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Author Topic: Essential Components  (Read 14672 times)
AC5UP
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2012, 09:10:34 AM »




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KD0REQ
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« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2012, 12:07:29 PM »

-RZP, we have a well-known telco equipment provider we use extensively that got rooked with a tubload of clone DSL chips, which fail by the numbers in the equipment.  beware of suddenly adequate supplies in a component shortage.

even some "good" outfits can get rooked, witness the computer motherboard failure Olympigs a few years ago.  Nichicon got a really good deal on electrolyte from a Korean outfit.  turns out it was a fake concoction alleged to be a good Japanese capacitor electrolyte... without stabilizer.  the caps all rotted out and bled on the PC motherboards within a year and a half.  anything electrolytic with a date code from late 97 into early 99, beware.

so mostly I stick with the brands I grew up with when I buy parts.
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G3RZP
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« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2012, 10:44:29 PM »

'REQ,

You don't surprise me, and you're quite right about suddenly adequate supplies. Although I know of one case many years ago when the suddenly adequate supplies were genuine parts but stolen!
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KASSY
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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2012, 07:29:06 AM »

Let it evolve.  What is essential to one person might never be used by another.  I, for instance, would probably never have a use for high voltage transformers or tube sockets, since I don't intend to work with tubes.  A ham down the road has an impressive inventory of large screw-terminal electrolytics and heat sinks because he specializes in linear power supplies.

I don't have a homebrew lab setup yet...I'm just too mobile right now, don't really have a settled place.  I make do with orders from DigiKey and Jameco as I need parts for a project or two.

But, here's what I will do when I land:

Put in a stock of every resistor value from 1 ohm to 1Meg in the 5% series (E24 series)
Same with NPO ceramic caps from 1pF to 1uF
Electrolytics from 1uF to 1,000uF in 1/33/50 ratios.  Probably 50V, that should cover everything
25 of each item

You can get cardboard drawer systems.  Put each value into a ziploc with a label indicating value.  Resistors from 1 ohm to 1,000 or whatever fits in one drawer, ziplocs standing up, readable like an old recipe card file (http://seniordipity.restonlakeanne.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/DSCN1357.jpg).

Being a bit OCD, I already calculated the cost and space.  Around $180 for the parts, and a 12-drawer system should hold it all in a neat package that takes up no more desk space than a mid-sized HF transceiver.

After that, transistors and ICs?  When you order parts for that first magazine article project you build, order extras.  Once you use a particular IC or transistor, you're now familiar with it and you'll use it again.

- k
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G3RZP
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« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2012, 02:50:30 AM »

Where do you get NP0 1 uF caps? Every value  can be expensive, too.
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W5DQ
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« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2012, 10:04:33 AM »

What, in your estimation, are the essential components for a home brew electronics component toolbox? I'm talking transistors, diodes, ICs, and other assorted items. Standard value resistors and capacitors are assumed.

It won't matter to a hill of beans what you have if on a Saturday evening around 10PM you find that the one part you need to get back on the air to work P5 North Korea you don't have and the closest parts store you figure to having it isn't open on Sunday. BTW to make matters worse, the P5 station is only up for 24 hours  Angry

I too have 30+ years of parts and still find I need a 'this or that' I don't have although those occurances are few and far between anymore. I occasionally come across a garage sale or estate sale where the person was a 'handyman' or if lucks shines down on me, was a ham or SWL and has electronics stuff in plastic parts bins. If you come across these, usually the bin and parts can be had for pocket change. I've done some bartering for this and that and ended up with bins of parts. Current count of bins is around 20 with anywhere from 12 drawers to 36 drawers of associated sizes each. This doesn't count the myraid of cardboard boxes of various sizes loaded with discrete components of every description known Smiley

Start collecting 'junk' (remember one man's junk is another man's treasure) and soon you'll have a nice stocked 'junk' (or treasure) box.

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
KB1LKR
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« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2012, 10:10:42 AM »

"Electrolytics from 1uF to 1,000uF in 1/33/50 ratios..."

That should read ... in 10 / 22 / 47 ratios (e.g. 1, 2.2, 4.7, 10, 22, 47, etc.) though 10 /33 ratios would probably be good enough.
Similarly for NP0's, X7R's or other ceramic caps.

note next larger in the progression is always ~ 2.2X the prior value for 10 / 22 / 47 and ~3.3X the prior for 10 / 33.


Perhaps 50V for smaller values and 25 V for larger, too depending on what you anticipate for typical projects.

