Author Topic: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge  (Read 26054 times)

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Offline nbritton

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$5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« on: November 04, 2015, 11:49:11 pm »
If you were starting a new fully-operational lab and had a $5000 budget what T&M equipment would you buy? The rules of this challenge are the same as the $200 workbench challenge. In particular, you may only use new, regularly-stocked and non-discontinued/EOL pieces:

Quote
Let's go a little deeper on the "fine print." The idea is to make a submission that can be replicated by your fellow readers. As such, that one-time "great deal" you got on eBay, Craigslist, through Alibaba, from a Hong Kong vendor on Amazon.com, or from "that weird guy down the street who sorta smells like bacon but gives you great deals" just won't cut it! We need to have a Bill Of Materials (BOM) that can be filled (and refilled!) from reputable vendors and distributors.

Edit: You can use used equipment if you can quote an accurate fair market value and it is in good repair and it can be readily purchased from the Internet and it is less than 10 years old. You can also use kits, such as the $20 LCR ESR transistor checker meter.

Also presume no prior lab equipment. Furthermore the $5k budget would be just for lab equipment, it would exclude things likes supplies, parts, consumables, and standard shop tools. Extra points go to solutions that are small and compact in space, ideally everything should fit on a single workbench or be stowable in a typical closet... none of this room full of gear nonsense.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 11:00:45 pm by nbritton »
 

Offline georges80

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2015, 12:13:31 am »
... to do WHAT??

Digital, analog, rf (and frequency range), SMD, etc etc?

To play, to learn, to build useful things to sell or ?

You do need provide some details here or you'll get folk saying you MUST have a spectrum analyser (that goes from DC to light) and some saying you MUST have a logic analyser with 160 channels and at least 1GHz timing...

$5k wouldn't cover the things I've actually bought for my lab and I've got quite a lot of free name brand gear from a previous contract job to round it out to what *I* need for what *I* do. (AND, I only have 1 oscilloscope :))

cheers,
george.
 

Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2015, 12:22:08 am »
... to do WHAT??

Digital, analog, rf (and frequency range), SMD, etc etc?

A little bit of everything, it has to be a fully operational lab capable of general purpose R&D work. Many compromises will need to be made fit the full range of a general purpose lab into a $5k budget.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 12:27:57 am by nbritton »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2015, 12:34:02 am »
Also ruling out second hand gear is not very wise. $5000 doesn't buy you a lab with decent new gear. If you'd have $500 to spend the choices would be easier. $5000 is in a league where you want professional grade equipment and that is also where there is a huge empty gap between low cost Chinese equipment and decent stuff from the A brands.
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Offline amc184

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2015, 12:40:06 am »
An NI Virtual Bench instrument might fit what you're doing nicely, especially if compactness is a high priority.  Shahriar did a good teardown and review here.

That'd cover most of a basic bench, the remaining cash I'd put into a couple of general purpose multimeters (something like a Fluke 115), maybe an LCR meter, an electronic load, a higher power/voltage lab PSU if needed, cables etc.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2015, 12:54:45 am »
go to keysights ebay store and click away ...
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Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2015, 12:54:51 am »
There's no time limit either. Pretty sure you can rent nice stuff for a week for 5K$.
 

Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2015, 01:34:50 am »
There's no time limit either. Pretty sure you can rent nice stuff for a week for 5K$.

No renting, the expectation is you own the equipment.
 

Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2015, 01:41:36 am »
An NI Virtual Bench instrument might fit what you're doing nicely, especially if compactness is a high priority.  Shahriar did a good teardown and review here.

That'd cover most of a basic bench, the remaining cash I'd put into a couple of general purpose multimeters (something like a Fluke 115), maybe an LCR meter, an electronic load, a higher power/voltage lab PSU if needed, cables etc.

It doesn't have to be that small. Presume you have a full workbench to work with plus a shelf above and below the workbench and a closet to store unused gear. I put that clause in there largely to prevent people from filling up the entire room with equipment.
 

Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2015, 01:47:43 am »
Also ruling out second hand gear is not very wise. $5000 doesn't buy you a lab with decent new gear. If you'd have $500 to spend the choices would be easier. $5000 is in a league where you want professional grade equipment and that is also where there is a huge empty gap between low cost Chinese equipment and decent stuff from the A brands.

If you can quote an accurate fair market value for used equipment in good repair that can be readily purchased from the Internet and is less than 10 years old then I suppose you can include it in your lists.
 

Offline DimitriP

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2015, 09:41:10 am »
Quote
none of this room full of gear nonsense.

So you have no room, $5000 burning a hole in your pocket and can't decide what to get ?

   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline daqq

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2015, 09:46:39 am »
Quote
Also ruling out second hand gear is not very wise. $5000 doesn't buy you a lab with decent new gear. If you'd have $500 to spend the choices would be easier. $5000 is in a league where you want professional grade equipment and that is also where there is a huge empty gap between low cost Chinese equipment and decent stuff from the A brands.
I have to agree here. The gear I have would (when new) cost around 10k EUR. A HP 6632B is around 2kEUR new, I bought 2 for 200 EUR each. I bought my scope for 600 EUR, the closest current equivalent costs when new around 1300 EUR. Multimeter? New: 600 EUR, old 200 EUR. All in all, you can get the same specs for 1/10 of the price if you scour ebay, local ham fests etc.
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Offline Psi

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2015, 09:53:13 am »
I would only spend $3500 setting up the lab. Keep $1500 for the stuff you dont yet know you need.

Otherwise you will end up with a logic analyser, a variac and a sig gen you all hardly use and then start wishing you had a 2nd soldering iron.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 09:56:23 am by Psi »
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Offline tec5c

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2015, 09:57:34 am »
...general purpose R&D work.

$5k for an R&D lab? :-DD No, no, no.... just no. :palm:
 

Offline crispy_tofu

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2015, 09:59:51 am »
I would only spend $3500 setting up the lab. Keep $1500 for the stuff you dont yet know you need.

Otherwise you will end up with a logic analyser, a variac and a sig gen you all hardly use and then start wishing you had a 2nd soldering iron.
+1, sometimes you won't know you have a use for something until you need it!  :-+
 

Online German_EE

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2015, 10:25:51 am »
One each of these except for the power supply module, make that one a double:

http://www.hameg.com/745.0.html?&L=0

Finish off with a 200 MHz scope and a spectrum analyzer. I might break that $5000 budget
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Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2015, 10:36:49 am »
Quote
none of this room full of gear nonsense.

So you have no room, $5000 burning a hole in your pocket and can't decide what to get ?

You got it!  :-DMM
 

Online Fungus

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2015, 10:50:05 am »
If you were starting a new fully-operational lab and had a $5000 budget what T&M equipment would you buy? The rules of this challenge are the same as the $200 workbench challenge. In particular, you may only use new, regularly-stocked and non-discontinued/EOL pieces:

Oh, yeah. This question is going to have a single, simple answer that everybody will agree on...  :popcorn:

 

Online Fungus

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2015, 10:54:27 am »
Quote
none of this room full of gear nonsense.
So you have no room, $5000 burning a hole in your pocket and can't decide what to get ?
You got it!  :-DMM

I'm sure Fluke will have a scopemeter for $5000. Get one of those.

 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2015, 11:23:06 am »
Another way to put it might be:

You're new at work.  New dev team, project something or other.  Boss needs a list of equipment to buy (or you, being new, need some ideas of what equipment to get, and learn to use!), given ballpark budget and little more room than your cubicle or a common lab area.

I'd say, minimum 200MHz 4 channel scope, with options if you like (anything from LA to spec and TG).  Rigol's not bad but I'd suggest a higher brand, or good old fashioned name brand (Keysight/Tek).  Biggest expense, choose accordingly.

Power supplies and meters are next.  I'd guess a triple output, 100W unit would be a good start, any will do (say, Rigol and up?).  Personally I'd go with a good old fashioned analog type, instead of all those fucky digital interfaces.  But I don't know if anyone even makes them new anymore.  Meters, any good enough brand, up to or including Fluke.

A signal generator is a good idea too.  Probably any will do (Rigol and up?).  I've never needed an arb gen, though I suppose they all are these days.  Make sure it has the frequency performance (including square wave risetime and flatness) and voltage range you need.

Additional hardware depending on project specifics (high frequency, RF, high power, EMC...), and ongoing additions understood as part of subsequent project budgets, or capital expenses.

Don't forget general tools, pliers, cutters, measurement and cutting, material resources (protoboards, mech and elec stock, hardware), components and so on.  Most components can be budgeted for within the project as expenses, just make sure to get extra to hang onto for the future.  (If you have a direct customer for the project, make it understood that that's part of the cost.)  If you have a pedantic in-house inventory system, try your best to isolate your process from them.  Don't even take deliveries at the receiving dock if you have to.  Make sure your boss understands this: if it's not adding value to your project, you don't want it.

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Offline tec5c

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2015, 11:44:35 am »
Rather than spending money on equipment I don't think you really know how to use according to your numerous other threads, how about you get that hands on learning experience that you said you're wanting by fixing your Tek 2213?
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 11:46:53 am by tec5c »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2015, 11:54:34 am »
I would only spend $3500 setting up the lab. Keep $1500 for the stuff you dont yet know you need.

Otherwise you will end up with a logic analyser, a variac and a sig gen you all hardly use and then start wishing you had a 2nd soldering iron.
+1, sometimes you won't know you have a use for something until you need it!  :-+

Yep, +1
$5k is enough to have decent lab and some leftover.
 

Offline OldSchoolTechCorner

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2015, 03:12:59 pm »
You can't just guess what equipment you need for a 5K lab like you can on a $200 one. With a $200 bench, it easy as was a very limited budget, but also for a beginner getting started into basic electronics. 5k is a whole another league and usually goes way over for decent preforming equipment. So really depends on what you are trying to accomplish with the lab and area of research. Just for Spectrum Analyzer, could kill your budget. Then you may need a LCR meter's, a decent scope but would need to know bandwidth needed and they can cost 10k plus even to get one with low now noise, high BW, hardware FFT and ETC. Separate logic analyzer. Then you may need a electronic load and good programmable power supply, or a variable isolation transformer, or a good precision signal generator with low distortion, or a good frequency counter with 10, or 12 digits of frequency resolution and a good one cost money. You may need a good bench meter for data logging could  be 6 1/2, or better which will cost money, or a 5 1/2 meter, or don't need a bench meter at all and go with a handheld, you will most likely need a very good solder station especially if your dealing with SMD components as need good thermal recovery and ETC. Did not even get into the specialty tools yet, or calibration, or reference equipment that maybe needed.

