How much money are you willing to spend (in USD) to buy parts/tools for starting electronics?
Nothing; I am a cheap a.
 8%  [ 1 ]
$15+
 16%  [ 2 ]
$30+
 25%  [ 3 ]
$45+
 33%  [ 4 ]
$60+
 0%  [ 0 ]
$75+
 0%  [ 0 ]
$90+
 0%  [ 0 ]
Money is no object to me
 16%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 12

Everyone please post whatever tools and components you have right now so I can get an idea of what everyone has/needs to start building the upcoming projects in the Electronics/Embedded subforum.
I've got 2 PICs, a programmer, and some bags of random resisters, LEDs, and a proto board. Along with whatever else I can salvage from old electronics.

Speaking of which, I really should get around to trying to build one of those HDD clocks....
For analog, resistors, transistors, electrolytic and ceramic capacitors, an audio transformer, headphone jack, a coil or two

For digital: 74-series ICs, LEDs, 330-ohm CLRs for the LEDs, maybe a 7-seg or two with 74-series drivers, and a MAX232 wouldn't be a bad idea.

Also batteries/case, breadboards, wires. Did I miss anything?
Wait; are those parts you have or parts you're suggesting everyone has? If it's the latter I'm going to hold off from posting a parts list until I have an idea of what everyone has/is willing to spend.

@Kllrnohj: What are the 2 PICs? I know you have a 18F4550 but what's the other one?
Ultimate Dev'r wrote:
Wait; are those parts you have or parts you're suggesting everyone has? If it's the latter I'm going to hold off from posting a parts list until I have an idea of what everyone has/is willing to spend.

@Kllrnohj: What are the 2 PICs? I know you have a 18F4550 but what's the other one?
I was suggesting a bare minimum of parts that everyone should have. My own list is way, way, way, way more extensive. I have nine boxes filled with parts on my desk at school alone, let alone my room at home. Smile
Ultimate Dev'r wrote:
@Kllrnohj: What are the 2 PICs? I know you have a 18F4550 but what's the other one?


The PIC16F690 that came with the PIC Kit 2 Starter Kit (got it for the programmer for the PIC18F4550)
    Assorted resistors
    Assorted caps (mostly 0.1 uF ceramic, a couple 100 uF electrolytic)
    Voltage regulators (7805s, something else I haven't bothered finding specs on)
    PIC 16F87X series micros and ICD (original serial ICD)
    Various LEDs

That's the most interesting stuff. The only thing stopping me from really doing stuff with all that is my lack of resonators/crystals.
Which model PIC specifically do you have? There's quite a few chips in the 16F87x series
Mostly -877[A]. I believe I also have a couple -874s.
I have absolutely nothing, so once the projects start showing up, if they look cool and don't cost too much, I may start purchasing.
I heard in another topic that you'd be getting a kit for your CS 210 class; what parts does it come with?

To Everyone: Do you have a parallel or serial port on your computer (the one you'll be using for projects? And I mean *real* serial and parallel ports, not laptop ports or a usb adapter).
I'm getting some kind of Atmel, I think...
I have a PCI parallel port and two serial ports on my machine. Getting software to work with a PCI port is a bit of a pain, but worth it.

Two pieces of equipment I haven't noticed being mentioned.

- Digital multimeter with continuity tester and transistor tester.
- Logic probe with memory function and pulse stretching (these are invaluable for digital work).

If you plan on doing any soldering I'd also recommend a helping hand assembly aid and something to aid desoldering (I prefer to use a desoldering pump, others may prefer desoldering wick).

I use a Willem programmer (PCB3). These can be picked up cheaply "made in China" on eBay. You'll then need something like this if you have non-legacy parallel port addresses.

Edit: One component I forgot (how could I‽) that nobody should be without - the 555 timer IC.
Ultimate Dev'r wrote:
To Everyone: Do you have a parallel or serial port on your computer (the one you'll be using for projects? And I mean *real* serial and parallel ports, not laptop ports or a usb adapter).


Unfortunately I don't have serial or parellel ports on any of the 3 machines I use frequently (desktop and 2 laptops). I do, however, have a parallel port on an old HP that I'm using as a server (iirc, that is). I've thought about writing a simple client/server so that I can remotely access the server's parallel port, just never had much of a reason to Smile
Ultimate Dev'r wrote:
I heard in another topic that you'd be getting a kit for your CS 210 class; what parts does it come with?

