Picking the right tools

We were recently asked to review a new bench power supply, and we realized that this would be a great opportunity to talk about picking the right tools for the job.

Before receiving Yescom's fancy $100 power supply, we'd spent years working with a salvaged power supply. Instead of  variable 0-30V, it was fixed at 12V. Instead of 5 Amp max, ours peaked at 2. And our old one definitely didn't have a display showing how much current the circuit is drawing. The Yescom power supply was a HUGE upgrade that's saved us a lot of time.

But there was one thing our power supply had going for it - it was free. And so, for a long time, we were able to invest the money we'd saved on the tool into parts - Arduinos, LEDs, and lots of duct tape.

There comes a point in every hacker's life where salvaged tools and duct tape aren't enough, where the limitations of your tools prevent you from building to your full potential. But, like photographers and cameras, or gamers and video cards, we're subject to a lot of marketing that tells us "This new tool is all you need to become better!" - which simply isn't the case (just take a look at these photos taken on an ancient iPhone 4s). Tools make you more efficient, and make your life easier - but they don't make you a better maker.

Yescom's power supply offers a lot of useful features for a good price. If you have the money to spend and work on enough projects that the money spent is worth the time saved, go for it - it's a great investment.

If you're still sharpening your skills and working on projects for fun, don't worry about spending all of your money on professional tools just yet. Heck, go ahead and make your own power supply - you'll learn a ton along the way!