I recently got my Electrical Engineering degree. Before my working days I collected my lab on a student budget. These days I use this place for hobbies and working from home. It’s getting a tad basic but I astonish myself at how much old tools can do.
Let me give you a little about what 750 euros of creative buying gets you:
- Ikea Jerker desk (early 2000s). This is a multi-level bench you can get for next to nothing.
- Hameg HM604-3 scope (1995). Analog scope with microprocessor control for auto-set. Nifty.
- Voltcraft PS-1302D&PS-1152 PSU (2008). Got these from a model train guy. Needs new pots.
- Feeltech FY6600 function gen (2017). Needed ground mod, and rotary encoder is already going bad.
- Brymen BM257s multimeter(2016). Even on a student budget, a proper multimeter is worth it.
- Aoyue 937 soldering station (2007). Still waiting for this to break, but it’s putting up a fair fight.
- JCD 858D hot air station (2012). Surface mount galore.
- Philips variac (70’s). Great for audio gear.
- DIY isolation transformer (2020). One of my lockdown projects. Uses two stepdown transformers.
- Magnifying lamp and overhead fluorescent (2016). Hardware store basics.
- Assortment of Chinese stuff like LCR tester, Aneng multimeter, dummy loads and cables.
That's all great, but what am I making with it? Well:
- HiFi gear repairs.
- Arcade machine repairs.
- Reverse engineering. The bottom board in picture 3 is a reproduction of a Neo Geo credit display. The Keysight EDU33212A function gen would allow me to characterize the analog input filtering better.
- New designs. The top board on pic 3 is a PC to arcade machine (jamma) interface using a Raspberry Pico. I want to use this to overlay on-screen-displays on RGB video signals. The Keysight EDU36311A would help in optimizing frame timing.
- Last but not least: work. The lockdown hit all of us and I am working from home 75% of the time. The part of me going to the office is due to not owning the right tools to debug new embedded systems I design.