Must have items on your electronic workbench

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Ockert
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Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by Ockert » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:23 am

Finally I am starting to dust off all my old circuits and small projects and thinking of getting back into the hobby.

I have been doing what I can with my power supplies, multimeters and general mish-mash of hand tools at hand.

I would very much like to learn more about general signal analysis (non-RF) and general circuit tracing, but I dont know what oscilloscope or meters to get in order to step into the unknown.

As a start I'd like to hear what you guys have on your benches. What is the most used (and what you are using it for) and what your favourite piece of kit is.

Any advise, suggestions or just plain bragging (with pictures) allowed and welcome.
If it is disassembled, its always better to understand! I keep telling myself that.


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Rob Thomson
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Re: Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by Rob Thomson » Tue Feb 14, 2012 8:48 am

I use one of these:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ARM-DSO-Nano- ... 43ad241c5f

Works ok.. as long as you replace the stock firmware with an Open Source one!
Slope Soaring, FPV, and pretty much anything 'high tech'
...........if you think it should be in the wiki.. ask me for wiki access, then go add it!

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MikeB
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Re: Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by MikeB » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:01 am

I do electronics for work and a 100 MHz digital storage 'scope. There are some 'low cost' ones around e.g.
http://www.rapidonline.com/Tools-Equipm ... opes-80709.
I also use a home made logic analyser, goes down to 2uS sample rate and collects 32000 samples.

Mike.
erskyTx/er9x developer
The difficult we do immediately,
The impossible takes a little longer!

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rperkins
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Re: Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by rperkins » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:13 pm

MikeB wrote:I also use a home made logic analyser, goes down to 2uS sample rate and collects 32000 samples.
Tell me more about the LA. I've been thinking of getting one and just not sure how to proceed. Does yours do protocol analysis? I mean if put some serial data into it will it decode it ? I2c ? is this important ?

How about a MSO (mixed signal oscilloscope ? One that has a couple analog channels and 8- 16 logic channels. Is it important to be able to see analog data synced with the digital lines ? I been dreamin about this Rigol DS1000D Series MSO Or would I be better off with an owon or rigol 2 ch scope and a separate analyzer. It sure would be cheaper. Currently I have an old Tektronics analog scope. It is getting slower to warm up and some of the time bases seem finicky.

I spent a lot of time looking at a PC based DSO. Seems like the way to go. Linux compatibly is a must. Java is ok but wine/vm is not. Bitscope was as close as I got but various reviews said it was dated and/or underpowered. Never could find any glowing reports about bitscope . I wasnt sure. Am I missing something ?

I did replace my radio shack soldering irons with Hakko Soldering Station, FX-888. That was the best deal I could find. I just got it so cant comment much but it warms up really really fast. I was impressed that when it cycles of/off to maintain temp there isnt a relay clicking :) .

And I got to have a magnifying glass. I got one as a gift and it looks like this. I would guess the one I got is cheaper though. This works good for soldering on small parts but when I need to read the numbers off of a IC, I have a handheld lighted magnifying glass. Hey but I am over the hill @ 46.

I also need a good small vise or hands free device to hold small boards as I solder. havent got anything yet.

thanks for the topic

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erazz
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Re: Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by erazz » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:21 pm

I use the Rigol DS1052E. One of the best purchaces I have ever made. I'm sure a logic analyser would be nice but the Rigol is everything I need.
If need be I dump the output to a USB and look in the computer.

I also reccommend a good PS. Decent ones can be found for under $150 today. Makes your life much easier.
Z

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What goes up... Should be controlled by a 9X!


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rperkins
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Re: Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by rperkins » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:29 pm

erazz wrote:I use the Rigol DS1052E.
Did you hack the firmware to double the bandwidth ? was it worth it ?

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MikeB
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Re: Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by MikeB » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:59 pm

rperkins wrote:Tell me more about the LA. I've been thinking of getting one and just not sure how to proceed. Does yours do protocol analysis? I mean if put some serial data into it will it decode it ? I2c ? is this important ?
It's very basic, just samples 8 channels at a chosen rate (2uS, 5uS etc up to 2mS), and collects 32768 samples. Then it just displays the results on the PC screen, connected via a serial interface. It has very limited triggering, handled by software polling. It could be improved, I just haven't bothered to update the software.
It would be possible to write some protocol analysis, but I don't think I shall bother.
It uses a PIC16F877 running at 20MHz and a 32Kx8 RAM chip.

