Circuits Lab

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Long room on left off the west hallway, between the meeting room and the Ceramics Lab.
Hack zone - you want parts? You take it apart.


Lab Host: Greg Good, circuitslabhost at redmountainmakers dot org.

Current equipment and circuits resource list

Use for:

  • Soldering
  • Electronics

Has:

Consumables

Existing inventory of parts and supplies (always needs more work!)

Wish List

Parts ID for newbies

Video connector types
Computer fundamentals tutorials

Lab safety

Solder safety - tips to keep you health and safe (posted in the lab)
Soldering for dummies

General safety rules

As a reminder to all makers, utilization of personal appliances is permitted by Red Mountain Makers. However, these safety rules need to be followed.

  1. Don't leave it running unattended. This is especially important for anything designed to heat air or any other medium unless specifically labeled on the appliance by the manufacturer that it can be left alone.
  2. Don't use drop cords across hallways or through doorways. Without securing the cords to the floor and blocking the doors to ensure the cord is not crushed.
  3. Be careful not to overload electrical outlets. That is a quick way to cause a fire.
  4. Do not use the appliance or tool in damp locations unless rated to do so.
  5. Do not interfere with functions of Red Mountain Makers with your personal appliance. Be courteous of others. Here are examples but not limited to:
    1. Playing loud music when a class is being held
    2. Using a bright light in a dark room.
  6. Do not use the appliance if it poses a danger to yourself and others without first gaining consent from the makers to use it, and then making sure all appropriate safety precautions are followed to ensure safe operation.
  7. If someone asks you to postpone the use of an appliance until they leave, do so unless it is absolutely necessary to use the equipment. If it is necessary explain to the maker that it is necessary and why it is.
  8. If for any reason these rules must be violated permission must be obtained from the Chief Safety Officer before doing so.

Safety Data Sheets

New to Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) or Safety Data Sheets (SDS)? MSDS is the old name, SDS is the new name, and they serve the same purpose - to identify the active ingredients in the products, hazards and remediation. Excellent starting resource - Material Safety Datasheets on the Internet

Products in Circuits Lab

Tutorials

Tutorials page

Posters & Informatics

Resistor color guide
RS connector guide
SparkFun's schematic guide

Electronic Engineering Resources

the EEV Blog

Parts worth salvaging

See salvage notes

Electronic Components

  • Ham Radio oriented list maintained by the Birmingham Amateur Radio Club
  • Octopart search many sources for availability, pricing, datasheets by part number
  • Mouser Recommended by Rick Curl. Is excellent for straight up electronics. The search function there is absolutely fantastic. Always check spec sheets because occasionally the "product page" info is wrong.
  • Digikey is similar. (recommended by Rick Curl - "They carry several million different products. They always have most everything in stock, and ship within minutes of placing the order. You can order as late as 8pm and have the item delivered the next morning. Their website is second to none. I use it for selecting devices to use in my designs.")
  • Electronics Goldmine has a lot of mixed packs of things.
  • All-Electronics Similar to the Goldmine better organization. Lots of closeout electronic stuff
  • Jameco more pricey than Mouser or Digikey but can find some things considered obsolete by the others. Also has good kits and tutorials.
  • Online Components Electronic Components Distributor like Digi-key and Mouser.
  • Memotronics More like Electronics Goldmine.

Suppliers recommended by Rick Curl

  • Circuit Specialists Good selection of tools & test equipment. Great prices. Most equipment is a knock-off of American products.
  • http://www.mpja.com/ Marlin P. Jones & Associates]. Low prices on power supplies, prototyping stuff, Arduino & Raspberry pi clones.
  • Precision Products. Amazingly low prices on Chinese hand tools & magnifiers. They are in Rainbow city- not too far from the space.
  • Servocity. Lots of motors, gears, brackets- general robotic stuff.
  • Pololu. Lots of motors, gears, brackets- general robotic stuff.
  • http://www.jameco.com/ Jameco]. Like Digi-key, but smaller and aimed more at the hobbyist.
  • Sparkfun Kind of hard to define this one. Best to have a look.
  • Sciplus. If you don’t need it, they’ve got it. Descriptions are a hoot!
  • Halted. Surplus stuff.
  • SDP-SI. Precision mechanical components.
  • Oshpark does small batch manufacturing of circuitboards.
  • I Take Pictures of Electronic Parts. Anything in the suppliers list here.

kits

  • Adafruit and Sparkfruit are great for people who are starting out or who are intermediate. They have great information, helpful suggestions and great support forums. They have a lot of eletronic stuff, as well as soft circuitry and some other hobbyist things (like arduino boards) that your average elctronics supply place would not have. But their selection as far as general electronics (resistors, leds, battery holders, batteries, switches, etc.) is somewhat limited to the types of things you would need for certain projects... and the small stuff is usually a little more "retail" priced through them.
  • Snap Circuits - snap together electronics components suitable for teaching introductory electronics

robotics

Open source robotics list.

Lab setup tips

How to set up an electronics workshop at home. Really good example labs, with organizing guides.
Work benches should be 36" - 39" tall so that you can lean onto the bench (assuming 5'8" - 6' tall). Given the height of our members, we may want two work areas, one at 33" - 34" and one at 37" - 39".

Possible build projects

DIY variable power supply
Bench Power Source

Circuits Lab tasks

Task coordinator: Greg Good, Megreger, circuitslabhost at redmountainmakers dot org.

List created by Shirley. To be verified by Greg Good, Megreger.

Greg lead us through a lot of work to finish the Circuits Lab. Lighting, rewiring, painting - the man took us over the finish line in early 2016.

  1. New floor covering - Rick Curl’s agricultural matting? Will likely be around $300 - $350 for that area.
  2. Acquire counter height stools

Circuits Lab wish list

Template:Circuits Lab host, printlabhost at redmountainmakers dot org

Quantity 1, unless specified

Priority 2

Priority 3

Miscellaneous shields for development boards

  • Desktop PC W/CAD software (Diptrace). We can start with the free version. There is a non-profit discount for advanced versions here: Diptrace pricing
    • Simulation software (Spice)
    • Compilers
      • Proton Development system PDS
      • "C" compiler
  • Logic Analyzer
  • Waveform generator Auction ends 5/24/15
  • Multimeter(s) - have 3, need more.
  • Hand tools such as diagonal cutters, needle nose pliers, screwdrivers, crimp tools (we have a good supply of everything except the crimp tools. But more never hurts)
  • bungee cords, all shapes and sizes (we have some, looking for more)
  • Benches and tables - three movable workstations set up.
  • Storage Bins for lab
  • Soldering tools (have three rework stations, need more for classes)
  • Precision Drill press
  • Precision circuit board cutter