The instruments necessary for Make-at-Home projects are listed below with comment as Basic or Important or Optional keyword, which means that,
BASIC : very much required and affordable
IMPORTANT : having this tool is advantageous
OPTIONAL : may be purchased later
A measuring scale made up of Stainless Steel is generally called as Steel-rule. The steel rules are generally available in standard lengths of 150mm (15cm) or 300mm (30cm) or 500mm (50cm) or 1000mm (1m).
The steel rules are more comfortable for measuring lengths, than plastic scales. The steel rules are also helpful to cut general purpose PCBs, card boards, plastic sheets, foam sheets etc., while making cabinets for circuits.
The most convenient and useful size is 300mm (12") steel rule shown below. (BASIC)
ELECTRICAL TESTER :
The electrical tester, seems to be a small screw driver, is one of the important tool for testing the presence of mains power supply. It is also useful to check leakage of mains power (phase line) to any component of the circuit( like transformer core, output lines etc.). You have to connect the tip (test probe) of the electrical tester to the mains (phase) and touch the other end. A light in the transparent sleeve glows to indicate the presence of the high voltage. This is very useful tool to check the leakage into your circuit, if the circuit is connected to mains power. (BASIC)
CONTINUTITY TESTER :
A continuity tester, as its name implies, tests the continuity between two ends of conductors (wires). It is simple in construction and usage. One end of the continuity tester holds a small battery, an LED and resistance in series, with a probe. The other end is connected to another probe with a flexible wire. When the two probes are connected to two ends of conductor to be tested, the LED glows, if there is no breakage , in between, else the LED does not glow, if there is dis-continuity in the conductor. (BASIC)
The highly used and useful instrument in electronics is, no doubt, a Multi-meter. As the name implies, the multi-meter can be used for testing multiple parameters and its values
The following parameters can be tested, using a general/standard multi-meter.
1) AC volts 2) DC volts 3) DC current 4) Resistance 5) Continuity (with beep) etc.
Some multi-meters have more features than listed above, like;
1) Frequency 2) Transistor 3) Capacitance 4) Inductance etc.
The selection of parameters with accuracy and range of values varies for the multi-meters. The price of a multi-meter depends on the number of features / parameters it can measure and accuracy in displaying the measures value. Again, the price is also dependent on selection of range, like manual selection or auto selection.
As a novice, a basic model with manual selection multi-meter is sufficient for the purpose. (BASIC)
For an expert, more features / parameters with higher accuracy and auto range selection is preferred.(IMPORTANT)
A manual range selection and auto range selection multi-meters are shown below as reference:
LOGIC PROBE :
A Logic probe is very useful instrument to know the status of digital circuits and its behavior by reading input and output of any component in a circuit. The power supply for the logic probe is used from the circuit under test and the test probe is touched to the required point on the circuit to know the logic state. LED indicators are used to show the logic state on the logic probe. Some logic probes can save the logic data, which may be used for analysing it afterwards. (IMPORTANT)
An Oscilloscope is very useful instrument to know the wave-forms. But, it is costly instrument and requires basic knowledge in electronics. It is not required for the new learners (novice). It becomes essential for experts to have exact behavior of output w.r.t. input signals. (OPTIONAL)
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