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Top 17 Helpful Hints for Constructing Electronic Systems

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Max The Magnificent
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I want a finger wrench!
Max The Magnificent   4/24/2014 5:12:57 PM
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I LOVE that finger wrench shown in Hint No. 8 ... what a GREAT idea -- I definitely want one of those little scamps!!!

Duane Benson
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Re: I want a finger wrench!
Duane Benson   4/24/2014 5:41:03 PM
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I can't count the number of nuts and blots I've lot in just that way. Number 8 should be required in every tool kit.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: I want a finger wrench!
Max The Magnificent   4/24/2014 5:46:26 PM
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@Duane: Number 8 should be required in every tool kit.

My birthday is on May 29th (hint hint :-)

Duane Benson
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Re: I want a finger wrench!
Duane Benson   4/24/2014 5:49:11 PM
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Number one is pretty awesome too. I just needed that a few weeks ago.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: I want a finger wrench!
Max The Magnificent   4/24/2014 5:52:31 PM
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@Duane: Number one is pretty awesome too.

I agree -- I'd never thought of that -- when I look back at th etime I've wasted hand-twisting this sort of thing...

I also really like number two -- so simple ... so effective...

TonyTib
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Cheap Heat Guns
TonyTib   4/24/2014 7:29:28 PM
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Harbor Freight has cheap heat guns (on sale for <$10), but if you use them a lot they burn out quickly (mine still works, but I barely use it).  I notice the more expensive models get better reviews (what a surprise!).

 

David Ashton
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Handy hints
David Ashton   4/24/2014 8:06:50 PM
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Hi Aubrey....awesome array of tips there....

#1 - you can also use this technique for UNtwisting wire if you need fewer strands.  I used it to untwist 2.5mm earth wire to make 1.5 + 1.0 wires once.  Got me out of trouble.

#5.  I have made up some "Suicide leads" with crocodile alligator clips on the ends - very useful for testing transformers etc.  Hint - make the active (live), neutral and earth ground  leads different lengths so the clips can not short to each other (which can be spectacular :-)

#8 - I also want one, my birthday is 6 September :-)   In the past I have used pegs (as in washing line) for this, also get a rubber an elastic band and put it round the handles of a pair of pliers - long nose or other as appropriate - that way if your grip on them slips you don't usually lose the nut.  They're also useful for holding small bits for soldering.

#10 gave me a laugh - in Zimbabwe cable ties were unobtainable so I used to use this technique on the equipment we imported with cable ties holding bits together.  When I tried it in Australia I got some funny looks from my colleagues.....

#12 - I had a Weller iron like this and the piezo igniter stopped working.  I took the tip off completely, light it with a lighter and leave it on the lowest setting. Instant low-power blowtorch.  Works great (with care)  for heatshrink and for getting multi-lead components off scrap PCBs.

#15 - these screws are great - I have even found them in Australia.  Otherwise. keep an old speaker magnet handy and magnetise your screwdrivers or even the screws themselves, not as good but it can get you out of trouble.

#16 - if you always keep superglue, contact adhesive, 2-part liquid epoxy, 2-part epoxy putty, and some silicone sealer handy there is nothing you will not be able to glue, seal or fill.

#17 - I prefer Dymo myself, but I have a Brother as a backup.  Both were "rescues" - one had a corroded battery spring and the other one of the dreaded loose power adapter sockets.  The Dymo is about 15 years old and still going strong.  I also still have one of the old Dymo labellers that uses the plastic tape and makes embossed labels, remember those?  They even have a typeface like that now!

http://www.dafont.com/dymo-font-invers.font

boblespam
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thermocouple
boblespam   4/25/2014 2:53:41 AM
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In the thermocouple soldering trick I read: "the red wire is always the negative"

Those english people must always do things oppositely !

crosland
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Resistance Soldering
crosland   4/25/2014 3:21:10 AM
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Something like n#14 is available commercially as a Resistance Soldering Unit, popular with hobbyists for soldering etched metal kits. BAsed on a low voltage high current power supply, the resistance of the materials being joined causes a power dissipation that generates enough heat to melt solder. Often used with solder paste or paint.

 

David Ashton
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Re: I want a finger wrench!
David Ashton   4/25/2014 4:02:26 AM
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@Max - you are in charge of getting a few thousand of these for giveaways at EELive 2015. You should be able to negotiate a good quantity discount.   Please see Karen for funding :-)

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