breadboard with power supply, function generator?

This is the place for any magazine-related discussions that don't fit in any of the column discussion boards below.
Post Reply
baconeater
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:26 am
Contact:

breadboard with power supply, function generator?

Post by baconeater » Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:01 pm

Does anyone have opinions on this breadboard from Jameco?

http://tinyurl.com/37tklq

Check out part number 75839 for $276.95. It's the light blue breadboard in the upper right corner of that page.

It has a power supply and function generator. I don't have a lot of space in my apartment for an electronics bench, so I thought this looked good.

Any comments? Is the function generator any good? Are there other models I should consider?

User avatar
philba
Posts: 2050
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Post by philba » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:28 pm

what is your goal? to build circuits or learn electronics or...??

for $280, you could buy A LOT of parts and tools. I'm sure that package is convenient but it sure seems expensive for what you get.

User avatar
shillyard
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:01 am
Location: martinsburg wv
Contact:

Post by shillyard » Sat Jun 23, 2007 9:27 pm

I bought a similar kit from radio shack 15 years ago. I walked into my local radio shack three days ago they still have them 60 bucks I think.
If its not worth repairing its not worth buying.

Robert Reed
Posts: 2276
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:01 am
Location: ASHTABULA,OHIO
Contact:

Post by Robert Reed » Sat Jun 23, 2007 9:59 pm

Well, you have a bit over a square foot of foot print here. I think a quality power supply and funtion generator plus barebones bread board would not take up any more space ( especially if stacked). The specs on that outfit are quite limited and I am sure that soon you will be screaming for more. E-Bay has some great bargains on middle of the line test equipment that you could probably do better on price wise and get a lot more bang for your buck. By the time you setup for any meaningful projects or tests, those two peices of equipment will be the least of your space concerns. without a doubt, you will be champing at the bit for an oscilloscope soon after several runs with those few peices, and the list goes on. Think of a small table reserved just for an electronics bench - it really doesn't take up that much room.

User avatar
philba
Posts: 2050
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Post by philba » Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:23 am

yeah, I totally agree on the Oscope - there is no tool that helps you learn better than a scope. Plus, it's pretty essential for advanced tinkering.

I have been thinking on what I would do if starting out and had just $280 to spend.

several solderless BBs - $20
a middle quality DMM - $60
resistor and capacitor kits - $30
selection of ICs (555, comparators, op amps, logic) - $30
selection NPN and PNP general purpose - $5
power supply components (VRs, diodes, electrolytics, Wall Warts...) - $20
misc tools - $15

thats only $180. also, I think you can do better than the prices I listed if you look around a bit (that's half the fun of it).

For advanced work -
Add an ebay O'scope - $100 (about)
and a decent temp controlled solder station $100

Engineer1138
Posts: 458
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Post by Engineer1138 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:07 pm

I like philba's list, but I'd go a bit cheaper on some items. The temp controlled iron can be had for about $40 if you go with a no-name brand. And I just got a set of 10 tips for my Hakko clone on eBay for a total of about $25 including shipping from Hong Kong. As far as I can tell they are identical to the ones that came with the iron and perform beautifully on surface mount parts. "Normal" price is about $4.95 each!

As much as I hate to say it, for just about all uses, the FREE DVM that came with my last order from Circuit Specialists performs as well as my Fluke 70 series DVM (I'd trust the Fluke more for its input protection circuits). I think the circuit specialists DVM costs about $9.95 normally!

If I were starting out now, I'd get it all from eBay.

User avatar
philba
Posts: 2050
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Post by philba » Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:33 pm

I totally agree you can get cheaper. I really like my Hakko and have no experience with the cheaper ones.

On the DMM, the cheaper ones often come with smaller LCD displays that can be hard to see. When autoranging, it is sometimes easy to miss where the decimal point is. My daily use DMM cost me $40 but if I had it to buy over again, I'd get one of the extech ones that go for about $60. Nice big display.

On ebay, there are several merchants that sell various kits of parts. Good for experimenting and so on. It's a decent way to stock up.

However, I also find that mouser (and other mail order places) are often great for stocking up. Transistors, resistors, caps and simple ICs like op amps, comparators, logic are often very cheap - sometimes even cheaper than ebay deals. Use the USPS shipping option for cheap and fast delivery.

And don't forget local thrift stores for wall warts - typically $1. You can sometimes find regulated WWs there. They need checking (put a load on them, see how they do).

User avatar
MrAl
Posts: 3862
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2002 1:01 am
Location: NewJersey
Contact:

Post by MrAl » Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:26 am

Hi,

I agree the prices is a bit steep. I use Jameco for parts and they
have very reasonable prices, but for other stuff i find them to be
just too high priced. They even sent me a sample one time and
didnt charge.

Also, i think i noticed the supply current output was very low...
not something you would pay that much money for.

Sorry, Jameco, but i think you can do better :smile:

As noted this doesnt apply to their parts, which are usually
*very* well priced and i would buy again and again from them.
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

rshayes
Posts: 1286
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 1:01 am
Contact:

Post by rshayes » Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:03 am

I don't think you can really blame Jameco for the design and expense of those units. They look like ones that Global Specialties (previously Continental Specialties) used to sell.

These would be very useful a beginning lab course, where the experiments are written around the limitations of the function generator and DC voltmeter and are performed in order, and one at a time. For experimental use, this type of unit has the disadvantage that one circuit has to be torn down before another can be assembled.

These units are neat, compact, and convenient. That is what you pay a premium price for.

User avatar
MrAl
Posts: 3862
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2002 1:01 am
Location: NewJersey
Contact:

Post by MrAl » Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:21 am

hi again,

Yeah, but almost 300 dollars?
Maybe i missed something. What is that great about them that
they should be priced like that?
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

rshayes
Posts: 1286
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 1:01 am
Contact:

Post by rshayes » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:44 am

Some people llike it that way. Look at the prices of the higher class running shoes.

I agree that nearly $300 is pretty steep. I prefer separate generators and power suppllies anyway, because they usually have wider range, more adjustments, and higher capacity.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests