Rich sent in a picture and it was high-resolution enough
that I could zoom in and make out just about every item
he had there. I felt compelled to respond to him with a
list of what I thought I could identify from the picture and
see how close my guesses were. This is what I sent:
Thanks Rich! I really appreciate you sending in a
photo. Love the custom instrumentation panels across the
front! VERY cool! Okay, zooming in a bit, let’s see how I
do at recognizing all this stuff. I think I recognize:
• Stack o’ Altoids tins! The electronics enclosure of
• Nice HP scope.
• Nakamichi signal generator?
• An Audio Controls spectrum analyzer/EQ back there
• A Game cube NTSC video monitor showing the
weather channel (presumably fed from the VHS VCR
to the left/below it?).
• A Mini helicopter in a box on top of the VCR
• Video monitor for Windows XP (keyboard and mouse
stored on the far left of the bench.
• A video capture interface for the PC attached to the
leg of the bench.
• Temperature controlled pencil iron.
• A pair of 6x4 oval speakers with RadioShack tweeters
Now on to the uber-cool custom panels and stuff
suspended from the shelf ... from left to right:
• Large black knob ... a variable transformer?
• Three red pilot lights for status of fuse to AC power plugs?
• Dual vertical meters would be in/out voltages of a
• Meters and banana jacks would be for testing speakers
• Next, looks like a function generator or signal generator.
• Last panel looks like an audio/video patch bay for testing
AV gear ... maybe an embedded power supply in there?
So, how’d I do?? In addition to the picture, I’d love to
know if you have any comments on things you would do
differently. Also, are there things a beginner should always
have? Any “if I knew then what I know now I would ...”
type bits of advice to offer? This was his response:
Very good identification of stuff! Most of my friends
just think it is a pile of blinky lights.
• The Nakamichi is a tuner/pre amp with a tape deck
analyzer under it.
• The AC supply meters are voltage and current for the
first AC outlet.
• The meters and banana jacks are my current project: a
dual DC power supply. An H-bridge ± supply to run DC
motors forward and reverse, and a large regulated supply.
For advice — identify your needs, but plan on your
needs and equipment opportunities changing over time.