My little “electronics lab”

Some time ago I rediscovered my interest in electronics and recently done my first project. This project was created at the table where my PC is. However, this is not an ideal place to solder circuit boards or create designs with breadboards – I have to take the necessary parts and tools such as soldering iron, multimeter, etc. out of the drawer and then tidy up again afterwards.

The ideal solution would be a place where I have everything I need at hand and a work surface that is not needed for anything else. It doesn’t have to be a professional electronics laboratory – a stable table and wall shelf would be sufficient.

In one room I still have enough space for a table measuring 120×60 cm. I found the right table with exactly this size in a shop for used office furniture. The design is very stable – the table top is mounted on a metal frame and the table legs are made of metal tubes and adjustable in height between 68 and 72 cm.

For this purpose, I wanted to have several storage areas above the table, 30 cm deep, where I can put small parts, tools or devices. I decided to use a system with rails on the wall. The necessary parts including matching shelves measuring 120×30 cm were available in a hardware store for about the same price that I previously spent on the table.

Electronics lab, July 2021A tip for the assembly: instead of marking all the drill holes before mounting the rails, you can also start with a single hole and use it to temporarily screw the rail tight. Then align the rail exactly vertically with the help of a spirit level and mark the position of the other drill holes with a fineliner through the openings for the screws.

In total, I installed three rails at a distance of approx. 55 cm (measured from the middle of the rail). This allowed the standard shelves to protrude slightly at the ends, which is important for mounting the brackets on the underside of the shelves. The walls are double-clad drywall with a thickness of 2×12.5 mm, so the load-bearing capacity is not a problem.

The result is exactly as I imagined – very stable and expandable. An oscilloscope and a laboratory power supply will be added in a few weeks. The nearly 40 years old Weller soldering station without variable temperature control will also be replaced.

Update July 2021

The several devices have arrived in the meantime – an oscilloscope (Hantek DSO2D15), a laboratory power supply (Basetech BT-305), a new soldering staion (Hakko FX888D) and a new multimeter (Brymen BM257s).

There are now also drawer magazines for components and other small parts. These are made by Mars – two copies of the model 6762 with 30 small drawers and one copy of the model 6763 with 15 small and 4 medium drawers.

The cabinets are made of powder-coated sheet steel in red and the drawers are made of polystyrene. When I first set it up, I was disappointed that the cabinets wobbled because they were a bit warped. But that can be easily corrected: grab the two side parts and twist them against each other with a little force. A few millimeters are enough for the floor to be level and the cabinet to be stable.

The drawers can also be bought individually if needed. Partitions walls with which the drawers can be divided further are also available as accessory.

I created a template for the labeling. The signs need to be 39×18 mm for the small drawers, which is enough room even for multilined labels. The font I used is “Bahnschrift”.

Drawer magazine detail

 

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