Bench check (please share your setup)


#1

Hi everyone,

I’m curious to know how built out everyone’s bench is. If you watched my streams from a couple weeks ago, you saw I’ve been seriously evaluating the Analog Discovery 2 and there will be more news about it soon. But I’m trying to get a feel for what members have on their bench right now and would like to do it in a simplified/standardized way. Please copy the matrix below to your own response and answer for your own

I’m away from my bench, so feel free to include a picture, but I’ll start with a list of my stuff. Most importantly, please include what you have missing from your bench, in your opinion.

  • Soldering
  • Voltage controlled soldering iron?
    • Yes. Aoyue 937.
  • Low cost hot air pencil?
    • Yes. Kendall D++ (cheap Amazon special)
    • Do you have any reflow equipment
    • I have a toaster oven + controller
  • DMMs
  • How many handheld DMMs? Which ones?
    • 4 total, EX330 and BM235
  • Best resolution DMM on your bench?
    • 6.5 digits
  • Scopes
  • Do you have a 2 channel or higher oscilloscope that uses probes?
    • Yes
  • What is the rated bandwidth of your most-used scope?
    • 50 MHz
  • Do you feel your scope covers your needs sufficiently?
    • Yes
  • Power supply
    • Do you have a programmable bench power supply?
      • No. I got rid of my last one during my move, have been getting by with my Keithley 2400 and simple wall wart supplies.
  • How many outputs does it have?
    • Just one (the 2400)

ADALM2000 as part of the bench?
#2
  • Soldering
    • Voltage controlled soldering iron?
      • Yes. Weller WESD51
    • Low cost hot air pencil?
      • Yes. WEP 858D (cheap Amazon special)
    • Do you have any reflow equipment?
      • I have an old toaster oven but haven’t done anything with the controls
  • DMMs
    • How many handheld DMMs? Which ones?
      • 2 total, EEVBlog BM235 and old RadioShack cheap unknown model
    • Best resolution DMM on your bench?
      • BM235 says 3-5/6 digits 6,000 counts… Not sure what that means.
  • Scopes
    • Do you have a 2 channel or higher oscilloscope that uses probes?
      • Yes. Kenwood CS-4125 Analog Oscilloscope
    • What is the rated bandwidth of your most-used scope?
      • 20 MHz
    • Do you feel your scope covers your needs sufficiently?
      • So far, kinda… I think a good DSO would help me understand things better.
  • Power supply
    • Do you have a programmable bench power supply?
      • Not sure what “programmable” means, I have GW Instek GPS-3303, it has dials
    • How many outputs does it have?
      • Three. Two are variable, one fixed at 5V3A

Other than a Rigol DS1054z on my wishlist, not sure what else I need at the moment until I need it and don’t have it. I ordered an ADALM2000 from Analog Devices but I’m not sure it’s ever going to show up, the estimated delivery date keeps moving every time I check.

My (in)glorious bench


#3
  • Soldering
  • Voltage controlled soldering iron?
  • Yes. ATEN AT80D.
  • Low cost hot air pencil?
    • Yes. ELV HLS-680
  • Do you have any reflow equipment
    • Toaster oven (unmodified) + Beta Layout Controller
  • DMMs
  • How many handheld DMMs? Which ones?
    • 3 in total, Voltcraft: VC120, VC130-1 & MT52
  • Best resolution DMM on your bench?
    • 3 3/4 digits
  • Scopes
  • Do you have a 2 channel or higher oscilloscope that uses probes?
    • Yes. Rigol DS1054z
  • What is the rated bandwidth of your most-used scope?
    • 50 MHz
  • Do you feel your scope covers your needs sufficiently?
    • Yes.
  • Power supply
  • Do you have a programmable bench power supply?
    • Yes. Velleman PS3005D (0-30V 5A)
  • How many outputs does it have?
    • One
  • Extra Kit
    • I seem to be OK equipped for the projects I have had to date. I have often thought about an additional power supply but I get by with “wall warts”. The Saleae and the Rigol have the logic analyser part covered. The biggest gap would be some type of function generator. Again, for my current requirements, I have been about to get by with the XMiniLab - This is where the Analog Discovery 2 could be in interesting proposition.


