A Retrospective of the SBE Challenge

The Smart Bench Essentials (SBE) Challenge celebrates innovators from around the world by showcasing their inventions and workbench. The creativity, passion, persistence, and altruistic spirit demonstrated by the entrants impressed the SBE judges. Indeed, you are the rays of hope for the future of the world — be it an advancement in solving the coronavirus pandemic, saving energy, reducing carbon emissions, robotic systems to improve the quality of life, exploring space science, and much more.

Keysight dedicates this web page to all SBE Challenge innovators to showcase some of the entries from the top five fields of interests, as well as testimonials and photos from the six winners.

  • Consumer Electronics / IoT
  • Automotive and Energy
  • Aerospace and Defense
  • IC / Semiconductor and Manufacturing
  • Education

SBE Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the six winners of the SBE Challenge. Here are their winning stories:

I am Married and I Need Your Help by Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes | United States | March 23, 2021

Comments from Keysight Challenge judges:

Both Mark and Keysight have a shared passion for educating current and next-generation engineers. His sense of humor and creativity differentiated him from the competition. We imagine he uses that same approach to engage EEs in learning how to design PCBs. Mark clearly demonstrated the benefits of how Keysight Smart Bench Essentials would help him share his knowledge with fellow engineers to enable their future innovations. Thank you, Mark, for reminding all of us that engineering is much more than just facts and figures; it’s fun too.

Comments from Mark Hughes:

With Keysights generosity, I have now expanded my workbench to contain 6 pieces of Keysight test gear.  You see, with Keysight's generous offer of 4 pieces of test equipment, I was successfully able to convince my wife that I won 5, and that left a small hole in my benchtop that could easily be filled by purchasing an additional device, for a total of six. My wife was more than happy to allow this since I had worked so hard to win the other 5.

Now I have almost everything I need to convince my boss that I can work from home indefinitely. Thank you, Keysight, for your time, effort, and generous gift of oscilloscope, function generator, digital multimeter, and triple output power supply. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the Smart Bench Challenge!  I’ll see you next year where I plan to enter again!

Reaching for the Stars by Jesi Domingo

Jesi Domingo | Australia | March 30, 2021

Comments from Keysight Challenge judges:

Jesi Domingo impressed us with her innovative creativeness and aspiration to use space science to uncover the effects of microgravity on Earth’s applications. Her current bench is quite minimal and clearly needs the Smart Bench Essentials equipment to help her better test her project. We know she’ll make good use of Keysight’s Smart Bench Essentials to work from home more effectively and to join forces with other researchers to further space exploration.

Comments from Jesi Domingo:

Since receiving the Keysight Smart Bench Equipment, it has taken over my bench and almost outnumbering my plant collection by replacing some of them. I enjoy the control, automation, and analysis software that works in conjunction with the equipment that Keysight has offered as they are intuitive and have an appealing graphic user interface. I have been able to concurrently conduct tests and configure the equipment on my laptop. An aspect of the smart bench equipment that I have found most useful is the ability to save data directly onto my laptop for the dreaded time that I need to complete documentation for reports.

The Smart Bench Equipment has allowed me to work more efficiently from home and spend more time with my furry lab partner. I believe that I will be able to test my prototypes rapidly, be closer to achieving a functional mini autonomous lab for space biology research, and closer to reaching the stars.

Equipping GU Rocketry for the Future by Jack Tufft

Jack Tufft | United Kingdom | April 13, 2021

Comments from Keysight Challenge judges:

Jack’s entry painted a riveting picture of the GU Rocketry project and the team’s passion for space exploration and rocketry. He clearly described how Keysight’s SBE equipment would enable them to gain hands-on engineering experience and real insights into their data while performing detailed analyses of hybrid engines. Keysight wishes Jack and the entire GU Rocketry team success as they shoot for the stars!

Comments from Jack Tufft:

Keysight's Smart Bench Essentials has greatly expanded the prototyping and testing capability of the GU Rocketry Flight Systems team. With the manufacture and assembly of the Saltire-2 flight computer well underway, the Keysight EDU34450A 5.5 digital multimeter has proved invaluable for testing components being soldered onto our PCB’s. Separate boards for the battery charging circuit, custom launch box and the avionics of the Saltire-2 launcher will all be tested using the Keysight bench equipment and will allow current and future members to become more acquainted with complex electronics design and state of the art equipment.
With the relaxation of COVID restrictions imminent, engineers from GU Rocketry will begin testing the Saltire-2 parachute deployment mechanisms, before turning our attention to the custom Sea Recovery System prototype in development for Saltire-3. Both tasks will rely upon the Keysight EDU36311A triple output power supply and multimeter to ensure that the circuits are operating as required.
GU Rocketry is looking forward to developing our first custom flight computer in the coming months, the testing of which will heavily utilise the Keysight EDUX1052G oscilloscope. The complete suite of Keysight tools will enable our future rocket avionics to be more complex, robust and capable than ever before. With future launch vehicles aiming to incorporate additional features from multi-staging to thrust vector control, the design and validation of our electrical components will become even more critical. The Keysight Bench equipment has ensured that GU Rocketry now has the capability to manufacture and validate the onboard avionics for future programs.

