For a long time now, I have wanted to get back to my core hobby, that of electronics and 8-bit vintage microprocessors. But to be able to do that effectively, I needed a workbench or desk that was setup for working with components that are static sensitive. The Uni where I work were giving away old student desks, so I grabbed one.
Now to make it a proper electronics work space it needed an anti-static mat, wrist strap and hooking both up to a proper earth. Time to scour the net.
Found a grounding plate for next to nothing on fleabay for the anti-static mat and a wrist strap to plug into. I mounted it on the left side of the desk, as I always preferred to wear the strap on my left hand to leave my right hand free to work.
I found a great anti-static mat here for a reasonable price and grabbed a new anti-static wrist strap as well. The size I ordered fits perfectly on the table. Now to run the earth cable into the earth pin of an AC plug and then run it around the underneath of the table out of the way of swinging legs.
It is essential to have a work light on the work area so my old eyes can see what I’m doing. I’ll probably have to upgrade to one of those magnifying lamps sooner rather than later, or maybe some of those magnifying goggles.
OK, finally, now for some tools of the trade. My old trusty Weller soldering iron which has been with me for 32 years had finally carked it, and rather than repair it, I thought it was about time to invest in something new. Hakko to the rescue.
Maybe I’ll throw some thing down on the mat to catch the beads of solder and flux that invariably make a mess of the anti-static mat. Don’t want to ruin the beautiful bright blue now, do we!
There we go. Ready for work, and it will also make a great bench for paper modeling work as well. Next time, I will sort out some shelving to put behind the table to put all my test gear on.