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How to build your electronic everything
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Brian Glen and Micheal Liang
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This is a list overviewing the basic toolbox equipment that one needs in order to build anything electronic in nature. Whether it's robots or wearable technology, this is a list of tools, software, hardware, components, and neccesary skills that will aid any beginner in getting a head start in the world of making electronics.
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*TLDR: Redbull and zipties
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Note:
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Neccesary
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Highly Recommended
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Tools:
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Name:Description:Price:Reccomended:
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Zip-tiesRather self-explanatory, this is the tool/part of choice for nearly every beginner. They work!$2.99
https://www.harborfreight.com/11-inch-black-cable-ties-pack-of-100-34637.html
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Duct TapeYou'll need it eventually.
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Electrical TapeYou can find this stuff anywhere, but the less you pay, the more cancer you get.$0.79
https://www.harborfreight.com/34-in-x-60-ft-industrial-grade-electrical-tape-63239.html
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Splicing TapePretty cool stuff. It's vulcanizing rubber so it sticks to itself and looks nicer than electrical tape.$8.25
https://www.amazon.com/3M-2155-Rubber-Splicing-Tape/dp/B001CGVEXS/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1512071901&sr=8-3&keywords=splicing+tape
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Analog Multimeter
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Cheap Digital MultimeterSo cheap, you can get a free one with a coupon at Harbor Freight. So get one for free. Otherwise, here's an overpriced Amazon equivalent.$6.99
https://www.amazon.com/Tekpower-DT830BT-21-Range-Digital-Multimeter/dp/B0160GT8DW/ref=sr_1_2?rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1512017717&sr=8-2&keywords=multimeter&refinements=p_85%3A2470955011
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Digital MultimeterFluke Multimeters are the best. Period. You'll have to find something used if you want to get the Fluke 87 at a reasonable price. For now, there are some chinese brands on Amazon that can offer you the features you want, such as this Extech.$42.33
https://www.amazon.com/Extech-EX330-Autoranging-Multimeter-Temperature/dp/B000EX0AE4/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1512018514&sr=1-1&keywords=extech+ex330
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Cheap Soldering IronDon't get what's called a wood-burner; you need something you can rely on. Aoyue's stations may be cheap, but they work and are an excellent beginner's soldering iron.$29.13
https://www.amazon.com/Aoyue-Variable-Soldering-Station-Removable/dp/B00MCVCHJM/ref=sr_1_3?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1512019365&sr=1-3&keywords=aoyue%2Bsoldering%2Biron&th=1
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Good Soldering IronThe best for hobbyists is simply the Hakko FX-888D. It just works.$96.72
https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-FX888D-23BY-Kit2-Bundle-Soldering-Station/dp/B00AWUFVY8/ref=sr_1_4?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1512019092&sr=1-4&keywords=hakko
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FluxFlux is very important for soldering. You can get the generic white paste at walmart(works alright), but make sure to clean your solder joints afterward. Or, you can invest in a flux pen which will give you really effective "no-clean" flux that won't eat away at your wires long after you've soldered.$9.03
https://www.amazon.com/SRA-Water-Soluble-Soldering-Flux/dp/B008OC24EQ/ref=sr_1_10?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1512072048&sr=1-10&keywords=flux+pen
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Isopropyl AlchoholUse this stuff for pretty much everything. Good for cleaning boards after soldering with flux. Cleans wires, electronics, laptops, everything. Just be careful on painted and plastic surfaces. Get 70% or higher.$1.81
https://www.cvs.com/shop/cvs-health-91-isopropyl-alcohol-32-oz-prodid-1011920?skuId=216440
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Side Cutters
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Flush CuttersUnlike side-cutters, these are much smaller, and are extremely usefull for cutting anything that is hard to get to. Wires, zip ties, plastic, you name it. Obviously, don't cut spring-steel or any hard metal because you will chip the blades. That's what side cutters are for.$4.47
https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-CHP-170-Stand-off-Construction-21-Degree/dp/B00FZPDG1K/ref=sr_1_7?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1512017258&sr=1-7&keywords=hakko&th=1
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Small Wire StrippersThese smaller strippers will help you strip from 20 to 30 gauge wire.$11.07
https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-CSP-30-1-Stripper-Maximum-Capacity/dp/B00FZPHMUG/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1512018602&sr=1-2&keywords=hakko+wire+stripper
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Large Wire StrippersThese larger strippers from Hakko will strip from 16 to 26, the most common sizes you will use.$11.26
https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-CSP-30-7-Stripper-Maximum-Capacity/dp/B00FZPHY7M/ref=sr_1_3?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1512018602&sr=1-3&keywords=hakko+wire+stripper
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Tweezers
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Multi-tool
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Cheap Digital CalipersYou can't design in CAD without calipers. Any Harbor Freight peice of shit should work. Replace when it falls apart.$16.85
https://www.amazon.com/Neiko-01407A-Electronic-Digital-Caliper/dp/B000GSLKIW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1512080531&sr=8-3&keywords=digital+calipers
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Good Digital CalipersCalipers don't come cheap. Mitutoyo is the only brand you should consider. Expect to get them used for a reasonable deal. Watch out for fakes, most of them are.$118.43
https://www.amazon.com/Mitutoyo-500-196-30-Advanced-Measuring-Resolution/dp/B00IG46NL2/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1512080531&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=digital+calipers&psc=1
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RulerOne of the most important tools you'll need, don't get shit. Preferably a metal ruler that's relatively thick so it won't bend on you, and can be abused at a straight edge.
