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Knick-Knacks For Setting up an Electronics Bench

I've decided to start doing some fiddling around with circuit board electronics such as arduino and LEDs. I've got the basic tools e.g. soldering iron, helping hands, solder, etc. I'm planning on getting a temp control. 

However, I know from long experience in tech matters that there are always some little "knick-knacks" that you always end up needing. For example, in most basic machine repair, you always find you need an assortment of screws, bolts, nuts and washers around if you don't want to have to go to the hardware store twice a day. 

So what kind of little fiddling things should I look at getting that the more experienced might have on hand without thinking about. Are there tapes, wires, odd little tools, collections of components etc that are useful but no obvious to novices? Is there something you'd wish you had when you first started? 

Heh, I am afraid I don't know exactly what to ask for because I'm asking about things I don't know to ask for.  

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Get an oscilloscope. THE most useful tool you can have for electronics.
shannonlove (author)  steveastrouk6 years ago
What kind of task would you use an oscilloscope for in this kind of hobby work? Most of this modern stuff seems all digital and I always associate them with more sophisticated analog work.
What kind of tasks ?
  • Is your digital signal happening when it should ?
  • When it happens, is it the right level, or is something loading it ?
  • Is it noisy ?
  • When your arduino project doesn't work, is the supply dipping very quickly, and tripping the reset ?
'scopes are used in ALL electronics work - analogue or digital - digital signal analysis is as fine an art as analogue. I think you'll be surprised just how often you'd deploy one, if you had one.

This is a particularly neat little scope you can pick up

Steve
shannonlove (author)  steveastrouk6 years ago
I see. I will take your advice to heart and put that on my list.
IF you learn how to use it....otherwise it becomes the biggest paperweight in the room LOL
shannonlove (author)  Goodhart6 years ago
I actually know how to use one. I was educated as a biologist and back in college I worked as an undergraduate in a lab where we used oscilloscopes to measure nerve conduction in the claw nerves of blue crabs.
Well there you go :-)  Go for as many functions as you can afford. It is a pain now a days to use the analogue / crude ones I have (unless I am making a simple measurement of waveform etc. )
yeah, well the same applies to a multimeter, just smaller - any tool is a paperweight if you don't use it.
Yes, that is true, but I bet more people know how to use a multimeter then an O-scope, analog or digital :-)
I think you have to not be afraid of 'em. I've used one since I was about 10 years old.

There are so many classes of problem - questions asked here - where even a scope will find the fault in seconds

Steve
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