5k is could be enough to have decent lab, but solely depend on what you need, if your willing to wait and buy used some equipment. We need to know is what your looking to design, or research and B/W and resolution needed, this affects price widely. Then can better determine and give you a good recommendation on what T&M equipment would be best suited for your needs. You can't just guess, as you find most of the stuff you would have bought will end up being dust collectors, or a paper weight and then realize you needed something else and now don't have it, as you blew your budget. You best bet is buy what you need now and then slowly buy equipment as you see needed.

I would start by buying the basics like good reasonable quality solder station, doesn't have to be the $500 plus one, but can get for example a Hakko FX888D-23BY that will cost around $100 buck and will do the job in most cases, a decent hot air rework station is also a good investment, as will be needed down the road. Then would look into a decent tripe output programmable power supply like a Rigol DP832, which will cost around $400 bucks, others will cost around the same as well for a decent one, unless you get lucky and score one on eBay cheap. Reason why I won't complete dismiss used gear completely, I won't buy anything to old, as can be a hassle with repairing it. You will need a multimeter like a fluke 87v, or 289, or a Brymen BM869 , so expect to spend another $250 to $400 on one meter alone and you will need two. So will be around $500 to $800 on decent meters. A decent bench meter will cost you around $600, you may get lucky if you willing to wait and score a good working one for $300, or less, that for one. I could tell you a few good scopes and signal generators and ETC, but that where it really based on your needs at that point.

I also hoping you have a suitable bench to work on already, as that a whole another cost and can easily set you back over 1k alone, unless you built one then can shave some cost off.   

« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 04:37:26 pm by OldSchoolTechCorner »
 

Online Fungus

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2015, 04:36:20 pm »
You can't just guess what equipment you need for a 5K lab like you can on a $200 one. With a $200 bench, it easy as was a very limited budget, but also for a beginner getting started into basic electronics. 5k is a whole another league and usually goes way over for decent preforming equipment.

Yep. For 5K you need to be very specific about what you want to do.

Quote
So really depends on what you are trying to accomplish with the lab and area of research. Just for Spectrum Analyzer, could kill your budget.

And if you buy the Spectrum Analyzer it might turn out you really needed a $3K thermal imager, or a bigger microscope, or ... something else.  :-//

$2k will easily get you the basics of a decent lab (scope, multimeter, power supply, solder station...) Keep the rest for when you figure out what the hell it is you actually want to do in there.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 04:42:35 pm by Fungus »
 

Offline SharpEars

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2015, 05:25:10 pm »
I went the route you are going, minus the obvious mistakes you are about to make unless you change your approach:

  • I bought used gear when possible, it is absolutely moronic not to. I cannot stress this enough, no matter your budget ($20-$200,000).... The only exception is the scope, which you may consider getting new (e.g., Rigol+hack) unless you think you may need >300 MHz
  • I didn't set an initial budget, it just grew as I found great deals on equipment that I thought I could use (up to a perhaps not so reasonable point, but possibly <$5,000)

Now I have lots of top notch calibrated equipment in excellent condition and still can't figure out what to use it (all) for?  :-// The most complicated thing I've built is a high precision resistor divider to help with calibration.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 05:30:45 pm by SharpEars »
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2015, 05:32:55 pm »
A MSO, for a $5000 lab, I would go for a 200MHz GW Instek or Rigol, $1500.
A <5G spectrum analyzer if you want to EMI or RF, I got my Signal Hound USB-SA44B for $550 (MSRP $900).
A 50MHz or lower differential probe for HV or floating measurements, $400.
A decent soldering iron + hot air gun, totally $200. Mine are a Weller WES51 and a Quick 957DW.
A proper accurate hand held multimeter, say, a Fluke 87V or Fluke 289, $350.
Some very fine tweezers and other hand tools, $100.
A LCR meter, expect $200. Mine is a Smart Tweezers ST5S, $300 (MSRP $400).
A data logger, such as an Analog Discovery, $150.
2 programmable power supply units, BK9110, $250*2=$500.
A fixed 5V/12V PSU, can be modified from an ATX PSU, $50.
A flashlight for board examine, $30.
Adapters, cables and attenuators (for RF): estimated to be $100.
An additional monitor for CAD software, $150.
A good engineering mouse for CAD software, $100.

Total: $4380.

This setup should be enough to do even a PhD dissertation in house, or run a consulting company.

Adding an additional $5k on software (Circuit Studio+a decent compiler+some specialty tools) licenses it will be a complete decent consult company's all equity.

Edit: In addition, a $250 cheap thermal camera could help. 3D printers don't make sense unless you make more cases than boards. Just outsource them.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 05:35:38 pm by blueskull »
 

Offline SharpEars

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2015, 05:39:20 pm »
A MSO, for a $5000 lab, I would go for a 200MHz GW Instek or Rigol, $1500.

You can't beat a hacked Rigol scope for features for price...
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2015, 05:46:26 pm »
A MSO, for a $5000 lab, I would go for a 200MHz GW Instek or Rigol, $1500.

You can't beat a hacked Rigol scope for features for price...

Maybe hacking a $1300 MSO2072A?
 

Offline ez24

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2015, 05:55:41 pm »
wow a lot more responses than the other post and one from Dave   :-+

I do not think no used has sunk in but just in case  :-DD  there are some good deals on Power Designs PS

Also you can get good used equipment on eBay if you pay a premium for it and with a guarantee. 

This will be a fun thread and Dave, I think this would make a good video topic see 1,000 show for another idea.

Another idea once you pick your stuff - put wanted to buy here on each item stating that you want good stuff



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Offline SharpEars

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2015, 05:59:58 pm »
I do not think no used has sunk in but just in case  :-DD  there are some good deals on Power Designs PS

Power Designs is more of an analog fetish :palm: than a power supply you would actually use to power a random circuit. And yes, I've got one of the more rare 2020B units in full working order (after some TLC), as part of my absolutely insane power supply collection.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 06:05:34 pm by SharpEars »
 

Offline OldSchoolTechCorner

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2015, 06:13:48 pm »
A MSO, for a $5000 lab, I would go for a 200MHz GW Instek or Rigol, $1500.
A <5G spectrum analyzer if you want to EMI or RF, I got my Signal Hound USB-SA44B for $550 (MSRP $900).
A 50MHz or lower differential probe for HV or floating measurements, $400.
A decent soldering iron + hot air gun, totally $200. Mine are a Weller WES51 and a Quick 957DW.
A proper accurate hand held multimeter, say, a Fluke 87V or Fluke 289, $350.
Some very fine tweezers and other hand tools, $100.
A LCR meter, expect $200. Mine is a Smart Tweezers ST5S, $300 (MSRP $400).
A data logger, such as an Analog Discovery, $150.
2 programmable power supply units, BK9110, $250*2=$500.
A fixed 5V/12V PSU, can be modified from an ATX PSU, $50.
A flashlight for board examine, $30.
Adapters, cables and attenuators (for RF): estimated to be $100.
An additional monitor for CAD software, $150.
A good engineering mouse for CAD software, $100.

Total: $4380.

This setup should be enough to do even a PhD dissertation in house, or run a consulting company.

Adding an additional $5k on software (Circuit Studio+a decent compiler+some specialty tools) licenses it will be a complete decent consult company's all equity.

Edit: In addition, a $250 cheap thermal camera could help. 3D printers don't make sense unless you make more cases than boards. Just outsource them.

Good list overall

I would add in good stable 8 digits, or higher universal frequency counter like a B&K Precision 1823A, or a used Fluke PM6685 with option C Optional Input Pre-Scaler. You can get them for around $500 bucks. A scope not a replacement for a good frequency counter. That Signal Hound USB-SA44B is pricey for a Software Defined Receiver (SDR).
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 06:20:34 pm by OldSchoolTechCorner »
 

Offline ez24

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2015, 06:15:19 pm »
I wonder if this could be split up into  new  and used sections ?
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Offline awallin

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2015, 06:21:24 pm »
FWIW (i.e. not mich  :-DD ), here's a list of things from batronix:
1239  Rigol MSO2072A scope (2ch 70+hack MHz, 16ch LA)
840     Rigol DM3068  6 ½ digit DMM
102     UNI-T UT61E 4 ½ digit DMM
610    Siglent SPD3303X 3ch PSU
1495  Rigol DSA815-TG spectrum analyzer
165  Atten AT8502D soldering-iron + rework/hot-air
570  Siglent SDG2042X 2-ch 40MHz signal generator   
sum 5021

The 6.5-digit DMM is maybe debatable, two 4.5 digit meters might do fine.
Without a spectrum-analyzer you could get a nicer scope, a sperate LA, or a Tek MDO?
Just the 3-channel PSU is sometimes too little if you are prototyping more than once circuit at a time.
Microscope is missing... unless you have eysight for 0402 work without magnification  :P   
solder-fume extraction might be nice if you're at home
 

Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2015, 11:18:24 pm »
...general purpose R&D work.

$5k for an R&D lab? :-DD No, no, no.... just no. :palm:

Why? If you assume that 1% of the population are 'makers' then that's 70 million people who are looking for a R&D type environment. There has to be some reasonable compromises that can be made to make a $5k budget work... Dave already stated he could make a respectable lab for less than $5k. No one said it had to be Keysight, Tektronix, Fluke grade A gear, Rigol has some compelling offerings that fit into this budget.
 

Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2015, 11:34:08 pm »
Rather than spending money on equipment I don't think you really know how to use according to your numerous other threads, how about you get that hands on learning experience that you said you're wanting by fixing your Tek 2213?

How am I every going to know how to use it if I don't have it to use it?
 

Offline OldSchoolTechCorner

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2015, 11:34:41 pm »
...general purpose R&D work.

$5k for an R&D lab? :-DD No, no, no.... just no. :palm:

Why? If you assume that 1% of the population are 'makers' then that's 70 million people who are looking for a R&D type environment. There has to be some reasonable compromises that can be made to make a $5k budget work... Dave already stated he could make a respectable lab for less than $5k. No one said it had to be Keysight, Tektronix, Fluke grade A gear, Rigol has some compelling offerings that fit into this budget.