Re: resistors, you could buy 5% resistors, but only those in the E12 steps (10% standard values (~1.2X) 10 / 12 / 15 / 18 / 22 / 27 / 33 / 39 / 47 / 56 / 68 / 82)
or even E6 (~1.5X) steps (10 / 15 / 22 / 33 / 47 / 68).
E6 is 1/4 the total part count of E24, but should be enough for general use... if you need something specific, say for op amp feedback circuits, buy it as you go, and eventually your supply of parts will grow.

Also a few 2N3904's, 2N3906's, 1N914/1N4148's, 1N4007's, TIP31A's/TIP32A's, some MOSFETS, etc. as cited by others, maybe some LM317 (adj) LM7805 (+5) LM7812 (+12) regulators, etc. too.
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KD0REQ
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« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2012, 02:01:13 PM »

some magnet wire and toroids also, reds and yellow/white for RF, green or blue salvage from PC power supplies are awesome for RF suppression by winding the suspect speaker, telco, etc. leads around them.  if you play with MOSfets, some ferrite beads for the G2 that usually goes to AVC.

I will never turn down anything with a transformer on it, especially if tube sockets are involved.  but then, I grew up with tubes, and have no fear.

nobody has mentioned diodes yet that I have seen.  1n4007 is the "universal diode" for power supplies, unless you think in terms of linears, and then get 3 or 6 amp 1000 volt diodes by the 20-pack.  1n914, 1n34a, 1n925 all have their place, too.  if you want to play with recent RF designs, you will want some hot-carrier diodes.
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N7EKU
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« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2012, 11:52:22 AM »

I'm looking at general homebrew and experimentation. Some days I like to mess with oscillators and RF, some days it's microcontrollers and such. I'm just polling the crowd for what you generally think of as must haves. I have a decent kit going already, some of it made up from components from my EE kit from back in college (I hold a BSEE, but I'm not an EE by profession), some I've acquired myself.

Transistors - 2N2222A, 2N3904, 2N3906, 2N3819, MPF102, TIP31A, TIP32A, ZVN2110A
Diodes - 1N270, 1N4004, 1N4148, 1N5231B
ICs - 741, 311, 335A, 386, 555, SA602, a mess of CMOS 4000 series (Logic, PLL, etc)
uControllers - PIC12, PIC16, PIC18, PIC24, PIC32 series (only 1 PIC24 and 1 PIC32)

So I've built up a collection, just from messing around, but I'm lacking some key components (LM324, etc).



I think you are set for homebrew rf work with your transistors and diodes.

For IC's yeah maybe some op amps for filtering stages.

E12 ranges of 1/8 or 1/4W resistors plus some low value 2W resistors.

E6 range of low value npo caps and polystyrene caps, plus a bunch of 102,103,104 bypass caps and some electrolytics.

Pots, Variable caps, trimpots and trimmer caps.

Iron powder and ferrite toroids of the mass you need.

For other stuff:

Old ethernet cable is wonderful stuff -- the Cat5e even has teflon-type insulation!  Old computer ribbon cables are pretty good too.

You probably have a breadboard from you EE days?

A step drill bit and tapered reamers are very handy.  Plus a nibbler is good too for housing work.

A variable speed drill (doesn't have to be fancy an old one from a garage sale is fine)

A solder station, or else a small pencil iron plus a bigger solder gun (for coax connectors)

Single and double sided PCB material.

73,

Mark.
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WB6BYU
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« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2012, 04:05:04 PM »

If you want to build VHF circuits you might consider a higher frequency bipolar transistors.
The 2N5179 is the "standard", but tend to be much more expensive than many alternatives.
Something like the 2N3563 or MPS-H10, or anything else with an fT around 1.2GHz, would
help fill that hole, though the FETs should work well enough at 2m.

The LM324/LM356 are handy for low current single-supply applications, though the 741
will do in many cases.

The 7805 voltage regulators are handy for stabilization for portable equipment operating
from a 9V battery, but for serious applications the Low Dropout Regulators (LDO) will give
much better battery life.

My junkbox has also grown over the years, to where I now have 4 cabinets of drawers
over the workbench (resistors, capacitors, active devices + coils, and connectors) plus
several bins of spares that won't fit in the main cabinets.  Oh, and one cabinet in the house
to save me a trip to the barn when I'm working indoors in the winter.  There are far more
parts than I'll ever be able to use, of course, so the approach of keeping just 10 (or 50) each
of the more common transistor types immediately available in the drawer, with spares sorted
in a box, allows me to have more types easily available. 

