Exvitel

Hardware Hacking Toolkit

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I am going tommorow to buy some tools to make my first toolkit. I want to know, what are some essentials for this toolkit. I dont want to spend too much, maybe 50-100 dollars...

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a circuit bread board and jumber kit

Soldering iron with a stand

solder sucker and braid

good multimeter and a set of probes

various types of 22 gage wire

wire strippers and cutters

one of those helping hands things with the attatchec magnifying glass

not a compleate list but should get you started, all of that can be purchased at ratshack

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To that, when I was talking with DG, I added resistors, LEDs, and a Battery holder.

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Alligator clips!

Just make sure you get a good soldering iron, because it sucks when you have a

crappy one like mine. You should also look into getting a reed switch, they are much fun.

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Condoms.

And those 'Cold Heat' cordless soldering irons look really nice. Although a tad pricey for a single item on your budget, RJ11/45 crimpers and ends are handy. I also keep a standard assortment of adapters on hand. Like: RJ11 to alligator, RJ11 to head phone jack, RJ11 to RCA, ect.

Other tools:

Mini-hand tools are compact and small enough for electronics work. Needle nose and side cuts are my favorites. I don't opt for a dedicated set of strippers in my standard kit, they take up too much space and aren't as reusable as pliers and side cuts. But that depends on personal taste and how much wire striping you do on a regular basis.

a set of jewlers screwdrivers

two sets of allen keys - metric and standard

A set of security torx-tip allen keys or screw drivers. Usually they are cheaper when purchased as an 'allen key' style set instead of screw drivers.

a set of security bits if you can find them

Also, my favorite 'tool box' is a Mead 'zip-up binder' notebook organizer, medium size. Get one cheap at wally world and remove all the extra junk like pad of paper, loose-leaf binder rings, ect. You can then modify the inside fabric to properly hold your hand tools and other items. Plus it zips up around the outside edge so nothing can fall out.

And one last thing. Used tools work just as well as new tools, visit a couple pawn shops before you go to the hardware store. Your money will go muuuuuuch further that way if you can find what you need. Plus, since they are already broken in you won't be afraid to use them for fear of damaging them.

There's no better feeling than being able to dremel one of your screw drivers to fit that strange security bit and not having to worry about ruining it because you only paid 50 cents for it to begin with.

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Condoms.

And those 'Cold Heat' cordless soldering irons look really nice.  Although a tad pricey for a single item on your budget, RJ11/45 crimpers and ends are handy. I also keep a standard assortment of adapters on hand. Like: RJ11 to alligator, RJ11 to head phone jack, RJ11 to RCA, ect.

Other tools:

Mini-hand tools are compact and small enough for electronics work. Needle nose and side cuts are my favorites. I don't opt for a dedicated set of strippers in my standard kit, they take up too much space and aren't as reusable as pliers and side cuts. But that depends on personal taste and how much wire striping you do on a regular basis.

a set of jewlers screwdrivers

two sets of allen keys - metric and standard

A set of security torx-tip allen keys or screw drivers. Usually they are cheaper when purchased as an 'allen key' style set instead of screw drivers.

a set of security bits if you can find them

Also, my favorite 'tool box' is a Mead 'zip-up binder' notebook organizer, medium size. Get one cheap at wally world and remove all the extra junk like pad of paper, loose-leaf binder rings, ect.  You can then modify the inside fabric to properly hold your hand tools and other items. Plus it zips up around the outside edge so nothing can fall out.

And one last thing. Used tools work just as well as new tools, visit a couple pawn shops before you go to the hardware store. Your money will go muuuuuuch further that way if you can find what you need. Plus, since they are already broken in you won't be afraid to use them for fear of damaging them.

There's no better feeling than being able to dremel one of your screw drivers to fit that strange security bit and not having to worry about ruining it because you only paid 50 cents for it to begin with.

Dammit! I already went.

I don't remember all of what I got, but basically everything that stderr recommended, and more!

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the 5 in 1 craftsman screwdriver will become your new best friend.... and because of the brand if you break it turn it in to the store and you get a new one :D

Oh and stay away from those "cold heat" soldering irons they suck ass

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the 5 in 1 craftsman screwdriver will become your new best friend.... and because of the brand if you break it turn it in to the store and you get a new one  :D

Oh and stay away from those "cold heat" soldering irons they suck ass

Yea, I was about to get the ColdHeat thing, but it looks cheap... I just got the RadioShack brand soldering Iron with the coil stand built in to the stand that also holds the spunge. I also got some screw drivers. I should have thought of the damn allan wrenches... oh well, my had has a nice pair of standard allan wrenches.

I will post every peice I got on either christmas or the day after...Or the day after that... and so on.

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A 25-35Watt pencil iron with replacable tips will do almost anythng you need as far as electronics.

Weller is a really good brand for irons like this.

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Dont' laugh, but get a good hacsaw (not sure on spelling). i was taking apart a modem the other day and sometimes it's impossible to do something without cutting some aluminum, which hacsaws do nicly.

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I am going tommorow to buy some tools to make my first toolkit. I want to know, what are some essentials for this toolkit. I dont want to spend too much, maybe 50-100 dollars...

A Dremel Tool; even the little battery-operated one. They have a million and one uses.

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Hey, then there's the box itself too. I really enjoy tackle boxes. You can be all 1337 and put clever stickers on them too ^_^ .

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I would add a torx screwdriver and some multi-coloured tape to that list - the tape comes in handy... trust me.

Tweezers or needle-nosed plyers also are handy.

And post it notes, for when you can't be stuffed finishing the job! lol

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hot glue gun super glue and lots and lots of duct and electrical tape

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...and Australias down there like `WTF? Mate?`

greatest flash animation ever! fuckin hilarious!

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A Bench PSU

Oscilloscope

Variable temperature soldering iron

Edited by m3747r0n
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Don't buy the Coldheat. I picked it up on sale at Costco a few weeks back, paid $13 and it wasn't worth even that. It doesn't get hot enough nor focused enough to do very well with electronics :(

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I have a 15 watt iron for ICs and point-to-point handmade boards, and a big 50 or 75 watt for everything else. It'll solder 10 guage house wire, so everything is pretty much covered with the two.

Radio Shack was selling a decent Kronus toolkit that includes tweezers, needle nose pliers, sidecutters, standard and phillips jewler's drivers, and an interchangable screwdriver with Torx, standard, phillips and a nut driver.

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I am going tommorow to buy some tools to make my first toolkit. I want to know, what are some essentials for this toolkit. I dont want to spend too much, maybe 50-100 dollars...

A Dremel Tool; even the little battery-operated one. They have a million and one uses.

DREMEL TOOLS PWN! I love them. They'll do just about anything.

(to Exvitel)

If you need one, I'll see if my father will let me borrow it.

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my kit keeps expanding, its now housed in one of those rolling tool boxes with the 2 wheels, and handle on it.

quick snips that i have.

2 Multi meters (digital and analog)

Digital is nice when you need to be exact, and analog is nice when your just looking for hot busses on a board. The sweeping needle is handy.

collection of leads for both, sadly, they dont interchange.

3 soldering irons.

15 watt for super small stuff

30 watt for bigger stuff

100 watt gun for HUGE stuff.

Desoldering braid and sucker

Sucker is great for picking up large ammounts, braid is great for getting the last of it.

Lots of diffrent solder resen and flux core, diffrent sizes ect.

Tip cleaner/tinner thing from rat shack.

Soldering stand, holds the iron, and the spunge. dont get the one with the iron attached from radio shack, its junk.

assortment of tips for my irons. be it for removing ICs, super thin tips, blade tips or what not.

Jewlers screw drivers full set.

xacto knife.

normal screw drivers.

small combo wrench set metric and standard

allen keys metric and standard

tamper torx drivers.

normal torx drivers

custom tamper allen keys.

drimmel with all the fixxings.

jewlers hammer (6 oz)

standard assortment of resistors, caps, diodes, crystals, bread board, ICs,

large assortment of wire, from 24awg to 12awg single, double, and 4 connector, diffrent colors of all.

heat shrink tubing and a lighter.

wire cutters/strippers

crimpers for barrel style connectors, set for pc pins, RJ-45/11 crimpers, F style crimpers

stripper for cat5, stripper for cable.

10 amp selectable voltage power supply.

basic stamp.

im sure i missed a lot, but thats off the top of my head with out dragging out the box.

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I didn't see this mentioned anywhere:

GET A STATIC GUARD

static grounding wrist straps are key to making sure you don't fry your electronics. Even the most precise hardware hacker can destroy something by touching it ungrounded.

Also: compressed air. I like the small ones that use CO2 cartriges, since they're smaller, and more portable. Another thing is, get yourself a knife. A good folding knife will help you more than you think. Don't go swiss army, they've sort of taken a big dump lately. You want a knife with a locking mechanism on it.

As for the boxes, which have been brought up, I use an ArtBin, which is an uber storage container for art students and artists. It's perfect with all the compartments, the tackle box style, and durability.

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Toaster oven.... if you want to put BGA's down ;-)

http://www.instructables.com/id/EBXC76M6V5EP28623C/

Seriously though, the above suggestions are good.

I would also add a small squeezy bottle of flux and some 'flux off' (for cleaning off excess flux/etc after soldering). A magnifing glass/loope is also useful.

I prefer to use a larger soldering bit when placing fine pitch components, such as micros/flash etc, and let the solder/flux do the work....

Mungewell.

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