We still need to know what you are planning on designing, or area of interest to better come up with a suitable list. Yes you can get respectable gear from others like Rigol, Siglent, GWinstek and a few others that will do the job just as well.
 

Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2015, 11:40:47 pm »
I'm sure Fluke will have a scopemeter for $5000. Get one of those.

The only thing you would have in your entire lab is a scopemeter?
 

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #37 on: November 05, 2015, 11:48:08 pm »
This is a very entertaining thread  :-DD

Lets get serious;
Who actually needs a 6.5 digit DMM?
That is ridiculous for a 5K lab.

Forget the spectrum analyzer right off the top, buying a new SA that might be worth a damned on a good day when the sunshine was just the right shade of white would take too much of that 5K.

Don't even consider doing anything serious with RF.

Your big purchase will be your scope, so you need to decide if you really need a low end Mixed domain scope or just a DSO of reasonably good quality. From here on out the rest of your gear will be ether low-low end stuff or just low end stuff.

And one more thing....
Unless you Really-Really-Really, For Sure Need the precision, build your own bench power supplies, if you have the skill. I have worked places where they did exactly that until they got on their feet and could afford store bought supplies.

The other thing I don't see mentioned here; what about all those cables?
You going to buy them or make them. I prefer to make them since I am very good at it and know my workmanship is good to well beyond UHF by a decade or so.

If the challenge was 10K or even 7.5K it would be quite a bit easier, especially not knowing what the lab is going to be used for.

:)
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Offline G0HZU

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #38 on: November 05, 2015, 11:53:42 pm »
Quote
... to do WHAT??

In the real world this would be an excellent question... However, I  suspect that for some people the lab 'is' the hobby.

There does seem to be a bit of a herd mentality to all this... I get the impression that some people want a lab because it's seen as cool to have a decent lab? So maybe there are no immediate plans to make use of the gear for any particular task?
 
However, I would always recommend that you should only buy what you need but maybe I'm old and out of touch. It's certainly a lot different today with so much choice for decent used gear from the top brands at very low prices. If I was starting out again and someone gave me $5000 I think I'd spend it very differently to all the suggestions so far but then my interests are mainly RF and I prefer to buy used gear :)
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 11:55:29 pm by G0HZU »
 

Offline DimitriP

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2015, 11:54:41 pm »
Rather than spending money on equipment I don't think you really know how to use according to your numerous other threads, how about you get that hands on learning experience that you said you're wanting by fixing your Tek 2213?

How am I every going to know how to use it if I don't have it to use it?

If you can't decide what to get, how will you decide anything else once you have it ?
And if you are thinking of "I'll post my question on EEVBlog", well there you see my point.

From what i've seen so far, there are a lot of benches out there with a lot more "hardware" on the bench than there is "software" in front of it.

 
 

   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #40 on: November 05, 2015, 11:55:17 pm »
Now I have lots of top notch calibrated equipment in excellent condition and still can't figure out what to use it (all) for?  :-// The most complicated thing I've built is a high precision resistor divider to help with calibration.

So what you're trying to say is I should return everything and buy a Sony VPL-HW40ES projector instead?
 

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #41 on: November 05, 2015, 11:57:22 pm »
Quote
... to do WHAT??

In the real world this would be an excellent question... However, I  suspect that for some people the lab 'is' the hobby.

There does seem to be a bit of a herd mentality to all this... I get the impression that some people want a lab because it's seen as cool to have a decent lab? So maybe there are no immediate plans to make use of the gear for any particular task?
 
However, I would always recommend that you should only buy what you need but maybe I'm old and out of touch. It's certainly a lot different today with so much choice for decent used gear from the top brands at very low prices. If I was starting out again and someone gave me $5000 I think I'd spend it very differently to all the suggestions so far but then my interests are mainly RF and I prefer to buy used gear :)
Maybe we are old and out of touch...
Then again; my father's generation had the pick up line "Come back to my place and I'll show you my etchings."

Maybe the new pick up line is "Come back to my place; and we can hang out in the Lab.".
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #42 on: November 05, 2015, 11:59:43 pm »
I wonder if this could be split up into  new  and used sections ?

I changed the rules to allow for used equipment, provided it is less than 10 years old and it is readily available over the Internet and it is in good repair and you know its fair market value.
 

Offline Stupid Beard

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2015, 12:25:48 am »
When I got back into electronics around this time last year, the first thing I bought was an oscilloscope. Because I spent 4 hours trying to track down some problem that turned out to be that I'd messed up clocking the PIC. The only way I had to verify that was with some hacky toggling of an I/O pin to generate a frequency within the range of the frequency counter on my ancient multimeter and then doing some math.

The second thing I bought was a BM257S, because I didn't trust my ancient multimeter and it was annoying me. Plus one multimeter is not enough.

The third thing I bought was a DP832, because I was pissed off messing around with wall warts and generally fudging things. I actually did start building my own bench PSU, but the last straw came when I caught myself thinking that testing the various parts of the PSU would be easier if I had an adjustable PSU. If I'm honest I kind of regret getting the DP832, but only insofar as I should have got something cheaper. I like the DP832 and use it a lot so I don't feel like it was a waste.

The fourth thing I bought was a new soldering iron, because my old butane iron was pissing me off.

The fifth thing I bought was a FY3224S cheap ass function generator, because I didn't need one much but every now and then I'd find myself wishing I had one.

There's been a few things that I got just because I wanted them, and there's a list as long as my arm of things I'd like to have just to play around with but don't really need and can't justify buying. But the vast majority of my purchases this year were driven by me doing something and then getting pissed off at not having the right tools.

If I had $5000 to spend on test gear I think the only thing I'd have done differently is get a really cheap power supply instead of the DP832 and then build extra ones myself. Maybe a better function generator too. The left over cash would get put aside for covering components and future things that piss me off.
 

Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2015, 12:33:18 am »
Quote
... to do WHAT??

In the real world this would be an excellent question... However, I  suspect that for some people the lab 'is' the hobby.

There does seem to be a bit of a herd mentality to all this... I get the impression that some people want a lab because it's seen as cool to have a decent lab? So maybe there are no immediate plans to make use of the gear for any particular task?
 
However, I would always recommend that you should only buy what you need but maybe I'm old and out of touch. It's certainly a lot different today with so much choice for decent used gear from the top brands at very low prices. If I was starting out again and someone gave me $5000 I think I'd spend it very differently to all the suggestions so far but then my interests are mainly RF and I prefer to buy used gear :)

We (I) don't plan to buy everything at once, I am simply trying to map out a budget so that I don't end up spending $20k on twenty oscilloscopes and a room full of redundant gear. I haven't even thought about what I want to build yet, there is no point in doing that until I have a lab with all the essentials. For me personally, I'm interested in computer electronics, but I'm equally fascinated by RF and analog... so I see little point in trying to specialize, I would like a general purpose lab that is designed for a maker (making is fundamentally R&D work).
 

Online Howardlong

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #45 on: November 06, 2015, 12:39:41 am »
This is a very entertaining thread  :-DD

Lets get serious;
Who actually needs a 6.5 digit DMM?
That is ridiculous for a 5K lab.

Forget the spectrum analyzer right off the top, buying a new SA that might be worth a damned on a good day when the sunshine was just the right shade of white would take too much of that 5K.

Don't even consider doing anything serious with RF.

Your big purchase will be your scope, so you need to decide if you really need a low end Mixed domain scope or just a DSO of reasonably good quality. From here on out the rest of your gear will be ether low-low end stuff or just low end stuff.


The other thing I don't see mentioned here; what about all those cables?
You going to buy them or make them. I prefer to make them since I am very good at it and know my workmanship is good to well beyond UHF by a decade or so.



Until quite recently I often questioned why you'd ever need a 6.5 digit DMM having spent the past 98% of my life without one, living perfectly well with 3 3/4 digits for many years thank you very much. For me it's not for absolute measurement, but for relative measurement: I do a fair amount of rework, and tracing down shorts, and badly behaving parts in circuit on a PCB is so easy with a high resolution DMM, and now I'd get frustrated without the resolution. But I'd agree, for absolute measurement the value of 6.5 digits still eludes me in a practical sense. I would not buy a 6.5 digit DMM new, or calibrated, there is just no value to me to be able to measure absolutely. The same is not true in the frequency domain though!

I'd agree about an SA. They're the most under utilised pieces of equipment in my lab, and I just made a count and have five of them, from 1.5GHz to 22GHz. The two VNAs I have get quite a bit more use than the SAs.

As well as the scope, get some decent tools especially soldering irons. I use four different irons almost daily for SMD rework, three Wellers (two 80W with different sized tips and a tweezer) and one bargain basement hot air iron from eBay which I'd have no hesitation in buying again. Well within three minutes on a rework job on a chip I'll use all four, and sometimes on the tweezer and hot air iron I'll swap bits.

If the OP must get an SA, what about a Tek MDO3014 and liberating its bandwidth (and everything else)?

I agree about cables, I have always made my own as a general rule... but they often do look pretty useless on a TDR compared to the professionally made high end brands like HP/Agilent Radiall etc., and for the VNAs above 100MHz or so I use the real thing for measuring stuff, no point in introducing more unknowns than you need to.

Buying everything at once as if that's it, there will be no more, doesn't sound right though. I didn't know I needed a 20GHz oscilloscope until a few months ago. Come to think of it, I probably still don't really need one, but being able to squeak at 10ps/div sure makes me feel good. Somebody call the doctor.
 

Offline ez24

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2015, 12:51:05 am »
The OP did not mention if he wants to get into YT.  If so 6.5 digit DMM would be good for the wow factor.  If to show off the lab then bragging rights.  So they have a use  :-DD

I would add a bench multimeter, I wished I had one or more.





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Offline georges80

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #47 on: November 06, 2015, 12:57:50 am »
Quote
... to do WHAT??

In the real world this would be an excellent question... However, I  suspect that for some people the lab 'is' the hobby.

There does seem to be a bit of a herd mentality to all this... I get the impression that some people want a lab because it's seen as cool to have a decent lab? So maybe there are no immediate plans to make use of the gear for any particular task?
 
