I want to thank everyone who sent in
photos and apologize again if we didn’t have
the space to include your workbench in this
month’s column. I’ll try to include a few more in
next month’s, if space allows. In the meantime,
I’d like to encourage everyone to visit the Nuts
& Volts forum where there is a discussion topic
on the Habitat for Hobbies theme. Take a
moment to stop by and share your views, ideas,
and comments on the workbenches shown here
and to add your own thoughts and pictures
to the thread there. See the resources section
for a link to the Nuts & Volts discussion forums.
That’s all the room we have for this
month. I’ll be finishing up next month with
some comparisons, suggested workbench
layouts, and (fair being fair) pictures of my
own workbench (a.k.a., Disaster Central).
See you next month! NV
■ Parallax: www.parallax.com
■ The Nuts & Volts Forum Discussion:
■ The Robot Group: www.TheRobotGroup.org
W CHOARLKLBEENNGCEH DESIGN
Can it be done?
The Challenge: Design and equip a
fully-operation, entry-level electronics
The Catch:Your budget is no more
than $100 USD.
The Fine Print:Your sole source for
items is Nuts & Volts vendors
1st place prize: A Parallax USB
2nd place prize: A Parallax Propeller
3rd place prize: A Parallax BASIC
Stamp 1 Starter Kit
During the creation of this article,
I was discussing workbenches with my
fellow roboteers and we started to
debate what was “essential” to an
electronics workbench. It came down
to the old “if you were on a desert
island” hypothetical situation where
you have to pare your choices down to
the bare necessities. It was fun and
interesting to listen to seasoned
engineers and “young whippersnappers” spout off about what was
essential and what was a waste of
bench space and money. I decided
it might be fun to extend the challenge
to you, the readers.
So, here’s the challenge details.
You design a complete, fully-operation,
entry-level electronics workbench for
under $100, keeping in mind that you
must do so using only items from
advertisers and vendors listed in the
pages of Nuts & Volts. Your entry
should be submitted in the form of a
list with a line for each item, its
associated part number, the vendor
name, and the item cost. Make sure
the total is $100 or less.
So, do you think it’s possible to
stock a workbench on such a stingy
budget, including tools, test equipment
and the like? If you think you have the
magic formula, submit your list of
items and prices to email@example.com.
The best entries (as judged by vote of
the totally impartial, tribunal of Me,
Myself, and I) will have their listing
published in the September Personal
Robotics column and will win one of
the prizes listed above from Parallax!
In the case of a tie, the first response
wins. I would like to extend a
special thank you to Parallax for their
generous offer to provide very cool
prizes for this (okay, I’ll admit it,
somewhat silly but fun) contest!
Official rules are posted on the Nuts & Volts forum.
June 2008 101