Over the years I have also managed to create a database of the various types (several hundred)
so if I need, for example, a PNP transistor with a fT over 1000MHz in a TO-18 case, it will give me
a list of what types I have in stock and how many of each.  (But that is a refinement that is only
necessary because I have collected too many parts over the years:  someone with a more reasonable
stock can probably keep inventory in their head.)
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K1CJS
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« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2012, 07:40:12 AM »

What, in your estimation, are the essential components for a home brew electronics component toolbox? I'm talking transistors, diodes, ICs, and other assorted items. Standard value resistors and capacitors are assumed.

Toolbox?  A toolbox implies tools, not parts.  A parts box isn't really required for homebrewing, since you would still more than likely have to send out for or go get other parts--unless you want to stock parts you'll never use--or need!  Outside of a couple of some common values of resistors and capacitors, I would hesitate to stock any amount of parts.  It's much easier AND better to let the big parts companies stock those parts--and ship them to you when you need them.  You may have to wait a day or two, but you would have fresh parts whose values haven't been changed by age, and you won't be spending money on things you'll never use.

Just my 2 cents worth--yours may vary.  73!
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JAHAM2BE
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« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2012, 11:01:44 PM »

Outside of a couple of some common values of resistors and capacitors, I would hesitate to stock any amount of parts.  It's much easier AND better to let the big parts companies stock those parts--and ship them to you when you need them.  You may have to wait a day or two, but you would have fresh parts whose values haven't been changed by age, and you won't be spending money on things you'll never use.

I used to feel the same way, until I read that leaded, through-hole transistors are quickly going the way of the dinosaur. http://theradioboard.com/rb/viewtopic.php?p=31314

Though I could probably learn to work with surface-mount components, they're a little too small for my liking and I don't see how you could do quick prototyping with them, the way that you can do with through-hole components and a solderless breadboard.

Personally, I went ahead and ordered 100 NPN bipolars (2N3904) and 100 N-channel JFETs (2SK192A). That should be enough for the homebrew projects I envison building in the future - motor control circuits (PWM), simple receivers (regenerative, super-regenerative, direct conversion, superhets), VFOs, maybe a QRP CW transmitter, etc. Some other parts I have on hand for these kinds of projects are: 1N4148 diodes for diode ring mixers, LM386 and LM380 for audio amps, a couple of cheap LM358N op amps for audio filters or oscillators, some zener diodes for voltage regulation, and a couple of random UHF transistors for possible VHF/UHF work later. Passive components include T50-2 and T50-6 toroidal cores, assorted crystals for IF filter or oscillator use, ten-turn pots (great for tuning varactor-controlled oscillators), and 2mH-10mH chokes.

Also I use IC sockets to connect my transistors so I can pull them out of one circuit and re-use them in another circuit, if needed. It also makes it easy to swap transistors easily, to see if it improves circuit performance (e.g. in a regenerative detector, where a noisy transistor can ruin detector performance). There is the tiny issue of stray capacitance between adjacent pins in an IC socket, but I've chosen not to worry about that.
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AD6KA
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« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2012, 12:33:11 PM »

What, in your estimation, are the essential components for a home brew electronics component toolbox? I'm talking transistors, diodes, ICs, and other assorted items. Standard value resistors and capacitors are assumed.

Don't try to buy 'em ahead of time. 

Buy 'em "as needed" to do repairs or homebrews, when they are inexpensive, order just a few extras, put 'em in your plastic drawers. 

The good Junk Box is built over time like this. 


I couldn't agree more.
Why spend your money on something you
may not use? Or not use for a year?

(Unless it is like a big bag of caps at a hamfest for $3)
Buy components as needed, and as said, maybe order a couple extra.
73, ken  ad6ka
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W0BTU
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« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2012, 09:50:33 AM »

I couldn't agree more.
Why spend your money on something you may not use? Or not use for a year?
(Unless it is like a big bag of caps at a hamfest for $3)
Buy components as needed, and as said, maybe order a couple extra.

Exactly. I have many components here that I bought 40+ years ago "because I thought I might need them someday". Well, some of those have gone bad, and the values of others have changed from age.

The only thing I can think of buying new for the future is an assortment of small resistors. That's probably money well spent.
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KA5N
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« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2012, 02:22:15 AM »

The problem is that most of the things you buy to stock your junk box you will never use
AND
most of the time you won't have the parts you need so you will have to buy more.

Just one more instance of Murphy's LAW grabbing you. 

The more stuff you have in your junk box, the more the XYL will nag you to get rid of it.

You can't win!!

Allen KA5N
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