Author Topic: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?  (Read 13198 times)

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Offline atwoz

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Suppose you are given $25,000 USD to spend in an electronics lab, what would you buy? Do not include computers or workbench's.

I was thinking about:

fx-951 Hakko Soldering station ($250USD)
10 tips different tips for the Hakko iron
Hakko 808 Desoldering tool ($200USD)
FR 801 Hakko Hot Air Rework Station ($625USD)
Extra nossles

Rigol DS1102E 100 MHz Dig. Oscilloscope (around $400USD)
Rigol DP1116A Power supply ($900USD)

A logic analizer ($300USD)

I use microchip so.
Real ICE in circuit emulator ($500USD)
ICD3 ($200USD)

Different types of tweezers ($60)
a couple Side cutters ($30)
wire strippers
different types of screwdrivers


Any suggestions on these?
A reflow oven for stencil soldering (from $500 to $1200)
A good bench multimeter that costs around $500USD (no idea)
A good multimeter that costs around $500USD (maybe a fluke?)
A good multimeter that costs around $200USD (maybe a fluke?)
A good electronic load that costs around $600USD
A good function generator that costs around $500USD
A good microscope for soldering and inspection (could be an USB microscope) for around $300


Other
Lead free solder
Leaded solder
Desoldering braid
good quality Solder paste


Ran out of ideas, hope you can help me!

Thanks!





 

Offline PA4TIM

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 09:04:23 pm »
25K and you buy Rigol ?

Jbc soldering gear
Agilent or Haneg 350MHz scope
spectrum anlyser from Hameg or Agilent
Networkanalyser VNWA from sdr kits ( a better option will be more as 25K)
Keithley, Agilent or Fluke 6,5 digit benchmeter
IET LCR meter
Flir IR camera :-)
Hameg signal generator
Hameg Function genertor
Agilent powersupply
Agilent handmultimeter
www.pa4tim.nl my collection measurement gear and experiments Also lots of info about network analyse
www.schneiderelectronicsrepair.nl  repair of test and calibration equipment
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 09:06:24 pm »
Suppose you are given $25,000 USD to spend in an electronics lab, what would you buy? Do not include computers or workbench's.

Rigol DS1102E 100 MHz Dig. Oscilloscope (around $400USD)
On that budget, get something with deep memory and intensity display like the new Agilent or a used 5000/6000/7000
Quote
Rigol DP1116A Power supply ($900USD)
No need to spend that much on a PSU
Quote
A logic analizer ($300USD)
Or get MSO option on scope
Quote


Any suggestions on these?
A reflow oven for stencil soldering (from $500 to $1200)
Cheap toaster oven  $100. No need to spend more
Quote
A good bench multimeter that costs around $500USD (no idea)
A good multimeter that costs around $500USD (maybe a fluke?)
A good multimeter that costs around $200USD (maybe a fluke?)
Depends on what you want to do - minimum would be one good one & a couple of cheaper ones.
Quote
A good electronic load that costs around $600USD
Unless you're heavily into PSU design this is overkill. - cheap homebrew and/or a bunch of random power resistors
Quote
A good function generator that costs around $500USD
depends on what your needs are. A cheapo one may be fine.
Quote
A good microscope for soldering and inspection (could be an USB microscope) for around $300
What to spend on optics depends on how good your eyesight is. Options range for a bright bench light to a Mantis
Quote
Other
Lead free solder
why?
Quote
Leaded solder
Desoldering braid
good quality Solder paste

Ran out of ideas, hope you can help me!
Foot operated vacuum pickup, and air syringe dispensing system.
Used Herman Miller Aeron chair
Part storage
Selection of reels of wire
SM and TH Resistor and capacitor kits
And don't spend the whole budget straight away as you will find things later you didn't know you needed.

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Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
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Offline mariush

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 09:21:28 pm »
I'd probably spend half of that money on a good laser cutting machine, to make stencils and maybe various cases. Could recoup some of the money offering a stencil service, with minimal profit.

Other than that, yeah, if 25k is just to waste on equipment I'd splurge for a scope with logic analyzer option which would be handle for protocol decoding and debugging, a 5-6 digit bench meter that I could use to calibrate other meters with it...

I don't know... it's a lot of money and I'm paying rent :) I can buy a small apartment here with 50-60k, so 25k is quite a lot.
 

Offline atwoz

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 09:46:01 pm »
Thanks for your replies guys, specially Mike (I'm a subscriber of your channel, and I love it), I was hoping you'd answer.

Any other equipment you would find useful having in an electronics lab?

