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What's On Your Bench?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Too_Many_Tools, Mar 24, 2007.

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  1. I have always liked seeing and learned from what others have for a
    test bench.

    So what is on yours?

    Equipment, tools, lighting, storage...what?

    Links to pictures would be great.


  2. Tim Williams

    Tim Williams Guest

    Add to that, current projects!

    I have roughly the bare minimum...
    Wavetek 193 20MHz function generator
    Tektronix 475 oscilloscope (aging a bit..)
    An Eico 377 signal generator I never use, I just like it for the nostalgia
    Heathkit (I didn't build it) V-7A VTVM.

    A few small cabinets/trays of parts, and a +/-15 2A bench supply.
    At the moment, I also have two car batteries in the room, for messing with
    these beefy servo motors.
    The circuit:
    Desperately needs current limiting on the MOSFET ala UC3844 type circuit.

    On the right, the induction heater project stagnates. Actually, I was going
    to add per-cycle current limiting today...

    And, hairy me in front of the bench...

  3. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    I'll tell you what I don't have..
    No function gen box....I use sound card or make a source.
    No pile of parts...I file my parts like documents.
    No fire extinguisher.... I'm going to regret that someday.
    No lead free solder.
    No more than 2 burnt holes on the workbench.
    D from BC
  4. Tim Williams

    Tim Williams Guest

    I don't have any holes *in* the bench, but I have spilled molten brass on

  5. Jean-Yves

    Jean-Yves Guest

  6. mpm

    mpm Guest

    Need I say more?

    Well OK.
    3 multimeters, a scope, a few logic tracers and injectors, a PC, 1 or
    2 "universal" programmers - (which you wouldn't need two of if they
    were truly "universal"...), a Pace desoldering / vacuum extractor, and
    the most important of all: a magnifying glass to see what the hell
    I'm doing.

    My last project had me hand soldering a 8-pin MSOP part for a
    So, that explains the Advil...!!

  7. Wim Ton

    Wim Ton Guest

    Marconi 1370 AF generator 10Hz-10 MHz
    Marconi HF 2115+2171 Generator 10 MHz - 512 MHz + synchronizer
    MiniVNA network analyzer
    Trio dual channel scope (35 MHz)
    Philips 10 Hz 10MHz pulse generator
    Frequency counter from kit to 1 GHz
    Homebrew powersupply 3-30V 3A with adjustable current limit (723 based)
    Homebrew powersupply -12 -5 +5 +12 1A
    3 Digital multimeters
    2 Analog multimeters
    Atlas transistor tester
    AADE L-C meter (replacement for homebuilt LCR bridge)
    Weller soldering iron
    4x Magnifying lamp
    10x stereo microscope (ideal if you are 50+ and doing SMD work ;-)
    Kocher clamps
    Chinese clones of dental hooks
    Small Dremel drill
    The usual set of screwdrivers and pliers

  8. <>

    Difficult to see, but it includes:

    Farnell PSU 2 x 0-50v @ 0.5 amp
    Farnell PSU 1 x 0-30v @ 1 amp
    Marconi LCR bridge
    Weller TCP soldering iron
    Philips solder sucker
    Side cutters, angled pliers etc.
    Savbit solder
    Philip Oscilloscope PM 3212
    Home-made mains isolating unit with variac
    Home-made A.F. amplifier/measurement unit, with step attenuator and 0.1
    dB resolution meter.
    Solartron A.F. Sig Gen
    Home-made A.F. isolation & attenuator unit
    Marconi V.H.F.. Sig Gen
    Home-made R and C substitution boxes
    Heathkit Distortion Meter (never used)
    Arc welder

    Stored elsewhere:

    Marconi A.F. Wave Analyser
    Marconi R.F. Sig Gen
    Avo Coil Winder
    Lathe (unidentified manufacture) with 4ft bed & 1.5 Kw motor.
    Airmec PSU 50-500v DC, 6.3v AC + screen and grid-bias supplies.
    Tandy SPL meter
    BBC Tone Source
    BBC PPM/measurement units (2 off)
    HP X-Y display modified for stereo audio analysis.
    Quad 50E amplifiers (2 off, used as variable frequency 200v mains
    E.M.I. 2300 disc-recording lathe.
    Dawes Wow & Flutter Meter
    Home-made audio impulse generator (electric spark).
  9. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Bench items mostly likely not going to be mentioned:
    Porno mags
    Empty cans of Jolt cola
    Full ashtrays of cigarette butts
    Mosfet debris all over
    Stack of unpaid bills
    Meth pipe
    Puddle of drool from passing out on bench
    Coffee cups with fuzz inside
    Empty pizza boxes
    Pepto Bismo
    Parts everywhere
    Roaches (crawling type)
    big unopened bottle of concentrated acid
    a television to watch tv shows
    penis enlarger
    D from BC
  10. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    hey, i have one of those O-SCOPES. i had to jury ring a trippler
    in there to repair the HV once, but the rest of it is great!
  11. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    I botched that line...
    It was supposed to be :
    big open bottles of concentrated acid
    (with scope probe cables wrapped around the bottles) :)
    The joke being something useless and hazardous on the bench.
    D from BC
  12. Tim Williams

