Joost Breed is a Heerhugowaard, Netherlands-based R&D software engineer and an electronics innovator in his free time. A few times per week, he heads to his electronics workspace — which is conveniently located on the top floor of his home — to design measurement equipment and more. These days, the long-time Elektor reader is working on a new two-channel RF power meter. 
Joos Breed's electronics workspace and equipment
Joost Breed has a lot of measurement and test equipment within arm's reach!
How do you use your workspace, and where is it located?
Electronics lab and office. Top floor of my home.

How would you describe the space?
It is always a mess, even after I clean up.

You’ve had this electronics workspace for 15 years. How often do you use it?
A few times per week.

When you first set up your workspace, what were your main goals? 
Space with enough room for my ever-growing stack of equipment.

What interests you? Which kinds of projects to you work on in your electronics workspace? 
I like to design cheaper copies of measurement equipment. It is educational, saves money, and adds useful equipment to my workbench.

Tell us about some of the tools and equipment you have in your space.
  • Tektronics 4Ch 100MHz 2247A oscilloscope
  • Rigol 300MHz DSO
  • HP34401 multimeter
  • Rigol 3058E multimeter
  • Fluke 45 multimeter
  • Fluke 289 multimeter
  • Velleman DVM890 multimeter
  • Brymen BM867s multimeter
  • Hameg 8323 frequency counter
  • Marconi Instruments 2022E 1.01GHz signal generator
  • Siglent SDG 805 arbitrary waveform generator
  • Rigol DG1022 arbitrary waveform generator
  • EEZ H24005 power supply
  • Rigol DP832 power supply
  • Advantest R4131D spectrum analyzer
  • Advantest TR4153A tracking generator
  • SmartScope
  • Differentual probe
  • HP 3325A 25MHz function generator
  • Yihua 898D+ soldering station
  • SD804 Desoldering unit
  • EraSynth micro 6GHz generator
  • EasyTester ET4410 LCR meter
  • 3D printer
  • Milling machine

What do you consider to be your most important tool and why?
My EEZ H24005 Power supply I bought it on CrowdSupply a few years ago, and it is the best power supply I have. Much better than the Rigol. I use it a lot. Every project needs a power supply.

Do you have any plans for your electronics workspace? Maybe some new tools or equipment?
I am planning to build my own soldering station based on the UniSolder project. I already have the components laying around.

You must have have a favorite electronics project. Tell us what you built and if you learned anything interesting.
My 10-MHz frequency disciplined frequency reference. I used multiple types of measurement equipment which measure of generate waveforms and frequencies. I like them to be all in sync. I also wanted to learn a lot and build something that others can use as well. I made it based on Arduino because it is easy to work with. I learned a lot about GPSDOs and oscillators.
Project in Breed's electronics workspace
Check out what Breed is working on!
What are you working on these days?
I am currently working on my two-channel RF power meter, which will be a successor of my first RF power meter, which was a success on Elektor Labs. The new version will have much more functionality and uses an ESP32 with 16-MB RAM. The power meter will be able to display scope images and will have a dynamic range up to 100 dB and 0.01-dB accuracy. I also features a graphical LCD, and it will get a web interface and SCPI support. It uses two 16-bit ADCs and samples up to 100 ksps. I am currently testing the hardware and writing the software.

Do you have a dream project?
I would like to build my own spectrum analyzer with low phase noise oscillators and good mixers. I want to use my milling machine to create aluminum shielding by milling out the cavities where the electronics go into. The PCB will be bolted between two of those aluminum blocks just as they do with professional RF equipment. I am already reading into it, and I have already learned a lot.

Have any advice for other Elektor readers who are thinking of designing an electronics workspace?
Try if you can find cheap broken equipment on the internet. Most of these can be easily repaired. It is very educational to repair equipment. But know what you are buying. Not everything can be repaired easily. This way, you will end up having decent equipment without spending too much on it.
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