Electronics Bench

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Arduino Uno's

The Arduino Uno is a basic prototyping board you can use to make simple electronics. It's one of the best ways you can get started with electronics and coding. Basically you can code the board to give specific outputs, based on inputs on specific pins. It's one of the most well documented microcontrollers, so if you're looking for something specific, the chance is someone has tried to do it already and google will be your best friend. If you're looking to get started with Arduino from little to no basic coding knowledge, here is a tutorial on how to do it that goes through some of the basics and leaves room to expand: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WBJcONsipZW8AqFeg47Jnr9jpsoVE378khvsaSx-Pe4/edit?usp=sharing


Soldering Irons

If you'd like to learn how to solder, check out the beginners guide here: https://www.makerspaces.com/how-to-solder/. This section will focus on information about the soldering irons we have.

Our electronics benches are equipped with Weller WES51 soldering stations connected to Weller soldering irons. Our soldering station has a variable temperature, the number on the dial is 1/10th of the actual temperature of the iron in Fahrenheit. For example, when soldering through hole components you'll want to set the dial to 70 which represents 700 degrees Fahrenheit.

Make sure you always put down butcher paper before you start soldering, solder can easily ruin our nice wooden tables

Desoldering Tool

Our desoldering tool is a Hakko FM-2024. The purpose of this tool, as you can imagine, is to remove solder.

You'll use the end of the tool to heat up the joint, and pull the trigger when the solder is liquefied to suck it into the gun. This deposits the solder into the insulated orange canister you'll see at the top of the gun.

This chamber can easily be replaced when full, and can be checked by simply pulling the yellow guard back towards the gun. The guard will click into place, and you can remove the orange canister. When you replace the canister into the gun, simply hit the yellow button on the top of the gun to release the spring.

You'll need to adjust the temperature of the Desoldering Tool as you would the soldering iron, since the goal of the tool is to liquefy the solder.

Step Up & Down Transformer


SMD Rework Station

The SMD Rework station is a tool we use to solder and desolder Surface Mount Devices. SMD's are components that are soldered directly to tabs on circuit boards, rather than having leads that go through the circuit board. These components often take up less space on the circuit board, with the trade-off that they are rather tricky to solder.

The SMD Rework station applies heat to solder joints by blowing hot air onto them. This allows you to hit multiple joints at the same time, and makes it much easier to work with SMD components.

Machine Proficiency

In order for an individual to advance in machine proficiency they must demonstrate ability to perform certain actions or tasks. All levels include abilities and concepts from lower levels.

This section is primarily for student workers.

Level 0

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Reading voltage and current with a multimeter
  • Setting up a lab power supply to a specific voltage
  • General electrical safety
  • Identify basic electronic equipment
  • Identify electronics equipment
  • Through-hole soldering

Individual understands the concepts:

  • The relationship between Voltage, Current, and Resistance
  • Parallel and Series Circuits

Level 1

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Setting up the waveform generator
  • Creating a wave on the waveform generator based on given specifications
  • Using the Oscilloscope to get the equation of a wave
  • Splicing wires using the soldering iron
  • De-soldering through-hole components without destroying them
  • Using the digital inputs and outputs on an Arduino Uno
  • Recieving Serial Output from an Arduino Uno

Individual understands the concepts:

  • How to use Solder Flux and Solder Wick
  • How the quality of solder relates to temperature of the soldering iron
  • The concepts of DC power
  • The basics of AC power and the differences between the two types of power
  • Circuit analysis of a circuit with resistors and a Voltage or Current power supply

Level 2

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Using analog inputs and outputs on an Arduino Uno
  • Using an Arduino Uno to drive a device with PWM inputs
  • Using an Arduino Uno to drive a device with I2C input
  • Using Arduino shields with an Arduino Uno
  • Sending Serial Input to control an Arduino Uno
  • Soldering and De-Soldering SMD components
  • Testing continuity of a circuit with a multimeter

Individual understands the concepts:

Level 3

Individual has demonstrated they are capable of:

  • Multiplexing I2C input with an Arduino Uno
  • Controlling an Arduino Uno with RF or a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection
  • Using the Trigger function on the oscilloscope
  • Get the frequency response of a circuit using the oscilloscope

Individual understands the concepts:

  • How to send Serial input to an Arduino Uno using Python/Java
  • How to explain to Ipro's that bluetooth is usually a lot more trouble than it's worth.
  • Teaching someone who has never soldered before how to solder