Joe sent in a neatly labeled picture with each of the
items spelled out, so I didn’t get to play the guessing
game like I did with Rich Syphrit. Here’s his info with
each of the items and a few tips thrown in for the home
I want to submit my workbench as you requested
in the February ‘08 issue of Nuts & Volts. I love being
organized and am fairly happy with my current setup. I
do, however, wish I had left myself some additional room for
growth. Also, I have some terrific tools in my arsenal that I
think would be great for anyone just diving into the world
of electronics. Specifically, I’m referring to items 5, 12, and 13.
1) Parts box.
2) Storage bins.
3) Tool bag.
4) Oscilloscope — BK Precision 20 MHz, two-channel
5) Box of various resistor values.
7) Dual isolation transformer with 120 VAC output.
8) Power strip with on/off switch — shut down entire
bench with one switch!
10) Desk protector (should upgrade to anti-static mat).
11) Soldering iron — switchable between 15 and 30W. I
typically use the 30W setting with a small 15W tip
which works great for getting into tight spots. Soldering
station is complete with extra set of hands and sponge.
12) EasyPIC3 Development Board — extremely versatile
and easy to use board for development of PICs.
13) Two-channel USB oscilloscope/two-channel spectrum
analyzer/16-channel logic analyzer/eight-channel logic
generator. Great for capturing data on the PC (and
much more). Just don’t exceed the maximum ratings or
you’ll be replacing this unit along with your PC mother
14) Notebook — you should always use a permanently bound
(not spiral like I have here) notebook with numbered
pages in order for the patent office to take you seriously.
15) Baby monitor — keep tabs on activity upstairs.
16) Ambient data display: temperature, barometric
pressure, and relative humidity.
18) Light and magnification lens.
19) Alligator clip assortment.
20) Test-lead rack.
21) Salvage pile for old projects.
22) Etching chemicals for making your own PCB.
23.) Infrared laser thermometer — Sentry 650.
24) Pint-sized replica of my dream car — 1995 Toyota
Supra with twin turbochargers.
I look forward to reading your “Habitat For Hobbies”
Another example of a small, efficient design. Earl’s bench is also
located where he gets some nice daylight. Here’s Earl’s take on
working on electronics at home:
Here is my workbench. My experience in 50 years of electronic
and ham radio building projects is space and more space. It seems
no matter how much room you have on a bench, it still gets
cluttered when in use! I live in an apartment so I am very limited in
space. I use a metal ‘lazy Susan’ to hold my hand tools for easy
access. Good lighting is essential, also a head band magnifier. A
small rotary tool drill press stand is invaluable for drilling small holes
accurately and to prevent breaking of the tiny bits. A vise mounted
solidly on the bench is also very important. No amount of tools are
too many. I find easy access to hand tools a priority as nothing is
more frustrating than having to look for a tool you just have used
and it vanished in a pile on the bench! A place to put screws and other small parts during disassembly keeps you from
constantly hunting for them. I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here. I enjoy your articles in N&V.