 

Offline Lightages

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 09:55:56 pm »
It is funny to me that we see two requests for a lab with a specific amount of money, and neither are very practical! $100 and $25,000?

For the lowest budget it is something more like $250 to fully equip and for a higher budget $5,000 would be enough for a really nice setup.

 

Offline Spawn

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2013, 10:06:36 pm »
It is funny to me that we see two requests for a lab with a specific amount of money, and neither are very practical! $100 and $25,000?

For the lowest budget it is something more like $250 to fully equip and for a higher budget $5,000 would be enough for a really nice setup.

+1

Offline PaulAm

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2013, 10:12:56 pm »
First question: Is this a hobby, or a business?

For a hobby, you can get all that capability for a lot less by buying older used equipment and making repairs where necessary.  This takes time, of course, but if it's a hobby, that's sort of the point anyway.

For a business, time is money and you can justify spending up front to get the capability to generate revenue.
 

Offline atwoz

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2013, 10:17:20 pm »
For the lowest budget it is something more like $250 to fully equip and for a higher budget $5,000 would be enough for a really nice setup.

Can you share your thoughts on a really nice setup for $5000? It would be really helpful!
 

Offline atwoz

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2013, 10:18:10 pm »
First question: Is this a hobby, or a business?

Business!
 

Offline StubbornGreek

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2013, 10:22:59 pm »
First question: Is this a hobby, or a business?

Business!

This is a good start. Now, what type of business is this? What are you going to be doing (i.e. power supplies, audio, digital circuits, etc.)?
"The reward of a thing well done is to have it done"
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Offline AndyC_772

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 10:40:49 pm »
For a hobby, you can get all that capability for a lot less by buying older used equipment and making repairs where necessary.  This takes time, of course, but if it's a hobby, that's sort of the point anyway.

For a business, time is money and you can justify spending up front to get the capability to generate revenue.
I think there's quite a strong case for buying older used equipment in either case. Most of the equipment I use in my business is old but good quality, and where it matters, calibrated. I think the only brand new kit I've bought has been a Fluke DMM, but that was a special case where I needed a data logging meter in a hurry for a job, and the job covered the cost of the meter. I've rarely used it since.

I tend to keep an eye on Ebay and pick up interesting items that I think I might find a use for - though there's always the issue of not necessarily knowing what type of product I'll be working on in a few months' time, so it's hard to say whether or not a piece of equipment really qualifies as "useful".

Offline EEVblog

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2013, 10:46:21 pm »
25K and you buy Rigol ?

I probably would. Better bang-per-buck.
No point pissing your $25K away!
But I'm a tight arse  ;D

Quote
Jbc soldering gear

Yep, I'd get a JBC

Probably a Mantis microscope, but again, the tight arse in me would worry over this.
If it's $25K for work, that's often different than my own $25K.

Quote
Agilent powersupply

Yep, or the Rigol one looks good.

In fact, lots of Rigol gear. I'd also get the Spectrum Analyser.

Dave.
 

Offline ee851

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2013, 10:47:34 pm »
With that kind of budget, don't bother with lead-free solder.   Just use lead solder and install a hood vent with an electric  fan that sucks all the solder fumes outdoors, so you don't have to breathe them.
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2013, 10:49:33 pm »
Suppose you are given $25,000 USD to spend in an electronics lab, what would you buy?

I'd cheerfully spend $20k+ on a scope with some active probes.

Rigol 1102E, are you serious?

Offline PaulAm

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2013, 10:59:36 pm »
I suppose another question is how much of a hurry are you in?

I heard a great story about a guy who built up a first class cal lab by buying pallets of used equipment.  He'd buy the pallet for the one instrument he wanted, repair it as necessary, got it calibrated and sold the rest.  Bootstrapped himself from nothing to top of the line.  Took a bit of time though.

I'm cheap though.  Even for my business I usually buy used, but I also don't need cutting edge.
 

Online Psi

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2013, 11:08:39 pm »
I would get a spectrum analyser that can do up to the 5.8Ghz band.
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2013, 11:23:56 pm »
25K and you buy Rigol ?

I probably would. Better bang-per-buck.
No point pissing your $25K away!
But I'm a tight arse  ;D
Deep memory and fast update rate will easily pay for itself in saved debugging time. Also 4 channels.
Spending such a small fraction of the budget on the most important  piece of test gear is false economy.
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2013, 11:25:14 pm »
I'd probably spend half of that money on a good laser cutting machine, to make stencils and maybe various cases. Could recoup some of the money offering a stencil service, with minimal profit.

