How to Setting up a home lab

Chapter 1.2 Setting up a home lab

Lessons In Electric Circuits Volume VI – Experiments Book
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Lessons In Electric Circuits Volume VI – Experiments Book

  • 1.2. SETTING UP A HOME LAB31.2Setting up a home labIn order to build the circuits described in this volume, you will need a small work area, aswell as a few tools and critical supplies. This section describes the setup of a home electronicslaboratory.1.2.1Work areaA work area should consist of a large workbench, desk, or table (preferably wooden) for per-forming circuit assembly, with household electrical power (120 volts AC) readily accessible topower soldering equipment, power supplies, and any test equipment. Inexpensive desks in-tended for computer use function very well for this purpose. Avoid a metal-surface desk, as theelectrical conductivity of a metal surface creates both a shock hazard and the very distinct pos-sibility of unintentional ”short circuits” developing from circuit components touching the metaltabletop. Vinyl and plastic bench surfaces are to be avoided for their ability to generate andstore large static-electric charges, which may damage sensitive electronic components. Also,these materials melt easily when exposed to hot soldering irons and molten solder droplets.If you cannot obtain a wooden-surface workbench, you may turn any form of table or deskinto one by laying a piece of plywood on top. If you are reasonably skilled with woodworkingtools, you may construct your own desk using plywood and 2x4 boards.The work area should be well-lit and comfortable. I have a small radio set up on my ownworkbench for listening to music or news as I experiment. My own workbench has a ”powerstrip” receptacle and switch assembly mounted to the underside, into which I plug all 120volt devices. It is convenient to have a single switch for shutting off allpower in case of anaccidental short-circuit!1.2.2ToolsA few tools are required for basic electronics work. Most of these tools are inexpensive and easyto obtain. If you desire to keep the cost as low as possible, you might want to search for themat thrift stores and pawn shops before buying them new. As you can tell from the photographs,some of my own tools are rather old but function well nonetheless.First and foremost in your tool collection is a multimeter. This is an electrical instrumentdesigned to measure voltage, current, resistance, and often other variables as well. Multime-ters are manufactured in both digitaland analogform. A digital multimeter is preferred forprecision work, but analog meters are also useful for gaining an intuitive understanding ofinstrument sensitivity and range.My own digital multimeter is a Fluke model 27, purchased in 1987:Digital multimeter