Utilizing a couple of shopping carts from recent project14 competitions (thanks element14 and tariq.ahmad ), I went on a shopping spree. Most of the purchases were directed to my recent organization efforts and also some efficiencies that I wanted to add to my workspace. Here are some of my targeted purchases:
The soldering station will use the turntable, board holder and fume extractor are being used to improve the soldering experience. Here are some pictures of my updated soldering workspace (Board holder not shown as this will be used for some of the larger boards that I work on):
So far, the turntable is working great. I just built up a lot of 20 boards for a client and the turntable allowed me to easily reposition the board in the microscopes field of view while soldering. This was most helpful when dealing with large connectors were I could quickly move the board to allow me to tack in the corners of the connector and then as I moved down through the rows of connector pins. Positioning of the vise is a bit tricky, but once it is setup, I can easily reposition the board and take of the soldering (sometime using multiple angles). The process required some repositioning of the tools and storage items, as the turntable was much larger than I had expected (I guess the listed dimensions could have helped, but I guess I never looked, or I somehow failed to understand them), but in the end I am quite happy.
The fume extractor is shown in the images, but I am not sure if the positioning is correct. How close to the soldering action does an extractor need to be? I installed the extractor after finishing the batch of boards I was working on, so I still have not utilized it during a soldering session such that I could see if it was drawing in the smokey fumes.
With the soldering station complete, I moved on to the storage bins. Note - I had initially purchased the storage bins to go into the space behind the soldering station, but the turntable require more space than I was planning on, so I needed to find a new place for the storage bins.
Relocating the storage bins was not that difficult as I have had a long to term plan of installing bins on one of my workbenches in the shop. The workbench in question is a gluing table that I built several years ago. The bench has a large working surface, with considerable overlap over the rolling base. The storage bins will be positioned such that they are fully covered (and protected) by the worktop. Here are some pictures of the storage bins being installed and of the completed installation:
Everything ended up fitting nicely. The benchtop planner came in really handy as I needed to add some spacers behind the storage bin backing plate to get everything to fit flush with the table legs.
Step by step, organization is happening and spilling out from my office down to my shop.
Thanks for reading along. Enjoy!
Update: 2/8/2021 - 4:29 PM
Thinking more about the turntable, I remembered that I had built and attached a laser pointing system to my old microscope stand. So I dug it out and adapted it to mount to my light ring instead of the stand. Now I can more clearly mark and align my boardholder relative to the microscope's field of view. Here are some pictures of the mounted laser marking system:
In the first image you can see the laser marking system attached to the microscope (two red dots are the laser line marks), with screws running through the laser holder and into the light rings (screws are under the diagonal lines). The second image shows one of the two laser modules, mounted into the marker frame (with the PCB and mark slightly out of focus in the background). The third image is the PCB being marked (near it's center point). I am still working on a method to keep the PCB centered in the microscope's field of view as the turntable rotates, which is proving to be quite tricky. It seems that the laser lines are not centered in the field of view and the microscope is not corrected centered on the turntable.
The next step is going to be tying the laser pointers into the light ring controller. My best plan scenario is have a button press turn on the laser markers, while dimming the light ring LEDs. Then after a fixed interval (hopefully setable with the light ring control) laser markers with turn off and the light ring LEDs will return to their set intensity. The good news is than having designed the light ring and controller, I should be able to integrate these functions into the controller (assuming that I have some free pins on the microcontroller).