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New Workbench - Roll Top Desk Conversion

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Posted by: @zander

I am shocked at the price you pay for a VOM however, the one I use is an auto-ranging auto-select volts/resistance/continuity type with a few features I haven't used. I just checked Amazon.ca and the same meter I have can be purchased for about $40 CDN  In fact, there are some vendors selling close to the $80 price and some at the $40 (there are a total of 45 vendors selling this unit). Even on Amazon you need to check and compare prices.

I have used many lower priced meters in the past... usually for working on my cars and trucks. When I started to get a little more serious about my electronics hobby, I decided to research meters more. That lead me to increase my budget for a couple of meters that would give me more accurate readings. 

I settled on the Kaiweets brand and I have been very happy in the year or so I've had them. I spent about AUD $50 on a HT206D model and then about $80 for a bigger HT208D model. As you can see, they came with a good assortment of leads and each have a very good carry case.

20230227 084436

 


   
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Posted by: @davee

Hi @sticks,

   Good to see that you now able to get back to the 'bench' after what I too can appreciate will have been a very difficult time.

----

I don't really know what Masonite is, although it maybe what I would call MDF Medium Density Fibre Board. Regardless, assuming it is solid material that presents a useful top surface for what you want to do, could you consider glueing a thick fabric or felt-like material to the underside (and possibly curl up the edges) of the board? That way your desk top surface should be protected.

I have bought one of the cheap (about £/US$ 7 ? from Amazon) silicon mats. I have used it when using (also cheap 😀 ) hot air station and will probably continue to do so, but I would find it too small and clutterred for use with a soldering iron -- I could keep the work on the mat, but the soldering iron would be not be 'parked' on it, so still free to cause damage by dropping hot solder, particularly when being picked up and returned to its holder. So I think you are wise to consider getting a 'bigger space', even if you also have a small silicon mat for any jobs that might benefit.

----

Thank you for your good thoughts, @davee. As my wife has now finished her treatments, we are both looking forward to getting back to our new normal. I feel I need to find time now and get back to doing something that brings me joy... just for my own sanity.

Also... I got this from Wikipedia...

Masonite is a type of hardboard, a kind of engineered wood, which is made of steam-cooked and pressure-molded wood fibers in a process patented by William H. Mason.[2] It is also called Quartrboard,[3] Isorel, hernit, karlit, torex, treetex,[4] and pressboard.

Perhaps those other names may be familiar to you. There is a version here that has one side finished with a smooth white surface. It is usually used here as the back sheet on melamine cabinetry. 

Your idea about the fabric backing though is great. If I do use the Masonite, I will use your suggestion. That will work a treat.

I too have an eye on the silicone mats to put under the solder jobs. As usual with electronics, bigger is not always necessarily better. I have seen some smaller silicone mats where the dimensions look like they will fit the desk space perfectly to the right while still leaving room for the PC keyboard and mouse.  

 


   
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Ron
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@sticks I got the 22I. Strangely I do not see our usual tax of 12% (5% fed, 7% prov) maybe it's classed as educational?

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
Sure you can learn to be a programmer, it will take the same amount of time for me to learn to be a Doctor.


   
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Posted by: @davee

----

I agree with your comments about use of a scope ... I will be interested to hear how you get on with your 'screen less' choice of scope when you have used it 'in anger' for a while. I can appreciate the physical size advantages and need to control budget. I went for a 'more traditional' scope style from Hantek, which was about 40% more expensive, and has been invaluable for certain things, including a quick PWM / software mock up. Although, it feels much more 'flimsy' than the Tektronix scopes I used at work in the past, and has a bug or two in the software, it is still amazing value!

---

Best wishes, Dave

I too was looking at the Hantek scopes. The reviews I've found on YouTube seemed to show that they provide a perfect bench scope solution to hobbyists like myself... decent functionality and fairly accurate readings for a much lower price than the professional brands. If I had the space for this project, I think that is the brand I'd have chosen also.