My Humble Workbench by Glib Maznyi

Glib Maznyi | Canada | April 20, 2021

Comments from Keysight Challenge judges:

We were really inspired by Glib’s creative approach to solving his electronics measurement challenges on his bench — for example, using a 3D printer to build a power supply. He clearly demonstrated his passion for electronics. We are excited to help him further his research using genetically modified viruses for cancer therapy and fighting Covid-19. We are confident that Keysight’s Smart Bench Essentials will enable him to continue biotechnology research and advance his electronics knowledge and skillset.

Comments from Glib Maznyi:

My name is Glib Maznyi and I am a scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. My team is focusing on using genetically modified viruses for cancer therapy. Aside from my love for science, I am very passionate about electronics. Most of the equipment we use in the lab requires custom repair and maintenance and my electronics passion enables me to assist with these tasks. This allows us to focus our time and resources on life-saving research. Unfortunately, I have never had access to any high-end equipment. Though not easy, access to limited resources never stopped me from repairing various equipment and finishing many personal and lab projects. Recently, Keysight started their Smart Bench Essentials challenge and I was one of the lucky winners. They sent four smart bench essentials: oscilloscope, signal generator, multimeter, and power supply. I was blown away by the quality of these products, it’s such a pleasure working with the new tools. I want to express my appreciation to the Keysight team, they made a special effort to make sure everything was shipped on time and communicating with them was easy. It’s not my first time working with Keysight and they never fail to impress neither with their products nor with support. Thank you, I look forward to working with you in the future.

My Student Laboratory by Benjamin Folliet

Benjamin Folliet | France | April 27, 2021

Comments from Keysight Challenge judges:

Benjamin perfectly embodies the innovative and altruistic spirit that is at Keysight’s core values. For example, at the start of the COVID pandemic, he sprang to action to create a device that inactivates the coronavirus in the air using powerful ultraviolet rays. We admire his tenacity to accomplish so much with a minimal test bench. The Challenge judges hope that Smart Bench Essentials series will bring him closer to realizing his dream for wireless energy transmission.

Comments from Benjamin Folliet:

The new Keysight instruments allow me to speed up my work. Indeed, when I make a PCB, I often need to test it to see if it works and modify it if it is not functional.
The power supply's high voltage accuracy allows me to power demanding FPGAs or microprocessors directly. In addition, the CC mode prevents the circuits under test from being burnt out if they aren't functioning properly.
The arbitrary function generator helps simulate the operation of a circuit under certain conditions so I can see if everything is working correctly. Its advanced arb and modulate functions are essential in certain complex configurations, such as in radio circuits.
When I troubleshoot PCBs, the oscilloscope and multimeter are very useful. For example, it is important to have a precision multimeter to check certain voltage references that can cause problems or test for precision resistance.
I really like the responsiveness of the oscilloscope, and the FFT is essential to me. With a suitable antenna, it allows me to test my radio transmitters dedicated to wireless energy transmission. I can also easily test filters with the waveform generator in sweep mode and the FFT.
The PathWave software is also a plus, it allows measurements to be exported directly or for complex automation to be carried out.
Thank you Keysight, for this competition, seriousness in communication, delivery, and above all, for the high quality of its devices.

Smart Software for a Smart Bench

With PathWave BenchVue software applications, you can configure your test instruments quickly and operate all of them together on the same PC. BenchVue stores all your data on your PC and exports data in standard formats for analysis and reporting.

Keysight MXR-Series software applications - signal integrity, power integrity, protocol decode and trigger applications

Explore Keysight Smart Bench Essentials Family

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EDU33212A Waveform Function Generator

Up to 20 MHz Frequency Range

Dual-channel function generators offer six built-in modulation types, 17 popular waveforms to simulate typical applications for testing, and 16-bit arbitrary waveform capability

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EDU36311A Triple-Output DC Power Supply

2 Channels of 30V / 1A and 1 Channel of 6V / 5A

With three electrically isolated channels with a total of 90 W clean and reliable power, this power supply includes over-voltage protection, over-current protection, and over-temperature protection to prevent damage

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EDU34450A Digital Multimeter

5.5-Digits Resolution

A dual display 5.5-digit digital multimeter with up to 110 readings/s for speed-critical tests, plus generous internal memory for logging up to 5,000 data points

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EDUX1052G InfiniiVision Oscilloscope

50 MHz Bandwidth

Proven InfiniiVision technology that gives you professional-level measurements you can trust. It comes with a built-in 20-MHz function generator

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