The Engineering Electronics Shop provides electronic and information technology upport for the UN-L E.E. undergraduate and Engineering research labs.
This means setting up and keeping functional electronic test instruments and computers in the E.E. department labs. If there are problems with the labs, contact us right away.
The E.E. Shop keeps a limited selection of some parts used in EE undergraduate labs on hand for sale to UN-L EE students only. These parts can be purchased with cash, personal check, or N-Card at the Shop in room W.S.E.C. 122. (No mail order, phone or Web orders.)
To save the time of busy students and busy E.E. Shop staff, please: Consult our "big list of parts" see what parts we have , to get specific part numbers (not just "a flip flop"), and to download data sheets to help you choose what you need.
Write down a list of *all* the components you need BEFORE you come to the Shop so our staff can simply take your list and get you all your materials quickly, especially during the rush times when projects are due and people are lined up.
Please, no cell phone conferences with your lab partners at the front counter.We're glad to answer questions about anything, but please examine your purchases elsewhere to avoid blocking our Shop entrance or delaying other persons waiting for assistance.
If you are an EE student you will be buying a lab kit from one of the student organizations that contains the parts you need for the lab. The EE Shop sells replacement parts in the event that your kit parts are damaged or lost or you need additional parts, but we will not assemble complete lab kits from individual parts as an alternative to purchasing a kit from HKN. We also stock items that are commonly needed in design and project labs, including solder, wire wrapping tools, and more.
EE Shop technicians are available to advise students on their design projects. We are in the electronic design business and have seen many years worth of student projects. See us to brainstorm on feasibility, get leads on where to get parts, information, software, troubleshooting suggestions, etc. Also, be sure to read our page of Prototyping Tips. We'll do whatever we can to help, BUT the ultimate responsibility for design and troubleshooting is yours! We aren't a full-service electronics parts store, but we do stock selected parts for EE undergraduate labs. Read this page for more information. Also, we do have lots of free breadboarding wire.
Tool and Equipment Lending:
The E.E. department attempts to make all the test equipment students require for projects available in the labs. Sometimes specialized equipment isn't in the Projects Lab but can be found in another instructional lab: discuss your need to use this equipment with a Shop technician BEFORE moving anything from a lab. (See the EE Lab Usage Guide for more information.) We'll see what we can do to accomodate you.
As a general rule, students are responsible for their own hand tools, soldering equipment, and breadboarding supplies. (Although free breadboarding wire is available for the asking from the Shop.) Most EE Shop test equipment is reserved for use by our technicians, but we do have a limited number of specialized or surplus instruments that can be checked out on a one-day basis.
The EE Shop can design, develop, build, and service electronic equipment and instruments for all types of engineering research. This includes data acquisition and control systems, signal conditioners, equipment interfacing . . . almost anything that requires electronics, we'll have a go at it. All such work requires valid UN-L cost objects and Shop technician labor is charged at a rate of $34 per hour. We can also help identify off-the-shelf solutions to research needs.
All electrical supply wiring in UN-L buildings, including outlets, switches, etc., must be installed or serviced by licensed electricians. Because the E.E. Shop staff are not electricians, we will refer requests for work on supply wiring to Facilities Management. In some cases we can install line cords or plugs on some types of test equipment.
The Engineering Electronics Shop does not routinely provide tools or test instruments for research labs. Our test equipment is for the work our technicians do, and researchers should expect to purchase tools and equipment they will need for research work, especially common hand tools.
However, sometimes our Shop has a limited number of surplus lab instruments like DC power supplies or oscilloscopes that we can pass along, or may have specialized test gear that we can loan on a one-day basis.
Parts, Tools and Supplies:
Everything we stock in our limited "student store" is also available for purchase by researchers if they provide a valid UN-L cost object at the time of purchase.
The EE Shop is able to fabricate unpopulated printed circuit boards for student and research projects with our LPKF ProtoMat S103 system. Contact Tom Grady for more information.
Routing with the LPKF ProtoMat S103:
If the PCB has been drawn using a computer-aided PCB drawing program such as the Altium Designer software provided on computers in the E.E. undergraduate labs, we can use a machine that mechanically mills copper away from around the traces and pads on a blank copper-coated circuit board. This system also drills all the holes and is able to create surface mount and RF circuit boards. Other PCB design programs capable of generating Gerber photoplot files can sometimes be used. These boards can usually be manufactured within two to three days of the time the design files are provided to our technician. It is worth checking with Tom Grady for guidelines on using Protel so that your drawing is most suitable for use on the LPKF system.
Cost: depends on the size and complexity of the board - how much material it uses and how many routing bits it consumes.
Surface Mount and Single Sided Boards:
The EE Shop is now also able to place and mount some surface mounted components with a "pick and place" system, and to solder them with a reflow oven or hot-air soldering pencil. These services must be performed by Shop personnel and may involve additional cost. We encourage keeping designs single-sided to the greatest extent possible.
Etching with Chemicals:
The Shop has discontinued chemical etching of printed circuit boards. The speed and quality of the ProtoMat system has made obsolete the complex process of making photographic negatives, exposing sensitized boards, and etching them. The etching process also exposed our technicians to hazardous chemicals and presented significant disposal problems for our spent chemicals.
Populating and Soldering Boards:
Students are expected to mount and solder their own components to circuit boards they design; Shop technicians will only assist with surface mount devices that cannot be hand-soldered. For research boards, populating and soldering custom circuit boards involves a labor charge of $34 per hour.
All requests for work done for departments must include a Work Order, filled out completely with account numbers and authorizing signature. (No, Post-it Notes)