Since Summer is here the Garage gets too darn hot to work in. The Wife won’t let me take up a little spot to have a extra work area or if she does she will freak out if I leave something sitting there for a couple of hours.
So the idea is to build a Portable Electronics Lab that I can lug to the Dinning Room, work on something then put it away.
What is needed for a minimal Electronics Lab? It all depends on what type of Electronics you work with. In my case I do a mixture of Analog and Digital. For for myself a Power Supply, Multi-Meter, Computer, Solder Station and a Oscilloscope is needed.
How can I cram all of this into one unit? simple really.
Lets start with the Power Supply. There will be two. One to Power everything and one as a Bench Supply. The Bench Supply portion is going to be Linear, much better to use for Electronics testing and building. It has to be adjustable and have current limiting. This kit is ideal, doubt I would need 24 Volts, I mostly use 12 Volts. The Main Power Supply for the Unit will either be a 5 Volt Supply or a 12 Volt supply. I could use a full blown computer ATX case.
The Computer is a no brainier, a Raspberry Pi. This way I can use a little LCD or plug it into a bigger Monitor if needed. I can use a Wireless Mouse/Keyboard combo to control it and just swap SD cards for different things.
Volt Meter is what I mostly use. I can use these little meters for various things such as the Adjustable Bench Supply, and a general Volt Meter to probe circuits. However I’ll probably get something like this for the Bench Supply.
For the Oscilloscope I can get one of those Hantek USB Scopes. I could also add a XR2206 Function Generator board and a Frequency Counter if the scope I select doesn’t have those options.
I already got a USB based Digital Analyzer I can use as well.
The Soldering Station is a bit tricky. I could use one of those el-cheapo AC Mains style but I have grown accustom to a real Solder Station. Circuit Specialists has a Hakko clone called the Station-60 for about 30 bucks. I could either modify it and make it run from the Bench Supply or just slap the whole thing in.
I can fit all of this into an old Receiver case or Computer Case and have a small Tool Box for probes, Accessories and Tools.