Laboratory Guidelines

Lab Guidelines

Microprocessor Laboratory (PHO 117)

  1. Put any tools back in the tool box AS SOON AS you’re done with them; other people will need them.
  2. Put debris in the wastebasket AS SOON AS you produce it. Keep your work surfaces clean.
  3. Loose parts they have removed and no longer need should go in another box labeled COMPONENTS ODDS AND ENDS (capacitors, motors, transistors, connectors, etc.), to be emptied out when specific value becomes too low.
  4. Have a large cardboard bin for all round and flat CABLES—line cords, modem lines, hard-disk flat cables, VGA cables.
  5. Finally, there should be a separate box or bin for CONSUMABLES, such as glues, tapes, markers, labels, erasers, rubber bands, nails, pins, stakes, spools of copper or steel wire.
  6. Turn off your soldering iron when you move away from the bench.
  7. Don’t use hammer, wrench, or scissors to remove a component from a circuit board; learn to DESOLDER it neatly.
  8. Oscilloscope probes are expensive technology gadgets, not consumables. If you have to monitor a test point, don’t remove the probe’s siringe-like shell and stick the bare tip directly IN your prototyping board—it will break off at the least movement AND YOU’LL FLUNK THE COURSE ON THE SPOT for gross disregard of lab resources. For the same purpose, don’t stick one end of a solid copper wire in the prototyping board and attach the scope spring clip to the other end of the wire—the whole thing is loose as hell, especially when you have three or four of such connections. Instead, push a “stake” (a square brass pin from a PC header) into the desired board position and clip the scope probe (or the meter probe) to it. This is simple, clean, and strong!
  9. Use SOLID copper wire only between tho points on the same prototyping board or circuit assembly (where subassemblies do not move with respect to one another). In all other cases, such as going from one board to another that is not rigidly connected to the first, use STRANDED copper wire. Make liberal use of stakes as test points.