As mentioned and shown in Episode 1 of the DIY Tutorial Series, we will be showing you how to build your own Project holder/ Trash collector/ Tester combo tray to simplify and tidy up your work desk for all your DIY projects.
A DIY project however simple can get messy at times, piling up your work desk with tools, parts, trash, dirt, solder splats etc. If these, especially the trash, are not organised and cleaned up, they will certainly start to pile up and you will end up with a messy work desk. Enough with the introduction, let us dive right in to the tutorial!
Tools and Parts Required
The below are all of the tools and parts you will need to build this simple project organiser tray combo. The tools you should already have, and the parts are cheap and easy to acquire. This is just a guideline or outline for this combo, you can tweak or adjust the requirement to your own needs.
Soldering Iron Set (Stand + Iron + Cleaner)
AA Battery to USB pack
USB A Male connector
5V LED strip
Step 1 - Fixing up the Organiser Tray
Basically we want to get the optimal set up we want and fix them down. This is a fairly simple process as we will be using Blu Tack for all the mountings which can be easily removed and rearranged.
We first want to ensure that the batteries are inserted to the USB battery pack and mount it outside the tray on the top left corner.
We will then run the USB female cable to the right side of the tray and mount it outside.
Lastly lets mount any other smaller tray inside to act as a holder for all your parts. I personally like to mount them at the top left corner as I will have space on the left to place my soldering iron stand and space at the bottom to use for work and trash collection.
Step 2 - Cutting and Soldering the wires
This step will be slightly more complicated, but is still considered a 1/5 difficulty.
First we will mark out and tin the +5V and Ground of the USB male DIY connector, the pinout is as above. Heatshrink should be used to cover the ends of the USB male connector.
We will then gather and cut the length required for the wires. They need to be of sufficient length as the end contacts need to be long enough to be able to complete the circuit. Above is the length we settled on for this particular tray. (I opted to sleeve up the wires with PP string, they are, however, not required.)
Next we will install the crocodile clips. Simply tin the clip and solder the wire to the ends and clamp down. I have installed the clip on the left side of the setup as that is what I am used to using.
Finally we will solder and mount the LED strip to the front of the tray. We can use the adhesive on the back of the LED strip + clear tape over the front for extra security. The diagram for the LED wiring will be as above, take note the +5V from the USB will not be connected to the + of the LED strip. It will instead be connected to the crocodile clip. The + on the LED strip will simply have its own wire with the other end stripped and tinned.
Step 3 - Testing and Adjustments
So we will want to make sure everything is working as it should. The LED strip should light up when there is contact between the open end of the wire and the crocodile clip, so it will act as an built in continuity tester for your cabling work.
When not in use, the wires can be tucked into place with a piece of Blu Tack.
So in a few simple steps and a few dollars, you can build your very own All in One combo tray for DIY project and testing. Take note not to use the continuity tester on IEM drivers as it will send a 5V input straight to the drivers and sometimes there will be damage to them.
A popular belief is that a messy desk is linked to creativity. However, the hands on process of DIY work itself is not the creative aspect of DIY, thus, keep the working desk clean and organised, leave the mess to the desk where you do your creative work i.e. ideation process and design process. In my few years working in the creative(design and production) industry and the various workshops I have visited, not once is there a work desk or work area where mess is accepted. A messy work area is simply an indication of a lazy owner.
That being said, your work area do not need to be spotless at all times, being organised is good enough.
Happy DIY-ing and stay safe in this period of pandemic!