Phase Dock FAQ

Let us help answer your questions.

FAQ2020-09-04T10:58:22-04:00

Contact us if you cannot find what you are looking for.  We are happy to help.

Does Phase Dock accept purchase orders or other payment plans?2020-09-21T17:09:48-04:00

Yes.  We accept Purchase Orders, checks, or credit cards.   We also honor tax-exempt certification for schools and other non-profits.  Contact us for more information.

Returns? What is your return policy?2020-09-21T17:11:07-04:00

Phase Dock has a no-risk 45-day return policy.

We want you to be absolutely delighted with everything you purchase from Phase Dock.

If you are not satisfied with your Phase Dock order for any reason, you can return it within 45 days for a full refund of the product purchase price.

If something is broken in shipment, just let us know and we will ship you a replacement ASAP.  We appreciate it when you send us a photo and tell us if the packaging is damaged.

Read the full Return Policy.

Shipping? What countries do you ship to? Will you ship anywhere else?2020-09-21T17:10:31-04:00

We are committed to getting the items you ordered into your hands as quickly as possible, and in perfect condition.  And we are working hard to add more standard shipping options to more locations.

Phase Dock manufactures and ships from Raleigh, North Carolina on the East Coast of the United States.

We will let you know when your package ships (usually the same day if ordered before 12:00pm Eastern time Monday – Saturday).

NORTH AMERICAN CUSTOMERS: We are currently servicing the USA, Canada and Mexico with USPS Priority Mail.  With a reported average delivery time of 1-3 days in the continental US and 6-10 business days to most major markets in Canada and Mexico, Priority Mail includes USPS Tracking® so you can see when your package is expected to arrive.  Customs inspections may delay deliveries outside of the US.

EXPEDITED SHIPPING: If USPS Priority just isn’t fast enough, we can research options to expedite the shipment.  The shipping fee will be based on the carrier’s quoted rates, plus an expedite fee to Phase Dock, but your item will arrive as early as we can make arrangements.  Contact us to explore this potential option.

IF YOU ARE IN A SERVICE AREA NOT YET COVERED: Please contact us BEFORE placing an order.  There are many considerations to international commerce.  We will do our best to find a way to get our product to you, but we cannot guarantee shipment to you at this time.  So again, please contact us with your interest BEFORE placing an order.  

We are focusing on the countries and regions that show the highest level of interest in our products, so if you like what you see — even if you are not ready to buy — let us know.

I cracked my Cover or Base. Can I fix it?2022-06-28T11:54:59-04:00

You can crack Plexiglas and it will still be serviceable, as long as it doesn’t explode/shatter into a thousand bits.

There are a number of chemical solutions to repair acrylic so that it is as good as new.

Whichever you use, WORK IN A WELL VENTILATED AREA. Those are some nasty chemicals, and you don’t want them in your lungs.

  • Some people use acetone to weld acrylic back together but I’m not really a fan of that.
  • I use Plast-i-Weld from Amazon. It has everything you need. You can buy it at Hobby Lobby too if you need it the same day.
  • Here’s another option from Amazon, but I haven’t tried this one.
  • You really need some type of large syringe applicator like this.
  • You just want the solvent to wick into the crack; it literally dissolves the two sides and makes them one again.
What boards/electronics does the WorkBench support?2020-09-21T17:21:41-04:00

Some of the most popular boards can be mounted using a Phase Dock Slide.  (Remember: Slides are a convenience, not a necessity. There are many methods to mount electronics and take advantage of the Phase Dock standard for your prototype or project. Download the free Electronics Mounting Guide and videos for ideas.)

Slides are currently available for:

  • Raspberry Pi 2/3/4
  • Raspberry Pi Zero
  • Arduino UNO
  • Arduino MEGA
  • Adafruit Feather and Featherwing
  • Particle Argon, Boron and Xenon
  • BeagleBone Black
  • Circuit Playground and Circuit Playground Express
  • Jetson Nano
  • STM Nucleo 144-pin

IN EVERY CASE, boards with the same configuration can use the named Slide adapter. (Example: the mounting holes in the SparkFun Redboard are in the same relative position as the Arduino UNO slide, so you can mount it using the Arduino UNO slide.)

New Slides are added on a fairly regular basis, so check back, or contact us if you can’t find the one you are looking for.

What are good sources for small hardware?2022-06-28T12:03:28-04:00

Every Phase Dock WorkBench comes with a good selection of hardware you need to assemble the Click/Slides, plus some other items for cable management and build a two-board tower.  The purpose of every item is described in the WorkBench User Guide.

You can also get a package of Direct Mount Hardware from us. It will have enough standoffs and screws (20 each) to direct-mount about five boards or other electronics.

But if you are looking for other or additional items.  My “go to” sources are my local Ace Hardware and BoltDepot.com.

See also: Ask Chris  and  Source Extra Hardware  both on this website.

Bases? Covers? Can I purchase these separately?2022-02-25T13:53:41-05:00

Soon.  Soon.   This is a goal for Phase Dock.

We have made the following components available separately:

Other items are available today as part of a kit.  We hope to add more to our store as separate items soon.  If you are interested in buying any item without the kit, contact us. The more requests, the higher priority these items will get.  Thanks for your patience.

Can I stack two WorkBenches?2022-06-28T12:02:51-04:00

It’s relatively easy to build a two-layer/double-stack WorkBench.

The basic approach is:

  1. Use a WorkBench 1007 Base or 1010 Base as the foundation for the stack.
  2. Use a WorkBench 1107W Base for the upper layer/s.
  3. Space them out using 8-32 hex (female-female) standoffs of an appropriate length for your project. You will need four.
  4. Attach the hex standoffs using 8-32 truss-head machine screws.  You will need eight.

Get detailed instructions from Ask Chris on this website.

Logo? My color? Can I order a WorkBench in a different color? Can I get my organization name or logo engraved on it?2020-09-29T17:37:37-04:00

Of course!  Phase Dock offers you the ability to customize your WorkBench with color and a laser-engraved logo.  Promote your school, your company, or your Maker Space with customization.  MORE INFORMATION

 

Volume pricing? Does Phase Dock offer discounts for wholesale or volume pricing?2020-09-21T17:13:53-04:00

Yes.  Educational institutions, Maker Spaces, or industrial customers that wish to purchase in volume are offered discounts.  Please contact us for details and a pricing sheet.

Anti-static? Are the acrylic Base and Cover anti-static? How to protect against static electricity?2020-09-21T17:12:33-04:00

Static on insulating surfaces can be a problem in some circumstances (not nearly as often as it gets blamed for random behavior) but there are steps you can take to help reduce potential issues if this is a significant concern.

  • You can try a commercial anti-static spray treatment. We recommend Brillianize Plastic Cleaner to clean your Phase Dock WorkBench base and cover. Brillianize is also an anti-static treatment, so it’s a two-fer!
  • You can use current limiting resistors on your inputs. A friend of Phase Dock had an issue with repeated failure of a microcontroller that he believed was due to static discharge through an external push-button. The solution was to add a 5k resistor between the input pin and the switch. It had no impact on the function of the switch and limits inrush current due to static discharge. He did not expect it would save the microcontroller from a discharge big enough to create a spark but it solved this problem.
  • You can use an opto-isolator to provide a high level of protection on inputs that connect to the outside world.
  • You might run copper tape around the inside of the bottom lip of the WorkBench base and tie it to your battery negative. You could also wrap the foil around the front, or bring it to the front in a couple of tab spots. The goal is for the user to touch the copper and bring the whole circuit to the same potential before getting close to any of the wiring.

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