Any advice on BB trainers?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by bobbyrae, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. bobbyrae

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 14, 2009
    42
    1
    I have been planning on buying some sort of breadboard, power supply, and/or an trainer that incorporates both and was wondering if anyone had some advice on this stuff. Want to do mainly analog work, but would have some control chips from time to time. Global Specialties seems to have some good trainers and breadboards for this, but they can be expensive and I've seen no-name units for much less (found at Electronics Express).

    So since I won't be using it in an educational or commercial environment, what would work? What should be avoided?
     
  2. Alaskaham

    New Member

    Jun 13, 2009
    1
    0
    Go over to tequipment.net and click on Elenco. I heartily recommend their line of products. The XK-550K (in kit form) sells for $148.71. It includes a good power supply and function generator. This is the best deal I have found, and the quality is very good. Actually, I got the XK-700K for 30 bucks more. I believe the only difference is that the attache case is a bit fancier. The function generator puts out all the wave shapes you will need from dc all the way up to 100Khz. The power supply has 5 and 12 volt - and + at 1A, and variable 0 to 15 @ 1A, + and -. If you want these assembled, they will cost $50 more.
     
  3. Mike Mandaville

    Active Member

    May 27, 2009
    81
    1
    Considering the clarity of your language, I find it rather odd that you would refer to a breadboard as a BB.
     
  4. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    Yep, BB is not standard.

    My recommendation is to get a good protoboard set, complete with wires (then buy a spare spool of wire), needlenose pliers, wire strippers, side cutters, and a good DVM with frequency counter and capacitance meter. You can also buy or make a variable power supply, or use batteries. The AAC book has a good set of experiments in Volume 6, see the top of this page to access them. I am also setting up some experiments for the same book for 555 timers.

    The 555 Projects

    Bill's Index

    A lot of basic test equipment, such as power supplies or frequency generators, can be DIY.
     
  5. bobbyrae

    Thread Starter Active Member

    May 14, 2009
    42
    1
    Well, that's because I'm a rather odd person. My advice to you is that you avoid reading any of my posts, that way you won't have to suffer any more of my oddness.
     
  6. leftyretro

    Active Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    394
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    What on odd response from a newcomer to the forum. :cool:
     
  7. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    425
    5
    I like the smaller breadboards, and usually buy them when the come up for sale here;
    http://www.mpja.com/prodinfo.asp?number=4443+TE

    They send out a monthly E-mail special, and usually have something in the $3-4 range. Power is simple enough, wallwarts, batteries, bench supply... Not really worth the extra money. I've got an old bench to signal generator (some place), but seldom use it, not worth the bench space (cluttered mess).

    I like the small boards, because I don't generally build huge complicated circuits anyway, so the bulk goes unused, or I have a bunch of unrelated circuits left on, which I tend to pull parts and wires off to complete whatever I currently working on, rather than go to the parts cabinet. I must have 20-30 breadboards laying around, maybe 5 of them have circuits up and running daily. Not really important enough to etch a board, or intend to makes some improvements (someday). My shop clock just looks kind of cool on a breadboard, tangle of wires and all... Basically, I like not having to tear down a working circuit, to build something else. Usually wait until after I've got a working PCB design made, then there is no longer a need...
     
  8. franzschluter

    Active Member

    Jun 1, 2009
    95
    0
    Yeah these are the best. I use these as well.. For PSU unit buy them separately at ebay.. I got one for 45$ that does variable 65V @ 5A Dual Voltage. Dual Voltage is important for Analog circuits since some OPamps you would like to include -15v +15v and gnd this will not be possible without a dual supply. It's a bit big but it can run any 4A motor easily and serves as a good car/cellphone/battery charger. Most "BB" kits have crappy PSU/Frequency Generator. It's like buying a "stereo component" you are better off buying each unit independently. A nice addition is buying solid wires that are already cut off and angled..This makes life much easier by just simply sticking it in.

    For analog expereminting you need:
    Breadboard
    Osciloscope
    Multimeter
    Precut Wires
    PSU
    Bunch of IC and resistor...
    You can get this all under 150$. If you have patience on buying surpluss items. A single channel osciloscope 2nd hand 1mhz -> 25$
     
  9. Mike Mandaville

    Active Member

    May 27, 2009
    81
    1
    One more remark like that and I will be getting out my BB gun. No, seriously, the first breadboard I bought was the smaller of the two types which are sold by Radio Shack. I plugged in a 555 timer, and got it to flash a red LED on and off. I was using the pre-tinned wires. If the wires are not tinned, the connections will eventually go bad. I have cast zinc before by using a stainless steel measuring spoon and a ten-dollar propane torch, and the reason why I mention this is because such a setup could be used for tinning wires. The advantage would be that very little solder would need to be melted in order to fill the spoon. Tin is not cheap, and it can easily fume. A holder for the propane cylinder, and another holder for the spoon would be convenient. Of course, the idea is to just dip the wires in the spoon. Sort of a tiny solder pot.
     
  10. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
    That's a good start. A typical newbie thing to do is melt the protoboard due to a dumb mistake. Not that I've ever done that...:rolleyes:

    You'll build a box of parts and work yourself up, the protoboard will let you reuse things indefinately, barring smokeapades.

    I've even seen people use protoboards for their final project. The board is a bit more expensive, but you save yourself a lot of time soldering, and troubleshooting them is much easier overall.

    Let us know how you make out.

    BTW, never had a problem with copper contacts going bad in protoboards, but I like the tinning idea. I use a lot of old transistors and other parts, tinning is a godsend for those cases.
     
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