My Lab/Workbench

Sometimes I get asked about some of the equipment I use, so I thought I’d capture what I have and update periodically as things evolve. Which I’d like to think they will continue to do. Sadly there are a few bits of equipment I’ve owned in the past, that I no longer have and wish I still did. You’ll also see I’m working with a hobby fund budget, so this is certainly nothing like an EEVBlog Lab Setup.

Equipment as of December 2021

I’ll try and add some notes as to when I purchased some of the items and perhaps the rationale for their acquisition (assuming I can remember). Where I include links, if they are to Amazon they are affiliate links, that help support this site.

My workbench is currently a shared environment with the IT equipment I need for my day job, and a few smaller pieces of electronics hardware. Most other items are kept in storage boxes, brought out when needed.

  • Bench Power Supply: Toolkit RC P200 (May 2021)
    • Lacking a lot of functionality to be considered a bench power supply but handy for 1-30V DC, with current limiting from 500mA to 10A.
    • Would prefer lower current limits and easier to control specific voltages, and lower capacitance outputs, but handy to have and better than hunting round of various power adapters.
    • Tiny form factor allows this to be kept on my desk.
    • USB-C with PD3.0 support (and more) which allows it to power by soldering iron.
  • Soldering Iron: TS80P Portable USB Soldering Iron (May 2021)
    • Silicone USB lead is super flexible and doesn’t get in the way. Watch out, many TS80P are sold using a standard USB cable, not silicone.
    • Being powered from the USB-C connection on my P200 power supply means the soldering iron doesn’t take up another power socket
    • Heats up really quickly, a lot more quickly than my old Antex CS 18W mains powered soldering iron.
    • Still using a very old roll of Rapid Electronics 64/40 Tin/Lead alloy solder
    • Also purchsed a wider TS-D25 soldering iron tip
  • Solding Iron stand: T12 Soldering Iron Station (July 2021)
    • This is a strdy stand with a good weight, so it doesn’t move around on the desk.
    • I might drill out some of the rear holes to make it easier to hold spare tips (TBD)
  • Digital Microscope: Andonstar AD206 (July 2021)
    • Starting to look more closely at circuit board and planning on some more advanced probing, I realised I’d needed something to help better see what I’m doing.
    • 7″ 1240×600 display appears to be large enough to get a good view of the subject under the microscope
  • LCR / Component Tester / Component Identifier: LCR-TC1 (April 2021)
    • Purchased to aid troubleshooting suspected faulty capacitors during DAB radio repair
  • USB Testers:
  • USB Load Modules:
    • 0.1-4.5A Adjustable Load with LCD (October 2018)
      • LCD display shows current voltage and current levels.
      • Large controls for easy adjustment of load level, with seperate fine control.
      • Various USB connector sizes,

Measurement Equipment

  • Digital Thermometer: Uni-T UT325 (June 2021)
    • Purchased to assist with investigations into thermal properties of Raspberry Pi PoE+ HAT
    • Supports 2 thermocouples.
    • Supports data logging via USB, probe 1 or probe 2 or temperate delta between the two probes.
  • Digital Multimeter: Maplin Precision Gold Academy PG017 (~1992)
    • Had this since I worked Saturdays at Maplin Electronics in Gateshead in 1992-1994
    • Not the most advanced meter, but still working.
  • PC Oscilloscope: OWON VDS1022I (September 2018)
    • Purchashed to assist with investigations into the power problems with the original Raspberry Pi PoE HAT.
    • Dual channel 25MHz PC scope, limited functionality, but USB isolation/protection
    • Software not great, but good enough for basic needs.

MCU Programmers & Debuggers

  • STMicro ST-LINK/V2 (February 2021)
    • Programmer and debugger for STM8 and STM32 microcontrollers
  • ESP-PROG (February 2021)
    • Programmer and debugger for ESP32 and to some extent ESP8266 microcontrollers

3D Printing

  • 3D Printer: Prusa Mini+ 3D Printer (Aug 2021)
    • Accessories:
      • Prusa Satin Sheet on to which you can print nearly anything without extra glue sticks etc. I bought this sheet in addition to the smooth and textured sheet I purchased with the printer. Since using the satin sheet I’m yet to switch back.
      • Filament Sensor to detect running out of filament mid print and allow more filament to be added. (Always have an extra spool on hand)
  • Filament Storage: For storage of individual spools in moisture controlled containers.

Other Tools