I still have Hantek in mind for another bench I'm dreaming up for my workshop. Out there I have the space to tackle much bigger projects (like taking our home's power supply off grid)... but it is not really the cleanest environment for doing microcontroller work. Hence this first smaller bench project to start with.

An industry titan brand like Tektronix would be wonderful... but I'm afraid outside my budget. That said... perhaps a second hand unit that was "only ever used for church on Sundays" could find it's way into my world. Who knows? Never say never. lol

 


   
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@zander Great... winner!

It's not like any of us don't pay enough tax anyway. lol


   
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Ron
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@sticks Really, taxes are way less now than they used to be, that's why health and education are in so much trouble, people keep voting for the guy with the biggest tax cuts then fail to understand why their programs are cut.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
Sure you can learn to be a programmer, it will take the same amount of time for me to learn to be a Doctor.


   
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@zander Agreed. Governments here get voted out rather than the Opposition being voted in. It seems to be a race to the bottom... and not a very conducive environment for breeding good, new ideas.


   
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With all this talk of scopes, look what arrived in the mail today...

20230227 162112

Nicely packaged... never guaranteed when you buy through AliExpress.

20230227 162136

Safe and sound inside. 

20230227 162217

Everything needed to get started is included. All good.


   
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Setup was easy enough. I went old school and used the supplied CD... followed the instructions on updating the driver through Computer Management (Windows 10) and we were up and running.

Attached is a screen shot of the compensation of one of the supplied probes through Channel 1.

Channel 1 Compensation

PS: Compensation was not really required as both probes supplied worked perfectly as soon as they were plugged in... which was a pleasant surprise.


   
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Ron
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@sticks Nice. I wonder if it will work with an M1 Mac? Since I bought on Amazon I can return it if it doesn't.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
Sure you can learn to be a programmer, it will take the same amount of time for me to learn to be a Doctor.


   
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Hi @sticks,

  Congratulations on receiving your 'scope .... good to hear you received it in good condition.

  I just had a quick look at the support website.

  https://www.owon.com.hk/download/index.asp?S=26#owon

Looks like they have  a user manual but no software for that model, so presumably they shipped with the latest version.

   that might also be worth you looking at Ron @zander? (I don't know what it says)

----

I understand your comment on AliExpress packaging ... fine for tiny items, but maybe not for bigger items. I bought my scope through Banggood when they had stock in the local (UK) warehouse ... free delivery and less tax problems to worry about!

Happy scoping, Dave


   
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Ron
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@davee Not looking good for me and my Mac, especially an M1 Mac.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
Sure you can learn to be a programmer, it will take the same amount of time for me to learn to be a Doctor.


   
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Hi Ron @zander,

  Sorry to hear that, but I feared that Macs wouldn't be supported .. I have never used Apple phones or computers, but I have noted Windows and/or Linux tend to be preferred in the electronics/hardware world.

I don't have enough experience with the virtual machine world to know if that would help .. Linux would then be free, but Windows would probably mean a donation to the Bill Gates pension fund.

Best wishes, Dave

Probably better to find out now then have fun with returns via Amazon.

Best wishes, Dave


   
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Ron
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@davee Up until the new M1/M2 Macs, there were a few ways to run Windows software on Macs, but now it's a different instruction set so it's much more difficult. I even know people who use what is known as Bootcamp and their Mac runs Windows natively. The Mac has used the same parts as a PC for a long time now, and the MacOS is nothing but BSD Unix with a fancy GUI. I will give it a try however, Mac has something called Rosetta that does translate CISC instructions into RISC. It slows things down, but not sure by how much.

As far as returning it, Amazon is simple, I print out the postage paid mailing label and drop the box off at the courier drop-off point. No charge unlike eBay and Ali (if they even accept returns)

I bought it on a whim, so will wait until I find something that works.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
Sure you can learn to be a programmer, it will take the same amount of time for me to learn to be a Doctor.


   
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@zander Sorry Ron... I just checked the Install Disc that came with my unit and it does not contain any Mac versions.

It does however support some very old Windows versions though. That could be an advantage with finding an emulator or VM solution.

 

Owon Software Systems

 


   
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