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Testing Equipment - ???
Old 10th December 2002
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Curve Dominant's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Testing Equipment - ???

I know virtually nothing about this subject, which seemed like an excellent reason to start a thread about it.

What should every respectable audio engineer have on hand? Who makes the good stuff? How do you find the best deals?

Once you have the testing equipment, what do you "test" with it and what do you look for in results?

Does anyone have some fun games one can play with testing equipment? Hell, it's the holidays, so let's get the whole family involved.

I'll start:

I have an electrical outlet tester. It tells me if an electrical outlet is kosher, and if not, in what way. I take it everywhere with me, on gigs, apartment hunting. I haven't figured out any fun games to play with it yet.
Old 10th December 2002
  #2
Moderator
 
EveAnna Manley's Avatar
 

If I had a project studio, the first test/repair equipment I would buy would be an autoranging multimeter. Fluke's are my first choice. Get one with true RMS, like the 8060A. Always handy.

Next I would get a Weller soldering iron. WTCPT is my fave.

The problem is, you need to learn to use this stuff before you graduate to o'scopes, signal generators, and even crazier testing toys...
Old 10th December 2002
  #3
Gear maniac
 

EveAnna - could you recommend some reading materials for the gearslut that is willing to spend some time, and some more time learning about the gear we use, how to test it, and even venture into building

In my spare time I am working my way thru Horowitz and Hill's "the art of electronics". A bit over my head in most regards, yet it seemed like one place to start...

what would your pick for a dummies guide to gear construction be?
Old 10th December 2002
  #4
Gear maniac
 

Re: Testing Equipment - ???

Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
I know virtually nothing about this subject, which seemed like an excellent reason to start a thread about it.

What should every respectable audio engineer have on hand? Who makes the good stuff? How do you find the best deals?
Curve,

Back in another life, I was an assembler, then a QA inspector at a joint in Yonkers that "did" (prep, stuff, wavesolder) circuit boards and other electronic & electromechanical assemblies. What we had was pretty basic - Microscopes, multi meters, lots of home made test gear (with lights, switches, audio ,video - whatever), and plain ol' paper & pen (hey, we only had one IBM 8088 at the time....)


The 1st goddamn tool I'd recommend is a healthy respect for electricity. Then patience, then a proclivity towards accurate and timely documentation.( Also bear in mind that there is a wide sliding scale on how proficient "audio engineers" are at being "true" engineers).

Then, based on how versed one is with the principles of electrical engineering, what EAM sez (multi meter + solder station)

I'm sending up the beacon for Microsoftsucks to chime in, unlike myself, the guy is (or has) synthesized his background and experiences in "engineering" with the world of audio.


NYC Drew
Old 12th December 2002
  #5
Gear interested
 
JKadis's Avatar
 

You really need an oscilloscope if you want to know what's going on in a circuit. A dual-trace, triggerable time base scope and some test probes are your ticket into the world of electronics.

Heathkit used to be the affordable way, but now you are probably best served buying a surplus scope or something used.

-Jay Kadis
Old 13th December 2002
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Curve Dominant's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks for all your replies folks.

Here's the list so far:
1) an autoranging multimeter (Fluke's are EveAnna's first choice...one with true RMS, like the 8060A)
2) a Weller WTCPT soldering station
3) an accurate and timely documentation system (thanks, Drew, that's not to be underestimated)
4) an oscilloscope

Looks like a good start. If anyone has something to add to that please chime in. Yeah, I'm a "project studio" guy now, but I'm looking into future needs.
Old 13th December 2002
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Mike Jasper's Avatar
Quote:
Next I would get a Weller soldering iron. WTCPT is my fave
Yeah, I've been thinking about this, but for now I'm going to resist the urge to solder as long as possible.

So far, cables have occupied my soldering needs. My solution now is to buy more cable then I need, baby the gear (which includes leaving adequate rack space for the hot items) and hooking up with a good soldering techie.

Fortunately, I found a guy and we work it out on a trade basis.

I mean... I can't do everything, you know? It's one thing to test equipment and acoustics, but it's a whole nother thing to fix it.

I'm a singer, songwriter, engineer, and I believe we're at the beginning of a new era of singer, songwriter, engineers -- like it or not. The downside? A lot of people who don't know what they're doing and rock stars like Moby.

But that ain't nothing new. Go to any open mike and you'll find plain old singer-songwriters who don't know what they're doing.

In the old days, when sheet music was required to get a copyright, I'd find a guy to write out the tune for me. That's pretty much how I regard soldering now. Delegate the sumbitch.

Jasper

PS -- I am absolutely speaking for myself. If you have the skill, time, space and gumption to do your own soldering and repairs, you'll be the better for it.
Old 13th December 2002
  #8
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Jay,

> EveAnna - could you recommend some reading materials for the gearslut that is willing to spend some time, and some more time learning about the gear we use, how to test it, and even venture into building <

I'm not EveAnna, but you'll find a lot of articles about these topics on my web site:

www.ethanwiner.com/articles.html

One article explains the basics of oscilloscopes, The Hardware Tutor gives a good non-technical overview of electronic circuits, and other articles explain specific circuits including schematics for building equalizers and other audio devices.

--Ethan
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