To Everyone: Do you have a parallel or serial port on your computer (the one you'll be using for projects? And I mean *real* serial and parallel ports, not laptop ports or a usb adapter).
My Xp/Win 7 desktop has both serial and parallel, as does the Simms box and all six of its nodes.
I have some random wiring, a 15watt soldering iron, some rosin-core solder (not sure what size, fairly small), a de-soldering tool, a couple radio kits (one a crystal radio, the other a now disfunctional tunable radio of some sort), and a bunch of old motherboards that can be raided for parts, and some motors. Nothing chip-related. My old toshiba (XP), an old Dell running Linux, and an even older Gateway dual-booting 98SE and Linux all have parallel + serial. My main laptop doesn't, and I'm fairly certain the old iMac doesn't either.
Lets see, my good comp only has serial but jsut about every other comp I use on a regular basis has both; my laptop (xp), my PIII machine (xp+xubuntu), my server(xubuntu), and my old IBM Aptiva (98se). I also have lots of spare parts lying around, com ports , spare cables, drives old powermacs etc. but alas no micro controllers to speak of.
Microcontrollers are the least of your worries; they're fairly cheap and easy-to-find. At this point I would think that for all of you the most important thing would be to build up a good base of debug hardware, random interfacing parts, breadboards, and wires/jumpers.
Okay it seems the majority of people are willing to spend ~$30-$45 dollars on this endeavor; which is good, because I had a tough time downsizing the kit as it was Wink

Here's what I have so far (all parts are from Futurlec):

Code:

