Hacked Gadgets Forum

November 8, 2008

Workbench Contest Feedback

at 2:36 am. Filed under Contests


The Workbench Contest is now over and I would like to thank all of the people who took the time to make one of the 34 entries! There are so many great ideas that are guaranteed to help lots of us improve our existing setup and plan for great future bench layouts. I have had a careful look through all of the entries and also received some requested feedback from a few people.

I would also like to request some feedback from the readers of Hacked Gadgets since I value your opinions greatly. Please leave a comment below with the entry number that you think deserves to win and a brief reason why. Please keep in mind that is contest was not about the most elaborate system or the tidiest setup but rather the one that was well described and pictured so that fellow readers could learn from it.

There is no right or wrong answer so I will select a random comment to win the prize this week. Just stick your hard drive into this hard drive enclosure and take your data on the road! Note that the workbench above is just random selection.

Workbench Contest Entries


Added November 19, 2008 

The winner is Vintage PC (#11).





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19 Responses to “Workbench Contest Feedback”

  1. Workbench Contest Feedback | deleteblog.com Says:

    […] View original […]

  2. medix Says:

    Entry #34

    I’m not sure I could pick a winner (partially for lack of time to look them all over thoroughly). A workbench and its associated location is such a dynamic concept that it was just awesome to see so many variations and examples.

    I don’t know many other people (locally) that participate in such technological musings, so I’ve really only ever known my own setup and very rarely had anything to compare to. There are definitely plenty of excellent setups here, and I have already picked up a few very good ideas.

    Cheers! And to each his own..

  3. Alan Parekh Says:

    Hi Medix,

    Are you documenting the waterfall project as it progresses? I have seen some commercial versions but none were documented. I am sure many would be interested in the technology that goes into building one.

    The two large analog gauges in your equipment rack will be fantastic when that get completed. When it is peaking you should change the lighting color!

  4. medix Says:

    Hello Alan,
    It’s on the ‘to do’ list, which (like most of us) is about 12 pages (and years) long. I’m in the process of building a new webserver, since the old one had no provisions for data redundancy (no RAID, etc). Once I get most of the config stuff out of the way, I’ll start working on page updates which (hopefully, time permitting) includes the projects and research categories.

    As for the waterfall project, the only documentation that exists are some notes scribbled on a few sheets of paper and my whiteboard. At the moment, I can drive the solenoid valves with the PIC interface board but that’s where I last left it. The original board was designed around a PIC16F877, but I’ve since been ‘enlightened’ to the capabilities of the 18F4550, specifically the USB support.

    I started designing a GUI using Matlab, and I’ve got a few scrips written to read in character data originally formatted for a 5×7 LCD character. Part of these scripts include custom character editing, etc.. Ideally I’d like to be able to format the message, and then preview it in another window (as it would look on the actual waterfall). I’m currently using Matlab because that’s what I know best.. I know a bit of C and I suppose I should get off my ass and learn how to use Visuall C/C++, but for now the application will be built using Matlab and eventually as a stand-alone application (using Matlab’s code compiler). I also need to figure out how to make the fonts scalable (more research needed here) and work out the water delivery system and pressure regulation.

    Long term goal is to potentially make the entire design scalable. I picked up about 30 more solenoids awhile back, after I had already designed the system around the 20 seen on the bench. I’d like to implement the logic in an Altera FLEX FPGA instead of messing with discrete chips (this should help scalability).

    That’s where it stands for now.. I’ve got (mostly) everything I need.. but like everything else, school got in the way.. 😉 I’ve been entertaining notions of getting an organized group together form the Engineering school where I work to help speed things along as well as get more ideas into the pool..

  5. medix Says:

    Wow.. that shoulda’ gone into the forum.. 😉

    Looks like a good start to the ‘documentation’ page..

  6. JP Says:

    I think entry #9 was really good. I like the large amount of storage drawers and how they’re neatly labeled. My workbench could definitely benefit from more organization. I really like his power outlet setup under the shelves too.

  7. kayne001 Says:

    Jorge……. my dream workbench.

  8. gearo Says:

    number 10

    looks useful and has some modern tools, but is still old and rustic looking

  9. Mitch Says:

    I would say #31. Both for the effort put into the post and the pure awesomeness of the area.

  10. RLP Says:

    The clean workbenches with LOTS of drawer space were my favorites. I truly cannot pick one that would be my favorite over all of them.

  11. Vintagepc Says:

    I say #3 for making creative use of small space- it hides away nicely, and everything seems to be within reach when its needed.

  12. jy Says:

    well, I dont like the workbenches with too much things on it, the projects must not be achieved very often on these…
    and I dont like the benches which are too clean because there must not be a lot of projects on them ! may be if you start a contest “the benches with the greatest number of onerous equipments on it ?
    so I like the benches with some mess, but not too much mess
    and among them here I can’t choose a better one !

  13. Anton Says:

    possibly the most unique was the workshop-in-a-cupboard. good use of space!

  14. Vintagepc Says:

    To put a different spin on jy’s comment:
    Workbenches with a lot of stuff on them actually get USED… those with nothing on them don’t.
    I have a room full of stuff that is pretty cluttered… but that doesn’t mean most of the projects I do there don’t get completed.
    It’s all a matter of perspective.

  15. medix Says:

    I’d have to agree.. I spend MORE time keeping the bench clean than I actually do working on something.. and when I put everything away, I loose track of it and it takes even more time to find it again..

    I like my mess.. (organized chaos if you will)

  16. ginge Says:

    I would have to agree with the untidy workbench comments… I said as much in my entry 😉 (#30)
    Too tidy and I have no idea where I put things and I don’t get work done. If I leave my current projects(s) (lets face it we all have more than one on the go, right?) out then I will be more inclined to work on them!

  17. Vintagepc Says:

    Another good point… Time spent cleaning up is time that could be spent working on something…
    Many times I’ve cleaned something up only to need it the next day and not remember where I put it.
    (But then again, computer parts don’t fit in to neat little drawers as well as resistors, they take up a lot more space.)

  18. Alan Parekh Says:

    Winner announced.

  19. Vintagepc Says:

    Seems to me this was one of, if not THE contest with the best odds of winning…
    Thanks, HackedGadgets!

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