Having a portable (or at least (transportable) electronics lab comes in handy in several circumstances. Maybe you don’t have a place (yet) for a permanent home for all that equipment. Maybe you need to bounce at a moment’s notice, heading off on electronic adventures at the drop of a hat. Or maybe you like to keep everything where you can find it in a hurry, without having to rummage through shelves and boxes, looking for just the right tool or component
Have Lab, Will Travel
First, a note or two is in order concerning travelling with your electronics lab. Nothing makes security screeners at an airport or customs inspectors at border crossings more nervous than a bunch of mysterious devices, especially devices that are tangled up in a rat’s nest of wires.
The Compact Executive Model
“A full mongoose is a slow mongoose.” This is an important lesson learned from Rudyard Kipling’s Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. Rikki, a mongoose, has to stay fast on his feet to be able to combat Nag the cobra and hope to win. Therefore, Rikki learns to only take a few bites at a time when eating and never gorge himself. Although hopefully not in a life-or-death situation like Rikki’s, you can learn a thing or two from this simple philosophy. Only take what you absolutely need when travelling, and never take something you can obtain at your destination. These things will only slow you down. Don’t be a slow mongoose.
Electrical Experiments You Can Perform
Here are some simple electronic experiments that you can perform using only the tools and components found in the compact executive mobile electronics lab. Start out with something simple and incrementally build on your success. Don’t try the most complex problems first. What you want is to build up both your knowledge and your confidence at the same time.
As we come to the end of this chapter, you should have some good ideas bouncing around in your head about how you want to pack your mobile electronics lab, what tools and components you absolutely must have with you, and how you want them organized. The best way to find out for sure what works for you is to make a few field trips, paying careful attention to what was actually used compared to what you anticipated needing.