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.
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.
#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.
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.
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.
#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!
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!).
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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