However, I would always recommend that you should only buy what you need but maybe I'm old and out of touch. It's certainly a lot different today with so much choice for decent used gear from the top brands at very low prices. If I was starting out again and someone gave me $5000 I think I'd spend it very differently to all the suggestions so far but then my interests are mainly RF and I prefer to buy used gear :)

We (I) don't plan to buy everything at once, I am simply trying to map out a budget so that I don't end up spending $20k on twenty oscilloscopes and a room full of redundant gear. I haven't even thought about what I want to build yet, there is no point in doing that until I have a lab with all the essentials. For me personally, I'm interested in computer electronics, but I'm equally fascinated by RF and analog... so I see little point in trying to specialize, I would like a general purpose lab that is designed for a maker (making is fundamentally R&D work).

Quite an "interesting" approach... "I haven't even thought about what I want to build yet, there is no point in doing that until I have a lab with all the essentials"

And you are hoping with this approach you wont a) spend $20K and b) not be stuck with a bunch of equipment you don't need. I must be in bizarro world  :-//

I purchase equipment as I find a compelling need for it, not to dream up something to do because I have a piece of equipment laying dormant that requires that specific project to justify its existence in my lab...

My first post still stands and now is confirmed by your post above, imho the initiation of this thread is the old cart before the horse... but good luck with it. I'm guessing your background isn't as an EE?

Oh and just because Dave claims you could set up a decent lab for $5k doesn't make it so. Opinions of what is needed in a lab is driven by our own idea of what WE need for what WE are doing/interested in.

Of course if your goal is to have a 'neat lab' then I'm sure there will be a lot of suggestions of what to get even without knowing what you are going to use it for :)

cheers,
george.

 

Online nctnico

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #48 on: November 06, 2015, 01:00:23 am »
I haven't even thought about what I want to build yet, there is no point in doing that until I have a lab with all the essentials.
A four channel 100MHz scope with proper serial decoding options, a 30V 2A power supply and a >4.5 digits DMM are a good start besides a good soldering iron (be sure it allows to changes tips quickly) and a cheap hot-air station. From there you buy as needed. I'm still doing that but I also keep looking for good bargains as well. A couple of months ago someone on this forum wrote he wanted to get rid of a HP DC load; the price was right so I got it. I didn't really needed it at that time but in the past couple of days it has proven to be a good buy. For upcoming projects I look on Ebay for reasonably priced equipment which could be useful.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Someone

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #49 on: November 06, 2015, 01:04:15 am »
I haven't even thought about what I want to build yet, there is no point in doing that until I have a lab with all the essentials.
You can build and explore a huge part of the electronics world with just a multimeter, soldering iron, and some basic hand tools. Only then will it be possible to understand what you need or want to do. Just using test equipment requires a good understanding of the underlying electrical characteristics and problem solving skills as to what to use them for.

You don't buy all the equipment up front to start a band, first you learn how to play some instruments.
 

Offline ez24

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #50 on: November 06, 2015, 01:07:35 am »
Make it easy and get one of these (blows the budget)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Agilent-Keysight-8-1-2-digit-3458A-Multimeter-w-certs-data-/262115113653?hash=item3d07473ab5:g:PAAAAOSwEetV-xg8


Maybe you could make a business of calibrating equipment with it.  There is a seller who sells calibration "things" and he use one to calibrate them.  There might be a market for this type of service vs a real lab calibration.  Try posting an ad on Craig's List to see if there is an interest in this?  You get a lab cal on yours and test other equipment w/o the cert for 1/4 the price.

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Offline DimitriP

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #51 on: November 06, 2015, 01:12:16 am »
Some, found this thread entertaining...and maybe in a sick sort of way it is.

But overall it is scoring pretty high on my recently calibrated bullshit meter.



   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #52 on: November 06, 2015, 01:15:59 am »
I started this thread at the request of ez24, I have already purchased the following:

Rigol MSO4014: $2594 (Still returnable, not 100% sure I'm going to keep it yet)
Analog Discovery: $159 (2 differential channel 40 MHz scope, 2 channel 10 MHz AWG, 10 MHz Network Analyzer, 16 channel LA)
Build my own power supply using recycled parts: free
Banggood.com M12864 LCR ESR Transistor meter: $20
Extech EX210T True RMS + IR temperature Multimeter: $34
Radio Shack 2200172 AC/DC Digital Clamp On Multimeter. $13
Make Soldering Station Starter Kit: $25

Still have over $2k left.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 01:29:21 am by nbritton »
 

Offline OldSchoolTechCorner

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #53 on: November 06, 2015, 01:24:03 am »
Rather than spending money on equipment I don't think you really know how to use according to your numerous other threads, how about you get that hands on learning experience that you said you're wanting by fixing your Tek 2213?

How am I every going to know how to use it if I don't have it to use it?

That what you don't want to do. Buy as you need it, then you get more later as needed, is the best way to go about it. You will otherwise realize later you needed something else and now blew your whole load.  T&M equipment is tools needed for your work, or hobby. You don't want to buy it just to have it, if your unsure what you are going to even do with it. It will more likely turn out to be a mistake and will just end up collecting dust.
 

Offline ez24

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #54 on: November 06, 2015, 01:25:33 am »
I started this thread at the request of ez24, I have already purchased the following:

Rigol MSO4014: $2594 (Still returnable, not 100% sure I'm going to keep it yet)
Analog Discovery: $159 (2 differential channel 40 MHz scope, 2 channel 10 MHz AWG, 10 MHz Network Analyzer, 16 channel LA)
Build my own power supply using recycled parts: free
Banggood.com M12864 LCR ESR Transistor meter: $20
Extech EX210T True RMS + IR temperature Multimeter: $34
Radio Shack 2200172 AC/DC Digital Clamp On Multimeter. $13
Make Soldering Station Starter Kit: $25

Still have over $2k left.

ah the truth comes out  :box:  I was being silent
but to be honest kinda strange a $2600 scope and other "cheap" stuff.  Does not seem equal.  In other words 1/2 of the budget on one item.  Should go with my one item suggestion  :-DD  But we will learn for others  :)  $2,000 still can buy a lot of stuff.  (how about a new car for me ? )

FYI someone said Dave said 5k budget.  Did he ?  Not that I know of.


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Offline mtdoc

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #55 on: November 06, 2015, 01:40:44 am »
I started this thread at the request of ez24, I have already purchased the following:

Rigol MSO4014: $2594 (Still returnable, not 100% sure I'm going to keep it yet)
Analog Discovery: $159 (2 differential channel 40 MHz scope, 2 channel 10 MHz AWG, 10 MHz Network Analyzer, 16 channel LA)
Build my own power supply using recycled parts: free
Banggood.com M12864 LCR ESR Transistor meter: $20
Extech EX210T True RMS + IR temperature Multimeter: $34
Radio Shack 2200172 AC/DC Digital Clamp On Multimeter. $13
Make Soldering Station Starter Kit: $25

Still have over $2k left.

My $0.02:  Return your scope.  Buy a Rigol 1054Z or maybe a DS2072.  Hold onto your money and start doing stuff. Soon enough you'll find a need and things to buy. 
 

Offline OldSchoolTechCorner

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #56 on: November 06, 2015, 01:41:58 am »
That Rigol MSO4014 is a bad choice. That was the one I had issues with twice in a row and return it, as had suspected overheating issues and locks up as a result cooling fans rev to a 100%. First one channel when out completely and would come back at random. I do tend to use it for hours at a time and kept it power on when needed, so no offset, but still sure not have had issues within a week. Then when using the math functions, turning off the source channels also turns off the math function. The delayed sweep causes very strange behavior and would sometimes lock up. when attempting to display the trailing end of a burst of pulses. Turning on the delayed sweep causes the trigger point to randomly vary and it gets worse when the trigger mode is changed from auto to normal. Just a few of the bugs, their more, this was on both, so not just that I had a defective one, as order second one from different vendor.

I agree with the above post get a Rigol 1054Z and hack it, friend has one and claims it good.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 01:43:36 am by OldSchoolTechCorner »
 

Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #57 on: November 06, 2015, 01:43:22 am »
I started this thread at the request of ez24, I have already purchased the following:

Rigol MSO4014: $2594 (Still returnable, not 100% sure I'm going to keep it yet)
Analog Discovery: $159 (2 differential channel 40 MHz scope, 2 channel 10 MHz AWG, 10 MHz Network Analyzer, 16 channel LA)
Build my own power supply using recycled parts: free
Banggood.com M12864 LCR ESR Transistor meter: $20
Extech EX210T True RMS + IR temperature Multimeter: $34
Radio Shack 2200172 AC/DC Digital Clamp On Multimeter. $13
Make Soldering Station Starter Kit: $25

Still have over $2k left.

ah the truth comes out  :box:  I was being silent
but to be honest kinda strange a $2600 scope and other "cheap" stuff.  Does not seem equal.  In other words 1/2 of the budget on one item.  Should go with my one item suggestion  :-DD  But we will learn for others  :)  $2,000 still can buy a lot of stuff.  (how about a new car for me ? )

FYI someone said Dave said 5k budget.  Did he ?  Not that I know of.

Is a scope not the most important instrument in an electronics lab? It's a 675 MHz scope, plus it has a 1 GSa/s 16-channel logic analyzer... I think it was a steal at that price, a comparable Keysight would have cost $13k. If you notice everything I bought was on sale. For instance, that Radio Shack clamp on meter that I picked up for $13 normally costs $60, it was on clearance. And the soldering iron gets the job done when using good quality Kester 0.020" and a Hakko 599B-02 tip cleaner.
 

Offline ez24

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #58 on: November 06, 2015, 01:47:09 am »
I do not know OP's age or thoughts.  I like the retro look of old equipment.  For example I have a love affair with Power Designs 2020s.

This old equipment was built by craftsmen and if you give yourself time you can find good stuff.  It is much better than modern Chinese built stuff.  The exception being the scope (because of size and features).  I wished I had a TEK 465

I like Wavetek function gens.  HP also has some nice PS (I do not know models), the member TIN restores real high end equipment.  Keithley has some nice old bench meters.

Size of old equipment can be a problem.

