Author Topic: Idea: Little workbench control panel  (Read 6144 times)

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Offline Spawn

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Idea: Little workbench control panel
« on: April 15, 2012, 06:09:50 pm »
Well, being Sunday and getting bored bring me a idea to make a small workbench control panel with the stuff I got laying around from my old projects. Since I am busy with building a new workbench for couple weeks now it would be good addition to my bench.

I had some housing and couple panel meters laying around and a 20A shunt with one of the panel meters.
Housing was from Conrad and I remembered why I didn’t use it… It is just crap to cut in so I had to glue the panel meters to make it little bit stronger, but it was just perfect size :D

Anyways, when I wire the workbench I will use this under one of the shelf and probably add a earth connection to it.

Don’t mind the wiring it was just for testing, I have to rewire it sometime, as you see one of the panels of the housing is broken when I was cutting and i had to glue it, build quality is just bad:


And this is how it looks, nice and small like I wanted. There are a lot more options, like having different amp meters for different purposes but this one will just measure the current of the bench:


I kicked off the topic, bring some neat ideas, you can make one fancy as possible it is all up to you, I like small and clean one.

Offline SeanB

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2012, 06:26:16 pm »
Funny how that is often useful info..... i have an old electricity meter that I am using to measure power consumption of my computer. It is connected via a 1:10 current transformer, to bring the counter up into the range where it actually moves. Currently shows 405.7 kWH used in 2 years.

Another 50 year old unit shows the power I have used in my airconditioner. 73 kWh in 2 years as well.
 

Offline Spawn

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2012, 09:19:09 pm »
Yeah SeanB, I am more in to Electrics (profession wise too)  than Electronics. I was thinking to make one with a 220V socket and second current meter so I can measure household things, but I am not sure about the accuracy about these China made panel meters, so I keep using this for that with my trusted multimeters:



Offline T4P

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2012, 11:06:40 pm »
I am building a big arse switch panel ( quite possibly the ones you see in racing cars , with the flip up guard )
with 13Amps current meters and a 250V panel voltmeter
 

Offline Spawn

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 01:51:52 am »
I was just checking the photo's I posted in start, and that circuit breaker button looks like really big because of the camera angle, but in real it is a lot smaller.

Anyways this is how it should look like when it is mounted on the bench, sorry for the mess I have a lot more to put on my new bench and I don’t know where I should put them, so playing around a bit with the equipment spot before I get definitive layout.


Offline Psi

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 07:11:52 am »
Nice job.

I also have a workbench control panel, but i never thought to add voltage/current display.
Mine is just for switching things on/off.

There are 4 outputs, output A is a hardwired 8way powerstrip. B,C,D are single mains sockets on the back of the box.


« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 07:15:10 am by Psi »
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline Spawn

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 11:10:54 am »
Looking good there Psi, I don’t have that much equipment staying on at same time so I thought a 15A switch is enough for everything. Each group is protected with 16A in our houses anyways and the wiring in the panel for mains is 2.5mm² and for the panel meters only 1mm² which is more than enough.

Having a voltage and current meter don’t add that much I guess, but it is nice to see how much current is flowing, and our mains voltage is changing a lot, for example it was 228V when I took the photo on normal hours and 231V in the night, it is just nice add on.
But like I said in first post I want an earth terminal too, it is essential to have one on a workbench .

Offline SeanB

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 07:29:42 pm »
Funny enough I am looking at reducing to produce an old ferroresonant UPS, which has some nice 75mm square meters for voltage and current. Moving iron units, will look nice as bench metering if i can get a case to fit ( will have to shop at electrical wholesalers to get one, and it probably will not be cheap). I should get 300kg of metal out of this unit, scrapped because the controller board fried 100 2N3773's. Has 100uF of output capacitance.
 

Offline Spawn

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2012, 12:16:56 am »
SeanB, I am assuming those panel meters are analog ones, which I love to see. I got around 30 wrist watches and only 2 of those are digital, I just like dials and such but when it comes to measuring my favor goes to digital digits just to read things faster, but on a control panel the analog ones would look nice. i got weird taste i guess… go figure :P

Offline ivan747

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2012, 02:16:06 am »
A bit off topic, but nice bench. What kind of wood are you using for it?
 

Offline Spawn

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2012, 03:39:27 am »
Thanks, but do I dare to tell?

Lol :D , it is high quality plated HDF (High-Density Fibreboard), it was a quite expensive closet in its life before this one, the bench itself is the door and the shelf’s are the side plates of the closet, the white board on the wall was the back plate of the closet. The closet was taken apart long time ago and was sitting in the garage because we had different color furniture.

I needed a really high quality wood because of the weight I am putting on, like I mentioned in another topic the power supply in the middle is 40kg.

Offline ivan747

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2012, 08:00:05 pm »
Thanks, but do I dare to tell?

Lol :D , it is high quality plated HDF (High-Density Fibreboard), it was a quite expensive closet in its life before this one, the bench itself is the door and the shelf’s are the side plates of the closet, the white board on the wall was the back plate of the closet. The closet was taken apart long time ago and was sitting in the garage because we had different color furniture.

I needed a really high quality wood because of the weight I am putting on, like I mentioned in another topic the power supply in the middle is 40kg.

Good luck finding that in this small island I live in. I'll stick to pine or some cheap locally produced wood for mine. But, nice bench.
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2012, 08:25:48 pm »
Thanks, but do I dare to tell?

Lol :D , it is high quality plated HDF (High-Density Fibreboard), it was a quite expensive closet in its life before this one, the bench itself is the door and the shelf’s are the side plates of the closet, the white board on the wall was the back plate of the closet. The closet was taken apart long time ago and was sitting in the garage because we had different color furniture.

I needed a really high quality wood because of the weight I am putting on, like I mentioned in another topic the power supply in the middle is 40kg.

Good luck finding that in this small island I live in. I'll stick to pine or some cheap locally produced wood for mine. But, nice bench.

30mm pine supported at 18" centers will take plenty of weight. Most people can stand on it, actually.
 

Offline Spawn

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2012, 01:05:00 pm »

Good luck finding that in this small island I live in. I'll stick to pine or some cheap locally produced wood for mine. But, nice bench.

Sorry to hear that, I hope you come across something nice  :)

Offline robrenz

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2012, 01:17:12 pm »
Almost any straight grained solid wood will "long term sag" less as a shelf than any man made wood concoction (MDF, HDF, particle board, flake board, plywood, etc)

Online Monkeh

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2012, 01:39:41 pm »
Almost any straight grained solid wood will "long term sag" less as a shelf than any man made wood concoction (MDF, HDF, particle board, flake board, plywood, etc)

On the other hand, appropriately supported plywood or OSB can handle significantly more distributed weight than most softwood due to the lack of defects. All materials have their uses and +/- points. :)
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2012, 04:06:30 pm »
I use plain shutterply as shelving a lot, it is a lot better thickness for thickness than pretty much anything else.  I also brace the back end with an aluminium u channel used as the attachment to the backing. Makes it a lot more rigid, and is relatively unobtrusive.
 

Offline Spawn

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2012, 05:43:12 am »
Installed the control panel yesterday and it works good, current meter overshoots when I turn on anything. Reading is also not accurate, it reads 20mA less but that is not that important, for its price it works okay.

 I never expected that all my power supply together draws 1A unloaded. So it is still nice to see how much your bench consumes :P 

Here a couples seconds video about overshooting:


Online Monkeh

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Re: Idea: Little workbench control panel
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2012, 02:04:59 pm »
The readings will be pretty worthless on unloaded PSUs. Power factor is probably down in Australia being kicked by a Kangaroo.
 


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