#4
  • Soldering
  • Voltage controlled soldering iron?
    • I have one of those soldering irons that plugs into the wall.
  • Low cost hot air pencil?
    • No
  • Do you have any reflow equipment
    • No. Have thought about getting a hot plate.
  • DMMs
  • How many handheld DMMs? Which ones?
    • I have an EX330 and a low cost Radio Shack DMM that seems really inaccurate
  • Best resolution DMM on your bench?
    • 3.5 digits I think. Maybe 4.
  • Scopes
    • Do you have a 2 channel or higher oscilloscope that uses probes?
      • No. I use my DMM for most things.
    • What is the rated bandwidth of your most-used scope?
    • N/A
    • Do you feel your scope covers your needs sufficiently?
      • No
  • Power supply
    • Do you have a programmable bench power supply?
      • No.
    • How many outputs does it have?
      • N/A

#5

A post was split to a new topic: ADALM2000 as part of the bench?


#6

I LOVE this question! I recently had to REALLY think about what I have on my bench and what is REALLY important to me. Basically I was tasked with setting up a minimum configuration for my bench. The reason for this was my job took me from a 4 bedroom house in the country, where I could spread out, to a high-rise tower in the heart of a big city. LOVE it, but there is NO space for electronics sprawl. I had to condense my bench down into a space that had to fit more/less within the foot print of my beer fridge (which my wife allowed me to keep), and one section of a built-in bookshelf. Here is what it looks like.

That’s the equipment part. This bench strattles my beer fridge you can kinda see at the bottom of the picture. That scope I got for free (I paid it forward by giving my old(er) budget scope to a budding electronics enthusiast) but everything else is pretty budget friendly without compromising TOO much.

Soldering
Good 'ol WES51. ~$100 I think a few years ago.
No surface mount stuff though. :frowning: Some day.
DMMs
I have my trusty Fluke 77IV, I also have a pile of those Harbor Freight $5 ones or whatever in a drawer. They are often free. Not awesome…lot of issues (the cont setting puts enough juice on the line to light an LED for example) but for rough voltage/current meter, they work well enough.

Scope
Just a 4 channel color scope. This one is serious overkill, but it’s the Tek MSO 2024 with the 16 channel MSO deal on it. I got it for free so I figured why not use it.

Power Supply
I have others in storage (off site), but the Long-Wei (giggle) seems to work well for me. If I need other supplies I generally pull AC adapters for odd-ball voltages. I’ve built small DC supplies from 7805’s and switching ICs as well and pull those when I need them. I don’t do a ton of AC so I’ve gone without an AC supply. I do have a waveform generator I made from a 555 if I REALLY need some AC.

I also keep a lot of stuff off of the bench, and pull it out when I need it. On my portion of the bookshelf I’m allowed to use. I have lots of components, buttons, switches, projects that are in process, wire, and all that nonsense. It’s also some homemade tools and equipment that can sometimes replace the good stuff I have in storage. So, power supplies, battery boards, and custom boards that only I have a use for I think :slight_smile:

So, for me this works pretty well. I do small DC sort of projects and the rest is ALL arduino/RaspberryPi stuff so I don’t need a ton of stuff. As far as what every bench should have? A GOOD soldering iron, a DMM, a variable DC supply, set of small and large screw drivers, pliers/cutters and ideally a scope. Even a SUPER cheap or old one is better than not having one. The rest will depend on what type of projects you like to do.

I DO have another scope, high-end bench supplies, meters, function generators and all kinda of really cool goodies, but for 95% of what I do, this is all I need. If I find I need something often or whatever, I generally spin a board using KiCAD/Oshpark.

That’s what I got.

Brian


#7
  • Soldering

  • Voltage controlled soldering iron?

    • Yes. Aoyue 937
  • Low cost hot air pencil?

    • No, but use the one at Tampa Hackerspace
  • Do you have any reflow equipment?

    • I have access to a toaster oven at the Tampa Hackerspace
  • DMMs

  • How many handheld DMMs? Which ones?

    • None
  • Best resolution DMM on your bench?

    • N/A
  • Scopes

  • Do you have a 2 channel or higher oscilloscope that uses probes?

    • No, I use what we have access to at the Hackerspace, but have a small Saleae as well.
  • What is the rated bandwidth of your most-used scope?

    • Saleae 25 MHz (3 channels)
  • Do you feel your scope covers your needs sufficiently?

    • n00b, so yes.
  • Power supply

  • Do you have a programmable bench power supply?

    • Simplistic, in that I can dial to what I need, but that’s the extent.
  • How many outputs does it have?

    • Three. Two are variable, one fixed.

No pic, as I’m out traveling. I’ll have to find one to add.