I wish I had a programmable power load (these are pricey)

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Offline OldSchoolTechCorner

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #59 on: November 06, 2015, 01:53:20 am »
I started this thread at the request of ez24, I have already purchased the following:

Rigol MSO4014: $2594 (Still returnable, not 100% sure I'm going to keep it yet)
Analog Discovery: $159 (2 differential channel 40 MHz scope, 2 channel 10 MHz AWG, 10 MHz Network Analyzer, 16 channel LA)
Build my own power supply using recycled parts: free
Banggood.com M12864 LCR ESR Transistor meter: $20
Extech EX210T True RMS + IR temperature Multimeter: $34
Radio Shack 2200172 AC/DC Digital Clamp On Multimeter. $13
Make Soldering Station Starter Kit: $25

Still have over $2k left.

ah the truth comes out  :box:  I was being silent
but to be honest kinda strange a $2600 scope and other "cheap" stuff.  Does not seem equal.  In other words 1/2 of the budget on one item.  Should go with my one item suggestion  :-DD  But we will learn for others  :)  $2,000 still can buy a lot of stuff.  (how about a new car for me ? )

FYI someone said Dave said 5k budget.  Did he ?  Not that I know of.

Is a scope not the most important instrument in an electronics lab? It's a 675 MHz scope, plus it has a 1 GSa/s 16-channel logic analyzer... I think it was a steal at that price, a comparable Keysight would have cost $13k. If you notice everything I bought was on sale. For instance, that Radio Shack clamp on meter that I picked up for $13 normally costs $60, it was on clearance. And the soldering iron gets the job done when using good quality Kester 0.020" and a Hakko 599B-02 tip cleaner.

Where did you get 675 MHZ from and the fact you blew half your budget on it and cut massive corners on everything else. You could have done much better for the money and buying used you could have bought some really nice gear and save some money and not talking about old boat anchors, but equipment that within 10 years old and that will fit on your bench.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 02:05:59 am by OldSchoolTechCorner »
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #60 on: November 06, 2015, 01:59:06 am »
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Is a scope not the most important instrument in an electronics lab?

Up to a point... My background is in RF and in my day the classic trio (to buy) was a scope, a sig gen and a counter.

But the scope didn't need to be that good. Fast forward a few decades to today and I'd argue that something like the Rigol 1054 would be good enough for most people who want to do typical design work with MCUs and a bit of analoue design. It's probably better than any scope I have here and I'm certainly no beginner :)

Obviously, if you want to do some fast digital design then you would want something faster than the little Rigol. The same applies if you want to join the 'pulse risetime' club ;)
 

Offline OldSchoolTechCorner

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #61 on: November 06, 2015, 02:01:44 am »
I wish I had a programmable power load (these are pricey)

I wish I had a 1200 watt plus one, but damn they are expensive ;D Hoping one come along broken and not a major repair, or someone dumps one for cheap.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 02:08:21 am by OldSchoolTechCorner »
 

Offline MadTux

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #62 on: November 06, 2015, 02:03:50 am »
Lol, what a stupid thread. Spending 5k$ on new equipment  :-DD

5k$ can buy you everything or nothing, especially in US, where shipping of the goodies on US ebay is cheap.

Nothing if you buy new. A decent SA is more than that, a good DSO too. Currently decent DSOs are the only instruments where Moore's law is still working on and the laws of physics don't limit the performance.  Everything else is limited by physics now and most old units are IMO better than the new ones, because of better repairability, available parts and better quality.

Quick list of bottom low prices without shipping (neglegtable in US, since about only 20-50$)
HP-3456A : 50$ (get a bunch of broken ones and fix f them)          => 200$
Tek-7904A: 80$ + lots of pugins for it 250$                                     => 320$
HP-E3617A: 80$ (get a few, like 3)                                                  => 240$
HP-8568B:  600$ (get a second 8566B RF section for 400$)           =>1000$
HP-3585A:  600$ (B version with signal tracking cost more :(         =>600$
HP-8662/8663: 1200$ (get each of em, parts are exchangeable)   => 1200$
HP-3326A: 200$ (really cool LF synthesizer)                                   => 200$
Tek TM500 with function gen plugins: 350$                                     => 350$
HP-8005A :80$  (external trigger by 5359A for accurate timing)     => 80$
HP-5359A : 250$                                                                             => 250$
Generic cheap soldering iron                                                            => 50$
Set of good tweezers                                                                        => 100$
Cheap solder sucker                                                                         => 5$
Aoyue 952 hot air gun                                                                      => 80$

So far 4575$ and a really good lab for start, but you must know how to repair stuff of learn it by doing.

Quickly fill it to 5000$

HP-16500B/C with 16532A/16557D:                                                =>350$
EIP-545A LF/RF counter (maybe with RF power meter)                    =>180$
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 02:21:22 am by MadTux »
 

Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #63 on: November 06, 2015, 02:07:55 am »
Quite an "interesting" approach... "I haven't even thought about what I want to build yet, there is no point in doing that until I have a lab with all the essentials"

And you are hoping with this approach you wont a) spend $20K and b) not be stuck with a bunch of equipment you don't need. I must be in bizarro world  :-//

I purchase equipment as I find a compelling need for it, not to dream up something to do because I have a piece of equipment laying dormant that requires that specific project to justify its existence in my lab...

My first post still stands and now is confirmed by your post above, imho the initiation of this thread is the old cart before the horse... but good luck with it. I'm guessing your background isn't as an EE?

You're misunderstanding what I wrote. I have plenty of ideas for projects, but there is no point in thinking about these ideas further until I have a functioning lab. No I'm not an EE, so the other half of this is having all equipment necessary to teach myself. When you were in school you had a school lab full of equipment to play on, I'm merely trying to replicate that experience. The maker spaces in my area are not close by and they don't have very advanced equipment. Also the university lab (UT - Austin) is not accessible to the general public.
 

Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #64 on: November 06, 2015, 02:18:58 am »
Lol, what a stupid thread. Spending 5k$ on new equipment  :-DD

5k$ can buy you everything or nothing, especially in US, where shipping of the goodies on US ebay is cheap.

Nothing if you buy new.

Sigh. I said you could use used equipment, just not super old equipment that is not readily available. 
 

Offline OldSchoolTechCorner

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #65 on: November 06, 2015, 02:40:25 am »
You sure have stated that and area of interest. You mess up on what you brought, just hope you can return it

I usually recommend to a beginner to find someone that a EE, or good technician to help guide you in your local area, join a club even. You find people that will be glad to help another and may even get free test equipment, or cheap to start with and then a new friend.

1.  Rigol ds1054z Best bang for the buck and will serve you just fine.
2.  Siglent sdg1025, or a SDG2042X function/arbitrary waveform generator
3.  Hakko fx888d, or a Weller WES51 Solder Station
4.  Aoyue 968 A+ rework station and get a solder iron as well, or Aoyue 952 hot air gun.
5.  A good decent tripe output power supply can be found cheap on eBay, or you can make one.
6.  Brymen meter 289, or  Fluke 87V, or a Fluke 289. You will need 2 meters and won't cut cost in this area. If you dealing with low current then you can go with a Mastech MS8218, or a UNI-T meter.
7.  BK Precision Model 1823A frequency counter
8.  DE-5000 Handheld LCR Meter
8.  General purpose active differential probe, like B&K Precision PR60
9.  Then need cables , more probes and clips and thin gauge hook up wire, breadboards and ETC.
10.  Set of good tweezers 
11. basic set of various hand tools.
12. Books on electrical characteristics and problem solving skills and circuit design.



« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 02:54:27 am by OldSchoolTechCorner »
 

Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #66 on: November 06, 2015, 02:47:20 am »
Tek-7904A: 80$ + lots of pugins for it 250$                                     => 320$

Where can you find a 7904A for $80? That's crazy talk, this is why I didn't want to included used equipment. Invariably someone will list this and other relics as if it's readily available (there are only 12 listing on eBay) and then quote some crazy unrealistic price. Just looking on eBay, the cheapest NON WORKING 7904A is $199! How do you expect a beginner to fix all this non working equipment without even so much as having a working scope?
 

Offline ez24

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #67 on: November 06, 2015, 02:47:21 am »

Quick list of bottom low prices without shipping (negotiable in US, since about only 20-50$)
HP-3456A : 50$ (get a bunch of broken ones and fix f them)          => 200$
Tek-7904A: 80$ + lots of pugins for it 250$                                     => 320$
HP-E3617A: 80$ (get a few, like 3)                                                  => 240$
HP-8568B:  600$ (get a second 8566B RF section for 400$)           =>1000$
HP-3585A:  600$ (B version with signal tracking cost more :(         =>600$
HP-8662/8663: 1200$ (get each of em, parts are exchangeable)   => 1200$
HP-3326A: 200$ (really cool LF synthesizer)                                   => 200$
Tek TM500 with function gen plugins: 350$                                     => 350$
HP-8005A :80$  (external trigger by 5359A for accurate timing)     => 80$
HP-5359A : 250$                                                                             => 250$
Generic cheap soldering iron                                                            => 50$
Set of good tweezers                                                                        => 100$
Cheap solder sucker                                                                         => 5$
Aoyue 952 hot air gun                                                                      => 80$

So far 4575$ and a really good lab for start, but you must know how to repair stuff of learn it by doing.

Quickly fill it to 5000$

HP-16500B/C with 16532A/16557D:                                                =>350$
EIP-545A LF/RF counter (maybe with RF power meter)                    =>180$

Lots of homework  :-+
YouTube and Website Electronic Resources ------>  https://www.eevblog.com/forum/other-blog-specific/a/msg1341166/#msg1341166
 

Offline MadTux

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #68 on: November 06, 2015, 02:55:28 am »
Where can you find a 7904A for $80?

Time is your friend. And keep your eyes open. It was out there, and it probably will be again.
Older version with plugins for even less:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tektronix-7904-Oscilloscope-w-3-Modules-7A26-7B53A-7B10-/391296195908?hash=item5b1b121d44:g:kVIAAOSwsB9WDFae

How do you expect a beginner to fix all this non working equipment without even so much as having a working scope?
Buy a working shit scope for 20$. And learn it. You can do it, if you really want to and dedicate some time to it. Manuals are good and available. I'm no EE, but I learned most of it by repairing stuff.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 03:04:33 am by MadTux »
 

Offline OldSchoolTechCorner

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #69 on: November 06, 2015, 03:09:01 am »
Where can you find a 7904A for $80?

Time is your friend. And keep your eyes open. It was out there, and it probably will be again.

How do you expect a beginner to fix all this non working equipment without even so much as having a working scope?

