DIYstompboxes.com

Projects => Beginner Project => Topic started by: diystomp on September 22, 2003, 04:06:54 PM

Title: 1: Tools
Post by: diystomp on September 22, 2003, 04:06:54 PM
To start off, you will need:

Wire cutter/stripper. So that you can cut and strip wires.
Needle nose pliers (small). Very useful to bend leads etc....
Wire snips (picture to come). Allows you to cut wire close to the solder joint.
Solder
Solder Sucker - or Desolder Braid  :)
- I prefer the solder sucker bulb or "syringe" looking sucker. Keep a skinny nail handy to clear the bulb if it gets stuck with solder.
A decent soldering iron. 15-30 watts, even the Radio Shack one is OK for a few projects before the tip breaks down.
A digital multimeter.
A logbook (an artists sketch book works great. This is the type with the thick paper - you can build and write info in it)
Xacto Knife or other sharp knife for scoring the perfboard.
Ruler for guiding the knife.


Needlenose pliers (rightmost)
Wire Snips (leftmost)
Wire Cutter/Stripper (2nd from left)
2nd from right is a cutter that I use - it's cool because it doesn't "snap" and fly cut leads everywhere after cutting.


(http://www.diystompboxes.com/beginner/tools1.jpg)

Sketch Book

(http://www.diystompboxes.com/beginner/book3.jpg)

Desolder tools

(http://www.diystompboxes.com/beginner/desolder.jpg)

Meter

(http://www.diystompboxes.com/beginner/meter.jpg)

Perfboard

(http://www.diystompboxes.com/beginner/perfboard.jpg)

Please ask if you have any questions.
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: stratking on September 22, 2003, 09:22:29 PM
I have an analog multimeter.  I'm just wondering if this will work as well.  Never used it before because, well I have no idea how to. Will this work as well until I can save up for a good multimeter?

Thanks,

stratking
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: aron on September 22, 2003, 09:33:02 PM
Yes it will. You will have to measure voltages. Not a big deal. I just said Digital because it's easier to read and easy to use and cheap.
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: bwanasonic on September 23, 2003, 01:17:43 AM
May I add desoldering braid to the list?  :wink:
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: diystomp on September 23, 2003, 02:45:12 AM
Thank You!
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: B Tremblay on September 23, 2003, 07:33:43 AM
I'd like to mention that the small clip-on heat sink from Radio Shack has been  indispensable to me when building on perfboard.  I rarely use it as a heat sink, but rather as a "third hand" to keep component leads or wires from moving when I'm applying solder.  A hemostat or another type of locking needle-nose tool could serve the same function.
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: aron on September 23, 2003, 03:26:52 PM
I've used those "clips on a stand" as a 3rd hand before, but in most cases, I haven't had to use anything like this.

Good tip about those heat sinks.

Thanks!
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: bwanasonic on September 23, 2003, 03:32:44 PM
Super-geek safety glasses optional:

(http://home.earthlink.net/~bwanacentral/images/efxgeek.jpg)
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: fretbuzz2003 on September 23, 2003, 06:10:58 PM
Where do we get the perfboard and what size? Can we wait until we order the rest of the parts?
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: aron on September 23, 2003, 06:14:51 PM
I get my perfboard from Radio Shack. The only reason being that it's close by and I can get it whenever I need it.

Small Bear also sells perboard as well. His is better quality than the Radio Shack one but is harder (impossible?) to cut.

Aron
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: Marcus Dahl on September 23, 2003, 08:27:23 PM
Quote from: B Tremblay
I'd like to mention that the small clip-on heat sink from Radio Shack has been  indispensable to me when building on perfboard.  I rarely use it as a heat sink, but rather as a "third hand" to keep component leads or wires from moving when I'm applying solder.  A hemostat or another type of locking needle-nose tool could serve the same function.


I like using alligator clips instead. You can get them by the pack at Radio Shack for cheap. I'm always losing my heat sink clip. So I got a whole bag of alligator clips instead. I can use them as an extra hand, heat sink, or for my test projects. They are very handy.

