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 July 2021

As this is the first post, 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

Other Tools

  • Electronics Diagonal Cutters: Knipex 77 02 115 ESD (July 2021)
  • Electronics Super-Knips: Knipex 78 13 125 ESD (July 2021)
  • Magnifiying Eye Glasses: Head magnifier with headband and LED work lights ( Jan 2019)
    • Having been working to solder some small components, I came to realise It would be easier if I could magnify the image. These come with lenses for 1x to 3.5x magnification and worked just great.
    • The new microscope may take the place of this head worn solution.