#10

Soldering
Voltage controlled soldering iron? Yes. Hakko FX888D

Low cost hot air pencil? No

Do you have any reflow equipmentI have a toaster oven + controller: No

DMMs
How many handheld DMMs? Which ones? 2 total, UNI-T UT30B, Metex M3850

Best resolution DMM on your bench? 4 digits

Scopes
Do you have a 2 channel or higher oscilloscope that uses probes?Yes Rigol DS1054Z

What is the rated bandwidth of your most-used scope?50 MHz

Do you feel your scope covers your needs sufficiently?Yes

Power supply
Do you have a programmable bench power supply?No. only very cheap Wanptek KPS305D (0-30V, 0-5A)

How many outputs does it have? Just one


#11

  • Soldering
  • Voltage controlled soldering iron?
    • Yes. HakkoFX888D.
  • Low cost hot air pencil?
    • Yes. Cheap Linko 850H++ (bought almost 14 years ago)
  • Do you have any reflow equipment
    • I have a hot plate, had plans for an oven and bought a controller but never installed it.
  • DMMs
    • How many handheld DMMs? Which ones?
      • 1, EX330
    • Best resolution DMM on your bench?
      • 3 3/4 digits
  • Scopes
    • Do you have a 2 channel or higher oscilloscope that uses probes?
      • Yes, Rigol DS1054Z
    • What is the rated bandwidth of your most-used scope?
      • 50 MHz
    • Do you feel your scope covers your needs sufficiently?
      • Yes
  • Power supply
    • Do you have a programmable bench power supply?
      • No. Never owned one
    • How many outputs does it have?
      • N/A

#12
  • Soldering

    • Yes, Weller WD1
    • Yes, 852A+ Hot Air Station
    • Yes, BLACK+DECKER TO1303SB 4-Slice Toaster Oven
  • DMMS

    • 2 total, Fluke 115, and Fluke 83 V
    • The Fluke 83V can measure Micro Amps (uA) which is a must is you work with low power stuff like the MSP430.
  • Scopes

    • Yes, Siglent SDS1202X
    • 200 Mhz
    • Yes, I also have a Saleae Logic for decoding serial, i2c, and SPI
      *Power Supply
    • Yes, Keithley 2231-30-3 Tripple Channel DC Power Supply. (I wouldn’t recommend it)
    • 3
  • Prototyping

    • OtherMill Pro (PCB milling machine)
  • Wish List

    • A spectrum analyzer Siglent looks like the best deal right now.

#13

This is a great Question. Its one I strugled with when I started and still do as I build up my arsenal of lab equipment. When I first started for the first year, I had a 40W plug in soldering iron( $25), a $100 Snapon multimeter that I inherited from my old job and another $60 multimeter. A breadboard or two and maybe $25-30 in caps, resistors IC’s and such.

Now after a few years I’ve got myself a handful of breadboards, copper clad double sided board for prototypes and etching solution, a laser printer and transparencies and developing film. I’ve got a single output variable voltage output homemade supply at the moment with a few breadboard plug in supplies. I got myself a Hakko FX-888D for about $115. I also found that after a few months I needed a scope so I got a cheap one since at the moment I don’t work at high frequencies. I have a Tenma 72-8705 50Mhz scope($248), and it does the job for now. I’ve also found I’ve had interest in making some of my own equipment like a dual range single channel electronic load. The current PCB layout and design software I use is Eagle 7.6, I’m trying to convert myself to a different platform possibly Kicad or DesignSpark.

In the future I would like to see myself upgrading to a higher bandwidth scope and possibly a Logic analyzer. As my knowledge and interest grow, I’m sure I will invest in more.


#14
  • Soldering
  • Voltage controlled solder iron?
    • Yes, Velleman VTSS5U
  • Low cost hot air pencil?
    • EGC HG-001VT Heat Gun with nozzle
  • Do you have any reflow equipment?
    • No
  • DMMs
  • How many handheld DMMs? Which ones?
    • 4 total, 2 Extech MN35, 1 Extech EX355, 1 Agilent U1233A
  • Best resolution DMM on your bench?
    • Rigol DM3058E 5.5 digits
  • Scopes
  • Do you have a 2 channel or higher oscilloscope that uses probes?
    • Yes, Rigol DS1054Z
  • What is the rated bandwidth of your most-used scope?
    • 50MHz
  • Do you feel your scope covers your needs sufficiently?
    • Yes.
  • Power Supply
  • Do you have a programmable bench power supply?
    • Yes, Korad KA3305P
  • How many outputs does it have?
    • 3 (Dual 30V, 5A serial/parallel; 5V, 3A)

