Ariejan's Electronics Lab
I’m always curious to see what tools others are using. In that spirit I’d like to share with you the tools I use in my electronics lab.
Full disclosure: the links below are Amazon Affiliate links. This costs you nothing, but I will get a small commission on each sale Amazon makes.
Multimeters are easily the most commonly used tools any electronics engineer will use. I’ve got a few in my lab.
This is a lovely multimeter. I bought it used on eBay in 2017, and it’s still available. The 115 is a 6000 count multimeter that does almost everything you might expect: DC and AC voltage, resistance, capacitance, diode and continuity testing and frequency. What is does not have, however, is a milliamp or microamp range.
But, it’s a very decent Fluke multimeter. It feel very solid and it measures and updates very fast.
This was my first real multimeter. I picked it for it’s friendly price, huge feature set and good reviews on the internet. This is a 20,000 count multimeter, meaning it offers better precision than the Fluke 115. For all intents and purposes, this is a very fine multimeter. I’ve used it for a few years and I’m still using it every now and then.
If you’re getting more serious about electronics, a decent oscilloscope is a must-have. It allows you to measure voltage over time. If you have a modern scope, you might get a lot of extra goodies like support for reading different protocols (serial, i2c, spi, etc.) and multiple channels.
I went with the Rigol DS1054Z for two reasons: it has a low price and it’s features packed. It got good reviews and I prefered to buy something new and modern over some vintage analog scope.
I later discovered that this scope packs all the hardware of its bigger brothers and can be hacked to unlock these. I’m still tempted…
When I first started to look beyond Arduino, I quickly found myself in need of a power supply that could deliver different voltages. My first attempt was to build my own power supply, but I quickly learned that I would be better of with a commercial product.
I bought the Siglent at a local electronics convention and I have never regretted that decision. This unit has two adjustable (0 - 30V/0 - 3A) and one fixed (1.5/3.3/5.0V 0.3A) outputs. This means I can power an arduino with the 3.3/5V outputs easily and use the other two outputs as a positive/negative supply.
Also, current limiting has saved my ass more than once ;-)
I have an assortiment of small pliers, solder wick and solder suckers.
My wife gifted me this Aoyue 968 soldering / hot air station for my birthday a few years back. Best. Gift. Ever. It might not be a Weller or Hakko, but it’s a decent unit that has served me well.
Best part of this unit is that it contains a fume extractor on the soldering iron. No more toxic fumes for me! Yay!
There’s still tons of goodies on my wishlist. A good bench multimeter and signal generator are high on my list.