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The Ultimate Starter Tool Kit

Items included in the Ultimate Starter Tool Kit

(There may be variations/exceptions for kits packed for international shipments.)

Electronic digital multimeter

  • Serviceable & handy.
  • 3-1/2 digit
  • DC voltage, 5 ranges, 100uV min to 1000V max
  • AC voltage, 2 ranges, 100mV min to 750V max
  • DC current, 5 ranges, 100uA min to 10A max
  • Resistance, 5 ranges, 0.1 ohm min to 2M ohm max
  • diode test, 2.4V @ 1.5mA, displays Vf drop in mV
  • hFE tests (PNP, NPN) with sockets, hFE from 1 to 1000
  • includes leads and starter 9V battery (i.e. useful battery not included)
  • user's manual (barest minimum)
Electronic digital multimeter

Soldering

  • 30W soldering iron (choose 110V or 220V)
  • Reel of tin-lead solder in dispenser pack (Solder is removed from packs shipping to EU)
  • Fold-out soldering iron holder
  • The support tab doesn't pop up and down, you bend out the center as shown, and pack it back in the case in the bent position (it fits that way)
30W soldering iron

Soldering Helpers

  • Full-size (9-1/2") solder removal vacuum pump
  • Three-piece soldering tool set.
Soldering Helpers

Full-size (9-1/2") solder removal vacuum pump

Shipped and stored in "locked" position with plunger frozen. Must be unlocked before use and locked before storage

  • To unlock, press down on the plunger while pulling out the yellow button
    • yellow button sometimes sticks, requiring some back-and-forth motion to release the plunger
  • To lock, press down on the plunger while pushing in the yellow button
  • To clean:
    • grab the back of the blue barrel and twist counter-clockwise to unlock back of barrel - shake out solder waste
    • wipe plunger with disposable wipe
    • lubricate o-ring on plunger with petroleum jelly before re-assembling
  • To remove solder:
    • cock pump by pushing in plunger until piston (metal rod in center of plunger) catches.
    • thoroughly heat solder joint to be vacuumed
    • with soldering iron in place on joint, move tip of vacuum close to joint
    • in a single motion, remove iron and place vacuum over joint and press release button - solder is gone!
      - DO NOT allow vacuum tip to touch soldering iron tip.

Three-piece soldering tool set

  • straight spludger tip and split-round wire setting tip
  • amazing tool for holding and bending wire leads before and during soldering
  • straight spludger is great for piercing materials, opening-up holes in boards, etc.
  • slanted spludger tip and angled cutting tip
  • this is the perfect tool for trimming PCB traces and just cutting anything within arm's length.
  • slanted spludger is the "gold standard" for marking, scratching and manipulating parts.
  • straight cutting tip and wire brush tip
    • this is a great tool for cleaning up joints. Once you have a tiny wire brush in your kit, it's amazing how many things seem to "need" brushing.
  • Laminated component identification card
    • Often imitated, never duplicated. Now in a durable plastic jacket.

Screwdrivers

An essential collection of the screwdrivers:

  • #0 Philips head 5-1/2" screwdriver
  • 1/8" blade standard 5-1/2" screwdriver
  • #1 Philips head 7-1/4" screwdriver
  • 3/16" blade standard 7-1/4" screwdriver
Screwdrivers

Neon-bulb AC power tester (110V & 220V)

Includes very tiny neon bulb in the handle that glows very faintly if you touch the tip to the hot side of an AC high voltage while your finger is touching the brass slug on the back.

  • Not incredibly reliable. If you don't see the glow, don't assume everything's O.K., you might need to unscrew the brass slug and burnish the internal resistor to get it working again. Don't bet your life on this tool.

Pliers, Cutters, Tweezers

  • 5" diagonal cutters with spring return
  • 5" needle nose pliers (serrated grip) with integral wire cutter and spring return
  • 4-1/2" fine-tip tweezers
Pliers, Cutters, Tweezers

Combination Tool

  • Wire stripper
  • Screw cutter
  • Terminal crimper
    This is the bad apple in the bunch. Most of them are O.K., but we've found a couple that were poorly finished - so poorly finished that they don't do ANY of the functions listed above. So, you may ask, why didn't we just remove the tool? Well, because it's useful and it's easily fixed in about a minute with a metal file. If you don't want to do that but you like the rest of the kit, take a chance on having to toss this tool or giving it to a friend to touch up for you.
Combination tool

Case

  • Custom-fitted 10-1/2" x 7-1/4" x 2" fabric case with heavy-duty zipper and strap.Yes, it looks just this great in person. The strap folds in or out of the case. The case fabric is some polypropylene composite, even though it looks like rip-stop nylon - but even up close it's a convincing look-alike. The zipper seems to be much more durable than it needs to be, the piping and stitching has been really good on all of the kits we've handled.
Case
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