Title: Solder/Test Bench Safety Improvements and Equipment Preservation

Submission Date: 28/03/16

Current Status: Awaiting approval from membership and committee

Proposer: Tom Gardner

Description: Purchase of LED Lighting PSU, Scope Probe Rack, Dustpans

The lighting on the electronic test bench and soldering bench has recently been improved by the addition of the LED lights donated by Nate. However, since they are 24V (not 12V) currently they can only be powered by a bench PSU. This has disadvantages:

  • removes a PSU from the pool of usable equipment, and occupies bench space
  • if the PSU voltage is set too high then the lights will overheat; it is unclear whether this is a safety hazard
  • trailing wires and hookups look and are a mess

Hence we need a dedicated PSU for the lighting, which will be attached to the shelving. There are no suitable PSUs in the boxes.

The scope probes are vital for measurements, fragile, and expensive. The only ones we have for the 100MHz scopes cost £150 each. FFI see Oscilloscope Probes. It would be a shame to unnecessarily destroy them through neglect. The probes are currently “stored”, and I use that word loosely, on the two “finger racks”, with the following disadvantages:

  • can't find probes, and probes left around the Hackspace
  • there isn't enough space for all the probes and test leads
  • the finger spacing is wrong for probes, leading to extra stress
  • sends the wrong messages about caring for instruments, looks and is a mess

Hence we need a dedicated probe rack that is adjustable for the different scope probe sizes, and which frees up space on the existing test lead racks for the test leads. This will be attached to the wall next to the test bench, so it will be trivial to store probes properly and find them when needed.

Solder splashes, swarf and wire cuttings are all dangerous if they are left to accumulate, both to humans (heavy metals, scratches) and equipment (causing shorts and intermittent operation). One impediment to members cleaning up the mess they create is that they have to find a dustpan. We need dustpans specifically for the soldering and test benches.

Hence the proposal is to buy:

Budget: £46, as above

Funding source/model: small purchase, Hackspace funded

Resources depended upon: oscilloscopes, scope probes, bench PSU and other bench equipment

Member supporters: Adam Armfield, John Willis, Joe Egger, Russ Mowat, Toby Scott

Committee supporters: David Henshall, Toby Seely, Russell Dicken, Arthur Amarra, David Wyatt, Ian Stratford

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