By the way if you are trying to do a quick repair job and need a quick heat sink but don't have one handy. You can use a paper clip...
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: jimmy on September 25, 2003, 07:07:05 AM
hey fair go for the safety glasses guy!

haha
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: Gus on September 25, 2003, 11:51:32 AM
If you are new to the hobby you might not have a work bench.

  I would find an old cutting board a piece of  plywood etc.  I would place the board on a table to save the table from drilling, cuts, solder etc.

  This is good for keeping others in the house happy.

Gus
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: The Tone God on September 25, 2003, 03:30:03 PM
Quote from: aron
His is better quality than the Radio Shack one but is harder (impossible?) to cut.


Ever tried using tin snips to cut the perf board then smooth out edges with some filing ? Works great on perf board that has pre-tinned through holes.

Andrew
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: Phiredog on September 26, 2003, 08:54:31 AM
Do you have a recommended soldering iron to get or is wattage my only concern?  

I am using a Weller trigger model now my Dad gave me, but I find it somewhat awkward to use.
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: aron on September 26, 2003, 02:17:02 PM
Is that the weller gun? If so, it's too powerful.

Good question, you want something with a smaller tip for working with PCB boards. You can ask your local store for an appropriate soldering iron.

I will get a picture of the tip I use, it's conical - like a pen tip, although not as pointed.
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: Andy on September 26, 2003, 03:31:28 PM
that weller is gonna be too much.  get a pen-style weller (I assume you meant you have the gun-style which is 100- 250 WATTS).  Get it from 15 to 25 watts.  

Get the solder that's 31 in diameter.  It melts faster at lower temps.
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: Phiredog on September 28, 2003, 02:34:08 PM
Yeah, I have the Weller gun model. I also have an el cheapo from Big Lots that is a 30 watt model I'll use until I get a better one. Thanks for the help!
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: Ice9Rg570 on October 06, 2003, 02:18:49 AM
I am interested in this project aswell


For the multimeter will this work for this project and for other more elaborate ones?

http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CTLG&category%5Fname=CTLG%5F011%5F008%5F002%5F000&product%5Fid=22%2D813

or do i need a better one?

thanks!
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: aron on October 06, 2003, 02:41:55 AM
That will work. For beginners, I usually recommend auto-ranging. Radio Shack used to make one with Auto-Ranging and auto battery turn off for around $20-$29.

It was tiny too. Maybe they have it in your local store?
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: Ice9Rg570 on October 06, 2003, 03:02:59 AM
Quote from: aron
That will work. For beginners, I usually recommend auto-ranging. Radio Shack used to make one with Auto-Ranging and auto battery turn off for around $20-$29.

It was tiny too. Maybe they have it in your local store?


http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CTLG&category%5Fname=CTLG%5F011%5F008%5F002%5F000&product%5Fid=22%2D802  would that be what your talking about?

I would like this to work for more advanced projects in the future...

THis is the neck one they have that has the auto-ranging...
http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CTLG&category%5Fname=CTLG%5F011%5F008%5F002%5F000&product%5Fid=22%2D811  A little more expensive, but if it is worth it I will get it.

Let me know. thanks! and thanks for doing this project. I really appreciate it!
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: aron on October 06, 2003, 03:18:34 AM
Hey,

That first one is the one.  YEAH, $19.99.

They raised the price a little while ago, but it's back @ $19.99.

I still use it to debug now and then.

It works fine for most of our small circuits. Yes, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles but it works for most things.

Do you have to get another multimeter later? Maybe, and you will probably want to.... but this little guy will work for many projects.
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: Mike on March 08, 2004, 01:29:01 PM
I'm a total newbie here.
Some great info in this forum and I'm going to give the beginner project a try.

Now, I do have basic soldering skills and have tried some basic beginner mods (SD-1 808 mod).

I'm just not sure what kind of Mulimeter I would need.  I've never used one before.  What do they test??
I've seen ranges of 15 to 42. I don't know what that means.  What number should I get?

