Hi Chris, In addition to the Analog Discovery 2, you may want to look at ADI’s ADALM2000 that is just coming out.
After acquiring a low cost thermal imager that I have found to be priceless in locating pre-smoke failures.
Something else that is probably a given; a 5% resistor kit for breadboarding. I find 1/2 watt resistors to be far easier to insert than 1/4W.
- and using the plastic molded jumpers for breadboarding instead of the traditional 22AWG solid wire, has been surprisingly easier. i.e. http://r.ebay.com/km3CU8
Something else I learned the hard way is who valuable paying a bit more for silicone rubber for the jacket (Insulation) on 'gator jumpers, instead of the cheaper PVC jacketed versions… far more flexible and will not fight you like rigid PVC will.
- Have a large range of sizes on hand for gripping from tiny wire leads to large bolts/terminals etc.
Another goodie, was taking the time to make some fixed current sources with LM317s. I used a red 'gator clip for the positive end (to the ‘input’ lead of the LM317) and black for the output, and cover it with heat-shrink with the set current marked on it. (simple math to figure out which resistor to use to set the current is on most LM317 datasheets)
Love to hear other helpful tips people have found. (if only Bob Pease were still here)