I have a lab in my apartment, but unfortunately, I cannot bring the whole thing with me to hackathons and other events, so I decided to make my mobile project lab.
One day, I went to a thrift shop and saw this case for like 30 bucks so i decided to get it, and see what I could do with it, because it looked really cool. Eventually I started shoving my equipment in there and after a while, i realized that it could make a pretty good mobile lab if i packed it right, and used the right tools. I have brought it to Y-Hack and HackRU, and I brought it with me for my summer internship in the bay area.
The top part holds most of my tools, like wire cutters/strippers, pliers, tweezers, soldering iron, etc. It is also a flap that can be removed.
Behind the flap I have a binder filled with misc components and reference material, and a variable power supply that i made from a laptop charger. I will probably go into mare detail about that later.
As you can see, the bottom half of the case is sectioned off into little areas for organization. It also has a power strip mounted on the side. In this picture, it was ripped off, but it is usually in the same place, just attached very straightly. In the top left corner is Hot glue guns. You can never have enough hot glue. The top middle is misc wires/wireless keyboards and IR remotes. The top right is just miscellaneous boards and projects at this point. You can see a Wii Nunchuk and a raspberry pi sitting in there. The bottom left has my multimeter, probes and a calculator, and the middle is wires and tape. The bottom right just has bags of organization stuff, like wire ties, alligator clips, velcro and so on.
This last image kind of shows what I plan to do next. At the hackathons that I went to, HackRU especially, my mobile lab was very popular. Many people came around to check it out. I have decided that I want to give it some more features to show off for my next time around. I have installed an RGB Led strip that I had laying around and will hook it up to a simple board to make it all bright and colorful when opened.
Here are a few other features I will add to make it more hackathon inclined:
- Raspberry Pi to control all main features.
- Relay controlled power strip.
- IR remote control of functions.
- GPS module to track major locations.
- Raspberry Pi Git Server.
- Wifi Extender
These all fall into the categories of either “hackathons have horrible internet”, “automation makes my job easier”, or “that sounds like a cool thing to have”. I will give updates as I finish these things up.