How to set up Electronics Lab at home

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Electronics Lab

Every Electronic hobbyists have a dream of setting up his own lab at home to learn, explore, widen the knowledge and of course have fun with Electronics. But most of us don’t how to start setting up one and even if we did it will end up in a complete mess. So after going through several forums and asking the suggestions of pros i have prepared this article ” how to set up electronics lab at home ” , i hope this will be helpful for all budding Electronic Engineers and Hobbyist.

WORKSPACE:

This is the first thing you need to set for your homemade lab. The workspace should consist a large wooden work bench, desk or table that fits the components and tools while you are working. Ensure that work area is well lit and comfortable to work even for long time. Your work area should be accessible to household electrical power (220V AC)

Also install a Desktop or Laptop computer in your work area which will be helpful to refer datasheets of components or IC’s. Also it will come handy when you are working with Microcontrollers and makes your work a lot easier.

POWER SUPPLIES:

This comes next in the list as Power supplies hold the next priority in your Electronics Lab. When coming to power supplies you have lot of options to consider but it all depends on how much you are about to invest. Bench power supply is usually preferred but it was insanely expensive and you have to spend 40% of your budget in it.

As i said you do have options, so its best to buy some DC power supply adapters which suits your need such as 12v, 5v or 9v. You can also construct power supply for your needs, it takes bit of work but believe me it will come handy.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO BUY:

  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Wire Strippers
  • Tweezers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Knife
  • Drill
  • Connecting Wires
  • Breadboard
  • Gator Clips
  • Helping Hands
  • Solder Iron/Gun
  • Solder
  • Flux
  • Multimeter
  • Protoboards

These are the things which are very essential and should be in your lab if you wanna be a better worker. And many would have noticed i missed “Oscilloscope” in the above list. A decent Oscilloscope will cost around $50 and am not sure that how many of you would like to spend that much for your lab. Usage of Oscilloscope might suit certain applications but always remember Oscilloscope is not the first thing to buy.

COMPONENTS TO BUY:

When coming to the components there is not much help others can do as you need to identify your needs. The usage of components varies based on the things you are working in your lab. Here are some of the basic components you must have in your lab.

  • Resistors ( 100,330,470,1k,10k,100k,1M)
  • Capacitors ( 0.1uF, 22pF, 100uF, 1000uF)
  • NPN & NPN Transistors (2N222,2N3906)
  • Diodes (1N4001,1N4148)
  • Voltage Regulators (7805,7812)
  • IC’s ( 555,4017)
  • LED (red, Blue, white)
  • Male and Female Header
  • Battery
  • Push Buttons

The above list is to provide a general idea about the components to buy for your lab. Also do not forget to analyze your needs and buy the components which fit your need.

IF YOU ARE WORKING WITH MICROCONTROLLERS:

You need to spend some extra bucks if you are the one who loves to play with the Microcontrollers. A Development board is the best choice for all the programmers who wants to learn and have fun with the Controllers. There are number of Development boards in the market for 8051, PIC ,AVR or ARM Controllers.

  • Arduino
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Easy PIC

The above Development boards are quite famous in the market, however there are plenty of other boards available in the Internet. You can choose for one which fits your budget.

FINAL WORDS:

I Hope the above lists and suggestions would have given you a clear idea about setting up your lab. Setting up a perfect lab at the beginning itself is quite a difficult task, so don’t get disheartened keep on expanding your lab by experimenting and adding many stuffs to it. Undoubtedly you will learn a hell lot of things and   gradually it will make you a pro.

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Frank Donald

Junior Network Engineer at Tata Communications
Frank Donald is an Electronics and Communication Engineer who is very passionate about his subject. Reading, Surfing and Blogging are the things he loves.

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4 Comments on "How to set up Electronics Lab at home"

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Anonymous
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as seen in the photos, a METAL table would not be a good idea! Also, an Optivisor or the like would be very handy! Additionally, going to hamfests can be an economical way to add items to bench, assuming there are hamfests in your area…

Frank Donald
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Sorry, its not the way it looks actually it was wooden one. Many thanks for your suggestion will update this article soon

Bill Turner
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Can I assume that $50 for an 0’scope is a typo?

Frank Donald
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The cost of oscilloscope depends on how much effective and advanced your O’scope is, you may find those ($50) in auction sites

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