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  • EEVblog #228 – New Lab Progress…

    Posted on December 24th, 2011 EEVblog 45 comments


    A tour of the new EEVblog lab, still under construction…
    The arcade machine is from Wollongong Arcade Machines:
    The Rubber ESD work mat:
    http://www.oritech.com.au/productDetail.aspx?productID=20512

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    • http://efhc.mx Emmanuel Herrera

      I like your new lab. :)

    • http://randomedia.tumblr.com Randall Bohn

      What, no hot tub?

    • Cef

      Nice lab there Dave.

      BTW: The phone block is usually known as an ‘IDF’ (interior/internal distribution frame). The one for the whole building is usually called an ‘MDF’ (master/main distribution frame).

      PS: Are you going to have a real fridge, and if so, where are you going to put it?

    • Urb Anwriter

      two really silly questions: how deep are the shelves (front to back) and what is the spacing from the bench up to the first shelf?

    • Jay Ts

      Suggestion: Add a humidifier.

      Air conditioning reduces humidity, and increases static. If you keep the humidity around 50% or so, it will be better for your health and also safer for your MOSFETs.

      If you go for the hot tub, you can just use that. Hey, this is a good argument for adding a hot tub to your lab. LOL

      • Uncle Vernon

        Sydney is a Humidifier. No extra moisture required.

    • Rugged_Cat

      Damn you Dave for showing us that lab! I’m hot in the pants now… and during a time I’ve been fantasizing about labs myself too… *sob*

      anyway, how much did it cost to set all this up? Like, getting the space for the lab and all the hardware excluding your electronics equipment?

      on ideas for the free space, I know this might not really be what you’re interested in, but I’d use a wall for computers and another for the home-made pcb/prototype assembly line I’m dreaming of building. in the middle, well, i’d probably leave it open so i can scoot around on a chair or put a bed/couch with a small fridge full of pizza and drinks :P good for grinding lots of hours in the lab.

      anyways, thanks for showing this, really exciting stuff.

      have fun!

    • vesipeikko

      Man, that’s not mess. Still missing some oscilloscope probes hanging around :)

      Anyway, merry xmas!

    • http://www.digi-online.net masterburner

      Good god, 1000AUD for that arcade machine… NICE: D

      Aren’t you afraid someone will break in and steal all your stuff? There is a LOT of valuable stuff in that office.

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Most of my gear is old and 2nd hand. The only really valuable thing is the Agilent scope. The building is secure swipe access only, with regular security patrols in an area where office building crime borders on zero. No, I’m not worried. More secure than my home.

        • iXod

          Those acoustic ceiling tiles are likewise reflective, audio-wise.

          In a large office we finally got the facilities people up to see how we could hear a phone conversation in a cubicle 30 feet away like it was right next to us. Very strong reflections off those tiles.

    • Don

      Acoustically, those large, flat, bare walls are you biggest enemy. Loadsa reflections.

    • Steve

      How about a new project for the blog and new decor for the wall I suggest Doctor Browns super amp from back to the future (pre-marty blow up)

    • http://monda.hu László Monda

      I’d like to have such a benchtop mat but a white one, so that I could find tiny SMD components easily. Anybody knows about such a product?

    • http://www.tim-barnes.com Tim

      Hi Dave,
      It’s great to see your new space evolving. A few ideas for using the remainder of the space:

      1. How about an interview space – lounge chairs, couch etc. where you can interview people of interest to your audience?

      2. How about an area where visiting engineers / hobbyists could come and work on / debug their projects? I think it would be interesting (and instructive) to your viewers to see some projects being taken on by hobbyists and to get your insight as to how to improve / fix / redesign them (“You call that a grounding scheme? I don’t like it! Total rubbish!”)

      By the way, I really enjoy your stuff – especially the design projects.I learn a lot from your process and it’s nice to see new things come together.

      Thanks!

    • http://none Allan

      Third floor?
      No stairwell?
      Keyed access to fire-escape?

      Death trap.

      My suggestion:
      1. Each day, unlock door to fire-escape immediately after unlocking door.

      2. Each day, lock door to fire-escape immediately before locking door.

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        There is no swipe access to the emergency fire escape, it is always open, but only one way – out. So you can’t get into the building or floor via the fire escape.

    • http://none Allan

      Nice pine workbench, Dave.

      Without natural light, plants will wither and die.
      My suggestion: Use plant-grow lights for ambient lighting, like that dark corner that needs illuminated. A plant-grow light is just a tube that fits in a flouro-light fixture, and that has a spectrum designed to make plants grow. They should illuminate your lab’s dark corners quite nicely.

      P.S. Those ceiling tiles are called “acoustic tiles”. They are designed for sharing an office space among many people. If you’re the only human in this office space, then acoustics won’t be as important as if you were sharing space with other humans, making phone calls, slurping soda, chewing gum, gossiping, etc.

    • michael

      Hi Dave,

      nice place, indeed. while your upgrading you might consider real screwdrivers for a change… have a look here:

      http://www.pbswisstools.com/ (I’am not affiliated with them)

      you can always keep your first and most valuable screwdriver we’ve seen as a backup….

      – Michael

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        I AM using those exact brand screwdrivers!

