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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » MusicFromOuterSpace.com designs by Ray Wilson
NEWBIE QUESTION: Multimeter + Scope
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ashyboy25



Joined: Oct 16, 2013
Posts: 4
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:11 pm    Post subject:  NEWBIE QUESTION: Multimeter + Scope
Subject description: Which do you use?
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Hi everyone Smile

I got the Ray Wilson "Make: DIY Synth" book, and within 2 pages it told me to get another book on basic electronics first!

So i've got that, and have bought everything I need for the first 12 experiments except a Digital Multimeter.

I have had a look through the DIY Synth book first, and noticed at some stage I ALSO need a Oscilloscope.

Uni-T do a combo called the UNI-T UTD1025CL
Is this adequate for the book/for building synths?

My other alternative was to buy a Fluke 179 True RMS DMM + Rigol DS1102E Oscillosope, and thus having 2 units - but this is going to be a lot more expensive.

Any opinions on the above?
Perhaps you can suggest an alternative set up which is good?

Thank you so much in advance, and can't wait to get stuck in to this whole website properly when the time is right!

If I've posted in the wrong place (or if there is a newbie section), please let me know.

Cheers,
Ash.
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capicoso



Joined: Nov 19, 2012
Posts: 127
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i would start with a cheap multimeter plus the rigol dso
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ashleym



Joined: Aug 20, 2009
Posts: 181
Location: uk

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I sort of agree.

Get a middle priced digital multi meter (DMM) and it will last you. I got one from maplin years ago and it's still going strong. It's got extras like a frequency counter and this is very useful.

I've got Rays book, I've read some of the chapters but I will read the experimenters parts to see what he suggests a scope for. I use a basic Rigol but I have only just recently got it. I have got by without one for years. If you need to check waveshapes you can get a nano scope off eBay for about £50. Or look at a second hand analogue scopes.

It's easy advice to suggest you get good tools on the first place as they will serve you well but this can cost you......and when I was young and starting out (wake up!!!!) I used what I could get my hands on for as little money as possible and I survived.

If you are new to this there are a selection of tools I find useful and I can post if you wanted. Or perhaps a tip such as bulk buying some standard value resistors and capacitors from Rapidonline. But you might already know this.......

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Skrog Productions



Joined: Jan 07, 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi there ,
If you can stretch to this multi-meter this will serve you well for many handy tests , £60 gets you a 40000 count 5 digit meter that is invaluable when you get to vco tuning in the future.

http://www.rapidonline.com/Test-Measurement/Rapid-True-RMS-Waterproof-Multimeter-79186

I have used this meter for a few years and it has helped with calibration on many many modules.
An oscilloscope is a must have when setting trimmers up on waveform shapes on vco's & lfo's , if you are starting out with noise & drone boxes an oscilloscope is not essential just yet .

Dave.

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ashyboy25



Joined: Oct 16, 2013
Posts: 4
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thank you guys, really appreciate the responses, pretty much what I was looking for.

ashleym - yeah I was thinking about a 2nd hand scope from eBay, but I am quite happy to invest in something, but if I don't need it anytime soon, may be a waste of money for the time being...

And yes, the bulk idea is a good one, thank you! I've actually ordered everything in bulk. I skipped through the book to find all parts that repeat throughout, so have got some really good deals this way, thank you.

I've ordered pretty much every tool the book suggests, but if there's anything you can think of to add to it, I'm certainly all ears!

Skrog Productions - OK awesome, so sounds like I don't actually need an oscilloscope for now. The first project is indeed a noise box (Noise Toaster), so perhaps I'll leave it for now and stick with getting a multimeter, thank you.

Nice one guys, I'm going to have a rummage on ebay and see if anything comes up for the DMM, as there are a LOT for sale on there for a fair price.

Will let you know what I come up with Smile
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prgdeltablues



Joined: Sep 25, 2006
Posts: 180
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

something like the 328 DMM from Rapid will serve nearly as well, if your budget is tight.

For scopes, you might want to look at Stewarts of Reading - lots of refurbished second hand scopes - fascinating place to visit!