ITEM NAME   ITEM DESCRIPTION   QUANTITY   PRICE   AMOUNT
R010RMF   10ohm 1/4W 1% Metal Film Resistor   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
R068RMF   68ohm 1/4W 1% Metal Film Resistor   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
R100RMF   100ohm 1/4W 1% Metal Film Resistor   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
R220RMF   220ohm 1/4W 1% Metal Film Resistor   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
R330RMF   330ohm 1/4W 1% Metal Film Resistor   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
R470RMF   470ohm 1/4W 1% Metal Film Resistor   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
R820RMF   820ohm 1/4W 1% Metal Film Resistor   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
R001KMF   1kohm 1/4W 1% Metal Film Resistor   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
R0015KMF   1.5kohm 1/4W 1% Metal Film Resistor   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
R0022KMF   2.2kohm 1/4W 1% Metal Film Resistor   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
R0027KMF   2.7kohm 1/4W 1% Metal Film Resistor   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
R0047KMF   4.7kohm 1/4W 1% Metal Film Resistor   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
R010KMF   10kohm 1/4W 1% Metal Film Resistor   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
R015KMF   15kohm 1/4W 1% Metal Film Resistor   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
R100KMF   100kohm 1/4W 1% Metal Film Resistor   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
CRY4.0   4.000MHz Crystal   1   $ 0.30   $ 0.30
CRY12.000   12.000MHz Crystal   1   $ 0.30   $ 0.30
CRY16.000   16.000MHz Crystal   1   $ 0.30   $ 0.30
CRY20.000   20.000MHz Crystal   1   $ 0.30   $ 0.30
2N3906   2N3906 PNP General Purpose Transistor   5   $ 0.10   $ 0.50
2N3904   2N3904   5   $ 0.08   $ 0.40
BS170   BS170 N-Channel Switching FET   2   $ 0.18   $ 0.36
BS250   BS250 Mosfet Transistor   2   $ 0.20   $ 0.40
1N4148   1N4148 100V 200mA General Purpose Diode   1   $ 0.20   $ 0.20
BZX79-C5V1   BZX79 5.1V 500mW Zener Diodes   5   $ 0.05   $ 0.25
BZX79-C3V3   BZX79 3.3V 500mW Zener Diodes   5   $ 0.05   $ 0.25
BZX79-C3V6   BZX79 3.6V 500mW Zener Diodes   5   $ 0.05   $ 0.25
1N4743   1N4743 13V 1W Zener Diodes   2   $ 0.14   $ 0.28
7805T   7805T - 5V 1A Positive Regulator (LM7805)   1   $ 0.25   $ 0.25
7812T   7812T - 12V 1A Positive Regulator (LM7812)   1   $ 0.30   $ 0.30
LM317T   LM317T - 1.5A Adj. Positive Regulator   1   $ 0.65   $ 0.65
C010PC   10pF 50V Ceramic Capacitors   5   $ 0.05   $ 0.25
C015PC   15pF 50V Ceramic Capacitors   5   $ 0.05   $ 0.25
C018PC   18pF 50V Ceramic Capacitors   5   $ 0.05   $ 0.25
C027PC   27pF 50V Ceramic Capacitors   5   $ 0.05   $ 0.25
C010UC   0.01uF 50V Ceramic Capacitors   5   $ 0.05   $ 0.25
C100UC   0.1uF 50V Ceramic Capacitors   5   $ 0.10   $ 0.50
C00047UT   0.47uF 35V Tantalum Capacitors   5   $ 0.22   $ 1.10
C001U50E   1uF 50V Radial Electrolytic Capacitor   5   $ 0.05   $ 0.25
C0033U50E   3.3uF 50V Radial Electrolytic Capacitor   5   $ 0.05   $ 0.25
C010U50E   10uF 50V Electrolytic Capacitor   5   $ 0.05   $ 0.25
C022U50E   22uF 50V Radial Electrolytic Capacitor   5   $ 0.05   $ 0.25
C047U50E   47uF 50V Radial Electrolytic Capacitor   5   $ 0.10   $ 0.50
C100U50E   100uF 50V Radial Electrolytic Capacitor   5   $ 0.12   $ 0.60
C470U50E   470uF 50V Radial Electrolytic Capacitor   5   $ 0.25   $ 1.25
DB9F_ADAPTER   DB9F Adapter   1   $ 1.90   $ 1.90
USB_ADAPTER   USB_Adapter   1   $ 1.50   $ 1.50
9VBATTCLIP   9V Battery Clip   2   $ 0.10   $ 0.20
PCBMT02   PCB Mount RCA Sockets - Standard Version   1   $ 0.45   $ 0.45
LED5R   Red 5mm Round LED   1   $ 0.08   $ 0.08
LED5G   Green 5mm Round LED   1   $ 0.10   $ 0.10
LED5Y   Yellow 5mm Round LED   1   $ 0.10   $ 0.10
LED5O   Orange 5mm Round LED   1   $ 0.10   $ 0.10
LED5B   Blue 5mm Round LED   1   $ 0.45   $ 0.45
LED5W   White 5mm Round LED   1   $ 0.75   $ 0.75
LED5P   Pink 5mm Round LED   1   $ 0.65   $ 0.65
LED5PU   Purple 5mm Round LED   1   $ 0.25   $ 0.25
DIP8   8 Position DIP Switch   1   $ 0.75   $ 0.75
Subtotal:            $ 21.77
Total price:            $ 21.77


The subtotal is $21.77, and shipping is $6 via international snail mail. If you've noticed I've left a few things out, as everything above I believe are absolutely essential (unless you already have the above parts I suggest you just buy them all). If you do not have a solderless breadboard and wires, then you need to add Part No.'s BREADBRD and JUMPERKIT, which together cost $10.80. In addition, if you do not already have a multimeter, I recommend that you get one (Part No. DM-DT830D, $4.90).

Another "big" expensive I left out were the cost of the microcontrollers, as I wasn't sure what each individual wanted to use; if I were to selectively choose microcontrollers based on what everyone has available to them, I would choose to post projects on the PIC16F877 (Part No. PIC16F877-20/P, $8.90), PIC18F4550 (Part No. PIC18F4550-I/P, $6.90), the ATmega8 (Part No. ATMEGA8-16PC, $4.50), and the ATtiny 2313 (Part No. ATTINY2313-20PU, $1.55). You may or may not want to code for all of these microcontrollers, which is why I left them out of the main shopping list, but I do suggest that you have at least one of these chips as these will be the focus of this subforum (unless someone wants to post projects of their own and port code across microcontroller families).

And for those of you wondering if you need a programmer to program your microcontroller, all of the parts needed to build one are in the parts list.
Rather than buying each resistor individually, isn't it cheaper to buy one of those kits that contains hundreds of the buggers? I have a cheap 480 resistor kit (E3 series) with a handful of DIL resistor arrays in 470R and 10K.
  
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