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Topic: Your dream electronics lab? (Read 4 times) previous topic - next topic

Jonathan Oxer

I'm in the rather lucky position right now of having a purpose-built electronics lab included in a home extension we're building. Yay! The thing is that I need ideas for the best way to set it up. It's reasonably large (about 6m x 5m, or 18' x 15') with a bit taken out of one corner for a small toilet / sink area, so after years of working on the kitchen table or anywhere I can find a flat surface it's a dream come true.

A quick brain-dump goes something like this:
  • General purpose soldering / testing workstation
  • SMD workstation (microscope, oven, hot-air tools)
  • Computer workstation (triple-head system for Eagle-joy!)
  • General purpose bench for mechanical work (non-dirty)
  • Keep dirty work (drilling, etc) in separate room
  • Photography area with light-tent and good lighting
  • Sound-proofing in walls so tools etc can be used late at night without disturbing the neighbors
  • Cabled Ethernet and wifi for visitors
  • Bar fridge to store solder paste, snacks, and drinks
  • Solder fume extractors vented externally
  • Lots of overhead storage

Floor surface? I'm conflicted on that. A hard surface is best for cleaning and finding parts if you drop them, but it's not so cosy on cold days and it can be hard on the feet. Easier to slide around on a chair though.

So, if you were setting up your dream lab at home, what would be important to you? What am I missing?

Freetronics: www.freetronics.com


You're missing stock!

Dunno about the ideal location but I struggled real bad to do home electronics until I bought one of those cabinets with loads of little draws and labelled and filled them with the E12 resistor series from Ohms to Mega Ohms, A bunch of matching PNP and NPN transistors - some signal some power,  common capacitors and other doodads like leds, POTs, diodes, some prototyping board, a bunch of common chips like 555 and 741, 5V regulators and these days the odd Atmel with a well known boot loader on it ;)  etc etc

These days I have a study room with shelves and shelves of old derelict junk but every new project is made from about 90% parts from that original unit of miniature draws. I can often get a new idea up and running without having the hassle of ordering up a load of bits and having to wait form them to be delivered.


You forgot the lathe, milling machine and arc welder   :)

Jonathan Oxer


Yes! I have drawers and cupboards and boxes and shelves full of bits accumulated over the years, so one of the best things about having a dedicated workshop will be having somewhere to keep them all easily accessible. Right now they're spread all over the house and I can never find anything when I need it.


Aug 25, 2010, 02:04 pm Last Edit: Aug 25, 2010, 02:08 pm by copiertalk Reason: 1
A good soldering Iron. A weller adjustable is what I have now and it is perfect for me at the current time.

A good solid bench. I need to look for one. I am kinda looking for one of the old time science school room tables.

A good multimeter. I purchased a Yokogawa on another forum that fits my needs well for a bench meter.

A scope. I just picked up a rigol 1052 so I hope it does a nice job for me.

Misc solder tools. A solder spool, flux bottle and that kind of inexpensive stuff that makes life easier.

Power supply. I plan to adapt an atx power supply sometime in the near future.

Parts boxes I collect a couple at a time. When acadamy has a sale on tackle boxes I go and pick up a couple of cheap ones. Deviders and stackable.

dedicated computer. I have a couple old boards and cases. I am thinking a 3200+ and a couple of gig of ram to start with. Old monitors are cheap and if I can find an LCD to repair even better.

Project dishes. I cut the bottom out of ice cream and gallon jugs to separate each project. I need to eat more ice cream.

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