Peter
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rumblin_cynth_rampo



Joined: Nov 15, 2012
Posts: 33
Location: Cardiff, Caerdydd, UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You can get away with out a scope (for a while) if you use a little amp and a loud speaker to trace audio through a circuit.

Once you start doing less of the lo-fi type stuff and start getting in to the ,ore "musical" type synth circuits a scope definitely is useful. I got my scope of flea bay, an old Hitachi memory scope its been really good and I am glad I only splurged out 80 quid on it rather than the 300 I was thinking of spending.
You probably dont need anything with a bandwidth of more that 20 MHz and you probably would get away with a 10 MHz one.

As to the DMM buy the best you can afford. I wish I had

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analog_backlash



Joined: Sep 04, 2012
Posts: 391
Location: Aldershot, UK
Audio files: 21

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

Skrog Productions wrote:
Hi there ,
If you can stretch to this multi-meter this will serve you well for many handy tests , £60 gets you a 40000 count 5 digit meter that is invaluable when you get to vco tuning in the future.

http://www.rapidonline.com/Test-Measurement/Rapid-True-RMS-Waterproof-Multimeter-79186

I have used this meter for a few years and it has helped with calibration on many many modules...

Dave.

I'm really glad that I've read this as I was on the brink of buying one myself. I'm not sure if I'll get any use out of its water resistance though (helpful, perhaps, if global sea levels rise Very Happy ).

As far as scopes are concerned, I've got a Velleman PCSGU250 twin PC scope + signal generator, which has been really useful, but I would like something better when I can afford it. When it works, it's fine, but every so often, it decides not to switch itself on, usually when I need it most. I've been on the Velleman forum about the problem, but I've had no useful answers (yet).

Gary
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ashleym



Joined: Aug 20, 2009
Posts: 181
Location: uk

PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Have a look at "Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking" by Nicolas Collins. This will give you loads of ideas for noise makers. Buy the first edition, used if possible to save some money. This wont show you how to make some perfectly in tune oscillators but it will give you some simple circuits that work well. I know as I have tried them. You can breadboard them simply.
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analog_backlash



Joined: Sep 04, 2012
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Location: Aldershot, UK
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi (again) ashyboy25,

These two sites are not specific to electronic music, but are great for the absolute beginner to pick up electronics knowledge without descending into loads of mathematics:

http://www.talkingelectronics.com/

http://electronicsclub.info/

Gary
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ashyboy25



Joined: Oct 16, 2013
Posts: 4
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi guys,

Really appreciate all the responses again, nice one Smile

OK so I ended up buying a Fluke 179 Multimeter. Seems pretty industry standard quality, best I could afford.

ashleym - thanks for the book suggestion. Would you advise it alongside the Ray Wilson one? My first thought would be to look at that at a later time??? But you tell me!

analog_backlash - nice one, these websites look perfect. Can see myself using electronicsclub a bit more just purely on layout - other site is a bit hard on the eyes! nice one Smile

rumblin_cynth_rampo - Cool, think i did buy the best DMM for now and the future for some time! Sounds like I can put the scope for Christmas list Smile

Last edited by ashyboy25 on Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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ashleym



Joined: Aug 20, 2009
Posts: 181
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Invest in some Don Lancaster. CMOS Cookbook to help with you knowledge of, erm, CMOS. Active filter cookbook- this explained voltage control to me.

Then if things are going well look at the Electronotes reprints but these do assume a lot of knowledge.

I would start breadboarding or building stuff and learn in parallel. Treat this like your old school science lessons and take some notes about what you experiment with. Change a resistor or capacitor and see what effect that has but it would be nice to remember if the difference was made by raising or lowering a value!!

The Fluke will be great but you wont be able to measure frequency on it........

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ashyboy25



Joined: Oct 16, 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Will have a look at those, thanks ashleym Smile

I checked before buying, and it says on their website "Frequency - Yes - Built-in frequency counter"

It was the 177 (model before) that did NOT hae the counter.
http://www.fluke.com/fluke/usen/solutions/plant/10-reasons-to-upgrade.htm
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