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Old 14th August 2003, 12:17 PM   #1
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jeff mai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Melbourne
Default "Mainframe" breadboard

I've decided I want to build the ultimate breadboard. I have this sturdy little hanging file cart that has room to mount two 18" x 26" work surfaces, one 18 inches above the other. This may not be quite big enough, but you get the idea.

Two rails (probably just steel angles) on standoffs running the length of the top surface will allow interchangeable valve socket plates to bolt on. Banks of euro-style terminal strips on either side will receive the leads from the valve sockets and connect them to passives. Mains AC will come up from below on one side for filament / heater circuitry. Filtered B+ will come up the other side.

The lower board will hold the 3 Variac controlled B+ supplies. Again, interchangeable socket plates will allow changing rectifier types. Other components can be swapped in and out of the PSU.

What I'd like to hear from you fellas are ideas for dealing with the issues of:
safety - most important
earthing
distributing mains AC to multiple switched points on the two surfaces
distributing B+ from one surface to the other
any other nifty ideas

I want to build this "mainframe" to handle future whims, in particular the possibility of running 1200VDC B+ for 845s, etc. The PSU components may not handle this sort of voltage right away, but I want the wiring to be ready for it.

I'm already using a "link" bar as a signal ground bus in my current breadboard. I'd like to take advantage of anything else my local electrical contractor supply can offer to make this a proper and safe job. Problem is, I know nothing about AC power distribution and what things are out there that I could incorporate.

Keep in mind this isn't really your typical breadboard for mocking up prototypes. I want to use this for ongoing exploration. There is a good chance it will be hooked up to the main system a fair bit of the time.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions and tips!

Jeff
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