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Small lab IC wish list

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by James Foreman, May 4, 2007.

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  1. I live in a remote area and will be setting up a small lab for
    personal experimentation with both analog and digital circuits of no
    predetermined type. As a retiree, my budget is limited. So I would
    prefer not to make any unnecessary mistakes.

    Since I am putting in a single large order with Digikey, for the above
    purpose, could I have some advice on what would be the most generally
    useful DIP IC's (excluding micros) for such an environment?

    Much thanks,

    James Foreman
  2. linnix

    linnix Guest

    What exactly are you building?

    We are looking into dices bonding on DIPs,
    would you be interested in doing it for us.
  3. Dave Pollum

    Dave Pollum Guest

    As alternative to DigiKey, you may want to see what Jameco and
    Futurlec carry. Their prices are often lower than DigiKey. However,
    Digikey carries a much larger selection than the other two.
    As for chips, it depends on what you want to do. I find it easier to
    use a CPLD than to use a bunch of TTL/CMOS logic chips. CPLDs are
    still available in PLCC-44 packages which fit into PLCC-44 sockets,
    and programming cables are cheap. I also use RAMs, EEPROMs, UARTS and
    buffer chips such as 74LS245 and 74LS125 (CMOS versions as well). The
    non-digital chips I use are RS-232 drivers/receivers and 555 timers.
    I haven't used OP-AMPS in ages, so I don't have any advice on those.
    Don't forget mundane parts such as caps, resistors, and connectors.
    -Dave Pollum
  4. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Maybe get a bunch of all the basics
    or, nor, xor, and, nand, inverter and buffer
    Get some latches too..
    (Also get diodes and transistors to make gate equivalents.)

    Cmos 555's are handy too.
    Those suckers seem to slip into lots of my app's...
    No wonder it was the first production IC....

    Op amps that approach the ideal op amp model.
    ex: low offset, rail to rail, quick and stable..
    D from BC
  5. How remote is it? Antarctica? Can't you budget for an order every week
    or two?

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  6. It used to be pretty simple to select a range of TTL or CMOS basic logic
    gates (inverters, OR, NOR, AND, NAND, XOR, D-FlipFlops, 2-4 and 3-8
    decoders, octal latches, etc.) These are still solid building blocks, and
    you can get them in all sorts of "flavors", such as LS, HC, HCT, AHCT, etc.
    There are also various counters and display drivers that are useful, and
    other more specialized chips. There is also a wide range of analog ICs, but
    you can't go wrong with a few LM324 or TL084 quad op amps, LM356 dual op
    amps, and an assortment of voltage regulators. Much depends on what you are
    interested in building. If you have some specific projects in mind, the
    choices can be narrowed down.

    Another option is eBay. You might find someone's entire stock of assorted
    TTL and CMOS, and analog ICs, for very low cost, and maybe including a
    cabinet. Also, check out a HamFest. It may be worth the cost of travel to
    pick up a lot of components and equipment inexpensively.

    I have a lot of surplus components I could send you. I'd be glad to find a
    good home for them for the cost of packing and shipping. I can email you a
    list of what I have. Some parts are also listed on my website It's an old list, but I still have almost all the
    parts. Ignore the prices. I'm almost ready to take some boxes of stuff to
    the dump!

    Good luck,

  7. That was my first thought. Let Digikey et. al. carry the inventory.
    Order as needed, subject to the minimum order ands shipping cost
  8. DJ Delorie

    DJ Delorie Guest

    1. Buy what you need, when you need it, but have multiple projects in
    the works at any one time to save on shipping (right :)

    2. has some IC kits you might be interested in.
  9. jasen

    jasen Guest

    lm555,7555, lm324, 4060, lm339, tl071, tl074, lm3915,

    you may want to add some more cmos logic to that...
    if you're going to use micros add some shift registers to use as port
    multipliers, if not some logic and flip-flops may be handy.

    a 4070 can be real handy as there's no efficient way to make an XOR with discretes.
    nands nors and inverters can be handy too.

  10. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Hello James,

    I'm really familiar with that low budget thing, so let me tell you, a large Digikey order while
    convenient is not the cheapest way to go. Mouser is usually a little cheaper.
    You'd get by even cheaper by googling for some surplus parts outlets as someone else has already suggested. If
    you take your time and look around you can find some really good prices. Some to checkout in the US might be
    BG micro, Marlin P Jones, Jameco, Hosfelt, MECI, etc.

    It's really hard to say for sure without knowing where your interests might be, but
    here's a list of some basic stuff that I wouldn't want to be without.

    2N3904/2N3906 or equiv general purpose NPN/PNP transistors. You'll need more NPNs then PNPs.
    2N3055/2N2955 or equiv NPN/PNP power transistors
    MPF102, 2N5458 JFETs
    2N7000 or equiv low power mosfet
    IRFXXX power mosfets - whatever you can find cheap with the voltage/current ratings you might need
    1N914 or equiv low power silicon signal diodes
    1N40xx or quiv 1A rectifier diodes, IN54xx if you want 3A
    1N34 or equiv germanium detector diodes
    1N5817 etc Schottky diodes
    Maybe some 5v, 9v, 12v zener diodes
    Various LEDs, gotta have lights
    Various varactors if you find a deal on them.

