Hi I'm Rick, and here is my busy workspace. I use it for prototyping, PCB assembly, troubleshooting, and repairs. I have a U1272A with a U1115A remote display, a couple of other DMMs, a basic digital scope, and a single-channel power supply. I may not be as well-equipped as some of the other benches posted here, but a little creative problem-solving is fun! Certain projects have required a bit of ingenuity on my part. I've previously used an Arduino in place of a function generator to simulate and test a quadrature level shifter and I've built my own dual-channel constant-current supply using some LM317s. It's hard to justify buying new equipment when you're adept at making do with what you have.

I've driven/tinkered with an electric vehicle for almost 9 years, so it has been satisfying to work on other environmentally-minded projects. One favorite of mine enabled the reduction of the idle time of large industrial diesel engines using supercapacitors. (First time my name went on a patent!) Development involved monitoring many environmental and equipment parameters using what's on my workbench. Other projects involve eliminating diesel engines entirely, in favor of electrification or hydrogen power. Another notable/worthwhile project was a control system intended for low-temperature shipping and distribution of vaccines and similar temperature-sensitive goods (commonly known as the "cold chain").

I'm presently involved with the development of a green waste collection system, and I've been working on interfacing with CANbus and LIN on large trucks. I've used my basic scope to analyze vehicle traffic, but it was a bit of a chore without any kind of protocol analyzer built in. An upgraded scope would definitely improve my ability to monitor vehicle communications, as well as prototype and evaluate the hardware that I build to interface with those networks. A 3-channel power supply could really come in handy for prototyping those interfaces. A function generator would let me put my Arduino to better use.

I love what I do, and I feel that I'm helping make a difference in the world. Would a new bench help make that difference? I say yes!


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