[sdiy] What test gear do you use?

rsdio at audiobanshee.com rsdio at audiobanshee.com
Mon May 7 00:06:34 CEST 2018

By the way, I purchased that Fluke 87 around 1990, plus or minus a year or two. I paid about $300 for it new, but I still consider that to be “cheap" considering the number of times that I’ve used it since then. It’s almost thirty years old, and the only problem it ever had was that the LCD started to get dim in some segments after a decade or so. I used a tiny amount of distilled water to clean the carbon impregnated contacts, and it’s been running at full contrast ever since - that’s been decades since the repair.

The amount of time you save by having reliable tools more than makes up for the cost of those tools. You can go cheap on your toys, but the test equipment has to be reliable. If your test equipment breaks because it doesn’t have a solid case, or if the values are off, then you end up wasting a lot of time that you’ll never get back.

Of course, if you’re going to get bored with electronics in a year or two, then you certainly shouldn’t drop $300 on a meter. If this is just a temporary distraction for you, then by all means go as cheap as possible. But if you’re like me, and you know this is a lifetime thing, then $300 is dirt cheap.

It’s the $16,000 Tektronix MSO 4054 500 MHz 2.5 GS/s ‘scope that my client has, with 32-channel digital audio decoding, 4 analog inputs, 16/32 digitals inputs, and all kinds of features, that I can’t justify. That’s not cheap no matter how useful it is. I really thought I was going to buy one until I looked at the price. Sure, it’s less than $9,000 on the used market, including refurbishment, but that’s still a lot.


On May 6, 2018, at 2:46 PM, rsdio at audiobanshee.com wrote:
> I built my own bench power supply with adjustable bipolar outputs from Craig Anderton’s Electronic Projects for Musicians in the early eighties, and it still works today. I use it to power Euro modules. It doesn’t have a fancy digital display, so I just connect a nice Fluke 87 meter, adjust the desired voltages, and then screw the cover on the unit and it is reliable.
> Brian

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