Another Awesome Electronics Lab In A Box


We called, and [Brian Zweerink] answered! Here’s another awesome example of making an electronics lab in a box!

But first off, who the heck is [Brian Zweerink]? He’s a fellow who helped us win the Redbull Creation Challenge of 2012 by building and programming the circuits for The Minotaur’s Revenge Dueling Labyrinths! We really need to do stuff like that again… What do you guys think?

Anyway, back to the hack. [Brian’s] version of the Make Your Electronics Lab in a Box, is similar, but also unique. What we like about his version is the electrical outlets inside the box for plugging in tools, the super-handy-stash-away-magnifying-lamp, and the size of his box; lots of room for storing components up on the top shelf! The only thing he’s missing is his oscilloscope, which was a bit too deep for the box, so it had to stay separate.

What do you guys think?

[via Reddit]

20 thoughts on “Another Awesome Electronics Lab In A Box

  1. A huge CRO takes up a lot of desk space even on a dedicated workbench. This is the main reason I bought one of the Hantek DSO10** scopes. It’s basically a scope-meter, but with a full-sized scope screen on it. It’s maybe 40mm thick. As an added bonus, it’s battery powered and charged from an isolated SMPS, which means I can take reading on mains-connected stuff without risking tripping the house’s RCD (my room mates, both gamers, were pleased when I got it). Something like that would fit nicely in that box.

  2. Oh, how much I wish I could have such as tiny lab.
    My current lab resides in room 3x3m (quite luxury for living in a relatively small flat) and it is really full. Now I’m considering to sell/throw out most of the material, because it is simply too much.

  3. Lovely design! Sometimes smaller is better. I’m blessed to be working with a 12×15 spare bedroom and cursed with too much floor space (which is where the stuff ends up, usually in boxes or bags to “organize”) .

    Power strip would probably take up less space though…

    Lookin good!

  4. Extra points for the lighted magnifier that is a part of the box. all he needs to do is get some white laminate and flue it to the work surface and add a very small lip around the edges. so when you start working with SMD parts, you can easily spot dropped ones and the lip will not let them go off the surface.

  5. Nice build.

    I would make sure that the electric box is fuse or breaker protected.

    Just wiring the electric box without protection is not to code.

    A company I worked for was told to replace extension cords made in this fashion.

    A nice anti-static mat would be great.


    1. Since it is a temporary installation(NEC 527, 590) it does not -need- a breaker. Though it is in your best interest to do so.It does however need to be grounded, which it looks to be.
      If it were a permanent work station you’d need one, but the intention behind this is to be mobile.

  6. I’m not really sure how this is awesome, the design itself is rather mediocre and something I would have expected to come out of a high school wood shop class. Look at where the power cable exits the rear, and the astounding lack of strain relief. I can only imagine with time this will suffer similar failures as the Apple power adapters did. Or the awfully small amount of clearance between the bread board and the arm for the magnifier. And is it really too much to ask for someone to finish the wood on this?

    1. Why do you need strain relief where the power cord exits the box? Stranded extension cord is rugged enough it does not need strain relief. I’ve made similar extension cords and they have lasted for decades for me.

      As far as finishing a piece like this goes it is a work box. It would not surprise me if over time they did not enhance, and improve on it as they work with it too. A finish over wood can interfere with that if you want to use wood glue as part of the alteration.

  7. I’ve seen similar boxes at local slot car race club – they’re called slot car totes, aka pitbox or toolbox. Usually carried around by 70+ year old fellas with a bit of a slow gait and bright sparkly eyes, and crammed full with slot cars, spare parts, and a soldering iron. And lots of stickers. Gotta have stickers on them, otherwise not the real thing, it seems.

  8. Nice build. I’m sure the component bin sizes were whatever he had but for an improvement I’d pick only one or two so I could add hardboard dividers. That way each could slide out easily without unstacking ones on top. Some glued dow velcro dots and velcro straps to prevent shifting while carrying. As for power cord vs. strip I’d buy one that has the breaker built in. I’ve been using one for Christmas for several years. Saves tripping the house one.

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