Thanks
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: smoguzbenjamin on March 08, 2004, 02:02:20 PM
Get a Digital Multi Meter. Even a cheap one will do. The instruction manual will teach you how to use it properly and otherwise just post back here :)

It'll measure at least volts DC, volts AC, resistance and current. Some can test transistor gain and even capacitance!
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: aron on March 08, 2004, 02:21:27 PM
The meter I recommened is in the FAQ, but what I look for is:

Auto Ranging (it automatically sets the range on the meter). This is GREAT for beginners.

Most will have the usual, resistance, AC,DC,continuity.

Then the advanced cool stuff for us:

Transistor checker
Transistor hFE check
Transistor auto pinout identification
Capacitance (for checking capacitors).

For all of this, you should expect to pay up to $100.

For one without the advanced stuff (but with auto ranging), probably around $30.

Aron
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: smoguzbenjamin on March 08, 2004, 03:37:27 PM
I bought my manual DMM for the equivalent of $10
Title: beginner
Post by: slackhammer on April 14, 2004, 02:49:25 PM
what's the best way to get started with parts?  is there any way to get a "vaiety pack" of resistors, caps, etc?

I want to do my first build, the "tremolus lune" and want to know the best way to go about getting the parts.
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: PB Wilson on April 14, 2004, 05:45:23 PM
You can get 500 resistors in a ton of different values from Radio Shack for about $11 (if I recall correctly).

Steve at Smallbear sells variety packs of caps as well:
100 film caps for $13.95
32 silver mica caps for $13.00
55 electrolytic caps for $11.50

So, for about $50 you can be well stocked up for most of the projects you are likely to come across. After wasting a lot of money buying a few caps here, a couple resistors there, I wised up, bought the packs mentioned above and now I am set for a good, long time.
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: FisTheGoon on December 05, 2004, 08:51:13 AM
What  wattage is good for soldering? cause at certain wattage componnt might burn or damaged. thanks :?
Title: 1: Tools
Post by: Hal on December 05, 2004, 05:39:04 PM
a 15-25 watt iron is deff. high enough.  Up to 40 watts your pushing high heat.  I don't recomend anything above 40 watts.

If possible, get a variable temperature iron, and practice before you set to anything real.

Good luck :-D
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: JLM on October 17, 2005, 02:03:37 AM
All I have right now is a 50W soldering iron...  :-\  Will it work or it's just too much power?
Do I really need to buy a less powerfull one, even if use sockets for ICs?  ???
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: niftydog on October 17, 2005, 02:16:49 AM
is it adjustable in temperature?

It's not too much, even if it's not adjustable, but you do have to be carful not to allow too much heat to be transfered to the components and circuit board.

What you might find is that the tips are too large. Often with large soldering irons there's limited replacement tip sizes, and a tip that's too large is effectively useless.
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: guythmike on February 05, 2006, 03:35:38 PM
does it matter what type of solder you use? there's different types, like silver bearing and rosin core and such. which is better?
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: theundeadelvis on February 05, 2006, 03:49:42 PM
A lot of folks here swear by 63/37 rosin core solder. I use 60/40 in a .032 diameter (from Radio Shack) and its work great. I have a roll of 63/37 but it's in a .050 diameter and its way too thick for my liking. I plan on getting the 63/37 in a smaller diameter and trying it. Anyway, a thin rosin core (with a flux that either doesn't need cleane or is easily cleaned) soldereither 60/40 or 63/37 is what I recommend.
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: guythmike on February 05, 2006, 04:09:03 PM
thanks a lot.

i'd say "i'm new to this" like everyone else, but i figure it's pretty obvious.
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: Dannycasio on March 14, 2006, 07:31:46 AM
I have a Weller Iron 60W/230V (W60D). Is this too powerful?
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: aron on March 14, 2006, 12:42:28 PM
If it's a fixed wattage, then I would say yes. Radio Shack or your local electronics store will have a lower wattage/pencil type iron that would be better suited. Just tell them that you are working on PCB and smaller components and they will point you to the right tools.
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: UP-G on March 27, 2006, 08:28:46 AM
What is a desolder braid and how does it work ??? I've never worked with it ...
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: ST_ELM on March 27, 2006, 09:08:50 AM
Hi all , Im newbie here,
just want to ask , bout the size of perfboard ....
thaks in advance ...

Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: aron on March 29, 2006, 03:34:51 PM
What is a desolder braid and how does it work ??? I've never worked with it ...

The way I've used it is to press the braid against the solder joint and heat. The braid will "wick up" the solder. Then remove the braid and the solder joint will be pretty clean. That being said, I use those plunger type solder removers for most of my work.
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: aron on March 29, 2006, 03:36:10 PM
Hi all , Im newbie here,
just want to ask , bout the size of perfboard ....


I use the perfboard that I sell in the store and I usually use a larger piece then score and snap it to the correct size after I finish the circuit.

http://www.diystompboxes.com/cart/
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: didier on September 03, 2006, 08:19:43 AM
May i recommend safety glasses to everyone?!

a guy at my school managed to blow up a very small electrolityc cap and it shot in the air INTO HIS EYE, he is now blind at that eye!

it may look geeky, but if you are a beginner, and also more advanced builders may have moments where they are not as concentrated as they should be...

i wear them all the time when building because i would hate to end up like the other guy...
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: Minion on December 01, 2006, 04:16:05 PM
If Poeple are looking for Places to get Good quality Parts on the very cheap then check out E-Bay as you can get some awesome deals on there, I pay usually about 10% to 50% of Retail for most all my Parts....Like 100 0.1uF Metal Film Caps for $3, or 3000 1% resistors in 26 Values for $11, or 6 Square feet of Blank PCB Material for $13 (I never use Perf board and probably never will) , or 8 Pin Dip IC sockets for 6c each , and I recently bought 20 10,000uF 63v Caps for under $1 each and these are just some basic examples of prices I pay from some specific sellers on e-bay....I also buy my 20w soldering Irons for .99c each at the dollar store.....

So if poeple really are on a tight budget like me then there are ways to get Good Parts for dirt cheap if you know were to look......


Cheers
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: jcwillow777 on February 03, 2007, 03:19:24 AM
I get my perfboard from Radio Shack. The only reason being that it's close by and I can get it whenever I need it.

Small Bear also sells perboard as well. His is better quality than the Radio Shack one but is harder (impossible?) to cut.

Aron

I personally like the perf board the that Aaron sells. I've done one overdrive using it, and I like it better than what Radio Schack sells. Sometimes Radio Schack is just conveient.
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: Red2112 on April 29, 2007, 08:10:52 PM
Greetings folks,

Just wondering if anyone uses a board like the one in the pic below to try out there projects. It's made out of plastic and you don't need to solder, you can use jumper wires (you can see them in the transparent box just above the pref board).

I just got into this, so yes aim a newbie  :icon_mrgreen:

(http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k159/Red2112_2006/pref_board.jpg)

BTW, thanks you for such a great site Aron!

Good care and thanks.

Oh, I forgot! Can you use a BS170 transistor for the beginners boost project?
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: 12milluz on July 13, 2007, 08:09:47 PM
simple question here, im new to this all, and know little bout soldering, well ive never used flux. do we need flux for this project?
Title: Re: 1: Tools - Multimeter question
Post by: suprleed on January 10, 2008, 04:15:26 PM
I've been playing around with my first multimeter and had a quick question.

I purchased a meter with hfe measurement capability.  It has the little slots to insert the tranny pins into marked C,B,E with one set for NPN and another for PNP.  Can I test Jfets using this feature by lining up the drain with the collector slot, the gate with the base, and the source with the emmiter?  Or could I potentially damage my Jfets doing this?  I don't want to fry any parts.

My second build is a Jfet based overdrive and I would like to test the hfe if possible.

Thanks.
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: aron on January 10, 2008, 08:23:30 PM
Unfortunately not. You cannot test the JFET in there.

You can test FETs like this:

http://www.geofex.com/Article_Folders/fetmatch/fetmatch.htm
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: dietsociety on September 29, 2010, 03:45:32 PM
Greetings folks,

Just wondering if anyone uses a board like the one in the pic below to try out there projects. It's made out of plastic and you don't need to solder, you can use jumper wires (you can see them in the transparent box just above the pref board).

