender is handy (has slots for different lengths)

- Helping hands (those stands with alligator clips for holding boards)

- A bench vise.

- most importantly, the bench must be DEEP. Dont use one of those crappy little ikea desks. I bought an
office grade desk that's 900mmx1800mm. You will need lots of space between the tools at the back and you.

With all this, my home lab is a joy to work with, with stuff in easy reach and the right gear at hand.

 

Offline Fryguy

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2011, 01:12:44 am »
A good quality LCR meter is a nice thing to get - especially if you intent to harvest and use electronic components from the junkyard or make your own special (e.g. RF or HV) inductors and stuff . . . .  ;)  

I don't recommend to use a multimeter to do an LCR-meters job .  ::)

A 900mm desk is a fine size to work on if you've got modern equipment - if you've got some vintage lab equipment 900mm might not be enough - I've got a Tek 7603 Oscilloscope , an east-german made bench meter with 5-digit nixie tube display and a powerful israeli made bench powersupply (28V/15A with the 10 turn pots - the ones Dave likes so much - for voltage and current) .
Those units are all from the 70's , around 550 mm front to back and weigh a metric ton . . .   ;D ;D ;D
« Last Edit: May 01, 2011, 07:33:16 am by Fryguy »
May the forces of evil get confused on their way to your home !
 

Offline david77

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2011, 01:40:05 am »
A good summary, I'll second the table vice though. One of those mounted on a swively clamp thingy that you attach to your bench, they are damn handy.
Also I have recently aquired a PCB holder, that's a neat tool to have but not essential.

I'd recommend one of those 30V/3A power supplies, even though you may not need it often the day will come when you need a bit more juice for your newest project.

I have a special box labeled "Might become useful in future" where failed projects and other accumulated junk (that's not really junk!) end up in. Often I can salvage some component from one of the boards in there.

To be honest, for general use on THT boards I much prefer 1mm solder wire to the thinner stuff and I almost exclusively us a conical tip on my iron. That depends on individual taste, I guess.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2011, 02:12:28 am »
Great job snakebite, you basically gave the action summary of the whole video.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline sacherjj

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2011, 02:38:37 am »
I've found little cases in the craft department of WalMart in the US.  20 compartments for $2.  Great for storing components.  I just stack them with labels on the side for resistance ranges, cap ranges, etc.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2011, 10:29:54 am »
A few minor comments :
Solder - <=0.5mm is essential but expensive - get some 0.8 or 1.0mm as well for bigger jobs to save wasting the more expensive stuff. Solder with 2% silver is nice as melting point is lower. Absolutely avoid leadfree. 

Braid/solder wick - anything less then about 3mm saturates very quickly so gets used up rapidly - on the odd occasions you need a small size, cut a wedge on the end of wider stuff. I highly recommend Chemtronics Soder-wick (bloody Yanks can't spell Solder).

Soldering irons - get a selection of different tip sizes, including the biggest and smallest available for your iron as well as a 2-3mm for general purpose use. Totally agree that conical tips are useless - no ideal why anyone makes them. Whatever brand you buy, make sure tips are readily available. If you can't get a range of tips at the same time you order the iron, don't buy that iron.

Spray cans - as well as the ones Dave showed you need flux solvent, e.g. Electrolube fluxclene. 
 
Crimps - if you get a box of crimp terminals get a proper ratchet crimp tool like this

 the cheap plier type that Dave showed in the strippers section are useless at crimping reliably. The ones with screw cutters are handy for shortening screws though.

A major omission was a nice bright, movable bench light - small halogen or LED. Halogens get a bit hot though.
I highly recommend getting a couple  of Ikea Jansjo desk lamps

Nice small heads that don't run too hot and you can point them exactly where you need them.

As regards power supplies, it is very important that it has voltage and current metering at the same time - not a single meter that  has to be switched between functions. Current limit is essential. Dual-tracking much less so these days - split supplies are pretty rare these days.
You want something that goes to 30V as 24V devices are pretty common.   

2 meters (or more) absolutely, but don't  get two the same. Different feature sets will cover a wider range of functions and less likely for the cal to drift the same way. At least one must have a 10 amp current range. Get spare fuses.
Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
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Offline kek

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2011, 12:20:50 pm »
Fantastic stuff!

I picked up a portable drill press vice a number of years ago for about $20. It holds a PCB very nicely and has enough heft to stay put.


...link to large image http://sites.google.com/site/kenselectronicsprojects/poject-pictures/IMG_0138.JPG

Ken
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2011, 12:54:06 pm »
Awesome summary, thanks SnakeBite!

I deliberately left out an LCR meter, as I thought it was debatable as an absolute "essential". Entirely depends on what you are into of course, essential for some, hardly ever used for others, and a decent one adds say $200 to the total.
Forgot about lights  ::)

Dave.
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2011, 01:03:17 pm »
Great video Dave. I would suggest a pcb holder. Having said that I've gone 20 years without needing one or should I say doing without one. Bought my first one two days ago, the Jaycar one with the mag glass. Very handy, but a little hard to get used to..

