Tools and components for Make Electronics

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by dvd2000, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. dvd2000

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 29, 2015
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    I've just bought the book Make Electronics and now I need to buy some stuff to do the experiments.

    For the tools (multimeters, small pliers, diagonal cutter, wire stripper), do you think that RadioShack tools are good? For the multimeter, how much should I spend (they have several models on RadioShack) and what model should I buy? If you think that they are not so good, is there any other site were I can buy tools (possibly with a resonable price)? Is there any good tool set with the tools that I need and/or some other useful ones?

    For the components, I have two options:
    -Buy the Components Pack 1 (for the first half of the book) on RadioShack online store (in this case I prefer to buy also the tools there) or on an other website that sells it with a lower prices (in this case if this website has good tools I will buy them there; if they haven't, I will buy them on another site);
    -Buy the components one by one on a cheaper store like Mouser, Digikey, Farnell or others. In this case I would like to know if it exist a precise list for all the components that I need (the list in the books has also some product codes but they are from many different stores and I don't want to do a lot of small orders)
    or if someone can help me in the task of selecting the pieces. This option is a bit more complicated for me because I'm new to electronics so I have some problems to choose between thousands different types of components but I think that I can save a lot of money (maybe if they're really cheap I can also buy the other chapter's components).

    Thank You!
     
  2. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
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    I suggest you do some searching on Amazon. Savings of 50% or more are commonly to be found.
     
  3. DickCappels

    Moderator

    Aug 21, 2008
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    Make sure the DVM you buy has the features you want. For example, you can have the ability to measure temperature with a thermocouple for very little more money. Capacitor test functions on DVM's are not useful to most of us, though a good LC meter can be useful if you find yourself working with inductors.

    There are some cheap ones out there with only a 1 Meg Ohm input resistance. That really harms measurement accuracy when measuring high resistance circuits. Make sure you get one with a 10 Meg Ohm input resistance, or higher.

    As for components, if you can afford to, buy lots of parts. Never buy one of anything. Parts from some sources are so cheap it makes sense to order 50 or 100 components if you think you might need one. The advantage of this is that eventually you will build up a large inventory of parts and they will be within reach whenever you want to try something new. Assortments of resistors and capacitors are useful for this reason.

    I buy most of my parts from distributors through their online "stores": Digikey, Arrow, Allied, Mouser, Newark, Electronic Source, etc. I have had problem with misidentified parts or wrong parts being sent (without authorizationfrom Dan's Small Small Parts and Futurlec. Some companies that sell parts and kits will have a page on their website offering their surplus at reasonable parts.

    One thing to keep in mind is that it is rarely if ever a good idea to invest in large amounts of memory compared to your needs, no matter how good of a deal because it will likely be a lot cheaper or obsolete soon. (Those tubes of 1702A EPROMs must be around here someplace...)
     
  4. dvd2000

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 29, 2015
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    Thank you for your help.
    On Amazon I've seen some great bundles with a lot of components that are really cheap. I will compare the components list of them with the Components Pack 1. For the tools, I've also seen that there is a very big choice on multimeters and I think also good prices. Maybe it should be a good idea to buy on Amazon.

    Thank you for all your advices, especially for the multimeter. For the pieces yes I think that if I buy them one by one I will buy bigger quantities. But, as suggested by Kermit2, if I find some good deals on Amazon I think I could save more money than buying components one by one.
    This afternoon I will browse on some different stores and I will see if I find a place to buy possibly everything without spending a lot.

    For the multimeter when I've chose one I will let you know.

    Just 2 questions: I've heard that multimeter with the V, mA and ohms on one plug are less safer than the ones with a separeted plug for
    mA. Is that true in every case? Because I think that with my first experiments I wont use big currents.
    And is necessary to have alle the plugs fused?
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
  5. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
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    mA and volt/ohm in one plug is no problem. Forgetting you are set to measure current and trying to check a voltage IS the problem.
     
    atferrari likes this.
  6. imaginewhen

    New Member

    Jun 10, 2014
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  7. imaginewhen

    New Member

    Jun 10, 2014
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    Do not purchase too many tools at first. Sears store sells all types of tools ...you need a small pair of side cutters, a small pair of long nose pliers,a wire stripper, screwdrivers assorted a small soldering iron, and a digital multimeter, Sears stocks all of those, take it back if it does not suit your requirements and get another. May I point out if you purchase at Sears choose Craftsmen tools and if they break they replace them free.When it comes to components at a later stage in your experience, try the military surplus stores for many electronic parts, for extremely cheap price, by dismantling electronic surplus you can use your soldering iron and save money.Cheers Jim
     
  8. be80be

    Senior Member

    Jul 5, 2008
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    Have a look at taydaelectronics.com for $25 dollars you can get enough to make bunch of suff
    leds uC like pic avr 8051 resistors caps Lcd strip bread boards wire crystals transistor LmXXX you name it.

    Good place shipping is cheap not to long a wait on your stuff.
     
  9. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
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    I am currently working on the Make books too and let me see if you really need anything ..
     
  10. dvd2000

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 29, 2015
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    Thank to everyone for your help.
    I've forgotten to say that I'm from Italy, so some online stores have too high shipping costs.
    For the components I think I will buy them on Futurlec. And the tools on Amazon.it.
    Is the Mastech MS8268 a good multimeter or there are some better ones on the same price range?
     
  11. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
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    Not a bad meter but I would look at the Uni-t 61E meter and I not sure any electronics companies by you..
     
  12. dvd2000

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 29, 2015
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    Thank you for your advice.
    I looked at the uni t ut61e but it costs almost the double of the ms8268... Is there a Uni-T meter with a price similar to the ms8268?
     
  13. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    1,190
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    The reality is that any meter will work for the basic setup... Personal I like better quality meter for safety reason .. I would check out a used Fluke meter but any meter will do and make sure to pick up a couple fuse cause you will blow them ..

    Also check out

     
  14. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
    3,242
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    If you're starting from scratch, a 1/4W resistor kit and some solderless breadboards are must haves.

    What country are you in? If you're in the US, I could send you some misc components (resistors, caps, LEDs, diodes, transistors) for the cost of postage to send.

    Harbor Freight has a free basic DVM with a coupon and any purchase. Not a great meter, but free is a good price. When you need something better, you'll know and have a better idea of what to get.

    EDIT: Just noticed that you're in Italy. Customs forms are too much hassle and I'd have to stand in line at the post office to mail. Sorry.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
  15. Janice Green

    New Member

    Jul 15, 2016
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    OP: Not sure if you're already done with this or not, but I originally got one of those kits from Radio Shack when they were on sale a few months ago, not knowing it was almost completely useless for me as it was for the old 1st edition of Make Electronics that came out back in 2009. Last month I picked up this one on Amazon which is made for the recent Make: Electronics 2nd edition from 2015. I kept the old kits for parts since I got it at a RadioShack going out of business sale and couldn't do much else with it, and most of the components have changed other then the resistors and capacitors.
     
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