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SandpaperMultiple uses, you don't want to be caught without it, so get it.
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Utility KnifeWhen you loose your wire strippers. Can also be used for cutting things. Get Xacto, and if you have the money, get their special blades since they cut very nicely.$5.35
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005KRSWM6/ref=twister_B00ZPTMSTW?_encoding=UTF8&th=1
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Hot Glue GunFor some ghetto stress relief on your wires, look no further than to hot glue.
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ScissorsYou'll be cutting more than paper, so don't get shit.
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Cutting MatVery usefull for any project, you can get these at Walmart, Staples, Target for 15 - 20$20.00
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60/40 Solder (Leaded)Very cheap. Good for learning how to solder, as it is very easy to use properly. Also happens to contain lead, so don't eat it. Wash your hands and you'll be fine.
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Flux-Core Solder(Lead Free)Proper solder. Doesn't contain lead. DO NOT CHEAP OUT! Cheap lead-free solder tends not to contain much silver, resulting in unreliable joints. The cheap stuff is also a lot harder to use. I reccomend a mix of Sn96.5 Ag3.0 Cu0.5 with 2.2% No-Clean Flux. It's a good idea to get small size, like 0.5mm diameter.
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Solder Wick w/Flux I actually find this easier to use than a desoldering pump, hence why this is red and the pump is just reccomended.
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Desoldering Pump
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Velcro Ties
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Steel Wool
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Regular PliersAny will do, however I reccomend Channel Lock for the best wire cutters and pliers.$9.94
https://www.amazon.com/Channellock-526-6-5-Inch-Joint-Plier/dp/B00004SBD9/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1522108815&sr=8-10&keywords=channellock+pliers
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Longnose PliersWith regard to electronics, you'll eventually need small long nose pliers. We reccomend Hakko. Also consider ChannelLock 318 pliers for more normal-sized longnose pliers.$21.99
https://www.amazon.com/Hakko-PN-2007-Long-Nose-Outside-Serrated/dp/B00FZPHEW2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522108486&sr=8-1&keywords=hakko+pliers
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Slip Joint PliersI've includes these Knipex as reccomended because you don't really need them but DAYUM they are nice to have$26.85
https://www.amazon.com/Knipex-8701250-10-Inch-Cobra-Pliers/dp/B000X4J2H0/ref=sxin_0_ac_d_rm?ac_md=0-0-a25pcGV4-ac_d_rm&crid=OFA9YYAV12V9&cv_ct_cx=knipex&keywords=knipex&pd_rd_i=B000X4J2H0&pd_rd_r=2c0cd6ca-3c7a-4668-9a92-e948ad8d23bc&pd_rd_w=tNn8a&pd_rd_wg=wz2sh&pf_rd_p=de19e82a-2d83-4ae8-9f5c-212586b8b9a0&pf_rd_r=RM78DD9GVYG3KR7K07FX&psc=1&qid=1581892624&sprefix=knipe%2Caps%2C167&sr=1-1-12d4272d-8adb-4121-8624-135149aa9081
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Hex Wrenches - American
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Hex Wrenches - Metric
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Third Hand
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PCB Holder If you want a good one, you'll have to make one your self. Stay away from the cheap alligator clip one with the magnifying glass. The alligator clips on those are only crimped on and are garunteed to fall off. A heavy base is a must.
