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Minimum Kit

 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2800
Registered: Oct-07
Some things which you don't listen to OR thru are also things you should have 'in the box' for special occasions....like trouble shooting.

I'm sure their is lots of gear I've never heard of, but if you have any suggestions, please try to keep cost in mind.

1. DVM. The Digital Volt Meter is vital. Able to measure resistance/ continuity as well as voltage and current. Some have special scales for Diodes / semiconductors while still others will include specialty items with which to measure high current, temperature and other electronic devices.
You need only the most basic meter. Radio Shack is a good source of these but don't go wild. But the minimum is probably at the 20$ level. Don't feel bad if you want the 40$ version. Digital is best, but some inexpensive analogue are still out there.

Cheater plug. Might come in handy to help diagnose ground loop issues. Some people vote against this approach. I've never had to make use of one, never having had a ground loop hum issue....knock on wood.

KillaWatt meter. used to measure line voltage and current draw of any plugged in appliance. These guys, last time I looked, were about 20$. Some stores....like Fry's Electronics actually stock them. Use this meter to learn about PF = Power Factor.

Outlet Tester. This is a necessary tool. Used to check outlets for the common faults. Green is good. 10$, maybe less. First thing to check when system hum rears its ugly head.

Are there other necessary tools in YOUR tool box?
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17288
Registered: May-04
.

Plenty of toys for my dogs to keep them quiet.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1826
Registered: Oct-10
That's funny Leo, I recently bought one of RS's $20 meters. I was delightfully surprised at just how addequet it is.

One thng I'd add is the soldering iron. One should consider how much one solders when purchasing an iron as it relates to how much to spend. I have a nearly 35 year old Weller® that works well for the occasional wire tin or quick fix I do with it. However, if you sit at a bench soldering parts on a board for hours at a time, you'll want somthing more upscale to be sure.
 

Diamond Member
Username: Wingmanalive

Www.stainles... .ecrater.com

Post Number: 25503
Registered: Jun-06
Iron>gun any day of the week. I've done a good bit of soldering and the guns just don't have the accuracy the irons do. Anyone with experience will know that but just throwing it out there for those who don't.


Also try and avoid the smoke/vapors. It's wicked stuff.

And yes, even the cheaper multi meters will work and do so within a pretty accurate range. Sears sells a few under $20 as well.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2817
Registered: Oct-07
Forgot about the RS SPL meter. Good 2nd string stuff. The calibration disk sold by Rives is calibrated to the RS analogue meter.

Also, totally agree about the iron vs 'gun'. Invaluable if you intend to do ANY DIY of cables or ICs. Of course at that point your into it for some solder wick or perhaps a solder sucker, some Kester and a tin of flux. And YES those vapors are the worst. Get a very small fan.
And while your at it, one of those 3rd hand things w/ aligator clips and a magnifier. I attached mine to a large stable base.
 

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 1830
Registered: Oct-10
Paul, a gun is good for solderng large connetions like if you need to connect 12 guage wire to a large terminal. ICs on a board? Not so much.
 

Diamond Member
Username: Wingmanalive

Www.stainles... .ecrater.com

Post Number: 25505
Registered: Jun-06
Well I wouldn't advise to do so with a gun. Anyone looking to do some very or even moderately precise work will leave the gun in the case. I bought a few butane powered micro torches, just for hahas. They are a neat gadget and fairly inexpensive really. Cost effective for daily use? Not really. Dependable? Not so much. The heating element tends to extinguish itself with even the most moderate movement. can be annoying and a PITA for constant use. Not for the avid user but a cool toy for those looking for a 3 in 1 gadget. I think I paid $20 for two of them about a year ago.


http://http://www.amazon.com/Bernzomatic-ST200T-Micro-Butane-Torch/dp/B0000CBIJS /ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1343697669&sr=8-2&keywords=bernzomatic+micro+torch
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 2929
Registered: Oct-07
Another necessary kit item, besides some ChewToys for Jan's pet's would be a spray can of Deoxit/

I use this during my annual System PM when the whole thing is taken down, all connections exercised and the entire equipement area thoroughly dusted and oiled.

This year I'm including some additional hole drilling so data cables are seperated from power cables. Just cleaning up.
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