#15
  • Soldering
  • Voltage controlled soldering iron?
    • Yes. Aoyue 968A+.
  • Low cost hot air pencil?
    • Yes. Aoyue 968A+
    • Do you have any reflow equipment
    • Toaster Oven + ControLeo2
  • DMMs
  • How many handheld DMMs? Which ones?
    • Handheld : 4 total, EX330, Mastech MS8268, Sperry Pocket, Extech DM110 pocket
    • Benchtop : 3 total, VICHY VC8145, Tenma 72-1020, Rigol DM3068
    • To help measure low currents, uCurrent Gold
  • Best resolution DMM on your bench?
    • 6.5 digits
  • Scopes
  • Do you have a 2 channel or higher oscilloscope that uses probes?
    • Yes : Digital : Rigol DS1052e, Rigol DS1074Z. Analog: ELENCO S-1360
    • Portable : DSO Nano v3
    • Digital only : Saleae Logic - 8
  • What is the rated bandwidth of your most-used scope?
    • 70 MHz
  • Do you feel your scope covers your needs sufficiently?
    • Yes
  • Power supply
    • Do you have a programmable bench power supply?
      • Yes - just voltage or current
  • How many outputs does it have?
    • 1 on each. Tenma 72-8345A (1-36V/0-3A), Mastech HY3005D (0-30V 0-5A), Adafruit BB Supply (0-1.25A, 0-20V)

No photo for now as I am traveling.


#16

Soldering
Voltage controlled soldering iron?
Yes. Weller WESD51.
Low cost hot air pencil?
Yes. WEP 858D
Do you have any reflow equipment?
No.

DMMs
How many DMMs? Which ones?
4 total, Uni-T UT204, Extech EX330, 2 cheap/free Harbor Freight models.
Best Resolution DMM on your bench?
4 digits.

Scopes
Do you have a 2 channel or higher oscilloscope that uses probes?
Yes. TEK 2235, TEK 2215A.
What is the rated bandwidth of your most-used scope?
100MHz
Do you feel your scope covers your needs sufficiently?
Yes, although I would like a good DSO someday.

Power Supply
Do you have a programmable bench power supply?
Yes. Korad KA3005P from Amazon.
How many outputs does it have?
just one.


#17

Soldering
Voltage controlled soldering iron?
Yes. JBC AD2700 with C210 hand piece, JBC DI2B with C245 hand piece, Metcal PS900, Weller WD1 with WSP80.
Low cost hot air pencil?
Yes. Atten 858D+
Do you have any reflow equipment?
Yes. Homebrew toaster oven with a Beta Layout reflow controller.

DMMs
How many DMMs? Which ones?
8 (as far as I know): 1x Fluke 25, 1x Fluke 79III, 2x Fluke 70, 1x Fluke 75, 1x Fluke 89IV, 1x Fluke 287, 1x Gossen Metrahit Pro.
Best Resolution DMM on your bench?
5.5 digits. Fluke 8840A

Scopes
Do you have a 2 channel or higher oscilloscope that uses probes?
Yes. Agilent 1x DSOX-2002A, 1x Tek 465B, 2x Tek 2445, 1x Tek TDS3032
What is the rated bandwidth of your most-used scope?
70MHz
Do you feel your scope covers your needs sufficiently?
Yes.

Power Supply
Do you have a programmable bench power supply?
No. All analoge. 1x Thurlby PL320, 1x Weir 413D, 1x Weir 423D, 1x HY3003-2, 1x Solartron AS1410.2
How many outputs does it have?
Up to two outputs.


#18

Soldering
Voltage controlled soldering iron?

  • Weller WESD51
    Low cost hot air pencil?
  • No although it would be useful
    Do you have any reflow equipment?
  • Built a hotplate which works well enough for what I do
    DMMs
    How many handheld DMMs? Which ones?
  • Extech EX330 that I use for mostly everything and a couple cheapo ones if I need to measure more than the Extech can handle
    Best resolution DMM on your bench?
  • “0.5 percent basic accuracy”
    Scopes
    Do you have a 2 channel or higher oscilloscope that uses probes?
  • No
    What is the rated bandwidth of your most-used scope?
  • N/A
    Do you feel your scope covers your needs sufficiently?
  • I don’t think I’ve ever needed one but I’ve often thought about purchasing a $300 rigol
    Power supply
    Do you have a programmable bench power supply?
  • No, but I did build an adjustable supply
    How many outputs does it have?
  • Just one. ~3 to ~20V

    Working on a project with a friend so desk is currently set up a little different than normal. The rest of the room is shelves and cabinets where I store whatever I’m not currently working on.

