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Top 17 Helpful Hints for Constructing Electronic Systems

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TonyTib
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Hex screws
TonyTib   4/25/2014 11:33:03 AM
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At work, we almost always use hex screws.  Maybe they don't stay on the driver like Robertson screws, but if you're using Bondhus ball end hex drivers like you should, you can angle the driver quite a bit, instead of having to be vertical -- quite handly for tight spots.

Another tool for tight spots is compact ratching screwdriver, like this Chapman (I have a similar Craftsman model, but with only a couple bits).

Max The Magnificent
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Re: I want a finger wrench!
Max The Magnificent   4/25/2014 9:44:32 AM
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@David: ...you are in charge of getting a few thousand of these for giveaways at EELive 2015.

I agree -- these would be a red-hot givaway -- no need to ask Karen -- I'll just put it on her credit card LOL

antedeluvian
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Re: Handy hints
antedeluvian   4/25/2014 9:43:14 AM
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zeeglen

As for twisting wires together with a drill, a little-known fact is that if one uses AWG30 Kynar insulated wire (the common wire-wrap and pcb green-wire jumpers stuff) the differential impedance measures 102 ohms on a Tektronix reflectometer. 

Good to know. Thanks

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Handy hints
Max The Magnificent   4/25/2014 9:42:42 AM
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@David: 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 :-)

Oooh -- clever!

zeeglen
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Re: Handy hints
zeeglen   4/25/2014 9:40:00 AM
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It was considered a tamper proof screw in the US (maybe still is)-

No longer, the multi-bit screwdriver sets here in the USA contain various Robertson sizes as well as torx, philips etc.  Robertson screws are available but have to be purchased in bulk from specialty suppliers.  I have hundreds of various sizes of Robertson screws in my garage workshop, would not even think of using any other type.


As for twisting wires together with a drill, a little-known fact is that if one uses AWG30 Kynar insulated wire (the common wire-wrap and pcb green-wire jumpers stuff) the differential impedance measures 102 ohms on a Tektronix reflectometer.  Great for breadboards where one needs impedance-controlled differential interconnections.


antedeluvian
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Re: Handy hints
antedeluvian   4/25/2014 8:48:02 AM
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David

#15 - these screws are great - I have even found them in Australia

They should have had a wider reach- when Henry Ford discovered them he wanted them, but his business model was one of vertical integration and Mr Roberston wasn't prepared to part with his company or invention. Henry then was shown the Philips screw (Philips apparently was a travelling salesman who got the idea off someone else) and opted to go down that route.

Robertson's progress was then sidetracked when he did his patriotic bit for King and country in WWI and it was only recently that the idea seems to have got traction outside of Canada. Everything in Canada is screwed together with Robertson screws.

It was considered a tamper proof screw in the US (maybe still is)- I know that some electronic hardware was shippedto a major defence organization that accepted them as such. Also the Gehry bridge in Chicago uses Robertson screws for the Brazilian hardwood floorboards.

antedeluvian
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Re: Handy hints
antedeluvian   4/25/2014 8:35:54 AM
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David

 I also still have one of the old Dymo labellers that uses the plastic tape and makes embossed labels, remember those?

Believe it or not, you can still get them. I thought I was seeing things when I came across the tape at my local Staples.

 

 I prefer Dymo myself, but I have a Brother as a backup.

I don't know about the Dymo, but the Brother frustrates me with its blatent cynicism- it puts out an inch of tape on either side of the text, chewing up the tape (and maximising their profit). Different models seem to allow you to shorten this, but I have yet to find a way to keep this setting on power down.

 

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 :-)

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.

 

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 !

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