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Ultimate Portable SMT Lab

Everything required to build, test, and repair surface-mount circuit boards in 2 compact cases. Set-up takes let than 1 minute.

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This project was created on 03/31/2014 and last updated 11 months ago.

For the last eight months I’ve been working from multiple locations. I prefer to travel light, but that’s not easy when hardware development is involved. If I take minimal tools, it’s inevitable that an SMT rework will come up and leave me without the right tools. My first thought was to have everything in a couple of equipment cases, but this weekend I took things to another level and fully integrated a full SMT lab, including stereo microscope and an oscilloscope into a couple of cases. Set-up takes let than 1 minute. Apart from the equipment, total parts budget is under $50.

This build packs a lot of really cool equipment into a portable format (each case is about 18”x13”x6”). Apart from the obvious, a couple of things I’m very happy with are the instant work-surfaces, and a +12V central rail that powers various items inside the cases.

Mike Szczys wrote 11 months ago point
Jonathan, I'm so glad to see this here after first reading about it on the front page:

There were a few commenters who wanted a better look inside each case. Any chance you can post some images and commentary in the Project Details section? Thanks!

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Eric Evenchick wrote 11 months ago point
After a lot of travelling around and never having a good soldering setup, I am incredibly jealous of this rig. Doing SMT work on a messy bench at a hackerspace is frustrating... so many lost components.

Are you sure? [yes] / [no]

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