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Monday 11 February 2019

Progress with the shack workbench

My old shack desk was repurposed into a dedicated workbench for construction, repair and disassembly of circuits when I began work on building my current desk, which has not progressed for a while due to financial constraints, however the workbench has had some things done to it though not too much.

Firstly I decided I really needed ESD protection there and have since laid out my ESD mat and connected it to ground, an ESD wrist band is also provided to make sure that I too am discharged before handling delicate components, it turns out the mat is almost the size of the desk, thus pushing my soldering iron close to the edge though not in a place where it will fall off.

Secondly I fitted a temporary lamp (which I will be replacing with a better one once I can get one), it is set up to illuminate the desk but how well it does this remains to be seen, it also may help when I record video for YouTube for my radio or electronics channel though the newer camcorder has a build-in light.

Thirdly my tools that I use are on what was supposed to be the keyboard tray, except the multimeter which is on the top of the desk on the mat so it's easily accessible, larger tools such as the drill and the heat gun are kept under the workbench, and the clamps I have are essentially clamped to the side of the work bench.

Additions I'd like are a "helping hands" PCB and component holder as it proves a bit hard to work on PCBs and some components without such a thing, a rework station (my heat gun would not prove suitable), and perhaps something to magnify small SMD type components as these can be very difficult to see and check for damage.

Given that I have a few projects planned for the coming months I wanted to get things sorted out ready for these, these projects being (hopefully) an igate when I am duly licenced and can apply for the NoV, a video on the 40m Pixie CW transceiver kit, videos for my electronics channel on YouTube that are not radio related of course, my PMCoffee project (which is homage to the Trojan Room Coffee Pot) that will use RF for remote switching by me (in the LPD433 band on 433.92MHz), and a few other things as well.

I will probably also be doing a video on the importance of ESD protection which will go on my electronics channel and website, as it does apply to Amateur radio as well these days as modern rigs come with more and more sensitive parts crammed inside them so when I do it I'll cross post a link over here too.

I have work in about 40ish minutes so will have end here for now.

73 de 2E0EIJ

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