I just got into this, so yes aim a newbie  :icon_mrgreen:

(http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k159/Red2112_2006/pref_board.jpg)

BTW, thanks you for such a great site Aron!

Good care and thanks.

Oh, I forgot! Can you use a BS170 transistor for the beginners boost project?

I can't answer about the transistor, but I've used breadboard for a lot of basic layout stuff for circuits - they're really useful for prototyping and mucking about because you don't have to solder.
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: moose23 on September 29, 2010, 04:11:02 PM
Greetings folks,

Just wondering if anyone uses a board like the one in the pic below to try out there projects. It's made out of plastic and you don't need to solder, you can use jumper wires (you can see them in the transparent box just above the pref board).

I just got into this, so yes aim a newbie  :icon_mrgreen:

(http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k159/Red2112_2006/pref_board.jpg)

BTW, thanks you for such a great site Aron!

Good care and thanks.

Oh, I forgot! Can you use a BS170 transistor for the beginners boost project?

You could definitely make the "Super Hard On" with the BS170 and it's just as easy to make as the beginners boost.
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: bigmufffuzzwizz on March 13, 2011, 11:41:58 PM
OOOhhh the essentials!!! Always remember my boss telling me, "your not using the right tools for the job" :D
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: Zigioman on August 31, 2011, 05:20:46 PM
Hi I'm new at this as you might imagine since I'm planning on doing this project. I have a 40 watt Weller soldering iron that is fixed temperature and .062" rosin core electrical solder from when I had to re-solder the wiring in one of my guitars a while back. I'm getting the sense that the soldering iron is probably okay but I should be careful not to let the circuts get to hot. My question is if the solder is going to be too thick and cause me problems? Also whether I should get the beginner project parts kit or buy the various components in bulk like this

You can get 500 resistors in a ton of different values from Radio Shack for about $11 (if I recall correctly).

Steve at Smallbear sells variety packs of caps as well:
100 film caps for $13.95
32 silver mica caps for $13.00
55 electrolytic caps for $11.50

So, for about $50 you can be well stocked up for most of the projects you are likely to come across. After wasting a lot of money buying a few caps here, a couple resistors there, I wised up, bought the packs mentioned above and now I am set for a good, long time.
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: entinggi on August 02, 2012, 11:58:39 AM
I have a question fro the soldering iron.. Is a 40 watt iron too hot or would it be ok to use?
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: gisecke on August 28, 2012, 08:19:59 AM
I have a question fro the soldering iron.. Is a 40 watt iron too hot or would it be ok to use?

It's Ok. I use a 40W soldering iron, but careful to burn components
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: zaqzaq on December 15, 2012, 12:55:22 AM
what about a 60 watts soldering iron? :/ i read goodreviews about this 60w one, thats supposed to have "some" temperature control.. will it get too hot? what is the problem with higher watts? sorry for the newbie question
Title: Re: 1: Tools
Post by: hymenoptera on August 15, 2015, 10:47:05 AM
I just wanted to answer these old questions about 40w and 60w pencils, yes you can use them, but it might not be best for a beginner.

Higher heat can be nice for heavier stuff like 1/4" jacks, making patch cables, etc. However, when it comes to smaller components, especially heat sensitive parts such as semiconductors (diodes, transistors, ICs), and even certain film capacitors, certain (cheap) switches, etc, you really want something with less heat and/or mass because you could destroy the part before you've even turned it on!

It's possible to solder tiny/sensitive stuff with a 45w or whatever, but you have to "get in and get out" fast, and that's something that just comes with experience.

For beginners, if you already have the higher wattage pencil, and can't afford an adjustable soldering station (I recommend the Hakko FX-888 or Weller WES-51, both are about US$100), then just buy a second pencil that rated for 15w to 25w and then you'll have your bases covered.

If you can, try to find one with a chisel tip, or one that takes replacement tips that you can find to customize.

Finally, I can recommend to anyone just starting out to watch the videos on youtube from Pace and also the first two from EEVBlog.