 

Offline tesla500

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2011, 01:56:34 pm »
Great video! One item I find useful, although isn't really essential, is an isolated current probe. This could be a DIY probe using a sensor such as http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=398-1034-ND costing about $30, or a full blown professional system like the Tek A6302/AM503 which can be had on ebay for $500-$1k. It's incredible how well these probes hold their value, I don't know of any other piece of test equipment that still sells used for half it's original price 30 years later!

A word of warning on using dusting gas as cold spray: The cheap kind (R502, may be listed on the can as Chlorodifluoromethane) is flammable when shot out as a liquid. And to top it off, one of the combustion products is hydrogen fluoride, which turns into hydrofluoric acid on contact with moisture in your lungs! Nasty stuff.

So if you think your circuit could blow up and cause a spark when cooling it, use the good (expensive) R134A dusting gas which isn't flammable. This may be listed on the can as 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane. One reason cold spray is always more expensive is because they have to use the more expensive R134A gas.

David
 

Offline Psi

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2011, 05:52:24 pm »
i recommend a set of files and hooks
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline metalphreak

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2011, 07:12:26 pm »
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/aluminum-soldering-scraper-tool-36128

Have like 5 of these. So handy for so many things. Lifting ICs when desoldering, removing DIP package chips from sockets, cutting traces (strip board etc).

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/soldering-iron-tip-cleaner-black-34154

Also worth getting one of these if your soldering iron didn't come with one. Especially if you are too lazy to wet the sponge that comes with most ;) If you ever need to replace the wire stuff inside, a regular stainless steel scrubbing thing works fine.

Offline TheWelly888

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2011, 09:52:39 pm »
I don't bother with air duster cans, I use one of those rubber squeezy bulb blowers that are sold for blowing dust off camera lens instead. On the other hand, I just blow the dust off with my breath...  ;)

I remember setting out in electronics and the absolute minimum electronics tools one must have are a multimeter, soldering iron, solder, solderwick, breadboard/veroboard, single core wires for jumpers and flush side cutters. Knives, screwdrivers, pliers and spanners can be used for other things so ought to be in your garage/shed anyway.

Please, Dave, keep your fingers away from the edge of the scalpel blade, I know it's old and blunt looking but it made my toes curl watching you feeling the blade!  :o
You can do anything with the right attitude and a hammer.
 

Offline torch

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2011, 11:27:00 pm »
Regarding the function generator, I was looking at this http://www.hantek.com.cn/english/news_list.asp?unid=13 arbitrary waveform generator. It's about the same price as the Instek Dave mentioned, and sounds good on paper. 1KHz to 25MHz (up to 75MHz for sine wave), single channel output plus a 12-bit digital logic output. The waveform has to be entered by computer, but it can continue to run without the computer thereafter. You can choose from a menu of standard waveforms or create your own. Apparently it can read Tek CSV files and duplicate a previously measured waveform. The manual seems to be a better effort than many Chinglesh documents.

Stability is listed as <30ppm, output as +/-3.5v, 50mA Ipeak=100mA and distortion as -50dBc(1KHz), -40dBc(10KHz).

(For comparison, the Instek  stability is listed as +/- 20ppm, output +/-5v (no mention of current), and distortion as >-55dBc, 0.1Hz ~ 200kHz)

Has anyone used one of these? Is it worthwhile or something akin to a usb oscilloscope in functionality?
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2011, 12:53:55 am »
Regarding the function generator, I was looking at this http://www.hantek.com.cn/english/news_list.asp?unid=13 arbitrary waveform generator....Has anyone used one of these? Is it worthwhile or something akin to a usb oscilloscope in functionality?
how can you miss such a party?... Review: Hantek DDS 3X25. Anyone own one?  (Read 4922 times). you should be around more frequently. and its not 75MHz sine generator as advertised, its 100MHz.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2011, 12:55:37 am by Mechatrommer »
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline djsb

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2011, 01:26:33 am »
What type of tweezers do people recommend for handling/positioning surface mount components. Just had a look on Farnells site and there are a confusing selection. I need a basic set that can handle 1206 chip caps/resistors and small SOIC IC's. Also does anyone sell stainless toothpicks for positioning parts under a microscope?
Thanks.

David.
David
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 University Electronics Technician, London PIC,CCS C,Arduino,Kicad, Altium Designer,LPKF S103,S62 Operator, Electronics instructor.  http://debuggingrules.com/ Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2011, 02:38:48 am »
What type of tweezers do people recommend for handling/positioning surface mount components. Just had a look on Farnells site and there are a confusing selection. I need a basic set that can handle 1206 chip caps/resistors and small SOIC IC's. Also does anyone sell stainless toothpicks for positioning parts under a microscope?
Thanks.

David.
See : http://forums.adafruit.com/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=18814&sid=0f5a06264473cd73fbbf54feac5cb54e#p97504

You don't need toothpicks - just use tweezers closed.
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Offline Russel

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2011, 02:48:41 am »
I prefer Dumont tweezers, #2 straight for general purpose, and #5 for fine work.