    Tim Williams Guest

    The chemical kind I keep in the other end of the basement, but it's been
    opened many times; if you meant the drug kind, I will neither confirm nor
    deny. ;-)

  13. SparkyGuy

    SparkyGuy Guest

  14. Guest

    One VERY useful item on my bench is a "Lazy Susan" (turntable), with a
    wood top that's about 20 inches in diameter. If I'm working on a
    piece of equipment, it makes it very easy to turn it around, without
    scraping the bench or the equipment. I made it by attaching the top
    of a small round table to a "TV Turntable" from WalMart.

    One of my sons made my bench, for me, using some ideas I gave him.
    The benchtop is a very large, thick, salvaged (formerly unused)
    desktop, with a front edge that's curved. It's supported by two sets
    of under-the-kitchen-counter-type drawers, one under each side. There
    are two deep shelves above the bench. The left and right shelf
    sections are angled, so they face directly toward me, and are about as
    easy to reach as the center section. The shelves also slope downward
    toward the front (there are lips on their front edges), so that the
    test equipment's front panels are all facing more-or-less directly
    toward my face, making them easier to reach and easier to read.

    I also installed some hooks, above the bench, from the ceiling, so
    there are convenient places to hang all of the probes and cables that
    are usually used with the test equipment, within easy reach but not in
    the way.

    I can't list all of the test equipment I have. I used to buy,
    refurbish, and resell it and have hundreds of pieces "left over". In
    the USA (and at a few sites abroad), you can get almost all of the
    test equipment (and probably _anything_ else) you'd ever need, through . But beware: You almost have to go
    pick it up, in person (or pay exorbitantly), and should go inspect it
    before bidding (usually QUITE an interesting and enjoyable experience;
    recommended!). It's not guaranteed to work, or be complete, and can
    not be tested before bidding. Their pictures and itemized listings
    might be somewhat fictitious. Their Condition Codes may be lies (but
    maybe in your favor). Only a few of their warehouse sites have the
    really-big test equipment sales, usually monthly. Prices are not
    nearly as low as they used to be, now that the auctions are mostly
    "live" on-line, with much smaller lot sizes in many cases. But, in a
    lot of cases, you should still be able to get three or more of
    whatever you want for the price of one on ebay, which might make up
    for the fact that some (or all) of them are non-functional (However,
    with Tek scopes, for example, a few years ago at least, if I was very
    careful, usually at least 75% of them worked fine. But it might
    depend on where they were used. Mine were mostly from research
    labs.). There are also, occasionally, some truly-great pieces
    available, there. For example, sometimes you can find _unused_ older
    equipment, maybe sold because of the military's "shelf life"
    regulations. And sometimes you can find "perfect" stuff that was only
    sold because someone's Calibration budget was empty but their New
    Equipment budget was not empty (I've seen yellow tags that said things
    like "Unit is perfect. No money for Cal."). And regulations usually
    require that all equipment must be calibrated, or it can't be used.
    Check it out. But be prepared to "lose" a few days, perusing.

    - Tom Gootee

  15. Tim Williams

    Tim Williams Guest

    Check out the rest of my website (see sig).

    Eventually, I want to melt about 10 pounds of steel. At the moment, I've
    melted an ounce or two of copper and done a few alkali fusions (producing
    sodium manganate and chromate).

    The inverter is required to run this power level. I figure about 10kHz for

  16. BFoelsch

    BFoelsch Guest

    Here is an old photo. The bench is still in use, but the Heathkit gear
    has pretty much been upgraded.

    Current equipment that sits on the bench is:

    Tek TDS2024B
    Protek 9301 function generator
    B&K 5492 bench multimeter ( a HIGHLY underrated unit)
    EZ Digital 1 GHz counter
    Various power supplies
    Heath audio generator
    Extech LCR meter
    Weller WPS soldering station
    3 GHz Pentium computer w/LCD screen

    There is more equipment available, but that is the stuff that sits on
    the bench, primarily due to space. Closet contains Tek 7904A, 547,
    both with lots of plugins, a few 2225/2235s mess of audio test gear.
  17. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    On Mon, 26 Mar 2007 16:34:06 -0400, BFoelsch wrote:


    Please don't post binaries to a textual group. Either get access to
    alt.binaries.schematics.electronic, or put it on a website somewhere.

  18. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Stuff I wish I had on my work bench:

    * Piles of cash
    * Two 25 year old girls with big hooters dancing on the bench
    * A book entitled "Why I Don't Need a Bench Anymore"
    * Plane tickets to Mexico
    * A "You're Doing Something Stupid" alarm
    * Something that works perfectly
    * A big pile of fire works and a long fuse
    * All my parts on order
    * Self testing electronics

    D from BC
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