Author Topic: Noob questions from a eevblog newbie  (Read 2727 times)

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Offline FearTec

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Noob questions from a eevblog newbie
« on: March 07, 2014, 09:07:04 pm »
Hello

I am new to this forum but I have been watching Dave on Youtube for a while.

I am starting to play around with arduinos and setting up a workbench and i have a crappy blog where I can share my findings with the world http://simon.fearby.com/blog/?cat=351

I have a new soldering iron, hit ebay for just about every arduino sensor (temp, humidity, moisture, photo resist etc) and parts (wires, jumpers, breadboards, stepper motors/drivers etc) available and have been building up my tools (side cutters, solder remove braid, wire, workbench, soldering extraction fan, etc).

I am hoping to make a heap of weather stations to build up a local weather reporting network for my twitter feed http://www.twitter.com/2340weather along with a few other home security projects.

1) Is a Rigor DP-832, is this a good choice for a starter DC adjustable power supply?

2) Would buying http://kov.com/DEX be a good idea?

3) What is a good cheap way to build a solar/battery arduino power source (cat seem to find a good solar/battery circuit).

Are there any good iPad apps that you have found for designing/laying out circuits (i have circuit and the toolbox one).

Thanks In Advance.
Coding, Arduinos etc nut electronics newbie.

My crappy electronics blog: http://simon.fearby.com/blog/?cat=351
 

Offline Legion

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Re: Noob questions from a eevblog newbie
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2014, 09:27:34 pm »
Welcome to the forum!

1.) I got a Rigol DP-832A a couple weeks ago. So far I've really enjoyed it. Dave does a review of one here:
The heatsink problem Dave finds at the end of the video has long since been resolved by Rigol. Any DP-832 that you buy now will not have that issue.

2.) Before you buy any software, take a look at the free options like Eagle, KiCAD and DipTrace. You'll probably find one you like that will do everything you need it to. SparkFun has a lot of Eagle schematic files and libraries that you can download.
3.) I'm new to electronics, so I don't have an answer for this one.
4.) I don't have an iPad, can't help you here.
 

Offline hscade

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Re: Noob questions from a eevblog newbie
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2014, 09:33:41 pm »
Welcome,

1) I bough DP-832 (but still not delivered :( ), I hope that all all problems mentioned in this forum are solved with the new version of the mainboard.
2) Personally I'll recommend using Cadsoft Eagle, Kicad, Diptrace or any other "free" software.
3) I'm not familiar with this topic. Hopefully more experienced users can help.
4) IPads aren't designed to do those things. You should use  a pen and some sheets of paper. Old-fashioned...
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Noob questions from a eevblog newbie
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2014, 09:52:56 pm »
1) Is a Rigor DP-832, is this a good choice for a starter DC adjustable power supply?

It's overkill for a beginner supply, but if you can afford it, certainly yes, why not.
 

Offline FearTec

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Re: Noob questions from a eevblog newbie
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2014, 12:23:16 am »
Thanks for the tips, I am rewarding myself with a Rigol DP-832 (not 832A) AFTER I drop xx kilos (damn office job).

Is there a better value variable power supply around the $450 mark?
Coding, Arduinos etc nut electronics newbie.

My crappy electronics blog: http://simon.fearby.com/blog/?cat=351
 

Offline fake-name

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Re: Noob questions from a eevblog newbie
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2014, 04:51:58 am »
If you have money to blow on a DP-832, buy a multi-meter first, an oscilloscope next, and the bench supply last. That'll be MUCH more useful.

Cheap, off-label chinese power supplies are good enough, cheap chinese DSO/DMMs are not.
 

Offline hscade

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Re: Noob questions from a eevblog newbie
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2014, 09:17:41 am »
Yep getting a DMM and a oscilloscope is more  important than getting a psu. For power supply u can just use a 9V battery and a 7805 on a breadboard. When I started with electronics I did so.
Today I got my Agilent U1272A (thanks Dave for the teardown!) and my old-fashioned analog voltmeter did well the last 4 years.
 

Offline Laertes

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Re: Noob questions from a eevblog newbie
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2014, 03:50:16 pm »
Do not blow a cent on software. There's some seriously good software around that's for free or has a free license that is good for beginners.
Here's a small list:
(1) Eagle - Eagle has been the de-facto standard for hobbyists and beginners. It is available for free with some limitations(only single-sheet schematics, PCB size limits and only 2 layers, no commercial use) and it  is available for Linux, Windows and Mac. Many PCB manufacturers(especially those focused on hobbyists) offer direct eagle support, so you don't have to fiddle around with CAM-Files, which can be a pain in the ass. However, the feature set is somewhat outdated and the controls are kind of counterintuitive.
(2) DesignSpark PCB - My personal favourite. Completely free without restrictions, even for commercial use. The feature set and interface are neat and modern and much easier to learn than Eagle. It's got interfaces for LTSpice and other simulators, it has some very useful calculators built in(trace resistance, current limits etc) and it's got a 3D-View which for me is a dealbreaker with many other tools because it is just awesome to be able to fully visualize your design before production(especially when you're trying to design a case around it and stuff like that). However, it is strongly tied into RS Components and will try to sell you RS Components products(i.e. you get their libraries and so on). Not a big deal for me, but maybe for others.
(3) DipTrace - Just check out Dave's reviews of DipTrace: http://www.eevblog.com/2012/03/09/eevblog-255-diptrace-pcb-cad-first-impressions/.
There's also KiCAD(fully open source, nice!), Target 3001 and a ton of other PCB design/schematic capture software and most have a free license that fits every beginners needs!

All in all - save the 100 bucks and buy a reasonable DMM with that.

Also do not buy an expensive bench supply, its no use for fiddling around with arduinos, you will never need that kind of precision or three channels or whatever. If arduino really is all you need go buy a 5V 1A plugpack and build an adapter for your breadboards and you're all  set, if you do some other stuff and need a variable supply, just spend 100 bucks on a reasonable single channel 30V 3A supply. Also, consider building it yourself - there's tons of tutorials for stuff like that all over the internet. A DS832 is just waaaay over the top for a beginner.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Noob questions from a eevblog newbie
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2014, 04:42:21 pm »
A DP832 is just waaaay over the top for a beginner.

But...but...knobs and dials and blinking lights...  ;D
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 


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