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previous: Tedd I am getting excited about building... -- 6/13/2004 11:25 PM View Thread

Re: Good tools for the shop

6/13/2004 8:59 PM
Wild Bill
Re: Good tools for the shop
Ted, I've never had a need for a function generator with amp servicing. R G Keen has a nice little signal generator/oscillator schematic that's cheap and simple that I use a lot. It puts out a 1 khz sig at 10mv, 100mv and 1v.  
 
As for a 'scope, you can snag some real bargains when you only want to use it for audio. 10 mhz or even 5mhz bandwidth is more than enough Modern 'scopes are always much higher than this. There are lots of tube units on Ebay in this range that are going cheap.  
 
What IS important is that you absolutely must have a calibrated 'scope! You'll probably run across some cheap Eico or Heathkit that has a single input with a gain pot. Don't bother - look for something with a scale switch on the input that will dial down to less than 50 mv/div. If you can get one that goes down to 10 mv you can read a guitar pickup directly.  
 
Make sure you have reasonably good probes with it, too.  
 
The reason you want a calibrated 'scope is that you can then measure the input and output of a stage and directly calculate the voltage gain. The actual value may not be that critical but at least you'll know if the stage is doing as much of the job as it should. With no calibration you'll notice gain but have no idea how much.  
 
With a good 'scope you can also read voltage, both AC and DC!  
 
That and a good DMM are mostly all I ever use. I have a 40 watt iron/desoldering station for pcb work but with point to point I do everything with a 40 year old Weller 100/120 watt gun I've had since I was a lad.  
 
For mechanical tools I use an assortment of cutters, pliers and drivers. Nutdrivers are invaluable - especially for mounting input jacks.  
 
For chassis work I get a lot of use out of a nibbler. You'll find them in any disti catalogue like Digikey or Mouser, I'm sure. Great for mounting those computer power sockets or square switches.  
 
Thanks to twist-off caps I don't need a bottle opener anymore... :)  
 
---Wild Bill

 
Replies:
Bruce /Mission Amps My opinion of must have tools:1... -- 6/13/2004 11:52 PM
Eric H One of the most useful things I fou... -- 6/14/2004 12:23 AM
Tedd Thanks for the suggestions, I decid... -- 6/14/2004 3:39 AM