The amateur experimenter's workshop requires a few pieces of test equipment to successfully build circuits at home and get them working to a reasonable level. Either homebrew or commercial test gear will do in most cases. In recent years, I've had regular access to a General Dynamics R8000B Communications Analyser which I used at my work place. It's an all-in-one piece of equipment with an expensive price tag. As I no longer have access to it, I purchased a Siglent Spectrum Analyser with an internal tracking generator option. It's a welcome addition to the test bench. My new spectrum analyser will take a while to become completely familiar with. It's not a professional class piece of test equipment but intended more for the hobbyist. It's nice to be able to visualise the output of a transmitter or a filter's response etc. and know that all is well with a circuit and that it is working as intended. It compliments some other test gear I have acquired in recent times.
In years gone by, and without access to suitable test gear, I've not been confident enough to build anything too complex. Over the last couple of years however, I've been playing "catch-up" in the homebrew radio area and really enjoying the challenges and feeling of satisfaction when a project is completed and works as intended.
Page last updated 15th May 2018
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This photo is of the compact test bench. It is where I test my radio and electronics projects. A mixture of old and some newer equipment. Since relocating to Maitland I've had to scale back the physical size of the workshop to fit into the available space. Hams of yesteryear managed to do a lot with much less than this. I've always admired their skills in being able to build equipment and get it on-air successfully. After all of my time in amateur radio, I still find it fascinating to make a QSO on a home made radio!
The parts collection below. I've just recently consolidated them into a 20 foot shipping container.
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The photo to the right is the workbench which I rebuilt a couple of years ago. I replaced the top and added a return on the left hand side. It started life at my place as an office desk when I bought it from a used furniture store in 1998. It's now used to assemble my radio projects and do some repairs from time to time. Mostly just a soldering iron, a couple of power supplies, RF power meter, dummy load as well as an oscilloscope needed at this bench.