    Some 3 teminal regulators
    317T, 317L - adjustable 1A and .1A
    7805, 7812, and 78L05 - 5v and 12v 1A and 5v .1A
    Some Opamps
    LM358, TL082, Tl084 etc
    LM339, LM393 etc
    Audio Amp
    LM386 audio porwer amp 1/2W or so
    Driver arrays
    ULN2003 etc Logic compatible driver for relays, small steppers etc
    LM555/LM556 Can be used as an astable or monostable
    NE/SA602 VHF Mixer/Osc
    74HC4046 PLL can be used for lots of stuff

    As far as digital goes, I'd pick a logic family and try to stick with it as much as possible
    The old 45XX series aren't too fast, but aren't real finicky on a breadboard either, or
    maybe the 74HCxxx series for a little more speed. See if you can find a copy of Don Lancasters
    CMOS or TTL cookbook and get some of the chips that he provides data for. That would be a good selection.

    Lots of .1uf, .01uf, .001uf mono ceramic or disk caps
    1uf, 10uf, 100uf, 1000uf electrolytics and a few of the higher values like 4700uf or 10000uf
    maybe some 1uf and 10uf tantalum caps.

    Maybe a couple small speakers and piezo beepers

    A few resistor assortments 10ohm to 10Mgeg 1/4W 5% will cover most needs
    Some 1k 10k 100k, and 1Meg pots

    I realize that you said no micros, but don't overlook them. They open up a lot of areas that
    just aren't very practical using discrete logic. Personally I use Atmel AVR and Pic micros.

    You will want to get a "Proto board" or breadboard and build or buy a bench power supply.

    Don't scrimp too much on a decent soldering iron either. A Weller is hard to beat,
    but not that cheapie $39 one they make. Get one with an adjustable and controlled temperature.

    A scope is really nice, but a bit pricey. If there's any way, get yourself one.
    Even a cheap one is better than nothing.

    Good Luck in your new endeavor.


    "As we survey all the evidence, the thought insistently
    arises that some supernatural agency - or, rather,
    Agency - must be involved. Is it possible that suddenly,
    without intending to, we have stumbled upon scientific
    proof of the existence of a Supreme Being? Was it God
    who stepped in and so providentially crafted the
    cosmos for our benefit?"
    George Greenstein - Astrophysicist
  11. Tim Williams

    Tim Williams Guest

    Doing anything with switching power supplies will appreciate TL494 or KA7500
    or one of the UC3842 series ('42 is commonest, '43 is lower voltage, '44 and
    '45 are respectively the same but half duty cycle). Along those lines, BJTs
    like TIPs and 3055-ish stuff for linear supplies, and MOSFETs from IRF540 to
    820 or so, to IRFP's and IRFZ's into the high power or high amp
    (respectively) sorts of things.

    I think you can get assortments of CMOS and TTL logic chips, for the digital
    workings. A handful of NANDs, NORs, NOTs (normal and open collector) and
    various other choice items (like flip-flops, counters, mux/demux, etc.).

    And if you want to get specialist (meaning, it's kind of like an electronic
    fetish, but interesting rather than disgusting ;o) ), you could even get
    things like 12AX7's and 6V6's, and the various iron to use them.

  12. Guest

    I agree with using Digikey or others as you need the parts, though
    buying a tube of parts on ebay if the deal is good is appropriate. The
    part has to be common and less than say 20% of Digikey. That is, make
    a "lifetime" buy, though I've been amazed how often I exhausted my
    lifetime buys. ;-) For instance, I wouldn't turn down a deal on a
    rail of OP27, LT1028, LDOs, etc.
  13. DJ Delorie

    DJ Delorie Guest

    As I get more and more into projects, I find I order larger and larger
    quantities of whatever part I happen to need, just for stock. Need a
    2.2K resistor? Buy 50 of them, you'll use them eventually. One of
    the guys in our local group has gotten up to the reel stage, and a
    digikey reel of popular sizes can be as low as $20-30.
  14. MooseFET

    MooseFET Guest

    Also if you are sure you will only need a few resistors of a specific
    value buy one of those kits of a range of values. This will cover you
    when you change your mind.
  15. DJ Delorie

    DJ Delorie Guest

    Yup. Now that I've standardized on 0603 parts, I've ordered the "E12"
    kit from vakits, so that I've got a range of values to play with.
    Then I order a project-specific amount once I've decided on the
    specific values I need.
  16. legg

    legg Guest

    Suggest you plan what you want to do, before obtaining parts.

    Electronic design is not shopping.

  17. Barry Lennox

    Barry Lennox Guest

    An alternative point of view is to recycle parts off scrap boards,
    This is especially easy with SMD parts, Our local recycling foundation
    has ex PC boards, printers, modems, and all manner of other consumer
    bits for 50c to maybe $3. Yesterday they had printers for free, as the
    "printer mountain" was getting pretty high.

    Anyway, strip out the boards, and wearing a heat-proof glove on one
    hand, I blast the board with a paint stripper gun, when all the solder
    is shimmering, rap the board sharply on the bench, and about 75% just
    fall off. Some areas will need a repeat.

    For thru-hole parts a different approach is better. support the edge
    of the PCB is a vice, blast the solder side with the paint stripper,
    and then pull the parts out with a dental pick or needle-nose pliers.

    The hardest part is sorting them out. However, I have never found a
    bad part yet. I would not want to use these parts for a proper job,
    but they are fine for experimenting and messing about.
  18. whit3rd

    whit3rd Guest

    Generally, one builds up a 'junk box' of used or surplus parts,
    and that's the kind of thing you wouuld benefit from. There
    are grab-bag suppliers like

    that sell bags of unsorted/semisorted DIPs; items #G13876
    and #G15287 and such will give you (if nothing else) a few
    moments of discovery (oh, THAT'S what this does!).
  19. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Another moment of discovery will be (in my experience) is that looking
    in a junk pile takes more time than ordering the parts online.
    (Neglecting courier time.)
    D from BC
  20. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Sometimes when I end up with a dead project, I put everything into a
    "body bag". :)
    D from BC
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