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Old 05-15-2013, 09:33 PM #1
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Default Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

So, I've got my bench PSU, good DMM, soldering station, Ophir 5W sensor, and I've got good test leads.

What are some of the things that don't get discussed much around here (soldering heatsinks, etc) that really should be in all of our tool boxes or on our benches to handle: a) direct drive diodes for measuring, b) adjusting drivers, c) testing builds before assembly, d) fault diagnosis?

Blord once showed me a pic of a little plastic doodad that slipped onto diode pins to protect them. I still don't know what to call it or where to get it.

These are the kinds of things I'm asking about. Hopefully we can all learn something from this thread.


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Old 05-15-2013, 09:44 PM #2
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Default Re: Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

An oscilloscope is handy for measuring driver ripple. You can get cheap used ones on Ebay or Craigslist. A digital scope can also measure start up spikes, but they are not as cheap.

I even got an old scope for free on craigslist.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:52 PM #3
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Default Re: Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

Thanks, ARG. I was thinking more about the little things that noobs might not know about...eg: upgraded test leads, using test clips, etc.

That being said, I'd love an oscilloscope, but I should learn how to use one first. Still early in a CE course. lol
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:01 PM #4
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Default Re: Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

Why would you need to measure the driver ripple? can it be changed or adjusted?
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:06 PM #5
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Default Re: Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

Big Ripple Kill Little Diode.

If you're a driver builder...
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:25 PM #6
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Default Re: Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scumbagatheist View Post
Big Ripple Kill Little Diode.

If you're a driver builder...
Agreed but if you aren't able to mod a driver because you don't have the knowledge than it would be just to avoid connecting the driver to the diode and busting the diode.... I mean the scope would be just to check the driver and in the eventuality send it back to the seller....
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:28 PM #7
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Default Re: Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

^ Let's stick to the thread topic and save the instrument use for another one.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:35 PM #8
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Default Re: Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

@norbyx
It's not just for building drivers, or modding the drivers. I like to test my drivers before hooking them up to a 130$ PL-520 diode
I've killed ~300$ in diodes, half because of a poor driver. Having the tools to test the driver is very useful.

@Topic
A reflow gun can be useful to remove resistors from drivers to change the output value of the driver.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:35 PM #9
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Default Re: Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

Well than, sticking with the topic, a dummy load would be usefull...
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:06 PM #10
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Default Re: Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

Ive used the clip copper heat sinks quite a bit. If not being used as a sink it makes a great little clip for holding wires while soldering. Also works well if you have heatshrink tube on a very short wire from allowing the heat to travel the wire and shri k the heatshrink prior to it being in the proper location. If that makes any sense.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:21 PM #11
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Default Re: Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

Judging by your join date and post count .. I'm guessing some sunlight might be in order :P
Look out daguin .. you've got competition !!

Seriously though .. I have little anti-static foam cubes that work great for protecting leads .. couple that with the little silicone "condoms" that come on all things e-cig. and you've got a great little container for storing diodes..

Little harvesting tools also .. plastic prys .. torx bits, small cutters, pliers, solder sucker/reflow gun & wick, etc ..

Proper ESD gear .. and "Helping hands"
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:49 PM #12
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Default Re: Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

- A good vise for holding your boards. Sometimes those helping hands just don't cut it. Get a nice project vise for holding the boards or other parts (base 1, base 2; holder; junior version).

- A solder sucker. I suck with solder braid, and sometimes I need to get that excess solder out of a hole on the board. This tool is just great for that. Spring-load the action on the sucker, melt the solder, push the button and the solder is sucked out of the location. Fast and efficient.

- Some good liquid flux. I've already got two small bottles of Kester 1544 that'll last me forever. You might want some of the flux FlamingPyro offers so you don't have to buy a gallon + hazardous material shipping (actually a decent price, but you'd never go through it.

- An automated wire stripper. Yeah it seems lazy, but I love this thing. Just put the wire in to the length you need, squeeze, and the wire is stripped. I find it faster than pliers, and I don't damage wires with it.

- An assload of heat shrink wrap to cover your wires (get it at DX) and a hot air gun for melting heat-shrink wrap like this.

For more advanced stuff, a toaster oven and controller for low-level reflow on designed PCBs. Having a vacuum pen is also nice (note that it helps to have a separate suction controller off of the pen so that you don't shift the part when you release, as mentioned in this excellent video).
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:24 AM #13
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Default Re: Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by norbyx View Post
Agreed but if you aren't able to mod a driver because you don't have the knowledge than it would be just to avoid connecting the driver to the diode and busting the diode.... I mean the scope would be just to check the driver and in the eventuality send it back to the seller....
Quote:
Originally Posted by scumbagatheist View Post
^ Let's stick to the thread topic and save the instrument use for another one.
I would say that is on topic. It's good to have all the facts to make an informed decision. What if nobody else replied and a noob saw this and said "hmmm, I have to get a scope" that be a huge waste of money. Normally we say let's not derail a thread after many derailed posts. It's good to let a little dialog fly.

Michael


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Old 05-16-2013, 01:38 AM #14
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Default Re: Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

Wow, nice post BB +1..
All things I take for granted.
I think the wire stripper @ work cost ~$250K.
Flux by the drum, and shrink tubing by the mile.

as a side note .. anyone know the spec for the silicone wire we have all come to love?

Back on topic .. A bench top lathe would be nice .. I think it will be my next "investment" for the home .. Harbor Freight had them on sale recently .. but I missed it ..
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:32 AM #15
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Default Re: Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

Well, thanks everybody. I guess I am more covered than I expected...minus the oscilloscope. Which I only moved away from in the thread, as I would consider that an advanced bench instrument, rather than a basic tool that guys like me, getting into lasers, might not already be familiar with.

I have miles of solder, drums of flux, solder suckers, solder wicking, heat gun, heatshrink everywhere, full-on BPM anti-static setup, tiny dykes, strippers galore, micro tweezers, helping hands, solder cleaner, acetone, isopropyl, KTP, neodymium magnets of many sizes, intelli-chargers, and so on....
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405nm S06J, 675mW Krtyton Groove-Polished
The Bastard:445nm, 2W M-140 UF KF-T60
445nm, 9mm, 3.2W Kryton Groove-Polished
450nm Osram PL450B, 130mW, Kryton Groove-Polished
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638nm Opnext, 160mW, Kryton Groove-Polished
650nm LPC-826, 360mW, MXDL Host Kit by Mrcrouse
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:19 AM #16
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Default Re: Got The Bench Basics. What Do I Need Now?

lol, just seen "New to veteran status"
guess I'll eat my words now .. congrats !!
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