building test gear?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Neil Groves, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Neil Groves

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 14, 2011
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    I just finished my fuction generator and i works ok i guess, the waveform looks like it is 'breathing' at certain frequencies, i looked online for abnormalities associated with the XR2206 and found ready made off the shelf equipment that does more and costs less than the simple circuit i built, then after more researching i found power supplies that would cost me less to buy than to build my own, so my question is why build ones own test gear if you can buy better stuff at a cheaper price? at first glance it looks a good deal to build your own stuff as components are cheap, but then you come to boxing it up and when you total up the cost of the enclosure, knobs etc you find you might as well have bought the damn thing off the shelf!

    I suppose it's just nice to be able to say " i built this "?

    Neil.
     
  2. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
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    experience?
     
  3. Neil Groves

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    125
    3
    I think i'd rather get experience while building fun circuits though, and not circuits that i NEED to build fun circuits.

    Neil.
     
  4. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    1,394
    That's one reason. Another is that building is a learning opportunity for me. But, the real reason is that I actually enjoy the process.

    Not that they compare with building a complex piece of test gear as you did, but I just finished two LED panel assemblies to use as side lights for table top photography. I probably could have bought something cheaper, but I had fun building them. I plan to get a couple of those cheap "helping hand" assembly jigs and modify them to use as adjustable supports for the panels.
     
  5. Neil Groves

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    125
    3
    I bought a power supply that gives me 0-15V @ 0-3A that i use on the bench, i now need a supply of +/- 5, 9 and 12V for playing with op amps, i was going to buy one but after some thought i will build one since as has been mentioned, it's going to be fun to construct it and then use it despite the extra expense associated with the casing and hardware.

    Neil.
     
  6. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
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    Neil,
    Do a search on Google for "ATX Bench Supply"
    Have a look at a number of them.

    Using a PC ATX-form-factor power supply is a good way to get an economical supply that has ±5v, ±12v, and +3.3v. Frequently, you can obtain a decent supply for little or nothing. Just a couple of modifications and you're ready to use it.

    About all you need is a power resistor to draw a couple of Amperes from the 5v supply, and terminals/banana jacks for the voltages - and a power switch. A few LEDs to show the power on/off/standby status is a nice touch.
     
  7. Neil Groves

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    125
    3
    here we go again...........a year ago i switched out my video card for a better one and along with that upgraded my power supply, the 'old' power supply sat in my draw for months before discarding it to the trash can thinking 'i'll never use that again'......DAMMIT!

    i do that way too often.

    Neil.
     
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