EE Tray

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About: Class of 2007, undergraduate at MIT. Living at http://xi.tep.org ; working at http://csail.mit.edu and playing at http://miters.mit.edu

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

Step 1: 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

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!

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!

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

Step 5: Component Cases!

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

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    21 Discussions

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    westfw

    12 years ago

    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...

    4 replies
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    silencekillawestfw

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

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

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    Popcorn Davewestfw

    Reply 12 years ago

    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.

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    andreqwestfw

    Reply 12 years ago

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

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    radiorentalwestfw

    Reply 12 years ago

    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

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    zachninme

    12 years ago

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

    2 replies
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    mmt

    10 years ago on Step 3

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

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    spinach_dip

    12 years ago

    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.

    5 replies
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    radiorentalspinach_dip

    Reply 12 years ago

    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

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    spinach_dipradiorental

    Reply 12 years ago

    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

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    radiorentalspinach_dip

    Reply 12 years ago

    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

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    spinach_dipradiorental

    Reply 12 years ago

    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.

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    klee27xradiorental

    Reply 12 years ago

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

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    prank

    12 years ago

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