What's in an electronics hobbyist's toolbox?

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  • #141
nsaspook
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A Hickory hatchet is a good addition to the tool box.
 
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  • #143
jim hardy
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that hv coil from the transformer would make a handy search coil for detecting ac magnetic fields around your house.
Hook to an AC meter set for lowest scale , maybe 200 mv

see if you can find any.

I used in the power plant ten turns encircling 1/10th square meter
only in vicinity of huge ac currents was my measurement useful
i got two volts a couple feet from a bus carrying 20 kiloamps

that coil has thousands of turns but encircles only perhaps 1/40th of a square meter
volts per turn e = dΦ / dt
check my arithmetic
at 60 hz you'd get 377/40 X nturns volts per Tesla ?
If nturns is 1000 that'd be 45 millivolts per microTesla?
check my arithmetic
i expect there's way more than a thousand turns on that coil probably closer to 5,000.

anyhow - a reason to be gentle with the hatchet...

ahhhh I'm distractible to a fault. OTOH in this age of fascinating gizmos there's no excuse to be bored..

old jim
 
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  • #144
nsaspook
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  • #146
Henryk
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I wouldn't bother with PCBs and etching solutions. There are a few places that offer quick turn around prototype manufacturing, making your own just doesn't make sense. For a very rough prototype, use a vector board, if you want something that works well, then there is no substitute for a 'real' PCB.
Some of those vendors provide software for PCB design, other require Gerber files. A few companies offer free or low cost PCB design software.

The important things to have are: an oscilloscope and a signal generator.
Sounds expensive, but if you look around you might pick up a second-hand unit for a very reasonable price.

Next, a few BNC cables.

At least one power supply with variable voltage and current limit (in addition to standard 5 V, +/- 15 V ones)

Good isolating tape. (I have Kapton)

flux

q-tips and isopropyl alcohol (to clean the flux)

Good lighting
 
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  • #147
nsaspook
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I agree about making your own PCBs. There are plenty of 'free' for hobbyist design programs like Eagle that do a great job of transferring schematic design into board design with vendor build files generated with one mouse click.

This was a recent project to make a automation SECS/GEM host emulator with a 8-bit controller. The first prototype was built on a vector board using a surface mount adapter for the controller.
47310690802_eebda05454_z_d.jpg


Using the verified circuit design from that board in Eagle a few two layer board spins were made by a local quick turn around vendor in a few weeks for a hand soldered (with a SMD hot air gun for controller) production host controller PCB with a external optional display for operational testing.
47582934222_7254f19526_z_d.jpg

33733956268_2e6d6da39b_z_d.jpg

Left: first board layout test prototype, Right: final board design.
 
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  • #148
nsaspook
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Debugging hints on the PCB are also sometimes a good idea when the circuit is confusing.
IMG_3402.JPG
 
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