electronics workbench

From: Pete Turnbull <pete_at_dunnington.u-net.com>
Date: Tue Mar 30 01:39:36 2004

On Mar 30, 5:15, Tony Duell wrote:
> >

> Well, I guess if your machines are modern enough to have RJ45
> for ethernet, etc....

Many do, but a lot have AUI connectors. However, 10baseT transceivers
and microtransceivers are cheap and easy to come by. Well, for me
anyway :-) Structured wiring is also useful for serial connections, a
phone line, ISDN, and all sorts of other things.

> If possible, have a good isolating transformer. Almost essential if
> work on SMPSUs. Also think about having both 110 and 220V outlets --
> ability to plug in just anything from either side of the Pond, at
> for testing is very useful.

I have an isolating transformer, which lives under the bench. I've
almost never needed 110V, but one day I'll find a cheap transformer.

> My iron is normally on my bench, but I do move it around for work on
> minicomputers, etc As an aside here, if you're in the UK and work on
> machines, make up adapter cables for 13A mains plug to US 234V socket
> US 234V plug to 13A mains socket so you can (a) plug a DEC unit in on
> your bench for testing and (b) can run your soldering iron, 'scope,
> off the power distribution unit at the back of your DEC rack.

I've got an adaptor but since there's a DEC rack right behind me as I
sit at the bench, and the room is small, I rarely need to plug anything
in at the back of a DEC rack. Anyway, the adjacent rack has a 13A
rackmount power on it, and there are several 13A sockets on the wall
behind the other racks (three racks in total).

> Although I don't do much heavy metalwork on my electronics bench, I
> a small vice is very useful. For pressing on iDC connectors, holding
> things when soldering, etc. Chasing a DIN plug around the benchtop
with a
> hot soldering iron is not my idea of fun!

The vice in question is too small and light for crimping connectors. I
just use it for holding D-connectors, or holding multicore cables when
I tin the ends. But the adjacent bench has a proper engineer's vice (a
Record No.3), and there's a 3" vice on a Workmate at the other end of
the room (all of 4 metres away).

Peter Turnbull
Received on Tue Mar 30 2004 - 01:39:36 BST

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