Buy a working shit scope for 20$. And learn it. You can do it, if you really want to and dedicate some time to it. Manuals are good and available. I'm no EE, but I learned most of it by repairing stuff.

Same way I learn then became a EE and now PhD. The first scope was a broken Tektronix 2225 that I fixed that was giving to me for free by a teacher and before that learn by reading catalogs and data sheets and receive free books and ETC and getting help from others and working on projects after hours. We didn't have the luxury of the internet.

Throwing money at something not the way to learn.
 

Offline nbritton

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #70 on: November 06, 2015, 03:33:09 am »
Ugh you guys don't make this easy. Looking back, my mistake was not buying a PS4 and projector. |O
 

Offline joesixpack

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #71 on: November 06, 2015, 03:34:30 am »
I have a few comments, without the criticisms.

Since it appears as you are new to electronics, here are the basics: .  Dave explains what and why.  His advice is very much still relevant.  Evaluate what you need and separate from what you want.  Use Dave's suggestions as a template and substitute equipment (some of the recommendations are pretty old).  I wrestled with the same questions when I was purchasing test gear for my workbench -- whether to buy once and cry once, or buy cheap and buy often.  I chose the middle path.

I started this thread at the request of ez24, I have already purchased the following:

Rigol MSO4014: $2594 (Still returnable, not 100% sure I'm going to keep it yet)
Personally, I wouldn't purchase a higher end Rigol/Siglent. I would send the scope back.  They might be unbeatable on the lower end of the spectrum, but the value rapidly diminishes as you spend more money. 

For another $1k you can get a 4-channel 100MHz Tektronix MDO3014.  Right now there is a promotion where you get the 3GHz spectrum analyzer option and embedded bundle.  You can upgrade to 200MHz for ~$700 later, or if you aren't concerned with warranty, you can hack it and now you have a 500MHz scope + 25Mhz arbitrary waveform generator, and 16b channel logic analyzer (you will still need to buy the expensive probes).

That being said, I would recommend you get a way cheaper scope or MSO.  I started with a 50MHz Rigol scope until I could justify buying a "better" scope.  I now appreciate it.  My new scope doesn't sound like a diesel engine or flicker like a lightning storm having sex with a discotech.
 
Quote
Analog Discovery: $159 (2 differential channel 40 MHz scope, 2 channel 10 MHz AWG, 10 MHz Network Analyzer, 16 channel LA)
Build my own power supply using recycled parts: free
Banggood.com M12864 LCR ESR Transistor meter: $20
Extech EX210T True RMS + IR temperature Multimeter: $34
If you want to spend money, I'd suggest to buy a better DMM or two, like a Fluke 87/289 and forget about a 6.5 digit bench meter.  I bought a $20 ESR meter and it was worthless.  I ended up purchasing a BK LCR meter.
Quote
Radio Shack 2200172 AC/DC Digital Clamp On Multimeter. $13
Unless you are fixing air conditioners or doing maintenance, I can't really understand why you would have a clamp on meter.  So far, I've never run into a situation where I needed or wanted a clamp on meter.
Quote
Make Soldering Station Starter Kit: $25
Think about getting a good soldering station, and possibly a hot air station for smd.  Again, watch Dave's video and spread the money around focusing on getting the biggest bang for your money.

Don't forget about cables, adapters, debugging pods, parts, etching supplies, copper clad board, drills, drill bits, solderless bread board, wires, orders to board houses, more parts, books, enclosures, development boards... you will spend eventually spend all your money, trust me.  The list is endless...
 

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #72 on: November 06, 2015, 04:29:35 am »
This is a very entertaining thread  :-DD

Lets get serious;
Who actually needs a 6.5 digit DMM?
That is ridiculous for a 5K lab.

Forget the spectrum analyzer right off the top, buying a new SA that might be worth a damned on a good day when the sunshine was just the right shade of white would take too much of that 5K.

Don't even consider doing anything serious with RF.

Your big purchase will be your scope, so you need to decide if you really need a low end Mixed domain scope or just a DSO of reasonably good quality. From here on out the rest of your gear will be ether low-low end stuff or just low end stuff.


The other thing I don't see mentioned here; what about all those cables?
You going to buy them or make them. I prefer to make them since I am very good at it and know my workmanship is good to well beyond UHF by a decade or so.



Until quite recently I often questioned why you'd ever need a 6.5 digit DMM having spent the past 98% of my life without one, living perfectly well with 3 3/4 digits for many years thank you very much. For me it's not for absolute measurement, but for relative measurement: I do a fair amount of rework, and tracing down shorts, and badly behaving parts in circuit on a PCB is so easy with a high resolution DMM, and now I'd get frustrated without the resolution. But I'd agree, for absolute measurement the value of 6.5 digits still eludes me in a practical sense. I would not buy a 6.5 digit DMM new, or calibrated, there is just no value to me to be able to measure absolutely. The same is not true in the frequency domain though!
I can see that, my HP 5 1/2 digit DMM has saved me a lot of trouble tracking down shorts.
Quote
I'd agree about an SA. They're the most under utilised pieces of equipment in my lab, and I just made a count and have five of them, from 1.5GHz to 22GHz. The two VNAs I have get quite a bit more use than the SAs.
Agreed but for someone starting out, I really don't think so, not even someone who wantts to dedicate their life to doing RF work. I have seen wet behind the ears techs do a few Killobucks worth of damage simply because they are not displined enough to look before applying power.
Quote
As well as the scope, get some decent tools especially soldering irons. I use four different irons almost daily for SMD rework, three Wellers (two 80W with different sized tips and a tweezer) and one bargain basement hot air iron from eBay which I'd have no hesitation in buying again. Well within three minutes on a rework job on a chip I'll use all four, and sometimes on the tweezer and hot air iron I'll swap bits.

If the OP must get an SA, what about a Tek MDO3014 and liberating its bandwidth (and everything else)?

Agreed...
Quote
I agree about cables, I have always made my own as a general rule... but they often do look pretty useless on a TDR compared to the professionally made high end brands like HP/Agilent Radiall etc., and for the VNAs above 100MHz or so I use the real thing for measuring stuff, no point in introducing more unknowns than you need to.
On the first part; there is (I believe) a bit of an art to making good cables without a few killobucks in fixtures and jigs to enable just about anyone to do it.
As for critical cables for VNAs and whatnot I agree you are best off buying the ones made nude virgins who have never touched themselves or had an impure thought to distract them from their work. :)
Quote

Buying everything at once as if that's it, there will be no more, doesn't sound right though. I didn't know I needed a 20GHz oscilloscope until a few months ago. Come to think of it, I probably still don't really need one, but being able to squeak at 10ps/div sure makes me feel good. Somebody call the doctor.
I share in your feelings, but don't have the funds to indulge. :)
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Offline AF6LJ

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #73 on: November 06, 2015, 04:37:41 am »
Some, found this thread entertaining...and maybe in a sick sort of way it is.

But overall it is scoring pretty high on my recently calibrated bullshit meter.

You are not alone.
What is that smell...
https://youtu.be/uOv7FLd9WvE
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Offline tec5c

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #74 on: November 06, 2015, 05:31:39 am »
When you were in school you had a school lab full of equipment to play on, I'm merely trying to replicate that experience.

Here is a list of what the undergrad labs contain at my University:

Keysight - DSOX2024A Oscilloscope
Keysight - 34450A Benchtop DMM
Keysight - 33510B Waveform Generator
GW Instek - PST-3202 Triple Output Power Supply
Rigol - DSA815-TG Spectrum Analyser with Tracking Generator

Plus a bunch of sh*t handheld DMM's that are faulty due to noobs having no idea.

The labs have recently been renovated with new gear so hence why all the Keysight stuff.

The OP's statement of building a R&D lab is false. More accurately would be to say a beginners lab, thus you could equip your lab with the gear listed above for $5k, granted you would most likely need to go for the Agilent/HP branded equivalent. Benchtop DMM is not essential either.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 05:34:10 am by tec5c »
 

Offline deadlylover

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #75 on: November 06, 2015, 06:32:44 am »
Buy a working shit scope for 20$. And learn it. You can do it, if you really want to and dedicate some time to it. Manuals are good and available. I'm no EE, but I learned most of it by repairing stuff.

+1 Ok, if you're feeling a bit spendy you can get a 1054Z, but dropping 25 Benjamins is a bit much for one's first scope. You can always get the MSO4014 later down the line when you need/want one, it's not like you're gonna throw out the 1054Z when you upgrade.

Repairing stuff is great value for money, not to mention immensely educational. I find it helps motivate you as a hobbyist, because there's nothing like bringing a piece of equipment back to life. It also keeps you busy until your next big 'score'. Even if you have to write something off for being beyond economic repair, you'll have often bought something for less than BOM cost, leaving you with heaps of parts/spares to tinker with.

Just go with the usual recommendations for basic gear, if I were to start over only buying new stuff I'd get a Rigol 1054Z, DP832 supply (a bit of a luxury), Hakko FX-888, one solid meter like the Brymen BM257 and a cheaper ~$50 one. Since you have a reliable base to start with, you can then look into buying used specialised gear as required after that, the 3.7k left over will go quite a ways.

I'd recommend you return the MSO4014, downsize to a cheap analog scope or 1054Z and then just start building stuff (probably starting with the power supplies). The gear will come naturally as you go along, I promise. Hell, pick up that PS4 and projector to keep you busy for a few days until any newly purchased gear arrives whenever you hit a roadblock, it's a much smarter purchase than buying a bunch of gear you can't find a use for.  :-DD
 

Offline nowlan

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #76 on: November 06, 2015, 07:08:34 am »
I noticed my schools latest labs have all siglent gear. Must be poor =)

I put a list of stuff I have bought, and its not much.
1. oscilloscope
2. 2x psu
3. 1x shitty multimeter
4. used wellar soldering iron
5. cutter/pliers
6. test leads.
7. AVR ISP MK 2

Im not into RF. I think most people are most likely into microcontroller, and arduinos are cheap, have built in programmers. The same with all the little arm boards these days. Just need a Saelig to troubleshoot I2C/spi buses.

I bought most of my stuff new, since the older gear takes up a lot of room.

 

Online Howardlong

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #77 on: November 06, 2015, 07:55:11 am »


Forget the spectrum analyzer right off the top, buying a new SA that might be worth a damned on a good day when the sunshine was just the right shade of white would take too much of that 5K.

