Basic tools and components
This goes out to both Ben Heck and the community. I recently got back to my electronics background, after 10 years of doing other stuff. As I have moved in this period, I had none of my old equipment, so had to restock pretty much everything: Soldering station, components, test equipment etc. I tried googling around a bit, but couldnīt resolve one issue: What is the essentials for a beginner... What tools should I get to make things a bit easier, what components is good to have (buying assortments on eBay has saved me alot, like 50 different resistors in 1000 packs, cheap multimeters to get started, exactoknives to name a few).
Getting a few items was the start for me. A solder iron and solder wick, a good knife and a wire cutter was enough to start scavanging electronics I had in storage. Building my inventory became easier as I found new parts, and after about 3 weeks I was up and running again. Building a bench powersupply from an ATX was my first mission, which have proved invaluable to get things going. But my start was jumpy, as I was pretty clueless of what I needed to start.
So my idea is as mentioned, maybe do a segment, or a post somewhere, where you outline what should be the best beginners tools.
Here is a list of what I felt I needed to start, maybe it can be used as a reference for further development. Please add if anyone has some pointers.
Flat head screwdriver (Helps with most screws)
With these items you can start building the equipment on the next level, and start scavanging for parts. But what else is good to have around, to ease the workflow?
Variable power supply
Resistors in different ohms
Batteries (9v is most commonly used for me, and a bunch of snap-ons)
Capacitors (From my scavanging, 47 uF seems to be the most utilized by the stack I have, both ceramic and polarized)
Buttons (Both tectile and rocker-switches has been a saver for me)
Potentiometers (5k Ohm seems to cover alot of projects)
Wires (Red and black is recommended, myself I love single core)
At least this is a start. The post isnīt very thought through, as I just wrote how my mind concieved it. But I will leave it open to both Ben Heck and the community, to start making a "Beginners Guide for hobby electronics". Or better, if anyone has an URL to somewhere that has already covered this, a book or website, please post it.
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