Guides and Handbooks
As experimental physics graduate students, we’re often responsible for a huge array of knowledge for which we never receive formal training! Like, how do you choose between LMR 100 or RG316 for RF transmission cabling? Or should you coat a D38999 connector in Nickel or Cadmium, what is a D38999 connector anyway, and should it be die-cast or mil-spec machined? Though few of us have ever taken mechanical engineering courses, we might need to figure out what is the tap clearance for a 4-40 screw, or what kind of Loctite we should use.
And we need answers fast. So, below I’ve compiled a list of documents that I’ve found helpful in my graduate school journey to quickly answer such hardware related questions. It’s in part here for me, so I don’t lose my little library, but I hope others will find it useful too!
Resources for Purchasing Hardware
There’s also the question of where to buy all of these things from. I’ve included some of my favorite go-to vendors and suppliers below, both for raw materials (sheet metal, fasteners, etc.) as well as circuit board elements (IC, passives, etc.)
Generic Parts Lookup: Octopart.com
For cheap RF supplies: