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Equipment Purchase

Task: Equipment Purchase

Assigned To: 
Due Date: 
Wednesday, Jan 1

I've type up some basic equipment our lab should have. There are many other things that I'm sure you will think of. Please add them here and Jon can make the order.


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Main sources...


Harbor Freight





Repair kits

Note: likely go with Rosewill 45 piece, 2-3 of these


Anti-static wrist straps (Amazon)


Nitrile Work Gloves, 2 sm, 3 med, 2 large (harbor freight)

Zip ties, 5” (harbor freight)

Multimeter (harbor freight)


USB hub (ebay or REPC)

Universal laptop charger set (ebay or repc)


surge protectors (harbor freight?)


Large metal power strip for work bench (harbor freight)


Duct tape (harbor freight)


Power supply tester


Motherboard POST code tester card


Screwdriver set (for laptops, smaller electronics)



External USB adapter for SATA/IDE drives






cable crimper (amazon)


Bulk CAT5 cable


Cable tester

USB to serial converter

Console cable (serial to UTP rollover RJ-45) (eBay)


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I would recommend that we buy a few of those cheap Harbor Freight (about $8.00 each) DMMs (Digital Multi Multimeter).  Two might be enough for now.  One is not enough.  We need these to test CMOS batteries, & other voltages.

Also, a spindle of DVD-Rs for burning xubuntu & occasionally Debian onto, etc.




I recommend we don't shop RE-PC nor Amazon. RE-PC is a high-margin shop. Anything we might buy there is something on which we can almost certainly get a better deal elsewhere. For secondhand hardware (stuff we're not likely to get donated but might need) I recommend 3R or the Computer Recycling Service on 74th and Aurora (not the one inside Seattle Laptop).

Amazon I object to just because they are a Creepy Monster Company. I personally won't do business with them due to their business practices, labor relations, and other shenanigans I won't go into. Also, anything you might buy from Amazon you can probably get cheaper elsewhere; it's not 1997 anymore, there's many online retailers to choose from. In particular, if we're buying a large number of anything, there's Alibaba.

As far as things we need, first on my list of recommends is more shelving. We also could use a rack for any of those servers we're planning to keep and use. 3R is probably our best bet there, they get lots of server stuff. If we're getting cable crimpers &c. then I recommend a good tester / tone generator. One should be enough. Also a few extra strippers, as newbie cable makers will do a lot more stripping than crimping (ask me how I know...)

Instead of zipties, I recommend velcro cable ties. They are reusable, easier to remove, and less likely to crimp cables. Zipties are good for permanent cable stays, but IME cable runs are never as permanent as you think they will be...

If we're going for a usb-to-serial, how about JTAG as well? We'll want that if we wind up doing any serious hardware hacking- reviving bricked embedded devices and such.

Should we set up a soldering station? Iron, desolderer, vises, magnifier, etc.

Welp, that's all I got.


Sounds good to me.