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Bench Vise
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Lighter or Heat GunIt's best to use a heat gun on heat shrink such that you dont accidentally burn or melt through insulation using a lighter. Here's a small heat gun that has the added benefit of being portable. I'ts about 9" long. $11.94
https://www.amazon.com/ZeopoCase-Portable-Embossing-Wrapping-Electrical/dp/B073RK2M2Y/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1522107681&sr=1-2-spons&keywords=mini+heat+gun&psc=1
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Hot Air Station
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Kapton Tape
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Mini C-Clamp
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Screw Driver Set The one listed here is rather expensive screw-driver wise, however it is very well made and it's definetly worth the price.$29.99
https://www.amazon.com/iFixit-EU145299-Bit-Driver-Kit/dp/B0189YWOIO/ref=sr_1_4?s=power-hand-tools&ie=UTF8&qid=1522107363&sr=1-4&keywords=ifixit
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Security Bit Set
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Breadboard
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Protoytping Boards
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FileVery useful, Try to get a small fine mill bastard style from a good brand like Nicholson. Preferably the sides are serrated and the front and back are NOT cross cut. A file like this cuts most anything nice and smoothly and is good for small electronic work, such as cleaning up edges of PCBs.$4.03
https://www.amazon.com/Nicholson-Rectangular-American-Pattern-Bastard/dp/B001R1UZM4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522107010&sr=8-1&keywords=file+mill+bastard
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Perfboard A step up from breadboards, this is a more permanent option for making custom boards, and is the best way for a begginer to make long lasting circuits
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Vero board
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Scotch-Brite
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Banna Plugs
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Mini Grabber Test Leads
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Oscilloscope Since this is geared torwards hobbyists, my reccomendation for an O-scope is a Rigol DS1054Z. It gives the best bang for your buck, bought new or used. If you cannot afford it, the best O-scope would be an older non-digital tetroniks you can buy used on ebay/craigslist for about $50 to $100, and then save up for the digital boi later on.$375.00
https://www.amazon.com/Rigol-DS1054Z-Digital-Oscilloscopes-Bandwidth/dp/B012938E76/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=Rigol+DS1054Z&qid=1559986444&s=gateway&sr=8-2&linkCode=sl1&tag=creativity02-20&linkId=2098d84837f6334058d7a0491c41a536&language=en_US
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Oscilloscope Probes The best ones are the ones that come with the O-scope you buy (jk)
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Function Generator
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DC Power Supply Can be as simple as a DC Wall wart with the wires stripped off.If so, I would reccomend at least 1A 12V so you can regulate that down to your needs. Another good option is a cheap power supply board that you can plug into a standard breadboard. You can power those in many different ways, like a DC barrel jack, USB, and screw terminals for a battery pack. Last option I would highly reccomend is a computer power supply. Non adjustable, but it provides the most commonly used voltages at high current capacities for cheap.$2.40
https://www.ebay.com/itm/MB102-Breadboard-Power-Supply-Module-3-3V-5V-Solderless-For-Arduino/121916576730?epid=1340444572&hash=item1c62cb53da:g:lXoAAOSwB3BaOFxU
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Adjustable DC Power Supply
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Wire Wrapping Wire
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Wire Wrapping Tool
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TOTAL:$867.61
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Hardware and Components
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Redbull
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Arduino Uno Knockoff
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Arduino Pro Mini Knockoff
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Resistor Kit
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Transistor Kit
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Capacitor Kit
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M3 Hardware Assortment
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Voltage Regulators
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Heat shrink tubing
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FR4 Copper Clad
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22 Gauge Stranded Wire (Red & Black)
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FTDI Serial Adapter
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Male Header pins
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Female header pins
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LED assortment
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555 Timer
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Op Amp Assortment
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Servos
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Potentiometers
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22 AWG Solid Core Wire
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Pro Mini 5v
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Pro Mini 3v
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Sensor Kit
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Arduino Motor Sheild
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Power Mosfets
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Power Transistors