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erskyTx/er9x developer
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erazz
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Re: Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by erazz » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:22 pm

I didn't hack it. Just used it as is. As it is it's pretty much awesome.
I have a friend who locked his up and had a hell of a time to get it back up. Though I don't have problems hacking stuff ( :roll: ) I simply didn't see the need.
Z

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What goes up... Should be controlled by a 9X!

Clivew
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Re: Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by Clivew » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:33 am

erazz wrote: I also reccommend a good PS. Decent ones can be found for under $150 today. Makes your life much easier.
Is that the Fisher-Price one with just an on and off button? ;)
Only joking of course, I've done it myself, more than once! :oops:
Brilliant work on PXX :)
Looking forward to the release very much.
Keep up the brilliant work!
Thankyou!!
Clive

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ShowMaster
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Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by ShowMaster » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:06 am

Rob Thomson wrote:I use one of these:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ARM-DSO-Nano- ... 43ad241c5f

Works ok.. as long as you replace the stock firmware with an Open Source one!
Rob
I'm thinking I can use this at the field with my XP netbook to help others with modding their equipment? I really don't want to invite everyone to the house these days I don't know very well. Can you post a link to the FW you like instead of the stick one please. I'm thinking of ordering one of you thinks it can do most of the simpler stuff. The size and price looks good.
I'm setting up a small work area on a bench in our storage container. Solar
Power, battery backup with generators.
I have a spare HK SMD soldering station, magnifier and tensor lamp.
Having a portable scope would be great.
Thanks



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Rob Thomson
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Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by Rob Thomson » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:11 am

Here you go...

http://code.google.com/p/benfwaves/wiki/Firmware

Rob


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Slope Soaring, FPV, and pretty much anything 'high tech'
...........if you think it should be in the wiki.. ask me for wiki access, then go add it!

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Kilrah
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Re: Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by Kilrah » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:38 am

Ah dang, the Nano... was hoping you'd be pointing the best choice for the Quad :mrgreen:

I've taken my DSO Quad out again and checked the current firmware offerings, and there seems to be at least 4... the stock one, an alternate stock one with different UI, a gcc port of the stock one of a couple of revisions earlier, some guy who's redesigning an UI... hate those situations, always a pain to choose :D

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Peter
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Re: Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by Peter » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:30 pm

I like the gcc port the best. But it is not perfect.
I will buy a bench scope in the future, but until then it does the job and is portable.
Looking at the Owon sds6062 with accu. Big screen, nice specs and portable!

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ShowMaster
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Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by ShowMaster » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:19 pm

Rob Thomson wrote:Here you go...

http://code.google.com/p/benfwaves/wiki/Firmware

Rob


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I'll give it a try. Now I need a link to the best current price to Los Angeles on the scope. I think the single trace version is worth a try. I see some caution about having it connected to the computer when using it. A common ground risk I think. Using a netbook or laptop on battery should be safe?
What say those that own one.
I'm always open to portable test equipment.





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MostlyHarmless
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Re: Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by MostlyHarmless » Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:36 am

I have a Seeed Studio Quad and am quite happy with it. It does have its shortcomings, like for example the small sample memory, that leads to significant errors when calculating frequencies unless you pick the right sampling rate. It is good enough for most hobby work.

If you get one, get the matching 10x/1x probes too.

I can't say much about the common ground problem. The USB connection is only useful for updating the firmware or getting the captured screen shots or data. The scope acts like a USB mass storage and there are synchronization issues when it modifies the storage while connected to the computer. No reason to keep it connected while using it. If it runs low on power, I use a standard USB charger instead of my laptop.


Regards,
Jan
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Re: Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by akschu » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:15 am

I have the rigol scope and it's really worth every penny. I didn't soft mode mine either, 50mhz is plenty for what I do.

For my logic analyzer i bought a saleae. I must say that it is a wonderful tool. Once you get the software decoder setup you can see everything.

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Re: Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by ShowMaster » Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:10 pm

FYI
Smd test probe tweezers. $3 eBay search, on its way.
My usual probes are too big and two handed.
Took a chance.
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Kilrah
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Re: Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by Kilrah » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:38 pm

Good find!

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Re: Must have items on your electronic workbench

Post by jhsa » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:23 am

Another item you need on your workbench.. specially in the morning ;)
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