EEVblog Electronics Community Forum

General => General Chat => Topic started by: rrinker on February 29, 2016, 05:05:31 pm

Title: Building a lab on a budget
Post by: rrinker on February 29, 2016, 05:05:31 pm
 I originally started adding some of this to my post in the "What did you buy today" thread but it was going off topic so I figured, why not stick it in its own topic, maybe some others would benefit, plus I try not to be "that guy" who derails long running threads by my usual rambling on.

So here is the entire content I had been about to post there:

 And I finally have the last missing piece to finish my equipment needs - just won an Agilent E3610A power supply. Was listed at $85 plus shipping, I offered $75 and they took it. Comes from a test and calibration supplier (though they aren't calibrating it at this price - they do offer to calibrate it but did not supply a price for the service), and is guaranteed to be tested and working. Also they mention their packing methods - so I don't think there is much risk in having damage from shipping. Another plus, it comes from NJ (and I am in the eastern half of PA). This unit will suffice for now for my generally low current low voltage projects, though I'm sure in the future I'll want something a bit more high power, and maybe programmable (just because).
 Overall, much like I do with my other hobby (model railroading), I think I've done quite well with eBay. My electronic needs aren't such that I need the latest state of the art equipment, nor the ultimate in accuracy (while a 7.5 digit multimeter is pure measurement porn, I don't do anything nor do I have any plans to do anything hat would ever require such accuracy), so the older but high quality equipment like my Fluke meters is plenty adequate for my needs. The only new item I have is my Siglent scope, everything else is at least a 'few' years old (Fluke 8012, 8060, and 45).
 
 The point, I suppose, is that for the hobbyist type person, by careful searching and shopping, plus patience (ALWAYS need patience with eBay, lest you become sucked up in bidding wars and pay way more than you should for something), you can have a supply of perfectly workable equipment without spending a small fortune. It all depends on your needs, of course. Most anything I have would be next to useless to my best friend, who works with microwave and high frequency RF stuff. But it's also his job, not just a hobby.