Your workbench is one of the most important spaces for your racing drone. It's like the hospital of droneville, so it needs to be clean, tidy, and effective so that you can operate and get back in the air as quickly as possible! In this blog I'm going to tell you about 5 things you can do to improve your drone care center.
1. Good lighting.
When I first started out, I had my gear setup under a lonely, dim house light. But then I had the revelation to go and buy a better light! You can buy cheap florescent lights that plug into the mains, and you can mount them on the wall with some mounting tape, just above your work bench. This floods the area with some great lighting, so you can perfectly see what your working on. You could also buy LED light strips that will do the same job.
Here's a link to a cheap florescent bar light: https://goo.gl/59aGGn
Or a long LED strip, if you fancy that: https://goo.gl/81cBdh
You can even change the colors for if you feel like having a party!
As you get further into the hobby of drone racing, you acquire a LOT of gear! Tools like Hex Drivers, Nut Drivers, a Multimeter, spare drone parts; the list goes on. So you need a fair bit of storage for it all! I've found some pretty cheap plastic drawers in my time, and they're obviously the perfect storage for your tools and parts!
Here's some that you can buy from Mitre 10: https://goo.gl/TWnPfi
Even a set of makeup drawers can be perfect storage for smaller spare parts, and your various hex drivers (since drivers and makeup brushes are more or less the same shape... I wouldn't really know, you'd have to take your makeup related questions to Le Drib.)
Here's a set I found for around $10: https://goo.gl/fJDxJM
3. Cleaning your iron.
You've probably bought a soldering iron already of course, and it probably came with a little stand and a place to hold a sponge for cleaning the tip. BUT if you're like me, you probably find the sponge and it's holder to be too small and useless. I went and bought a couple of little m&m tubs and turned them into my sponge/steel wool holders.
This is the perfect size to fill with steel wool, and if you cut it in half, you can get a thick sponge in there. Plus there's the added bonus of snack time!
If you have a portable soldering iron for out in the field, the m&m container full of steel wool has a lid, and is compact, so it's great for your portable soldering too!
I secure the containers down with blue tack or double sided tape, and it works great!
4. Air flow.
If your work station doesn't get much of a breeze, you should 100% consider getting yourself a cheap little fan to blow away the solder smoke. Solder smoke is pretty bad for you if you breathe it in, and holding your breath while you solder is really annoying. You can get super cheap little fans that are either USB powered, or can plug right into the wall. But if you have a spare phone charger, just plug the USB fan into that, and boom, it's powered off the wall!
Here's a USB fan I found: https://goo.gl/L7hZ6R
Or a bigger one that plugs into the wall: https://goo.gl/VE6iyE
Or for winter, get a fan heater! https://goo.gl/RKL4J1
5. MAGNETS If you're not too psyched to go out shopping for makeup drawers to hold you drivers, you could always go out and get yourself a cheap magnetic knife holder! Stick them to the wall with some mounting tape and you're away. It looks sick, and if you're skilled enough, you can probably just throw your drivers at the magnets when your finished with them, they'll stick to it, and you'll look like a pro!
Here's a cheap one for you to check out: https://goo.gl/7JNUc6
If you don't already have a set of helping hands, or your current helping hands just aren't doing their job, try some blue tack. Honestly, using blue tack as my third hand has changed my life.
Here's a little guide on how to use the blue tack to it's full potential:
- 1: Buy blue tack
- 2: Stick blue tack to bench
- 3: Stick components to blue tack
- 4: Solder
- 5: Never look back
Thanks for reading! I hope this has given you some ideas to enhance your drone repair work space.