Introduction: EE Tray

Picture of EE Tray

Simple to make, and great for shared workspaces. Grab a food tray, add power jacks, breadboards and component containers.

Step 1: The Parts

Picture of The Parts

Key components: female banana plugs, breadboards, component containers, velcro (not pictured) and, of course, a food tray.

I find that Maxim chip sample containers make for some of the better component cases.

Step 2: Drill Holes for Banana Connectors

Picture of Drill Holes for Banana Connectors

Easy as one, two, three! Center punch, predrill, drill.

For the banana connectors I used 5/16" allowed them to fit but jiggle around. Had I been more forward thinking, I would have spaced the holed appropriately to fit three prong banana connectors.

I use three here for the standard Vcc GND Vee combination.

Step 3: Banana!

Picture of Banana!

In they go!

Be sure to loosen the part of the connectors which are used to clamp wires before inserting them. Otherwise it becomes difficult to loosen them without removing their nut.

Step 4: Breadboards!

Picture of Breadboards!

Breadboards conveniently come with adhesive backs, and tabs to fit together.

Step 5: Component Cases!

Picture of Component Cases!

A little velcro and some old maxim chip containers, and voila!


russ_hensel (author)2015-03-15

Just a note to let you know I have added this ( a year ago ) to the instructable:

Comprehensive Guide to Electronic Breadboards: A Meta Instructable


Take a look at a bunch of ideas for using breadboards.

Ian01 (author)2006-07-14

What's Vee?

Ian01 (author)Ian012014-01-07

It's a second supply voltage.

westfw (author)2006-05-18

Neat idea. Um, lacking a school cafeteria from which to borrow one, just where DOES one find food trays of substantial size like this? (I supposed there is the COMPANY cafeteria...) Retail stores seem to have smaller, fancier trays that are fine, but expensive...

silencekilla (author)westfw2010-09-03

steal one from mcdonalds or a mall food court lol i work at mcdonalds so it makes it funny

Popcorn Dave (author)westfw2006-07-25

If you have an Ikea store nearby, I just picked up some plastic trays for about $5 each. I'd only be worried about static from a plastic tray though.

andreq (author)westfw2006-05-18

You could actualy "borrow" one from some fastfood restaurant :D

radiorental (author)westfw2006-05-18

a bit of ply with some trim would do the trip... but I'm making a trip to the company crapeteria today for sure. Get half a dozen of these and make a project shelving unit

zachninme (author)2006-11-25

Funny how you use banana plugs and a breadboard with a food tray :-P
Nice project!

Azayles (author)zachninme2010-03-15

Plus handy boxes to put his chips in :P

The Ideanator (author)zachninme2009-08-31

I see what you did there.

mmt (author)2008-08-22

In retrospect I should have used lockwashers to solve the problem I mentioned above.

uCHobby (author)2006-10-29

User your PC to power the bread board. I put up some instructions at

spinach_dip (author)2006-05-18

Where do you get those "old maxim chip containers"? I have one I got from an ebay seller when I bought some RGB LEDs. I'd love to get a bunch of them fairly cheap.

radiorental (author)spinach_dip2006-05-18

you could easily build in tray compartments with anything from duct tape folded in half to strips of plastic/plywood hotglued to the base, would end up looking something like a tv-dinner tray

spinach_dip (author)radiorental2006-05-18

I know I can build the tray with anything, I'd probably go with a box with dividers from allelectronics. But...I have one box exactly as pictured above, and I'd like to get a bunch more

radiorental (author)spinach_dip2006-05-19

I agree, trying to think of a ready supply of such boxes. Like matchboxes or... hey, altoids tins! and you can ground them to make them anti static

spinach_dip (author)radiorental2006-05-20

Altoids tins would be good for the tray. You'd still need conductive foam since you want to keep all the IC leads at the same potential.

klee27x (author)radiorental2006-05-19

The most important part of the Maxim chip container is the high density conductive foam. Where do you get this stuff cheap/free?

prank (author)2006-05-19

cool project! If I make one too, could we 'trayd' them sometime? hyuk hyuk ah, well good times

radiorental (author)2006-05-17

nice project tray, well thought out. and on/off switch near the plugs might be a useful addtion?

About This Instructable




Bio: Class of 2007, undergraduate at MIT. Living at ; working at and playing at
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