equipment recommendations?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by magnet18, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    I'm looking to get a tax return gift for myself! It's been way too ling since I got any good equipment :p

    I'm trying to decide between-

    a good signal generator (currently using an old one with just a sloppy sine wave output)
    a good bench power supply (currently using a modified computer power supply)
    or something just nice to have, like a circuit board vice or magnified worklight or solder reflow setup for SMD soldering

    I'm leaning towards the power supply or the signal generator, looking in around the $99 dollar range, but I want something that will last many years, so if it will pay for itself I may go higher

    Anyone have any recommendations?
    Anything at your bench you absolutely love that I didn't mention?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. tshuck

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
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    If you want something to suit future, potential needs, an arbitrary waveform generator is nice, but without a good bench supply, the point may be moot.

    If price is the issue, get the power supply, you can get a decent one cheaper than an arbitrary waveform generator...
     
  3. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    Seconded. I have multiple bench PSUs and could not work without them.

    If your current supply is a modified PC PSU, then you REALLY need to buy a decent adjustable PSU with voltmeter and ammeter, preferably with adjustable current limiting too.

    [​IMG]
    Dual variable supply, 0-30v, 5A. $253, free postage.
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/LCD-Dual...Electrical_Test_Equipment&hash=item1e8839dd84


    [​IMG]
    0-30v 3A, $190.
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/LCD-Disp...Electrical_Test_Equipment&hash=item3f303e746b

    And there are a lot more options. :)
     
  4. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    You won't find any "good" equipment anything for $99.

    Good/Cheap/Long Lasting pick 2
     
  5. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
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    that depends on youe interests, I would not do without a good counter, programable rf signal generator, high frequency scope, and my spectrum analyzer, which I had to build myself.
    cliff
     
  6. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    What you say makes sense, the power supply will definitely be most useful

    What would you guys recommend for specs?
    I can't imagine needing more than 30 volts or 3 amps, is there anything else I need to watch for?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
  7. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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  8. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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  9. tshuck

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
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    There was a thread on here a little while back with someone opening a similar power supply up to find the thing wired completely wrong (I think the case was live).

    That said, I'd buy one if not just to modify. My one qualm would be that I'd like a +/- 30V @5A current-limited supply.
     
  10. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    With any "cheap Chinese" stuff its always buyer beware.. You could get a unit that works perfect for years or have one that completely falls apart.

    I've bought 2 "similar" supplies Protek 6003L (now obsolete) but they have been working just fine and are used in a "production/professional" environment and not just hobby occasional use.

    My suggestion with any "cheap Chinese" stuff is never assume its perfect..never assume its safe..use extra caution.
     
  11. keithostertag

    Member

    Oct 4, 2012
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    Personally, I rarely use a power supply, preferring batteries mainly. If I need it to be fairly accurate, then building a regulator is good project. I almost never need to use a variable power supply with an accurate readout- that's what DVM's are for. I guess it depends on what you want to use it for. If I need something with higher voltage for, say, a radio, building a power supply is also a good project.

    So my vote would be for a good signal generator or function generator- I could not work without one. Preferably with a (somewhat) leveled output, like an older HP lab grade.

    Just offering a different opinion, everyone has their preferred working methods and areas of interest.
     
  12. GRNDPNDR

    Member

    Mar 1, 2012
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    I just got a Mastech HY3005F-3 which is actually decent, or is now that I had taken it apart to repair it (it arrived broken) and reassembled much of it properly, as it wasn't correctly assembled before.... in too much of a hurry to get it together.
     
  13. magnet18

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2010
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    did some research, mastechs appear OK, if it's unlabeled, or something clearly copying it's probably crap (like the one I linked)

    I think I'll be better getting a used good one, like an HP or such

    Gonna check the surplus store friday after school see if they have anything :)
     
  14. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    That looks like a typical $150 supply with LED meters.

    They marked it down from $147 to $64?

    I would question if it is scratched or damaged stock etc. Or a customer return.

    Maybe you get lucky and it's just discounted to move out last year's model to make room for the new model.
     
  15. GRNDPNDR

    Member

    Mar 1, 2012
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    I purchased mine through electronix express on amazon for $180.

    It arrived as an RSR unit, Not Mastech which I was pretty unhappy about but they claim that they had Mastech rebrand the units with their name (RSR)

    Not really sure what to think of that though as one person in an amazon review states that RSR is their own company and not a rebrand.
     
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