hey all, I'm pretty new to this section of RO and at a beginner level as far as understanding of electronics. I've become progressively more interested in the creative sonic options there are available thru electronics modifications and repair. Anyway my goal is to within the first year to understand the basic principles of how electronics work, and be able to casually solder guitar pickups, cables, and eventually circuit board repairs like caps, and power supply repairs. Basic stuff that seems to go wrong in the studio and live field. I've started a kit of stuff, before I give it an official attempt. Please feel free to note anything I'm missing, or could make things easier. Most of the tools are basic generic import type tools, or big box "house" brand. I understand the importance of quality tools. So I have yet to purchase a soldering station, and screwdriver set, and small handheld powered screwdriver. Also anything that I use routinely I will put high on the to purchase list. heres some pics, followed by the two solering stations I'm considering. I'd prefer something professional but not boutique. The idea being whatever I have now will still be usable in the 'b' kit, as I upgrade to the best necessary. My budget is really whatever it cost, just really a matter of how long I have to wait thanks in advance for any help and as usual brutal honesty is fine w me, the more I can learn the better! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000ARU9PO/?tag=recording.org-20 http://www.hakko.com/english/products/hakko_fx888d.html I'm leaning toward the weller only because it can measure tip temp. It's a bit more $ but it's within reason. I've heard the new weller isn't built like the old, as seemingly with most things, but there are a lot of replacement parts and both have decent reputations from my searches. My questions are is there a significant advantage for me to jump into the next price bracket. And also where does a re work station fit into the scheme? Should I get both, one or the other, one first? Am I missing something(s) important. Am I being obsessive and/or overkill for nothing. My taste ears toward 'best in class' and I'd rather buy once, or at least have things not rendered obsolete when replaced ect. I will eventually have some sort of area for this kinda stuff, where the good bench stuff will go, this is more of an "elaborate field kit" as I work mostly out on location. But a nice soldering station I think is necessary. Immediate things when I can solder. 3 speaker cables 1/4" 16 xlr ch wall plate (got a drill press for the holidays, gonna need some good bits) Guitar pickup swap (single coil) Custom wiring for my cousins modest home studio rack Fix my broken car stereo system! (That broke the camels back on me putting off learning electronics much more than I do) Eventually Caps, power supply's, solar powered batter backups, simple mic mods, clone builds, ect. I don't know what level I will want to reach but it's a facinating open world to me, and yet another way to express musical creativity. I've always said I'm a sound guy, the engineers are the poeople who build the tools. Between fixing my washer, to a bars sound system, electronnics knowledge and repair seems necessary to me as a skill to obtain. Starting at white belt, on my way to ninja!