Quote
I'd agree about an SA. They're the most under utilised pieces of equipment in my lab, and I just made a count and have five of them, from 1.5GHz to 22GHz. The two VNAs I have get quite a bit more use than the SAs.
Agreed but for someone starting out, I really don't think so, not even someone who wantts to dedicate their life to doing RF work. I have seen wet behind the ears techs do a few Killobucks worth of damage simply because they are not displined enough to look before applying power.

Sorry, I wasn't suggesting he OP go out and buy a VNA as opposed to an SA, just that an SA risks being little more than an expensive ornament on the average hobbyist's bench. I can see them being switched on once or twice, and then what? Equally a VNA is of no value to someone tinkering with Arduinos. If you're reasonably into RF, then yes, there is some value to an SA, but in that case I'd go for a VNA before an SA. Even then, I guarantee it'll still be collecting dust most of the time. I think a lot of people buy SAs thinking they'll use them for finding interesting things in the RF spectrum. Well they're generally fairly deaf by RF standards, and have very limited demodulation options if any. You'd be a lot better off with an SDR, and in an lot of cases you can use an SDR to do things you might traditionally use an SA for, and they're a lot cheaper..
 

Offline ivaylo

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #78 on: November 06, 2015, 10:24:04 am »

Quick list of bottom low prices without shipping (negotiable in US, since about only 20-50$)
HP-3456A : 50$ (get a bunch of broken ones and fix f them)          => 200$
Tek-7904A: 80$ + lots of pugins for it 250$                                     => 320$
HP-E3617A: 80$ (get a few, like 3)                                                  => 240$
HP-8568B:  600$ (get a second 8566B RF section for 400$)           =>1000$
HP-3585A:  600$ (B version with signal tracking cost more :(         =>600$
HP-8662/8663: 1200$ (get each of em, parts are exchangeable)   => 1200$
HP-3326A: 200$ (really cool LF synthesizer)                                   => 200$
Tek TM500 with function gen plugins: 350$                                     => 350$
HP-8005A :80$  (external trigger by 5359A for accurate timing)     => 80$
HP-5359A : 250$                                                                             => 250$
Generic cheap soldering iron                                                            => 50$
Set of good tweezers                                                                        => 100$
Cheap solder sucker                                                                         => 5$
Aoyue 952 hot air gun                                                                      => 80$

So far 4575$ and a really good lab for start, but you must know how to repair stuff of learn it by doing.

Quickly fill it to 5000$

HP-16500B/C with 16532A/16557D:                                                =>350$
EIP-545A LF/RF counter (maybe with RF power meter)                    =>180$

I thought the question was about $5K max, not 5 tons min  :P
 

Offline crispy_tofu

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #79 on: November 06, 2015, 10:47:16 am »
$50 soldering irons are really expensive...  :-DD
 

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #80 on: November 06, 2015, 01:52:33 pm »
$50 soldering irons are really expensive...  :-DD

I guess if you are use to using a hot brick to solder in those small parts than fifty dollars is rather costly....
I just spent just shy of a hundred dollars for a new handpiece for my Weller station. But... that is a real soldering station, not a piece of Crap from Radio Shack.
Sue AF6LJ
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Online nctnico

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #81 on: November 06, 2015, 02:43:22 pm »
I agree. A good soldering station costs serious money (count on $200) and there is no cheap way around it!
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Rupunzell

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #82 on: November 06, 2015, 06:33:04 pm »
These funds would be better spent on education. Items like books, learning materials and related parts, classes and fixing older test gear is a GREAT way to learn. Taking on simply projects that are lab useful like making power supply from scratch as a start gives experience with how to design, build, making it function and fully understanding how to test and understand the design's limitations are extremely valuable lessons that are far more valuable than bench of shiny new test gear.

IMO, it is a serious mistake to simply dump all those funds into new test gear without a full understanding of how they work, how to get the very best an most out of them and all the related details of making accurate useful measurements and properly utilizing the data created.

Keep in mind, many of the great achievements in science and technology were done with rather basic instrumentation. When the required instrumentation or experimental device was not available, it was designed, built and made to fit the needs of the task required. Get to a place where this is achievable, focus less on the colorful techno widgets as they can be distractions to effective results.


Bernice



You're misunderstanding what I wrote. I have plenty of ideas for projects, but there is no point in thinking about these ideas further until I have a functioning lab. No I'm not an EE, so the other half of this is having all equipment necessary to teach myself. When you were in school you had a school lab full of equipment to play on, I'm merely trying to replicate that experience.
 

Offline DimitriP

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #83 on: November 06, 2015, 07:19:45 pm »
I agree. A good soldering station costs serious money (count on $200) and there is no cheap way around it!

Cheapest way around a soldering station is to not buy one.
Not only you save money, but you save lots of time not trying to figure out which one to buy
, not  worrying if you should have bought something else instead, not to mention being able to skip the endless threads on soldering stations and soldering tips ...

:)
 


 
   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #84 on: November 06, 2015, 08:21:51 pm »
I agree. A good soldering station costs serious money (count on $200) and there is no cheap way around it!

Cheapest way around a soldering station is to not buy one.
Not only you save money, but you save lots of time not trying to figure out which one to buy
, not  worrying if you should have bought something else instead, not to mention being able to skip the endless threads on soldering stations and soldering tips ...

:)

I worked as a technician for 21 years, I never had to supply my own soldering / desoldering station, it was always provided. It was a good way to find out what was best for my needs.
I DID have to supply my own tools for all but one job. That job they issued me a tool box with some rather high end handtools in it. Nice Swiss made pliers and cutters, Snap-On screw drivers that matched the hardware I was going to be using them on, super nice tweezers the whole nine yards in a tackle sized tin box. There was $800.00 worth of hand tools in that box. It ruined me...
When I went to work in two way radio, the Snap-On Man got a cut of every one of my paychecks. :)
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline DimitriP

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #85 on: November 06, 2015, 08:52:43 pm »
I agree. A good soldering station costs serious money (count on $200) and there is no cheap way around it!

Cheapest way around a soldering station is to not buy one.
Not only you save money, but you save lots of time not trying to figure out which one to buy
, not  worrying if you should have bought something else instead, not to mention being able to skip the endless threads on soldering stations and soldering tips ...

:)

I worked as a technician for 21 years, I never had to supply my own soldering / desoldering station, it was always provided. It was a good way to find out what was best for my needs.
I DID have to supply my own tools for all but one job. That job they issued me a tool box with some rather high end handtools in it. Nice Swiss made pliers and cutters, Snap-On screw drivers that matched the hardware I was going to be using them on, super nice tweezers the whole nine yards in a tackle sized tin box. There was $800.00 worth of hand tools in that box. It ruined me...
When I went to work in two way radio, the Snap-On Man got a cut of every one of my paychecks. :)

Having  clipped component leads with nail clippers and drilled holes in aluminum with scissors..... everything else is a bonus! :)
   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline ECEdesign

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #86 on: November 07, 2015, 03:47:22 am »
I am also in the process of starting a lab for projects but at the 2k level through a grant.  I posted another thread a bit ago to get some ideas which was really helpful.  My preliminary list consists of:
Rigol DS1054Z Scope
Rigol DP832 Power supply
Siglent SDG1025 Function Gen
Keysight U1272A DMM
Ayoue Rework Station

I have a digital Velleman VTSSC70AU soldering iron, not Hakko but seems to work pretty well.

I have thought about getting a used HP/Agilent Bench meter.

My big question is what kind of cables and adapters are the most helpful.  I am just starting as an ECE student so its hard to know what exactly ill need.

My thoughts are some Banana to mini grabber, Banana to BNC, BNC-BNC.  I already have plenty of alligator leads and breadboard stuff.  Should I get some mini/micro grabbers or other?  What cables do you use the most often?
 

Online nctnico

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #87 on: November 07, 2015, 11:21:22 am »
Regarding cables: I have a bunch of 4mm banana cables (Hirschmann with silicone rubber) and BNC cables with thin RG316 coax. The BNC cables are cheap from Ebay and I also cut many of them to solder them directly to circuits. Furthermore I keep a healthy stock of 4mm banana binding posts and panel jacks for connecting things together.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #88 on: November 08, 2015, 10:20:12 pm »
I agree. A good soldering station costs serious money (count on $200) and there is no cheap way around it!

Cheapest way around a soldering station is to not buy one.
Not only you save money, but you save lots of time not trying to figure out which one to buy
, not  worrying if you should have bought something else instead, not to mention being able to skip the endless threads on soldering stations and soldering tips ...

:)

I worked as a technician for 21 years, I never had to supply my own soldering / desoldering station, it was always provided. It was a good way to find out what was best for my needs.
I DID have to supply my own tools for all but one job. That job they issued me a tool box with some rather high end handtools in it. Nice Swiss made pliers and cutters, Snap-On screw drivers that matched the hardware I was going to be using them on, super nice tweezers the whole nine yards in a tackle sized tin box. There was $800.00 worth of hand tools in that box. It ruined me...
When I went to work in two way radio, the Snap-On Man got a cut of every one of my paychecks. :)

Having  clipped component leads with nail clippers and drilled holes in aluminum with scissors..... everything else is a bonus! :)
I have used self drilling screws to drill holes in aluminum. :)
Your wrist can get all kinds of tired spinning that nut driver.
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline fivefish

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #89 on: November 08, 2015, 10:38:22 pm »
$2600 scope for a newbie just starting out? I personally think it's a waste of money. You could have bought a $100 analog scope on eBay if you're just starting out.... milk it, learn from it, study it, squeeze it for what it's worth, and if your project/skills demand more features/performance, then that's when you get say a starter DSO Rigol DS1054Z... again milk it for what it's worth, and you'll know when you need to "upgrade" to a bigger and better scope.

Buying new test equipment won't make you learn electronics through osmosis by the smell of new equipment.

Let's see, I was sophomore in High School and only had an analog VOM (a kit I built myself), cutter, pliers, philips and flat head, and some drill bits and ferric chloride. -- from these primitive tools, I've built a power supply, a regulated power supply, a phono preamp, stereo preamp, stereo amplifier, crossover, AM radio, FM radio, digital clock, "knight rider" running lights, etc... I made my own PCB using a xerox machine, tracing paper, nail used as a punch, and a hammer and some permanent marker pens.  The thought of buying a scope, or a signal generator didn't even enter my mind.

