Equipment for electronics lab

DJ, I know how much we need equipment for the lab. Since there isn’t money allocated for everything that is wanted, I would like to make a donation to help the cause. Perhaps there are others who may want to as well.

What’s on the top of the wish list?

I’m just a newbie, but I walked through the lab the other day and I noticed the following:

Key Items Present in Makerspace Lab:
Solder equipment
reflow oven
Power Supplies
Scopes and probes
Spare components
…and a bunch of other random stuff…

Ideas for Additional Equipment that I had:
Logic analyzer
Data Acquision equipment-Multifunction DAQ card or two including AI, AO, DIO, Counters,etc.
Spectrum analyzer
VNA (I can always dream, right?)

I would pitch in as well. I’m sure we could get a bit of a “drive” going. I’d love to see additional (better) scopes

By ‘better’, what do you need? More bandwidth? Storage? More channels? Multi time base? Smaller? Other features like DMM, frequency counter, logic analysis?

I wouldn’t mind a stronger magnifying glass, or even better, some sort of stereo scope hooked up to a projector

How about a spectrophotometer for testing the output of LEDs?

Two Rigol DS1054Z digital oscilloscopes.

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[quote=“schrodinger123, post:3, topic:548”]
Ideas for Additional Equipment that I had:
Logic analyzer[/quote]
Welcome! It’s great that we are accumulating interested hardware hackers.

We have an Intronix LogicPort, which should be adequate for almost any project at the Maker Space. We researched the available USB-based offerings, and this was the best in its class at the time, and I believe it remains so.

However, I do have a fully functioning Agilent 16700B analyzer with sampling and pattern generator cards that I would be happy to donate, if anybody things that it would be used.

We do have an Agilent 8505A VNA available. The only issue is that there is noise on Channel B, which limits certain kinds of 2-port measurements, but the VNA is still quite usable for lots of applications. I believe the channel B issue is repairable, but have not had the time to dig in.

We also have a logic analyzer, albeit not a new one. It’s a 7L13 plugin for the 7000 series mainframes, of which we have at least one working specimen. Bulky, but works fine for most hobbyist applications. However, the 7L13 may need some repair. For $1-2k, we could have a mid-range HP 859xE series analyzer, or a low-end new rigol analyzer. I think there would have to be some real projects going on in order to justify the expense. I do have an 8591E 1.8 GHz SA I could loan to the space, but haven’t seen any demand.

It would be great if someone were sufficiently interested and motivated to set up an RF station. I would be willing to help as much as I can.


Bio has been discussing purchasing a spectrophotometer for LED testing so that we could build our own LED grow lamps. If it could benefit Electronics as well, maybe the two groups could pitch in together? I bet it would be used sparingly enough to be shared.

Thread discussing this:

I hope to be up there for the wood shop orientation at 6:30. Would be happy to talk about things we could use.

Low end rigols would be one option. However, the 1074/1104z have the MSO option, which is a plus. Alternatively, we could come up with funds for a better scope, since we already have a low end scope.

Daniel said on Saturday that he is ordering one of these now.

@SRichardson3D That would be great to have the meter shared between the two committees. I started the threads hoping to create enough interest. Can you and the electronics chair chime in on the discussion? I’ll also be at Woodshop 101 if anyone wants to discuss it in person.

My interest is having the ability to order cheap high power LEDs and then have the ability to test and send back if they are not what they claim to be. Or, be able to purchase the cheap LEDs and have peace of mind that we truly received what we paid for.

So we have some options. So I read the original question to be what are sorts of things that would be helpful in equipping electronics lab. At present, I don’t have projects requiring RF equipment or logic analyzer. I could see a need happening in the future, and maybe there are others who do have present need. I’m happy to assist with RF equipmenting, as it just seems like any good electronics lab should have some options available when you need them.

Here is another thought: What about EMI? In order to sell anything electronic, you must be able to pass EMI testing. I would think that a measurement wand connected to instrument capable of measuring radiated noise across frequency and low emissions barrier may be a good idea for anyone who wants to quickly get some circuit to market. Otherwise, you have to pay for such testing, and pay to test again when you are about acceptable radiation levels, and yet again until its fixed. Why not be able to root these issues out right here at makerspace?

Oh and one last thought: What about shock testing? …the capability of putting controlled electric shock to your completed unit to make sure that it does not fail due to static or other usual stresses a customer may place on your product. For this we would need a wand and controlled capacitive discharge system. Might even be possible to make a jig for this, and useful for anyone trying to take something electronic to market.

Low end is relative. 4 channel with protocol decodes is pretty useful.

I went down to techshop to see what they have been doing they have 4-5 of these.

National Instruments Virtual Bench

It’s pretty Sweet!
it’s a Software Defined

Mixed-Signal Oscilloscope
Bandwidth 100 MHz
Channels 2 analog, 34 digital
Sampling Rate 1 GS/s (single channel), 500 MS/s/ch (dual channel)
Waveform Measurements cursors, 22 automatic measurements
Waveform Math add, subtract, multiply, FFT
Record Length 1 million samples

Function Generator
Max Frequency 20 MHz (sine), 5 MHz (square)
Channels 1
Waveform Types sine, square, ramp, triangle, DC

Digital Mulitimeter
Resolution 5 ½ digits
Measurement Functions VDC, VAC, IDC, IAC, continuity, resistance, diode
Max Voltage 300 V max input voltage
Max Current 10 A max input current
Basic Accuracy up to 0.015% VDC
Programmable DC Power Supply
Channels 3
Voltage/Current (Ch1) 0 to +6 V/0 to 1 A
Voltage/Current (Ch2) 0 to +25 V/0 to 0.5 A
Voltage/Current (Ch3) 0 to -25 V/0 to 0.5 A

Digital I/O
Channels 8 (input or output)
Logic Level 5 V compatible LVTTL input, 3.3 V LVTTL output

Robert, does that mean you’re giving us $2k to buy it?

$400 for 1054Z
$259 for signal gen
$150 for Salae logic16
$200 for bench power supply

So for about $1000, I can replicate and exceed that things specs.

But can it record all the outputs into one unified view?
Also what is the learning curve?

They tell me I can run Voltage directly into the Digital In Pins or the Function Generator and it just throws an error and does not kill itself.

That is pretty cool