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Starting up my workbench

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Stuff to build yourself:

Super Probe: (see my Youtube demo: and some stills at:

Power supply:
Elenco Model XP-720K -- Easy build (cheaper to get it as a kit). Fair design. Wish it had metering.

Thanks for the suggestions guys. Yeah I'm still in the process of shopping around for my lab instruments/equipment. It's a great idea suggesting that I should build my own power supply. I believe that it would make a great project. I have looked at the specifications of the Elenco power supply and it didn't seem to fit my requirement of having at minimum 0-40V @ 0-3A. So maybe I'm dreaming that such manufactured power supply exists at my price range. So I'm starting to really think of designing my own. I'm quite torn about making it switching or linear. So now its based on having to deal with filtering switching noise and having great efficiency or heat and clean power. If you guys have any concerns with either please point it out for me (as of right now im leaning towards switch based).

As for the the multimeter, the do it yourself Super Probe looks very cool. I have done something similar using a cortex microcontroller in my microprocessors class. At this point though I should probably invest in a high quality multimeter as I still rely on a cheap $20 multimeter(nothing wrong with it, but it's time to move up). I can also calibrate my DIY power supply using it. The main point is having as acurate and reliable of a multimeter I can get for my budget. As of right now I believe I'm still leaning towards HP/Agilent 3478A.

I'm still up for ideas on a function generator. Maybe I'll increase my budget on this one if I end up actually saving money for making my own PS.

Thanks again guys for all your suggestions and please keep ideas coming if you think you have better options.

No doubt you want a real DMM. The SuperProbe also generates pulses and things so it is a poor man's signal generator too. And if you build it on a breadboard it might cost $10 depending on what you have laying around. Don't forget Microchip will send you a sample CPU for free so a crystal, the LED display, two switches, and a handful of resistors.

But no, I wasn't suggesting you use it in lieu of a real DVM.

Hey sorry it took a while for me to respond. Just got back in town. Wd5gnr thanks for pointing that out I didn't realize that it was a function generator as well. I just scored a HP 3478A recently NIST calibrated with calibration documentation for ~$150. I thought it was a good deal as the calibration itself costs $137. Now just the function generator is left. Thanks for the help everyone.


--- Quote from: ParKel on May 02, 2010, 05:41:03 am ---I just scored a HP 3478A recently NIST calibrated with calibration documentation for ~$150.

--- End quote ---


Good find!


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