You don't need $5K of new equipment in your lab before you can start learning electronics!

Edit: Oops, forgot another tool... a 30W soldering iron that keeps getting hotter and hotter until you can't hold the handle anymore, so once in a while you need to unplug it from the wall.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2015, 10:41:52 pm by fivefish »
 

Offline G0HZU

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #90 on: November 08, 2015, 10:49:50 pm »
Quote
Edit: Oops, forgot another tool... a 30W soldering iron that keeps getting hotter and hotter until you can't hold the handle anymore, so once in a while you need to unplug it from the wall.

Luxury....  :)



 

Offline Smokey

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #91 on: November 09, 2015, 01:22:05 am »
All I can think of with this thread is how badly it is screwed up the statistics for online retailers like tequipment.net.  I bet you guys have been tossing all kinds of stuff in carts, full lab setups like people sometimes buy at once totaling thousands and thousands of dollars, and then never buying any of it.  Someone is monitoring that and losing their mind right now.
 

Offline CustomEngineerer

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #92 on: November 09, 2015, 01:48:14 am »
Edit: Oops, forgot another tool... a 30W soldering iron that keeps getting hotter and hotter until you can't hold the handle anymore, so once in a while you need to unplug it from the wall.

Hah, my first soldering iron was like that. Found it at a flea market when I was a kid and bought it because I had seen several movies where a tech would use a soldering iron (at least I think it was supposed to be a soldering iron) on a malfunctioning piece of equipment and sparks would fly off and then the equipment would start working again. Came with instructions in some other language that had one line of bad english that said something like "plug in, wait hot". So I would plug it in, wait 10 - 15 minutes until the handle was almost to warm to pick up, solder 1 or 2 joints and then unplug and let cool. Seriously had no idea what I was doing (edit: not suggesting that I have any idea what I'm doing these days).
« Last Edit: November 09, 2015, 01:52:56 am by CustomEngineerer »
 

Offline OldSchoolTechCorner

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #93 on: November 09, 2015, 03:34:46 am »
$2600 scope for a newbie just starting out? I personally think it's a waste of money. You could have bought a $100 analog scope on eBay if you're just starting out.... milk it, learn from it, study it, squeeze it for what it's worth, and if your project/skills demand more features/performance, then that's when you get say a starter DSO Rigol DS1054Z... again milk it for what it's worth, and you'll know when you need to "upgrade" to a bigger and better scope.

Buying new test equipment won't make you learn electronics through osmosis by the smell of new equipment.

Let's see, I was sophomore in High School and only had an analog VOM (a kit I built myself), cutter, pliers, philips and flat head, and some drill bits and ferric chloride. -- from these primitive tools, I've built a power supply, a regulated power supply, a phono preamp, stereo preamp, stereo amplifier, crossover, AM radio, FM radio, digital clock, "knight rider" running lights, etc... I made my own PCB using a xerox machine, tracing paper, nail used as a punch, and a hammer and some permanent marker pens.  The thought of buying a scope, or a signal generator didn't even enter my mind.

You don't need $5K of new equipment in your lab before you can start learning electronics!

Edit: Oops, forgot another tool... a 30W soldering iron that keeps getting hotter and hotter until you can't hold the handle anymore, so once in a while you need to unplug it from the wall.

I not going to comment anymore on this thread as a waste of time, but this guy clearly has money to throw away. To make matters worst he bought two scopes not just one a MSO4014 and MSO2072A and why? Only he knows, as assuming for bragging rights? Well it's his money and if he want to spend like a fool, that on him.

What kills me is he even complaints about over paying for a multimeter claiming he see no difference between a $70 to a $400 meter wondering why spend the extra? This is coming from a guy that just getting into electronics that just brought two expensive DSO's, which are not even that great. At least that thread worth it for entertainment value, which more likely will be derailed very soon.  :popcorn:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/testgear/tektronix-mdo3014-vs-rigol-mso4014/60/
« Last Edit: November 09, 2015, 03:36:52 am by OldSchoolTechCorner »
 

Offline DimitriP

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #94 on: November 09, 2015, 03:48:51 am »
Quote
At least that thread worth it for entertainment value, which more likely will be derailed very soon.

Some, found this thread entertaining...and maybe in a sick sort of way it is.

But overall it is scoring pretty high on my recently calibrated bullshit meter.

"I informed you thusly"  :)
   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #95 on: November 09, 2015, 03:59:53 am »
Quote
At least that thread worth it for entertainment value, which more likely will be derailed very soon.

Some, found this thread entertaining...and maybe in a sick sort of way it is.

But overall it is scoring pretty high on my recently calibrated bullshit meter.

"I informed you thusly"  :)

There has been quite a bit of useful information posted here.
like..
Decide on what you want to do first..
Don't blow your money without knowing what you need.

And I would add......
The more you know the more you can get for that five Killobucks.
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline DimitriP

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #96 on: November 09, 2015, 07:04:31 am »
Quote
At least that thread worth it for entertainment value, which more likely will be derailed very soon.

Some, found this thread entertaining...and maybe in a sick sort of way it is.

But overall it is scoring pretty high on my recently calibrated bullshit meter.

"I informed you thusly"  :)

There has been quite a bit of useful information posted here.
like..
Decide on what you want to do first..
Don't blow your money without knowing what you need.

And I would add......
The more you know the more you can get for that five Killobucks.

I was going to say common sense in not that common, and stop there...but what fun would that be... so I decided to round off the list:

Ok..let's also add don't run with scissors, don't stick paperclips in  wall jacks, wash hands after using the restroom,. don't chew with your mouth open, don't yell "fire" in a crowded room "for fun", don't drive drunk, check voltages first, read the manual, shower before going out on date, never send threatening emails (using your own computer or email address at least), always check your spare tire before a long trip, when going on a long hike pack extra socks and water, and when backing up to a USB stick use at least three...
...oh and whatever you are searching for, it's at the last place you look.
   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #97 on: November 09, 2015, 03:31:04 pm »
I always use my neighbor's computer to send threatening E-mails  :-DD  :popcorn:
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline Smokey

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #98 on: November 10, 2015, 12:32:55 am »
I always use my neighbor's computer to send threatening E-mails  :-DD  :popcorn:


Route it through 10 cities and off 2 satellites....
 

Offline skipjackrc4

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #99 on: November 10, 2015, 01:20:33 am »
I would buy one armored Sucoflex phase-stable cable.  That's a good start towards a working lab, right?  :o
 

Offline AF6LJ

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #100 on: November 10, 2015, 01:28:24 am »
I always use my neighbor's computer to send threatening E-mails  :-DD  :popcorn:


Route it through 10 cities and off 2 satellites....

There ya go..
Just like the good old days of Phone Phreaking.
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline D3f1ant

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #101 on: November 10, 2015, 02:45:11 am »
This thread does have some :popcorn: aspects, but mostly its just a giant  :palm:

I wouldn't buy ANYTHING until you need it for an actual project. Taking equipment advise from random (well meaning I'm sure) people on the internet and spending money on random gear you will most likely NEVER use is just crazy  |O

Grow your lab empirically!  After a few years you'll end up with a lab full of equipment that is useful to you for your projects rather than a bunch of useless crap you've never used. Spending money on random gear could prevent you from even starting the first project if, for example, you need a fancy jtag device programmer but spent the money on an AC clamp meter  :palm:

FYI the first piece of equipment I turn on in the morning, and the last thing I turn off at night, is the espresso machine.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2015, 03:05:53 am by D3f1ant »
 

Online Howardlong

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #102 on: November 10, 2015, 08:29:40 am »

FYI the first piece of equipment I turn on in the morning, and the last thing I turn off at night, is the espresso machine.

... unless placing 0201s ... but then there's an exception to every rule.
 

Offline Smokey

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #103 on: November 10, 2015, 08:37:32 am »

FYI the first piece of equipment I turn on in the morning, and the last thing I turn off at night, is the espresso machine.

... unless placing 0201s ... but then there's an exception to every rule.

You just need to add enough Baileys or Kahlua to even out the caffeine :)
 

Offline D3f1ant

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #104 on: November 10, 2015, 08:39:30 am »

FYI the first piece of equipment I turn on in the morning, and the last thing I turn off at night, is the espresso machine.

... unless placing 0201s ... but then there's an exception to every rule.
I have single malt for those jobs.
 

Online Howardlong

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #105 on: November 10, 2015, 08:58:22 am »
I did try that once, well, to see how much I could drink alcohol-wise before I was a worthless lump when placing parts, on even a small run it's a boring task doing this by hand, at least you should be able to enjoy yourself, right? One glass of wine didn't make any noticeable difference. Two, and I might as well sit on the sofa and watch the TV instead, the difference in dexterity and concentration was startling. It was an experiment not worth repeating.
 

Offline MikeW

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #106 on: November 10, 2015, 09:04:53 am »
This thread brings to mind the phrase 'All the gear, no idea,'
 

Offline 6581

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #107 on: November 10, 2015, 09:16:38 am »


FYI the first piece of equipment I turn on in the morning, and the last thing I turn off at night, is the espresso machine.

... unless placing 0201s ... but then there's an exception to every rule.
I have single malt for those jobs.

This topic is for $5000 lab. Which single malt would you recommend for this budget? My lab is in the $200 category and I'll have to manage with Lagavulin. Sure, it cuts into the DMM/DSO budget, but you can't realistically think working with empty Glencairn.

(I lied a bit about my lab, I've 87V + DS1054Z + FX888D and I think it's a great starting point for a beginners lab.)
 

Offline alexanderbrevig

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Re: $5000 Electronics Lab Challenge
« Reply #108 on: November 10, 2015, 01:39:05 pm »
I just built my lab (some of you may have seen the thread) and in total it ended up close to that amount. Though, at least $1000 of that was to build the actual lab desks and static matting and things you may have already. There is a thread on it here, though some changes were made to the list on the first image. Furthermore I spent around $500 on the first project (my take on the word clock project, with 28x28cm PCB and laser cut aluminium front plate). I think including a first project to get the lab set up is a good thing to do.

If I did not have to spend money on desk and anti static matting etc I would've gotten a spectrum analyzer for that last $1k, and in retrospect I'd go for a MSO. Having the LA on the same unit as Osc makes so much sense. I get by with the separate one but it's those small things you learn along the way I guess...


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