electronics workbench recommendations (sort of O/T)

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s shumaker

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Aug 29, 2021, 11:06:17 AMAug 29
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Now that we've relocated post fires, I'm looking at rebuilding my electronics workshop.  This is a bit O/T here but this group probably has more experience in that vein than almost any other out there.  I'm particularly looking for some suggestions for soldering tools for thru-hole work for Norberto's awesome boards but also want to try some SMD stuff.  Other comments and suggestions on the "ideal workbench" are welcome - one rarely gets the chance to start from scratch!

Steve

Glenn Roberts

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Aug 29, 2021, 12:43:22 PMAug 29
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I’ve been very happy with my Hakko FX888D iron. The Weller I used to use went through tips quite often but I’ve had much better luck with the Hakko.  I need to get some practice at SMD work as some of the through-hole components are getting harder to find, plus some magazines now (e.g. Practical Electronics, and Silicon Chip) are publishing kits that use SMD components.

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Bob Groh

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Aug 30, 2021, 12:52:37 AMAug 30
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Building some small boards right now (no SMD yet but coming) and I have a few thoughts.  As background I have been in electronics for almost 80 years (egads!!) - most of my working life (retired in 2004) in electronics design with some management thrown in - mostly in communications equipment but have been piddling with computers since the mid-1970s.

Just 're-juvinated' my workbench for a new generation of building and repairing electronics. My thoughts:
1.  A decent thrmostatatically controlled soldering iron with a small tip. I have an old Weller which still works great (one of my first purchases when I went to work at Heathkit back in 1977).

2.  Some way to hold the boards you are working on. Preferably something so you can easily rotate the board to work on the front and then on the back.

3.  Lots of light

4.  A binocular magnifying headset - does not have to be fancy but something so you can peer at a solder joint and make sure it is well and truly soldered. Binocular because it is nice to have some 3-D perception (you don't get that with a monocular magnifier.

5.  New fresh solder and thin as you can get.  If you get into SMD you will also want a flux pen. For through-hole stuff, not needed. If you have not bought solder in a long time be prepared for confusion in all the types out there. 

6.  Thermal wire strippers.  Yeah, expensive but you only go around once in life and, frankly, I have had it with trying to mechanically strip insulated wire without cutting some of the strands.

I would suggest some way to arrange the tools you need (wire cutters, long nose pilars, solder roll, etc), I whipped up one using a chunk of 2x4 about 14" long. Love it. 

Bob Groh, ex-Heathkit, 1977-1981

On Sun, Aug 29, 2021 at 10:06 AM s shumaker <shum...@att.net> wrote:
Now that we've relocated post fires, I'm looking at rebuilding my electronics workshop.  This is a bit O/T here but this group probably has more experience in that vein than almost any other out there.  I'm particularly looking for some suggestions for soldering tools for thru-hole work for Norberto's awesome boards but also want to try some SMD stuff.  Other comments and suggestions on the "ideal workbench" are welcome - one rarely gets the chance to start from scratch!

Steve

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