Newbie: Equipment Needed to Start in Electronics

Thread Starter

Christian Giorgio

Joined Oct 12, 2019
Hello everyone,

I'm new to this forum and overall electronics as a hobby, I've only tinkered around in high school with basic equipment and projects (Boards, robotics, etc).
I'm looking to get back into it and I'm searching for what equipment I'll need to start out.

From what I researched a lot of people recommend having some form of isolation, mostly a GFCI whether it be the outlet or a portable one for safety purposes when experimenting with high power electronics.

For my first project, I want to start experimenting with Ion Thrusters and I'm pretty sure I'll need the following:
- AutoTransformer / Variac (Looking at 500W or 2000W for a wider range/degree of projects I'm looking at this one: )
- An electronic power supply (I'm looking at this one: )
- A Full Bridge Rectifier (I'll have to DIY) to invert AC input to DC

What would you guys suggest or change?
Anything I can "Hit 2 Birds with 1 Stone"? e.x. Are there any Variac's out there that can also invert AC to DC



Joined Jun 22, 2012
You only need a Variac for AC upto 230V, normally you need a DC bench psu 0 to 30V, soldering iron, Dvm, scope, tools etc..


Joined Mar 19, 2019
I'd recommend starting with an introductory book on electricity and a multimeter... Then you will learn what you really need.


Joined Jan 6, 2004
Just as an example, not even a reply to your question: I learnt a LOT of digital techniques just with a bunch of CD4000 ICs, a manual from RCA and a needle type multimeter. Persistently saving I managed to buy a 10 MHz scope. Quantum leap!

For my first project, I want to start experimenting with Ion Thrusters
Interesting, ambitious and maybe dangerous if not experienced/careful. Buena suerte.


Joined Oct 29, 2013
Start with some lower voltage stuff first, until you get a solid understanding for how electricity works. If your very first project uses the 10kV power supply that you linked, you could be in for some painful if not dangerous and expensive lessons the hard way.

If you're getting a variac, might as well look for an isolated one. Especially if you're messing with multi-kV. Be very clear on what is isloated and what is not. i.e. some "isloation" transformers have isolated hot and neutral but pass the ground strait through (not isolated), which can be a problem.