Author Topic: Summer lab instruments  (Read 484 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online RoGeorgeTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6466
  • Country: ro
Summer lab instruments
« on: July 16, 2024, 10:09:35 am »
Found myself lately ditching standalone lab instruments in the favor of DIY test platforms.  By test platforms I mean measuring instruments/generators improvised out of random MCU devboards, all thrown together in a container, and all the boards talking with a PC through a USB hub.  Power is either from USB, or by wall adapters, so no lab power supply either.

Main reason is that it's too hot outside to add in the same room a couple more hundred watts of heat produced by the lab instruments (talking about a home lab).  Second reason is that I don't like the hum noises coming from the cooling fans each instrument has.  Most of the time is spent anyway writing software, so running the lab instruments during all this time doesn't make much sense.

Thinking of making a fanless adjustable power supply.  Or maybe just some standalone testing modules:  voltmeters, LDOs of fixed voltage (but isolated), a logic probe with a few LEDs, an Arduino with a display as oscilloscope, and anchor them all together with whatever project board has to be tested, for example by using sticky tape and bigger plastic container to keep all in one box.

Anybody in a similar situation?

Offline pdenisowski

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 805
  • Country: us
  • Product Management Engineer, Rohde & Schwarz
    • Test and Measurement Fundamentals Playlist on the R&S YouTube channel
Re: Summer lab instruments
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2024, 10:50:20 am »
I feel your pain - I live in the Southeastern United States (yesterday's high temp was 100 F / 38 C) and often have many very large test and measurement instruments running in my office for hours at a time.  My solution is to do as much of my work in the very early morning hours as possible :)

Here's an example of a "summertime" test setup I was using for a July 4th video.  It may be a short clip, but it took me a couple of hours to get everything set up.

https://youtube.com/shorts/yGqDsFdWSdU

Edit:  I also will sometimes send people to voicemail if I'm in the middle of running tests - the instruments aren't particularly loud (as instruments go), but it makes no sense to have them running and producing heat / noise when I'm just chatting on the phone :)

Edit 2: Updated link to YouTube (vs. LinkedIn)
« Last Edit: July 16, 2024, 01:02:25 pm by pdenisowski »
Test and Measurement Fundamentals video series on the Rohde & Schwarz YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKxVoO5jUTlvsVtDcqrVn0ybqBVlLj2z8
 

Online RoGeorgeTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6466
  • Country: ro
 
The following users thanked this post: pdenisowski

Online joeqsmith

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 12003
  • Country: us
Re: Summer lab instruments
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2024, 12:03:33 pm »
I tried your linkedin link but it failed to load.   A little digging and I didn't realize (or forgot) microsoft bought them in 2016.  I block all known microsoft IPs.

Online RoGeorgeTopic starter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6466
  • Country: ro
Re: Summer lab instruments
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2024, 12:18:41 pm »
I block all known microsoft IPs.

Install Tor browser and try opening that link from Tor.  ;D
It might open (with all the blocked IP still in place), but I'm not sure.

Online coppercone2

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9940
  • Country: us
  • $
Re: Summer lab instruments
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2024, 12:27:40 pm »
I found alot of fans can be improved with noctua in most equipment if you do the work and possibly add a power converter


i have a large number of successful mods where I got rid of old fans for quiet stuff with performance that is close


usually it takes some layout, drilling and filing if any chassis mod work at all. I would rather do a little mechanical work then reinvent the wheel
« Last Edit: July 16, 2024, 12:33:09 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Online joeqsmith

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 12003
  • Country: us
Re: Summer lab instruments
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2024, 12:33:07 pm »
I found alot of fans can be improved with noctua in most equipment if you do the work and possibly add a power converter


i have a large number of successful mods where I got rid of old fans for quiet stuff with performance that is close


usually it takes some layout, drilling and filing if any chassis mod work at all. I would rather do a little blue collar work then reinvent the wheel

How does changing a fan reduce the power dissipated by a 100W space heater?  Sound like some free energy stuff. 

Online coppercone2

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9940
  • Country: us
  • $
Re: Summer lab instruments
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2024, 12:33:48 pm »
Oh no for that part I just crank the AC down, instead of reinventing the wheel
 
The following users thanked this post: joeqsmith

Online joeqsmith

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 12003
  • Country: us
Re: Summer lab instruments
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2024, 12:39:05 pm »
I block all known microsoft IPs.

Install Tor browser and try opening that link from Tor.  ;D
It might open (with all the blocked IP still in place), but I'm not sure.

I use a hacked router to access the internet.  It may be possible to use proxy server. 

Offline pdenisowski

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 805
  • Country: us
  • Product Management Engineer, Rohde & Schwarz
    • Test and Measurement Fundamentals Playlist on the R&S YouTube channel
Re: Summer lab instruments
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2024, 01:02:01 pm »
I tried your linkedin link but it failed to load.   A little digging and I didn't realize (or forgot) microsoft bought them in 2016.  I block all known microsoft IPs.

Sorry - this should work:

https://youtube.com/shorts/yGqDsFdWSdU
Test and Measurement Fundamentals video series on the Rohde & Schwarz YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKxVoO5jUTlvsVtDcqrVn0ybqBVlLj2z8
 

Offline Infraviolet

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1095
  • Country: gb
Re: Summer lab instruments
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 04:25:33 pm »
"Power is either from USB, or by wall adapters, so no lab power supply either."
I can see the practicality of this, so many things one develops are going to be powered from 5V wallwarts anyway, or if not are going to end up as systems where you have a battery powering a 5V regulator, which then gives regulated 5V to whatever you've designed. Add in wall warts for a few other key voltages, 12V for motors, 24V for really big motors... and I can see why a lab supply isn't often that useful. A box of wall warts can also be much smaller to pack up when moving house.

I don't really see any circumstances where one can comfortably do without a proper oscilloscope though. A semi-modern digital one doesn't generate any more heat or fan noise than a typical older laptop. A really modern one probably genrates less noise and heat than a fanless modern laptop. An arduino with the ADC doing time graphing can be useful, but it can't match against a real scope for anything other than long time-series data collection at relatively low samples-per-second.

My usual electronics envronment is a desk with an o-scope, a line of wall warts, and a nearby PC. Soldering iron unpacked from box when needed, that's going to be less pleasant in hot weather than test equipment I suspect.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf