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August 23, 2006

My Tools

In this post, I will list and describe my tools. Other than showing off, this entry illustrates the many tools required in the upcoming projects.

Soldering Iron
My Hakko 936 ESD Soldering Station is more than enough for soldering small electronics projects. I got it as a Christmas gift from my parents last year. Since then, I have learned how to solder (among other things).

The station allows to adjust the temperature (from 200°C to 480°C) in order to fit
your current needs (i.e. very hot for large pieces of metal or just hot enough to melt the solder on small components).

Also the iron holder is very robust and reliable, unlike the more common (springy) ones.

Desoldering Pump
There is nothing fancy about my good old desoldering pump.

The heat resistant nozzle is not so heat resistant (or I'm ver
y bad at desoldering or both) and has become shorter with time. This is why I upgraded it with a piece of plastic from a wire terminal. The plastic is not heat resistant, but it is cheap and easy to replace.

Third Hand This is a very handy artefact for holding things steady in order to work on them. Of course, it is not an essential tool since it can be easily replaced by a little brother's hand, especially for holding very hot metal while soldering. If you don't have a little brother, a girlfriend's hand will do. This device can be purchased in any electronics store for around 20$.

Wire Stripper What a beautiful name for a tool. This handy little device is essential for any electronics project. Even though it can be replaced by a knife, or even by your nails, it is much easier and clean to strip wire with a wire stripper. I got mine as a gift from my girlfriend.

Swiss Knife
This is my very reliable Victorinox Cybertool 34 (you should be salivating right now). This trusty Swiss pocket knife follows me almost everywhere and allows me to do things à la MacGyver.

A breadboard allows you to easyly and reliably set up circuits without soldering. Thus they are very handy for testing.

A multimeter is indispensable in any electronics project. Mine comes from Radioshack and is somewhat reliable and accurate.

Power Supply
A variable regulated power supply is very handy when doing electronics projects. I got mine essentially from the garbage. I will post more details on it soon since it is one of my projects.

This is by no means a complete list of the tools you need. It simply gives an idea of the many tools required.

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