Tweezers at Otto Frei and Jules Borel
 

Offline Chet T16

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2011, 03:03:05 am »
how can you miss such a party?... Review: Hantek DDS 3X25. Anyone own one?  (Read 4922 times). you should be around more frequently. and its not 75MHz sine generator as advertised, its 100MHz.


Whats the final verdict? I skimmed through the thread and as a summary it went -> cheap -> bit crap -> Mechatrommer is a god -> offtopic. Is it worth a buy?
Chet
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Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2011, 03:16:09 am »
Whats the final verdict? I skimmed through the thread and as a summary it went -> cheap -> bit crap -> Mechatrommer is a god -> offtopic. Is it worth a buy?
you do the math, dont ask others to do a simple favor as that. and i dont see "Mechatrommer is a god" anywhere, its only in your illusional mind.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline Chet T16

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2011, 03:18:18 am »
you do the math, dont ask others to do a simple favor as that. and i dont see "Mechatrommer is a god" anywhere, its only in your illusional mind.


Its certainly full of high praise, i did say a summary ;)
Chet
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Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2011, 03:29:15 am »
Its certainly full of high praise, i did say a summary ;)
"Is it worth a buy?" skimmed through again, and this time with details and deep thought, put your illusion aside. you've been foolish to read what you dont want to read. btw, who's been off topic?
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline Wim_L

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Re: EEVblog #168 - How To Set Up An Electronics Lab
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2011, 03:58:52 am »
Tweezers: be careful with the cheap sets, as they may not only be physically too weak and flexible, but the tips might not even match up correctly. Better one or two high quality ones than a whole bag of useless ones. 10 - 20 EUR should be a good price, no need to go for 50 EUR tweezers unless you're working with really nasty corrosive tuff.

Knife: I've found cheap ones of the type shown in the video often have poor blade retention when you have to put more force on things than usual. These blades generally have a hole the handle can fix internally to prevent that problem, but the cheaper varieties rarely clamp down properly leading to a very sloppy fit. Surgical scalpels are a superior tool. A stainless steel #4 hilt has a decent selection of blade shapes available for it, and they're not much more expensive at all (very fine blades will require a different hilt number, check that you buy compatible hilt and blades). Downside is that the blades are intended for one-time use in surgery and generally do not come with caps to protect you from the blade in storage, so better store them somewhere you won't accidentally grab them...



Fire extinguisher... Yeah, good idea, but there are plenty of pitfalls to be aware of. They're not all that expensive, but do need maintenance or, in the case of compact ones, replacement every few years. The commonly encountered types are:

- water: really cheap, low effectiveness compared to most others, can't be used where it may freeze. Wouldn't really recommend this one for an electronics lab - or anywhere.

- foam: water with additives. A highly effective extinguishing agent, but not cheap and needs regular maintenance intervals. Don't freeze. Some of the more sophisticated ones have nozzles that break up the foam so they can be used on live wires without electrocuting the user. Small fires extinguished with foam tend to stay out because the foam covers the material pretty well. Excellent for burning frying pans, trash cans, gasoline,... Probably overkill for an electronics lab. Useless on gas fires, but that probably doesn't matter here (and you probably shouldn't be fighting gas fires unless you really know what you're doing anyway).

- Powder: Pretty cheap and readily available. For domestic use prefer ABC powder over the BC powder commonly found in small extinguishers for use in cars. ABC is a more general purpose agent while BC is optimised for fuel fires but less effective on solid matter. Cleanup after use is a nightmare in an electronics lab, the fine powder attracts moisture and any electronic equipment affected by it will need to be cleaned very thoroughly or be destroyed by corrosion (of course, if you've got a fire, use it anyway, better to lose some tools than to lose the house). Properly used, this is perhaps the most effective type of extinguisher to rapidly knock down big flames and extinguish a freshly started but rapidly spreading fire. It's less effective on materials like wood or paper that have been on fire for a while. It will extinguish the fire all right, but expect reignition of hot material after the powder settles (almost always happens when typical household garbage is set on fire). Visibility can also be a problem when using large quantities of powder in small rooms.

- CO2: lower effectiveness compared to powder, but usually all you need for small, freshly started fires. All other types above use a CO2 cartridge to propel the extinguishing agent, this type however isa pressure cylinder containing only CO2. That does make them expensive (strong, heavy construction) and a hazard in the same way any large compressed gas bottle is dangerous. Other than that, they're an extremely simple and reliable design. Position them so they cannot fall over and get the valve knocked off. Possible asphyxiation hazard in really small rooms (but most likely no worse than the toxic smoke from the fire itself). The gas cools (can actually form dry ice crystals out of the nozzle) and is a frostbite hazard. The bottle itself also becomes a frostbite hazard (do not touch with bare skin after use!) No cleanup at all, which makes this a favourite in electronics and many chemistry labs.

All extinguishers that are reasonable portable will only give 15 seconds of use at most, often much less. Small car extinguishers might give you 4 seconds if you're lucky, but are likely to fail altogether if stored in a car for a while.

- fire blanket: usually glass fiber (avoid old style asbestos fiber) no maintenance, dirt cheap, and if used on stuff that isn't too volatile often good enough to smother a fire.
 


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