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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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.

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Mike Szczys wrote 04/02/2014 at 16:41 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 04/01/2014 at 16:26 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.

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