#19
  • Soldering
    • Voltage controlled soldering iron?
      • Yes. Hakko FX-888D.
    • Low cost hot air pencil?
      • No
    • Do you have any reflow equipment
      • No, but looking into investing in a reflow oven.
  • DMMs
    • How many handheld DMMs? Which ones?
      • 1, Hyelec MS85
    • Best resolution DMM on your bench?
      • 20000 counts
  • Scopes
    • Do you have a 2 channel or higher oscilloscope that uses probes?
      • Yes
    • What is the rated bandwidth of your most-used scope?
      • 100 MHz
    • Do you feel your scope covers your needs sufficiently?
      • Very much
  • Power supply
    • Do you have a programmable bench power supply?
      • Yes, I believe it's considered "programmable"...Tekpower TP-3005D
    • How many outputs does it have?
      • 1 output

#20

Sorry for the messy lab! :blush:
I just moved to a new home about 3 weeks ago and had to quickly set up shop for a project.
Here is my philosophy… I like good stuff and I like to get it cheap when I can. I buy my equipment like I buy musical instruments. I believe that if a musical instrument plays really well I will want to play it. The same goes for my electronics and woodworking tools. Unfortunately, that means I need to spend a lot of money (potentially) on these items… Thankfully, there are ham fests, Craig’s list, and occasionally ebay deals. So, over the years I have acquired very nice equipment for reasonable prices. Unfortunately, that is not quite the case for me with guitars.

Soldering:
PACE MBT350 with hot air pencil, extractor and iron with many tips. Price: Free - I bought several off ebay and refurbished them and then resold them on ebay.
I just made a reflow oven using a Beta Layout V.3 controller - works great! I am looking forward to buying the new version of the Controleo reflow controller, too (I’m told it will be available on 8/14/17).

DMMs
I have a Fluke 87 that I bought when I was in the Navy many years ago. I did a lot of electronic tinkering at sea with that meter. Two years ago I bought another 87 V and I love it. The 87 V was a steal on ebay… I got it for about $50.

Scopes
I have a Tek 465 ($20 at a ham fest), a Tek 2264 ($40 at a ham fest)… both needed repairs, which were a lot of fun. My main scope is an Agilent MSOX2022A fully loaded with all software (awesome!) that was an ebay find for a great price

Power
Tektronics bench supply
Home made supplies

Computing
Dell XPS, MacBook pro, iMac I find that having both a true Mac machine and a true Windows machine is a great help. I have vms on my macs for Ubuntu and Arch.

Hand tools
Wera drivers!!!

Microscopes
Again, ebay specials. My favorite is the Uitron ZSB outfitted with lights from harbor freight.

Lighting
This is in flux right now with the move, but I have really taken a strong liking to my Wife’s sewing lamp (Stella)

Dev Board
I have way too many! But, they are great to have on hand for may ideas. I particularly like the Adafruit Feather boards, Teensys, and beaglebones

MISSING From my Bench:
Network analyzer - I really miss having access to that from college!
Signal analyzer - I have it at work and would love to have one at home
Portable equipment for hotel room tinkering. I plan to buy some Digilent tools to help this cause
Better SMD rework equipment
I would like a 4 channel version of the agilent (keysight) MSO
Better organization of parts. I am considering Sortimo containers, but the price has me frozen right now
Quick access to prototyping tools and equipment… this is in line with organization, but I want full access to everything without having to search (“drawers are where tools go to die”, Adam Savage) I think that is the same for prototyping supplies too.


#21

Some serious bench envy here. Not just the equipment but the space!

Space is about a square foot on my computer desk for programming. Soldering and other large part stuff is done on the dining table or patio table. :frowning:

Soldering: Weller WES50
DMM: Extech 330
Hot air - rework: Quick 957D
Scopes: DS1054Z should arrive tomorrow (birthday gift part 1)
Power: Instek GPD 3303S tomorrow (birthday gift part 2) - yes I know about the 3rd channel overshoot possibility


#22

Happy Birthday @mikef !