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Nick
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Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 11802
Location: Sydney, NSW


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I'm seeing a clear pattern here - buy cheapo tools you don't use often and pay top dollar for the tools you use every day. There also seems to be a trend towards buying cheap tools when they might get broken.

One reason that I went with a PC scope was the software upgrades - I have gotten a couple of version releases and Bitscope added some standalone applications that make it perform multimeter functions. I hope to use the PC as the main interface for as many things as possible - protocol analyser, scope, meter, code development and anything else that looks interesting. Its not for everyone, but it is working out for me so far.

Post Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:40 am 
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Nick
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Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 11802
Location: Sydney, NSW


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I took Angus's advice and bought a top quality paur of sidecutters; I couldn't get a good selection on Lindstrom cutters so I went for another Swiss brand called Erem:



They cost about the same as Lindstrom and are by far the best electronics tool I have - great advice Angus!

Post Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:12 pm 
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dyrodium
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Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 6476
Location: Sydney


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Mmm very nice! Just never be tempted to cut hardened wire and it'll last a lifetime. Also, give it a spray with silicon or lanolin before it gets some very upsetting rust spots. Sad

Slightly OT, this is for servo magazine? I wonder how hard it will be to get a couple of back issues to share around the club... Smile
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Post Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:55 pm 
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Nick
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Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 11802
Location: Sydney, NSW


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DOH, I thought they were stainless steel! I will give the cutters an anti-rust coat right now. You guessed right, this all research for a story in Servo Magazine - I will see about getting some back issues out there.

Post Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:44 am 
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bytraper



Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Posts: 195


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Where did you get the side cutters Nick ?

A number of years ago a telecom aust tech left a pair under our old house... they were by far the best side cutters I ever used, and I used them for many many years and then broke them trying to cut something no side cutters should cut.

I never managed to find another pair that was as good. Nowadays I've just been buying the cheap ones, until i can find a source of good ones again.

Post Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:41 pm 
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Nick
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Joined: 16 Jun 2004
Posts: 11802
Location: Sydney, NSW


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I got that pair from Mcmaster (like always Rolling Eyes ), but it you google around there are other on-line shops. Just search on the names and you will find dozens; the cheapest ones are all OS as always, but if you can get them from Farnell or RS Components if you don't mind paying double.

Comparing the two brands, I'd say the Lindstrom brand has better handles while the Erem models have (perhaps) a better spring - it comes down to personal preference. The cutters in the photo cost $59 USD, fairly typical unless you go for the ones with carbide blades.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#erem-pliers/=das44w

http://www.testequipmentdepot.com/erem/cutters/index.htm

Post Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:48 pm 
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Knightrous
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Joined: 15 Jun 2004
Posts: 8509
Location: NSW


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quote:
Originally posted by Spockie-Tech:
The most often used piece of gear (not "test gear through") is without doubt your Soldering Iron. Without it you cant do jack. The difference between "OK" and "Good" is huge. Dont Skimp on it. Get a Weller, Hakko, Micron or other brand that has been in the Biz for 10 years +. El Cheapo Brand Tips suck, oxidize quickly and evaporate leaving an awful surface. Result - Poor Joints full of crud, unpredictable heat transfer slowing down speed soldering and messy flux flows. Spend your $$ here first, Solder is the glue of electronics, if its not right, nothing will work.


I'm currently looking for a replacement and upgrade from my old, dieing DSE soldering station. Currently looking at the Hakko FX 888 from Element14 for $175 as it has a lot of good recommendations from the blokes at sparkfun. Anyone happened to use one of these or know of a cheaper place to source then (Sparkfun have them for $100, but they are 110v only versions). Looking at getting more into SMD work and playing around with PCB's, so kinda want to get something that will last me through going from noob to pro.
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Post Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:24 pm 
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Fish_in_a_Barrel



Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 673
Location: Perth, Western Australia


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Wow, that looks ugly... hate the colour scheme :p

I have the previous version, a Hakko 936. They used to sell 2 different versions, ESD-safe and non-ESD-safe. Check which one you are getting. I bought it because it was the only one I could find that came with a "wave tip". It's the only tip we used at tafe and I used it on my final year project to solder a 0.8mm 3x3 smd chip. http://hakkousa.com/detail.asp?PID=1136&Page=1 . Although I do have a range of tips, like a massive chisel tip for battery lugs.

I'm happy with it. :p
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Post Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:46 pm 
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