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  • EEVblog #51 – A tour of the EEVblog Electronics Lab

    Posted on December 28th, 2009 EEVblog 41 comments

    After countless requests, Dave finally takes you on a guided behind the scenes tour of the EEVblog lab.

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    • Joe

      Thanks for your tour, very interesting indeed. All that in a one shot video – i like it :-).

    • Newton

      Very cool mate!
      Thank you !

    • Deyanuz

      Great blog! As a EE student I find your post very interesting and informative. Keep up the good work.

    • APS

      Great tour. Thank you.

    • http://truthspew.wordpress.com Tony P

      Thanks for the tour. I notice you mention SMD but you don’t have a hot air gun for rework. The guys at Sparkfun figured out you don’t need one, a basic electric skillet works great for rework/reflow.

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Like I said, work has all the gear, so I don’t have real need for a hot air gun or reflow machine at home.

    • Armandas

      Dave, what do you do when you’re in the lab and need a quick look at the datasheet of some part, or find something on the web, or anything? Do you never miss a computer in the lab? :O

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        If I was out there working all day, then yeah, I’d have a PC available. But I don’t miss it. I take a wireless notebook out there if needed.

    • Andrew

      DIY current source

      http://www.edn.com/article/CA6566536.html

      I build one to get rid of some surplus BCD pushwheel switches that were fetching dust for some time. But it works quite well, and the switches give the whole thing a nice retro look.

      Soldering the 48 resistors is a little bit boring, but might be a good soldering practice for beginners.

      • http://truthspew.wordpress.com Tony P

        Oh fun. I could solder those resistors in no time. Every time they do a kit build at Providence Geeks or DC401 I’m usually the first one done.

        I use the additional time to help out people that are new to soldering electronic components on circuit boards.

    • Joel

      Does anyone have suggestions for inexpensive low value (up to 1000 nH) SMD inductor kits for RF? eBay is great for resistors and capacitors, but I’ve really only seen single values of inductors and kits of power inductors. The Farnell ones are about $125, which is a lot to pay to get out of winding a few coils.

      • Andrew

        http://www.coilcraft.com/kitssm.cfm

        They used to be very generous with samples, but got abused by amateurs and *ssh*l*s reselling the samples on eBay. So it’s “pay to play” now.

      • Andrew

        I wrote some longer reply with URL earlier this day, but it disappeared. So the short form is google for coilcraft designer’s kits.

        • Joel

          Thanks Andrew. It’s not eBay cheap, but I think I’ll have to get one anyway!

        • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

          Sorry, that one got caught in the Akismet spam filter somehow. 2nd time that’s happened now. Usually it’s very accurate.

    • walter delbono

      thanks for the tour…

      :)

    • Cuno

      Thanks Dave,

      In shorts and t-shirt in the garage round Christmas.

      Here in Europe its now winter, snow and temperature around 0 deg C.

      I like the elbow hight table you have.
      Stuff gets smaller and you have to put it closer in front of you nose.
      I like the HP multimeter.
      It has a fet input up til the 20 Volt range.
      You can measure on the input of an opamp virtually without loading.

    • David

      Its quite remarkable how viewing the blogs through the webcam you get the impression of the lab being much larger then it actually is.

    • Kelvin

      Thanks for the tour Dave. I am impressed by how well organised and neat your lab is.

      I am wondering if others would like to share a picture of thier labs too? I would like to slowly buidup one myself.

    • Sofian

      Hey Dave, nice lab. i am a little amazed and jealous at the same time, at the age of 8 you had a multimeter, WOW, i am more amazed by the fact that you knew what electric current and electric voltage meant! never seen a guy like you. Keep up the good work.

      And yeah, the lab looks much bigger on your previous blogs.

    • Jo

      Hi Dave,

      It

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        The wife did make me clean it before the latest blog :->

    • John McVirgo

      Interesting that the previous videos gave the impression of it being a large lab, whereas in reality it’s put together in a very basic, but functional sort of way. In fact, this is the same as any TV studio where the basic setup is very basic.

    • http://hackedgadgets.com Alan Parekh

      Hey Dave,

      Great tour, funny how I envisioned your lab in a room in your basement. I would have never guessed it was in your garage. I also had the feeling that it was 3 or 4 times larger. :)

      Alan

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Looks like I’ve been fooling a lot of people for some time now! :->

    • Mark

      Dave,

      I keep a fire extinguisher in my lab. Rarely used but essential when needed.

      Mark

    • george graves

      I’d love more details on your resistor box. I really can see where that would come in handy. More info please? Or how about you build a couple, and walk us through it as an installment for the next eev blog!

      Keep up the good work – I don’t miss an episode!

      George Graves

    • Brodieman

      great stuff as usual dave!

      Slightly unrelated but when you need a prototype board built (1 or 2 only) that requires a lot of components in multiple layers – have you got any sources for us?

      found a few that will make the PCB but none really state whether they are populated aswell… (i have very shakey hands)

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        I get my boards made by http://www.pcbcart.com but I do all my own assembly.
        I’ve got a local Melbourne guy who does hand assembly for me for low to medium volume stuff.
        Haven’t gone into machine assembly yet for my own projects though, that’s a whole different ball-game.

    • JohnW

      Dave

      Love your blog. I bought the same Tandy meter at 12 years old!

      Keep up the good work.

    • Chic

      Hi Dave
      your setup reminds me quite a bit of mine, I do have a hot-air source, apart from smd rework it gets a lot of use with heatshrink sleeving. And surely there’s a lab-book for scribbling pinouts, tweaking logic and jotting down memo’s to yourself as you go?

    • signal7

      I like the solution you came up with for the SSD connections. For the longest time, I’ve only had a ground wire snaked up to the bench and clipped to a wrist strap. A banana plug terminal permanently mounted to the bench would be a big improvement.

      For datasheets, I’ve been using a Kindle or a laptop. I think I’d find it very difficult/inconvenient to be disconnected from the internet while at the bench, imho.

      I recognize those R$ analog meters you have. My dad had one for many years until I came along and tried changing the mode dial while it was hooked up. Let’s just say it doesn’t have very good input protection. :-)

    • http://ultdev.com Kyle

      I can’t imagine soldering SMD components with 2 soldering irons :P I have a Circuit Specialists SMD Tweezer (~$20-$30) that has been really handy in my projects.

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        I can

    • http://www.machinegrid.com bluehash

      Thanks for the tour Dave!
      I have a small workshop and building it slowly. maybe it will give a few people ideas
      http://www.machinegrid.com/2009/12/the-jerker-geek-desk-workbench/

    • ee

      your bench is very tidy and organized.
      but most things are very old and outdated. cannot figure out how to do a serious project with these tools.
      where are your agilent instruments?

    • chuck

      Is there a reason why a little pot wouldn’t be better than the decade box?

      Are hot tweezers for stripping or rework worth it?
      http://www.circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/7488

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        A pot doesn’t tell you what value it’s set at, you have to measure it. That’s kinda annoying.
        Hot tweezers are very handy if you do a LOT of rework. Otherwise two soldering irons is more versatile.

    • http://blog.naver.com/micomcore Hyuckjin

      For you is the best time of the lecture. You’re well-equipped facilities in the garage.

      Good JOb!!!

    • http://www.atlanta-robotics.com Jebadiah

      Organizing tip for your plastic storage containers. Take a container of stuff and spread it out on a table then take a picture of it. Label the container something like 1A or whatever and put all the pics into a folder on you desktop. You can then just browse through pics on your PC and find what you are looking for much quicker. You can also glue the picture to the front of the plastic containers also.