Other than that, yeah, if 25k is just to waste on equipment I'd splurge for a scope with logic analyzer option which would be handle for protocol decoding and debugging, a 5-6 digit bench meter that I could use to calibrate other meters with it...

I don't know... it's a lot of money and I'm paying rent :) I can buy a small apartment here with 50-60k, so 25k is quite a lot.
Not really a financially sensible move unless you have other uses for a laser - stencils can be got cheap, and you rarely need them fast as you'll be waiting for the PCBs anyway.
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Offline helloworld922

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2013, 11:25:50 pm »
My current target electronics lab (for hobby use):

1. Hot-air rework station (maybe the Atten 858D) (~$50)
2. Hakko FX-888 with a few screwdriver and hoof tips (~$100)
3. Rigol DS2000 series, or possibly a DS4000 series O-scope. Could also go for one of the Agilent 3000X series (~$800-$3000)
4. A few multi-meters (3 or 4 should be fine). Something like a nice bench meter and 2 handheld ones. (~$300-$1000)
5. Blue Rubber ESD mat (~$50-200)
6. Some kind of magnifier, either one of those desk-clamped 8" magnifiers with a ring light or one of those camera magnifiers with a monitor/PC hookup. (~$100-300)
7. Make-shift reflow oven. Either a hot-plate based design or a toaster oven design. (~$100)
8. At least 1 adjustable PSU, either home-built or pre-built unit (~$100-$500)
9. Various odds and ends hand tools like side-cutters, screwdrivers, crimpers, etc. (~$50-$100)
10. Fans or some sort of flux scrubber. (~$50-~$100)
11. logic analyzer, if I don't have an MSO (~$100-$300)
12. MCU programmer/debuggers, preferably for PIC's, AVR's, and ARM (~$200-$600)
13. Signal generator (~$500-$600)

Total: ~$2500-$7000 (not including storage cabinets, parts, consumables, and the bench/workspace).

Alternatives/splurge add-ons:

A. A nicer hot-air rework station (~$300-$600)
B. De soldering station (~$500)
C. A second or third power supply (~$100-$1000)
D. FPGA development tools (not sure about cost, seems tools are specific for each different manufacturer)
E. Arbitrary waveform generator (~$1000-$2000)
F. A very nice O-scope (for hobby use), possibly something in the ~$5k-$10k range
G. A nice microscope, possibly something like the ones Dave has. No idea about cost, but probably a few thousand.

Splurge cost: ~$20k

Something in the sub-$10k range and even sub $5k range will be a very nice lab for serious hobby use or small business use. Businesses work differently because you may need several of each to accommodate what workers you have, workers may be specialized, and you'll likely have specialized needs. Business also has many more worries than a hobbiest would have such as sourcing parts in volume, actual production costs, infrastructure, etc.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2013, 11:30:24 pm »
for 25K . hmmm
Pool , umbrella, fully stocked fridge and i'd outsource all the work to some low-paid sod in the east and sell it at high price here. Like that guy they caught a couple of weeks ago doing just that.

on am more serious note and if i'd have no equipment:
Probably a 4000 series Agilent scope , some probes. A weller soldering station with the microtips.
an AWG, a few 344401 or 34410's, a mantis scope. the rest would be invested in a serious pc , altium licence , Solidworks and some other tools.
. the remaining half of the 25k would be put in the bank to finance projects.
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Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2013, 11:43:33 pm »
All the equipment I can get from Keithley.

And one of these:
http://www.home.agilent.com/en/pd-1000001297%3Aepsg%3Apro-pn-3458A/digital-multimeter-8-digit

8 and a half digits!

Plus a nice oscilloscope. I would probably hunt around eBay for weird equipment to do low level measurements. I love obscure instruments.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2013, 12:44:07 am »
a few 344401 or 34410's,
Unless you're doing lots of high precision stuff, a 34401 and a couple of decent handhelds will usually be more useful than two high-end bench meters - you can measure more things, and check the cal of the handhelds against the precision one.
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Online Psi

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2013, 01:22:22 am »
Overkill would be desktop multimeters with VGA output connected to a data projector   :-DD
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Offline Harvs

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Re: If you had $25,000 USD to build your dream lab, what would you get?
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2013, 01:33:05 am »
The problem with these discussions is the value of money is so wildly different between the countries and regions.  Someone posted earlier here in this thread that you could get a small apartment for $50k.  You can multiply that figure by about 8 to get a small apartment in a average suburb here.
 


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