Many of us have experienced the joys of using our living quarters as our electronics lab. You are always shuffling parts out of the way of other living activities, such as eating with the family at the dinner table/work bench. Strangely, this phenomena of using your living space can happen even when a perfectly good workbench is available. Maybe it is the desire to be near family, maybe it is the allure of the television.
The portable lab, unfolded and ready to work.
Brian was sick of doing the dance involving his parts. He'd get his project underway with his scope, iron, and lighting in place, then he'd have to rearrange everything to make space for a family meal. His solution was to create a portable electronics lab that folds up and transports easily.
As you can see in the picture, it has a nice and tidy space for his portoboard, power supply, soldering iron, and even a fold-out lamp for lighting. The front "lid" doubles as a work surface, allowing him to protect his dining room table from soldering iron burns. When he needs to clear out of the dining room, he simply folds it all together, lifts, and moves. No need to scatter parts everywhere.
I'm particularly fond of the thought he put into power. Notice that it isn't just carrying his things, he's got a power strip mounted internally with an extension cord stored neatly on the rear. Simply plug in your extension cord and the whole thing is ready to go. At under 35 lbs, it won't break your back either.
He does have some upgrades in mind, such as a quieter power supply, a circuit vice, and a soldering iron that fits better within the alloted space. I would suggest some way to store projects-in-progress, such as a large velcro mat on the work surface with velcro straps so that you could easily strap the bits in place and pick up where you left off at a later point in time.
What upgrades would you add?
— Caleb Kraft, Chief Community Editor, EE Times
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