Getting Ahead of the Game
مساحة حرة JUL 07, 2017

Preamble.

If you –want to get straight to the point, scroll down until you see something red.

 

If you’ve just picked up the hobby and figured that you want to work your way around electronics, what they do, how they work and what the hell electricity is to begin with, I’d recommend you check out Great Scott’s YouTube channel. He has a playlist entitled Electronics Basics that would explain almost every small detail you need to know about electronics, both theoretically and practically. I frankly find this man fascinating when it comes to the way he explains everything and organizes his thoughts on a piece of paper in a video. He’s German so excuse his accent. However, I promise that by the end of it you’ll come out smarter.

Alright, enough yapping and let’s get straight to the point. You’ve probably heard people recommending X brand over Y brand and giving prices, numbers and all that crap. Let me tell you one thing: at this point, as a hobbyist or a beginner, you don’t care about the brand. If you pay $100 for a solderer or $2, it’s all the same to you because you wouldn’t be using the temperature regulator with the built-in light, magnifying glass and holding a small capacitor using its helping arms while the fan blows away the fumes. You don’t even know what any of that means! So why waste a lot of money on things you don’t understand yet?

My advice to you, go basic, go cheap, and once you become well-informed, you’ll able to choose the brand you’re buying and the product you’re investing in. At the very least, you’ll have learned enough to know what to search for or ask about when you want to buy professional equipment.

SOMETHING RED

 

I’ve purchased most of my tools using AliExpress. They’re cheap, safe to purchase with return policies and you can get them without any shipping fees (heads-up: the process might take some time). So if you’re in a rush, you can try to find your closest electronics shop. Otherwise, I’d recommend AliExpress. I’ll also be linking you to the cheapest products there, should you choose to follow my advice.

 

First of all, you’re going to need a screw driver set. You probably have one laying around in the house but trust me, buy your own. Feeling like this screw driver is yours and only yours already gives you a sense of satisfaction and independence, making this hobby yours and no one else’s.

Screw_driver_set.jpg

Screw Driver Set – Click here

 

 

Once you have this, you can start playing around with old electronics, taking them apart and discovering each element after watching Great Scott’s videos that depict almost each and every component present in most electronics, and how they work.

Second, you’ll need a multi-meter. These could be very expensive and complicated, or very cheap but effective. I chose the latter option. Most multi-meters will come with two wires; one of them is red and the other is black. The picture below shows that the offer will last for 1 day. As a regular AliExpress shopper, I assure you that there’s always a deal.

Voltmeter.jpg

Multi-meter – Click here

 

 

I believe these are the two most essential tools you’ll need just to get things going in terms of learning and discovering. The tools below are what you’ll need once you want to get to tweaking, taking things apart, salvaging components, building basic circuits, etc…

Third, you’ll need a soldering set. This will consist of the following:

1. Solderer: This is the stick that would heat up when you turn it on. It makes the soldering iron melt. Soldering gun.JPG

Soldering Gun – Click here

 

2. Desoldering Pump: Desoldering is done when you want to remove a component that is already present on a board. There are many techniques and tools for that, one of the cheapest and easiest being a desoldering pump. Desoldering pump.JPG

Desoldering Pump – Click here

 

 

3. Soldering Iron: you would need to melt this iron in order to make components stick together. Iron is used because it’s a great conductor of electricity.

Soldering iron.JPG

Soldering Iron – Click here

4. Soldering Stand: When the soldering gun is hot, laying it around on a wood/plastic table is hazardous. You’ll need a stand to lay it safely. I personally chose to build mine from scrap material using a piece of wood, some of my mom’s laundry-hanging wires and a couple of bolts. You can find yours for as little as $2 online.

Soldering station.JPG

Soldering Station – Click here

That’s pretty much it when it comes to you taking your already present electronics apart and testing them out. You might need a breadboard as well, if you intend to design things, but this is going to be tackled in another article about an Arduino beginner’s guide.

If you have any questions or anything you’d like to say, leave one out in the comments or reach me on any of my social media accounts.

مساحة حرة JUL 07, 2017
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