Kook Hacks when the Surf Sucks

Lab Gear

There is no such thing as the Ideal Hacking Laboratory!    No matter how fast your oscilloscope is, or precise your multi-meter, how big your monitor, how hot your iron, how large your isolations transformer, there is always more to get that will make your hacking, and fixing, and tinkering better.    Not that we can’t have fun trying!!   Just like searching for the ideal surf break, or the perfect golf club, the ideal laboratory is something every hacker strives for.    The list below is all the major gear in my Laboratory.     As you can see, it is a work in progress, but will grow as the blogs, the projects, the lay days continue.        Drop me a note if you have a question.      Maybe we can trade.

The latest equipment is listed first:

De-soldering Iron:

Anyone who has ever de-caped a power supply or piece of gear knows that desoldering is a pain.     And while it can be therapeutic to just sit and de-solder, I would rather spend my time creating.  So I splurged on a well recommended de-soldering Iron.  If you want a awesome Youtube video on different de-soldering tools, check out Mr. Carlson’s Lab video

Hakko FR-300 Desoldering Iron

Features & Benefits

  • N50 Series desoldering nozzles optimize performance
  • Easy-to-clean solder recovery chamber minimizes maintenance and reduces waste
  • Fast release tool for the quick-change nozzle system
  • Closed-loop sensor integrated heating system for improved thermal performance
  • Compatible with lead-free solders
  • Ergonomic grip design to minimize stress on your hand and wrist
  • Unique pump design that lowers vibration and noise, but improves vacuum pressure and flow
  • Easy-to-use adjustable temperature control built into the handle
  • Includes storage case and maintenance accessories

Oscilloscope 1:

I just acquired this in 2017 and it is actually the best, fastest oscilloscope I have ever worked with.       It is amazing what you can pick up on Ebay these days for just a little money.   when this was new, it cost close to $20k,    I picked it up for less than $500 on Ebay.

Tektronix TDS754A 

2 GHz sampling, 500MHz,  4 channel, digital

Features & Benefits

  • InstaVu™ Acquisition (up to 400,000 wfms/sec)
  • 500 MHz Bandwidth (TDS754A/744A/724A); 1 GHz (TDS784A/782A)
  • Sample Rates to 2 GS/s (TDS782A/754A/744A)
  • 4 Input Channels (TDS784A/754A/744A)
  • Pulse Width, 1 ns Glitch; Runt, Pattern, State, Triggering
  • 1 mV/div -10 V/div Sensitivity
  • Infinite and Variable Persistence
  • Color Grading
  • Record Lengths to 500,000 Points
  • 8-Bit Vertical Resolution and up to 13 Bits with HiRes
  • High­Resolution Color Monitor
  • 3.5­Inch DOS Floppy Disk Drive (Standard)
  • Vertical Accuracy to 1%
  • Slew Rate, Setup & Hold Violation, and Time-Out Triggers
  • Waveform Pass/Fail Testing
  • Advanced Signal Processing Functions
  • 25 Automatic Measurements
  • Full GPIB Programmability
  • VGA Output
  • Direct Readout in “Amperes” and “Watts” using P5200 and TCP202 Probes
  • Channel Deskew
  • HP Deskjet Printer Support

Power Supply 1


A super basic single output power supply I picked up on Amazon for $46, but now the part is closer to $90.  I would recommend it for $46, but not $90.  I bet you can find something better for $90 on Ebay.    The model is the FCH Digital Adjustable Regulated Stabilizer DC Power Supply (30V 5A).       This won’t be good for low noise measurements, as I see switching frequency artifacts on the output, but for a basic power supply you could do worse.

Product features

  • Rate Output:10A: 0~30V,0~10A / 5A:0~30V,0~5A
  • Dimensions: (10.15 x 4.96 x 6.18)” / (25.8 x 12.6 x 15.7)cm(L x W x H)
  • Display: 3 LED Display Adjustable: Yes Plug: U.S Standard
  • Auto shift between voltage stabilization and current stabilization
  • With 4pcs potentiometers, respectively for output voltage and output current
%d bloggers like this: