This is part of my lab bench (note -- wine glass required; it was after 5) --
Obviously I have my pick of the tools, it helps when your business is electronics consulting.
But there are a couple tools, that I'd be lost without.
The first is a logic probe. Back in the dark ages I worked for HP and acquired one of their logic probes, like all HP gear from that era a marvelous design. Those are long since gone from the catalog, and when mine gave up after 20 years I was about to go build a PCB for one. But first I decided, better google it, and yes you still can buy logic probes and they are less than $20. I picked up one from Elenco. Not the fanciest in the world, but it shows high low and toggling signals. But it came with a couple alligator clips to supply power. Wow, how crude. Now a days there is a USB port within 10 meters of any spot in the US it seems. So I grabbed a USB cable, snip snip, wired the power leads to replace the alligator clips soldered it together. Added a cable tie for strain relief.
Walla, instant portable logic probe. While a scope is great, lots of time all you need to figure out is --
- Is that line high or low?
is power connected?
is ground connected?