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Thourough and systematic information about safety in dealing with measurement equipment

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Woland, Mar 16, 2017.

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  1. Woland

    Woland

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    0
    Mar 16, 2017
    Hi, I’m a graduate student in Physics in Italy and I’ll probably start a Master in Electronic Engineering soon. I’d like to build a home lab, in order to be able to repeat what i see and do in class, and also to experiment and learn on my own. Before starting to use equipment (wich I’m in the process of buying) I’d like to learn as much as i can about SAFETY with equipment, expecially with oscilloscopes, multimeters, function generators, supplies, soldering devices and pretty much everything is expected to be used for home projects. Notes, textboos, links, really any complete, systematic and reliable treatment of safety measures and behaviours is ok.

    I have very good understanding of electromagnetism and basic familiarity with lab equipment, had only 2 courses about practical electronics: an introductory course (basic electrotechnology(?)), and a bit more advanced one in wich the most advanced thing I built was an 8-bit ADC and DAC converter. I know it's not that impressive but my university is heavily theory focused. My first post here, thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Minder

    Minder

    3,057
    651
    Apr 24, 2015
    One of the things that is usually required is a mains isolation transformer, if the electrical service in Italy is the same as many other parts of the world, the Ground conductor is referenced to one of the supply conductors, in order to create a Neutral.
    The danger comes when using an oscilloscope etc on mains, non-isolated equipment as the GND or common lead of the scope is usually at Earth ground,therefore if a scope is used on the said equipment and comes in contact with a live conductor , it can cause an electrical short circuit from power to ground, to prevent this a 1:1 isolation means is used.
    M.
     
    Harald Kapp likes this.
  3. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    11,151
    2,546
    Nov 17, 2011
    Ciao Woland.

    An isolation transformer is a good thing to have.
    Also a good laboratory power supply (adjustable, possibly 2 or more independent output voltages) with the mandatory safety labels (CE, TÜV, UL, whatever).
    A few battery holders (1*AA, 2*AA, 3*AA, 4*AA) and 9V battery clips (and, of course, the batteries) are handy when you want to experiment without connecting anything to mains or if your setup needs to be portable.
    Here's a collection of safety rules from the university of Illinois.
    When working with potentially dagerous items (even a hígh capacitive electrolytic capacitor at low voltage but fully charged may be deangerous under certain circumstances) a pair of safety goggles can safe your eyesight.

    Unrelated to safety: a breadboard like this one is good for quick setups. These come in different sizes. Get a large one as your budget allows. Having space available makes breadboarding easier.
    Also get lots of breadboard jumpers. you can use normal insulated wire, cut to length as required and isolation stripped at the ends. This is cheaper, but more labor intensive.
     
  4. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

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    Jan 15, 2010
    Good advice on personal safety. If you intend to build and test your own circuits, you'll want to look into ESD
    (electrostatic discharge) SAFETY, for your components. ESD mat to work on and wrist strap for personal grounding for static discharge. There are expensive ionization blowers and other optional gear available, but ESD protection should be considered in your set-up.
     
    Harald Kapp likes this.
  5. Minder

    Minder

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    Apr 24, 2015
    Another thing I did on my work bench was to fit power outlets along the front edge of the bench to avoid cords all across the bench as much as possible.
    Check to see if multi sockets strips are available where you are.
    M.
     
  6. shrtrnd

    shrtrnd

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    Jan 15, 2010
    I just looked around my workbench. All of my hand-tools are 'ESD safe' also, something to consider when you outfit your space.
     
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