My workbench is a crowded, busy little work space full of old HP/Aglient equipment and could use a serious upgrade. It consists of an HP 34410A multimeter, an HP 34970A Data Logger (which needs a new battery and calibration), an HP E3630A Power Supply, an HP 33120A Function Generator, and an Agilent MSO7104B Oscilloscope. These are all sitting on an old Agilent Technologies workbench which, along with the chair, was purchased from Agilent's scrap sale. The function generator and oscilloscope are on loan from a former Agilent employee and will have to be returned at some point. Also sitting on my workbench are two Metcal solder stations, one of which is equipped with tweezers, one BK8000 rework station, and a 2KVA isolation transformer to protect the borrowed oscilloscope and other test equipment. The varactor sits on the floor because there is no room on the bench. I do have a larger workbench that was also purchased from an HP scrape sale, but it is too heavy to get into my basement; it sits in my garage.

The workspace is used for active development of audio equipment. Several products are currently in process. One is an ultra-low distortion pre-amp currently awaiting some polystyrene caps. Another is a chip amp from ST that I've just started assembling. A compander is currently in design phase with hopes to move into prototype in a couple of weeks. Spice simulations have already been done on the input stages.

The biggest challenges, outside of lack of space, is having to borrow equipment from other engineers. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone with an audio distortion analyzer. That, along with an oscilloscope and function generator, are on my equipment list. Parts for a bench computer have been purchased, but unfortunately it is not up and running yet.

Hopefully, I will be able to use my workbench to prove out a new design that I can bring to market. My dream is to bring back that 70's retro look in HiFi audio equipment using modern components with higher specs.


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