    • AnSc

      Hi Dave,

      Congratulations for your lab.
      I suggest at least you cover your benches with some PVC or similar. because that raw pine-wood surfaces will collect dust and dirt and then will look really awful.
      There is something called hard oil that will leave no bad smell and will enable you to clean your benches from time to time with a moist cloth.

      Happy New Year from Germany.

      • http://www.mostlysilicon.com MostlyCarbon

        Agreed, pine’ll get dirty. I’m a longtime user of plywood workbenches and they invariably absorb dirt.

    • Robert

      No space for the wee one? Obviously that large open space is meant for him so he can spend time with his dad in the lab :)

    • Matthew

      How much floor space is that?

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        50sqm claimed, but actually around 48sqm when you include the walls.

    • Wilfred

      What model Tandy calculator is that Dave? I have an EC-4020 that must be 1985/6 vintage. Yours looks similar but maybe not the programmable one. It was really handy because you could do BIN/OCT/DEC/HEX calculations without having to use a shift or second function key and it had a dot matrix display.

      • http://flatpack.microwavepizza.co.uk/ baljemmett

        It looks like a badge-engineered version of the Casio fx-85M — I’ve noticed it in a few of Dave’s videos, mainly because my father had the same one when I was growing up (before replacing it with I think the fx-85V). I hadn’t noticed the Tandy branding on Dave’s before though…

        I wonder where that machine has got to. Used to like the Casio devices (could never afford an HP!); still use an fx-7000G in the office and keep an fx-6300G in my briefcase just in case!

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Not in the lab now, so can’t remember the exact model number. It’s about 1987/88 vintage.

    • Dennis Jones (cousin)

      Is there a hacker space there ? I would like to extend a invention to the MarkerSpace here in Dallas Tx. if you ever make here. I really enjoy your post’s but would like to see more videos about PicAxe’s.
      but that just me.. Thanks U.S. Cuz. Dennis

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        No sorry, it’s not a public hacker space. It’s all mine :-P

    • scott

      those are nice thick surfaces for the workbenches, where did you find that plantation pine, did you trim it at all, or is that the stock size–

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        It is stock size, from Bunnings.

    • fastfourier

      hi Dave,

      Standard dropped ceiling tiles have pretty decent acoustic absorption. The walls are the main problem. Fill the room with more stuff and it will begin to sound less clattery!

      best of luck

      O

    • http://hackedgadgets.com Alan Parekh

      The lab is looking great! You could have a dozen builds on the go at the same time.

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    • Sam Reaves

      Hello Dave,

      Nice work going there. I have found that the 1/8 inch hard masonite board (there are two kinds here in the states, I think that the harder one that you want is call oil tempered) is great for covering the worktops and it is cheap and simple to replace. You could brush it with a thin coat of Deft or clear shellac as a sealer if you want.

      All the best with your new lab.

      Sam
      LeCroy_Owners_Group on Yahoo!

    • Sparky

      Dave,

      Check out this kid’s Electronics Lab.
      Amazing!

      http://youtu.be/aQp5kcvS5OQ

      Workbench tour, behind the scenes, tutorials, projects, etc.

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    • KJ6EAD

      That’s a very nice lab space.

      Your benches will eventually need some diagonal bracing or corner gussets to stiffen them up so it’s best to add them now before the joints get sloppy.

      If you ever need to work on mechanical assemblies with sharp edges and screw heads, a piece of short pile high traffic carpet such as found in movie theatres will prevent damage to the bench and keep the unit from sliding around.

    • Matt Gholston

      The ceiling tiles are likely made from a cellulose fiber if they are like the ones sold. N america, acoustically they should not be a problem. As far as treating the lab for filming, all you need to do is create one “dead” wall and probably install weatherstripping around the door to keep out hall noise. The key is to catch the reflection on the first bounce and not have multiple reflections. Focus on absorption and not diffusion. You can actually easily build portable absorptive panels that cn be moved around the office to tune the acoustical charictaristics of the space using relitivly simple methods and inexpensIve hardware and free software. Check out REW (room eq wizard) it works nearly as well s some multi thousand dollar software I use at work and it’s free. Just buy a $50 measurement mic and a USB audio card for your laptop and set your room up. You’ll need a speaker and amp to locate at your bench where you will sit to simulate your speech. It will work well. I imagine a couple of absorptive panels hung on the wall where the phone interface is, one on the door to the office behind your seated position, a portable panel positioned in front of the glass by the entrance door and one hanging from the back of the entrance door. In an office setting. Large natural coark tiles or framed coarkbords function well to attenuate high frequencies without appearing out of place. be glad to help further if you like -rmg

      • http://www.eevblog.com EEVblog

        Yep. I’m thinking of getting some acoustic paneling like I did for my AmpHour recording studio. The aircon noise seems to be fairly pervasive though. Noise from the corridor isn’t an issue, and there is sealing there anyway.

    • Chappo

      Dave,

      Take the diffuser’s off the lights, it will greatly help! only good at bug catching!

    • Greg

      That’s a sweet lab you’ve got in the works. I’m positively green with envy. I have about 1500 square feet of basement with nothing in it aside from the hot water heater and HVAC (and some unused exercise equipment :)). I am thinking of paying a contractor to make some power drops for me (have to be inspected, of course) and turn a chunk of it into a lab for me. Sorry to say my kit is pretty spartan at the moment.

      You can use some of that extra space for a CNC to drill low-run boards. Plus it would make a good project to build the CNC.