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About the Electronics Workbench
The electronics workbench is a space reserved for reworking, repairing, prototyping, assembling, and soldering circuits or other electronic devices.
We supply soldering irons and test equipment, and can point you to a wealth of online resources to learn about, design, and troubleshoot basic and advanced circuitry.
We also keep a small stock of passive components like resistors, capacitors, and diodes, active components like transistors and ICs, as well as microcontrollers like Arduinos and ESP32 systems, all of which are available to use for your projects.
Create your own electronic devices, program small computers to make games, tools, or interactive knick-knacks, repair broken electronics, investigate robotics, and join the community of makers and tinkerers here at JMU!
Safety is the number priority while using the electronics workbench.
In addition to the normal risks associated with sharp and/or moving objects, the electronics workbench, also carries a slight risk of fire, burns, electrical shock, and hazardous fumes. You must remain alert and attentive and ALWAYS use the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety glasses, fume extractors, etc. when working with these tools. No food or drink is allowed at the electronics workbench.
Everyone in the JMU community is welcome and encouraged to use our electronics facilities. Before doing so, everyone is required to first complete a brief training on how to solder safely, and must sign a form stating that you’ll follow a few basic safety rules. The easiest way to receive training is by booking an appointment or attending one of our workshops!
No food or drink is allowed at the electronics workbench.
Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. Arduino boards are able to read inputs – light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message – and turn it into an output – activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online. You can tell your board what to do by sending a set of instructions to the microcontroller on the board.
- Arduino IDE: Open source software to write code and upload it to the Arduino board. Runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
- Arduino Language Reference: A reference guide to the Arduino language and many libraries.
- The Arduino Playground: A user-editable wiki chock-full of useful info.
- Arduino Project Hub: A collection of Arduino projects.
- The Arduino Reddit: User discussion board to post questions, comments, interact with the community
Basic Electronics Resources
- Intro to Circuits: Online textbook, video lectures and tutorials to get you started
- Khan Academy’s Electrical Engineering Course: Free online course in electrical engineering, for beginners
- Tinkercad Circuits: Circuit simulator that can interface with your 3D projects
Electronics Components Inventory
Most of our components inventory is stored in an olive green cabinet (an old card catalog cabinet) sitting a few feet away from the workbenches, on the back wall of the space.
- Breadboards and Wire
- Various Connectors and Cabling
- Resistors, Capacitors, Diodes (range of values)
- Buttons, Switches, Potentiometers
- Various Sensors
- LEDs, Speakers
- Servos and Stepper Motors
- Fluke 87V Digital Multimeter
- Digital Multimeter Fundamentals – How to use a multimeter
- Tektronix 1052B-EDU Oscilloscope
- Tektronix AFG1022 Arbitrary Function Generator
- Tektronix PWS2185 Bench Power Supply