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Hosted Since: 2012
Location: upstairs and to your right, when entering from the front door
Equipment: Category:Electronics_Equipment
Area Host Contact Details
Name: Andrew Wingate
Email: TBD
Other Contact:
Office Hours: TBD
Certifications: none

Area Rules

  1. There are equipment such as soldering irons, oscilloscopes, multimeters, power supplies available for use in the lab. Anyone using equipment or materials in the lab must put things back where they got them from. Since the electronics lab is a share space and maintained by volunteered efforts, we are all asked to contribute in keeping it organized and clean. Tools are located in red bins under the middle counter or smaller bins on and under the left most counter. Everything is labelled for the most part to make it easy to find and put things away.
  2. Components and hardware are provided for use in the Electronics/ Mechatronics Lab. The components and hardware are organized by sections, please refer to the labels on the counter and the bins. The material provided in the space is not meant for someone to build their projects out of entirely. Individuals are expected to bring their own components and hardware. The components provided are available if you are needing parts that you don't have. There is a discretionary donation for use of the PS1 components. $1-$5 for components depending on how much they cost retail. The donation box on far left side. The space does not have a budget to provided materials freely, so if you would like a functional and stocked lab, please donate to keep it going.
  3. If you use any components in the space and you see that the parts are getting low, please write down the parts on the clipboard hanging by the first workbench. Restocking of materials will be done based on this list.
  4. Please don't leave your projects in Electronics/ Mechatronics Lab. Right now we're out of space! If you have a locker, please store your projects there. If not, please take them home with you. If you have on-going long term projects please contact the Area Host about leaving your stuff out.
  5. Respect all the tools - We have expensive, precision equipment. If you break it, no one will be able to use it, and who knows if we'll get another one. If you don't know how to use a tool, ask someone who does, or contact the Area Host!
  6. If something breaks, put a note on it and contact the Area Host, don't just leave it for the next person to find.
  7. Donations of parts, components, hardware, and tools can be made to the Electronics/ Mechatronics Lab, please contact the Area Host before dropping off your stuff at the spaces. Please keep in mind that donations of anything must be use to the lab, not broken and way obsolete parts.
  8. Please throw away your food waste and and garbage on the tables.You are asked to leave the space in better condition than when you came in.
  9. Make awesome things!

Events in the Electronics/ Mechatronics Lab

  1. If you would like to reserve the Electronics/ Mechatronics lab for an event or class, please make your reservation on the Electronics Lab Reservation Calendar ([email protected]&ctz=America/Chicago). Please refer to the New Events page on how to do this ( Please make your reservations a least a day in advance. Also If you just want to see what's happening in the Electronics/ Mechatronics Lab you can check the calendar.
  2. Although usage of the space while an event is held is permitted, we want to make sure that everyone is mindful and respectful of the event while it is progress.
  3. Individuals hosting an event must clean and tidy the space after their event.

Project Storage

  1. Projects cannot be left in the shop. (If you absolutely MUST leave it there, please contact the Area Host and make sure it is alright first.)
  2. If a project is left in the shop for more than 7 days, the project will be considered abandoned and be made available to the membership as scrap, or thrown away.

For best results, have all the materials on hand when you start a project and set aside time to finish it quickly so we don't have projects laying all over the shop, half done, for months.


Electrical Hazards

Electricity carries two main dangers: Shock and Fire.

Causes of Electrical Fire

Fire can be caused by: • overloaded wiring, as in the case of a too-small extension cord overheating from excessive load. If in designing a circuit, you are unsure of the proper wire diameter to use for a given amperage load.

• dirty, loose, or undersized connectors carrying heavy current

• arcing when an electrical supply is partially short circuited

• insulation breakdown from excessive voltage (dielectric puncture)

• component failure due to parts being operated outside of their capabilities

• All of these issues are matters of technique.

Possible Effects of Electric Shock

• Electric shock can stop your heart if the current path from the hot conductor to the ground conductor crosses your chest.

• If sufficient current flows through body tissue, it will heat very rapidly, causing internal and external burn.

• The powerful stimulation of muscles by shock produces sudden, uncontrolled, and forceful body movements which can cause you to hit yourself, hit someone else, throw any objects which may be in your hand, or fall down and hit your head. It can also cause your grip to latch on the wire which is delivering the shock. This means you can't let go of the wire. If someone is unfortunate enough to get into this situation, either a bystander will have to shut of the power or try to use a non-metallic object (like a broom handle) to knock the person's hand off the wire. The strength and speed of the muscle action is almost superhuman. It is also uniquely painful.

Things You Should and Should Not Do to Avoid Electric Shock

• Always cover your 110 Volt power connections. Use wire-nuts or electrical tape, not masking tape or Scotch™ tape.

• Disconnect the power before opening an electrical chassis

• When working on circuits operating above 50 volts, keep one hand in your pocket. This reduces the chance of an accidental electrical pathway being formed across your heart.

• Know where the disconnect or power plug is for your piece.

• Don't use power cords as a “handle” to pick up things.

• Use insulated tools when working with electricity. (Almost all of our tools have insulated handles).

• Don't put your hands into circuitry if you can't see what you're doing (e.g. in the dark).

• Keep water and other liquids out of your work area. Don't try to use electricity in wet locations.

• Don't allow yourself to become grounded (e.g. by touching metal fixtures) while handling potentials above 50 volts.

• Before you power up your circuit for the first time, have your instructor check it.

• Consumer grade 2-conductor extension cords are not to be brought into the lab. Don't overload extension cords. Use good quality 3-prong cords only.

Tools Available

All equipment in the workshop has been tagged Category:Electronics_Equipment.

Using the tools

If it belongs to PS:One, please be nice to the tools. If they belong to a member who is awesome enough to loan us their personal gear, make sure you treat it extra nice and also, get their permission first.

Electronics Budget Fiscal Year Expenses