[time-nuts] Test Equipment

Stan, W1LE stanw1le at verizon.net
Sat Jan 23 18:22:49 UTC 2010

Another important aspect of the electronic test bench is the furniture.

I started with the cheapie particle board "fold up legged" tables and 
very soon
learned they could not hold much weight without significant sagging.

Final solution was industrial strength work benches with a butcher block 
maple top, 1-3/4" thick.
I use a grounded anti static rubber mat on top.
They have never sagged with lotsa test equipment on them.
My test bench is 36" deep and 72" wide.
Always plan for rear access for cleaning the air filters, plugging in 
the external references,
and other cabling.

How much work space do you really need ?  Depends on how big the stuff 
you work on is....

You will probably need 18" to 24" of workspace between you and the test 
Some test equipment like a VNA may be 22" deep, and almost 100 lbs.

 Maybe the long equipment is best placed on a wheeled wire rack.
The open wire racks come in many sizes, both in width, depth, 18", 24" 
etc., and height.
They breath well being open and access to the front and rear connectors 
is easy.
Mine are on wheels so I can move my T'Bolt references and counter array 
to the test location.

Caveat: Some of the industrial grade work benches with a anti static 
plastic laminate
over particle board ~ 1.25" thick  can sag with weight. Either limit the 
or add another leg in the middle.

Caveat #2: Avoid the smaller wheels on the movable racks.
The cast marks on the middle of the tread will mar hardwood floors.
Bigger eurathane wheels roll nicely.

A steel framed, steel top with a anti static pad is also quite workable.
Always trim the leg height to your requirements. Ergonomics is important
when watching that 48 hour precision survey with Lady Heather.

Many industrial equipment catalogs will give you an idea of the 
accessories possible.
Shelves, drawers, electrical outlet strips.etc.

An effective infrastructure will allow the test bench to gradually grow, 
as the budget allows.

Stan, W1LE    Cape Cod    FN41sr


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