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Topic: Cool Tools thread (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic

florinc

You may laugh, but when I was a kid and could not spend much on tools, I actually cut the leads off with a nail cutter. It worked very well, I just wasn't looking too professional  when using them :)
It's then when I learned to hold the lead with the other hand, otherwise it will just disappear.
(In those days I also made my own flux (bow rosin dissolved in alcohol) and used aspirin pills to get rid of the insulation on the copper wires used in transformers/coils).

Docedison

My 4 essentials Side cutters by Erem, Very Pricey... But you will only EVER buy one of them, I used a pair for 20+ years.
Good small and large Screwdirvers, BuY Craftsman (Sears) or Proto... If they Still have that lifetime Guarantee
Soldering Iron, I've used a Hakko 926 for 10 years... the same one too temp controlled and great tips of ALL descriptions, Only replaced one heating element and one soldering iron... The Iron cost me $19 - $20 dollars... $69.00 New was what I paid for the Iron.
DMM Fluke 179 Very Pricey @ $250 - $300 for a new one. (My Toy) there are many good DMM's available but a good used fluke will Never break (Had 5 in my working career) 4 were stolen anlong with my good sidecutters. In the US are Hunter tools, not real cheap but very durable. Craftsman makes a great set of Electronics tools nopw too.
O'Scope... Go get a Tektronics 2213 or 2235. Analog, Both but Very servicable the 2213 can be had for $60 - $80 and the 2235 is about $100 $120.00 usually they are checked out and are close to accurate cal with a nominal guarantee. You can find them from used equipment dealers on Ebay. I've only repaired one so far in 20 years...
Well worth the money.
In my experience a good set of tools is if taken care of well (Not Abused, like cutting guitar strings) are really extensions of your mind.
Cheap tools are for me Dangerous and usually more trouble than they are worth. I am however a retired engineer and these tools were the minimums that I would work with. Unfortunately I have no experience with much that is European in manufacture. Probably buying inexpensive tools is a waste of money as they frequently need replacement, usually when there are no stores open or around. But Always buy the best you can easily afford. I don't buy many tool very often but I try real hard to buy the best I can afford. Living on a pension requires some life style changes.

Doc
--> WA7EMS <--
"The solution of every problem is another problem." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I do answer technical questions PM'd to me with whatever is in my clipboard

SirNickity

and used aspirin pills to get rid of the insulation on the copper wires used in transformers/coils).


Interesting!  I made six LM3886 amp modules a few months ago, and scraping the enamel off the hand-wound RF blocking inductors was by far the most laborious part.

Docedison

Years ago enamel and to an extent Formvar wire could be stripped with a chemical wire Stripper, was nasty stuff that contained Methyl Chloride, Which was not only toxic but a carcinogen as well. Now I use 2 different methods, 1. for Formvar and keflar/nylon insulation I use a "Hot" 800F/425 C soldering iron ot melt/burn off the insulation, I provide flux and solder by using the tip and solder to scrape/flux-tin the leads, for medium size wires & emamel I use bits of wet/dry sandpaper and for large size wires formvar/enamel I use a craft knife to scrape the insulation off. on larger wires sometimes a small craft file works best. The usual caution still applies, Don't nick or partially cut the wire, It will break off at the nick or small cut.. For transformer winding commercially a solder pot was used with the flux being a "Hot" organic one and the pot temp about 400 - 425C, 750 - 800F.

Doc
--> WA7EMS <--
"The solution of every problem is another problem." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I do answer technical questions PM'd to me with whatever is in my clipboard

Docedison

Those yellow cutters shown in the picture are/were sold under the name "Plano" and I an using a pair I gave my son about 10 years ago. They're still as sharp as they were when I gave them to him "New"... I mentioned Expensive tools in My last post and this is an example... The Erem Cutters cost me 44.++ dollars and during that time I used up 10 of the Plano or Cheapie cutters at work, both home and work uses were non production, prototype and repair. I do must need to point out that my choices were made from a point of experience and it was my intent that these tools be used commercially, rather than "hobby" type of use. For the durability involved and the amount of work it would be best to buy the less expensive varieties until you have a use for production or commercial class tools, the only exception being soldering tools and test equipment. A Poor grade of soldering iron can and frequently does do more damage in the hands of a beginner, besides frequently being simply inappropriate to the task... too, hot, too big a tip. Test equipment, meters, scopes, generators, etc, are their own reward. Calibration, Sensitivity and Accuracy are most often the hidden shortcomings of inexpensive tools and for some like a DVM and a O'scope there is a certain level of skill required in the use and interpretation/extrapolation of measurements for example a poor vertical amplifier or wrong type of probe can cover up erratic operation of devices under test, a meter with too slow an update/measurement rate will add a low pass filter that might well cause you to miss a fast measurement due to a low sampling rate and an O'scope can have two not so readily apparent faults, one is the frequency response and the other one is phase response of the Vertical amplifier in making complex ac measurements (Audio for example) if the phase/frequency response isn't linear then the resultant measurement isn't going to be so very accurate. For digital Scopes the prime limitation isn't only the phase/frequency response ovf the Vert Amplifier but also the quality of the A/D converter that follows the input stages if the A/D converter is non linear or or has "missing' codes or has poor dynamic response it will mangle the applied information selectively,Finally for O'Scopes there is the issue of spurious signals caused by noise form the A/D converter shown as "Artifacts", not present in analog scopes they are for me always a question of Are they Real or not My other observation is that used good quality used analog scopes can be purchased for 1/2 to 1/3rd the price of an equivalent new Digital device...

Doc
--> WA7EMS <--
"The solution of every problem is another problem." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I do answer technical questions PM'd to me with whatever is in my clipboard

abrookfield


Not sure I'm at a level to require an O-scope yet but it's intriguing. Especially the little nanos  8)
ya, at $72 or less on fleabay delivered, they work great! http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-ARM-DSO-Nano-Pocket-sized-Digital-Storage-Oscilloscope-DS0201-With-2-8LCD-/280876684729?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item41658e15b9
www.reeftopper.com

Tumbleweed

"You will never regret buying the best tool you can afford", my dad. I remember this advice every time I chunk a cheap tool I was trying to save money with, .
Next to my Aoyue 968A soldering/rework station, I use a Dremel  tool the most of my power tools. Cutting traces, solder bridges, and assorted all too common booboos. Drilling PCB holes, cutting PCB, seems like I am always reaching for it. The wife gave it to me 25+ years ago, still going strong.
TomJ
Einstein once said you don't really understand anything until you can explain it to your Grandmother

Tumbleweed

Oh yeah,
Got my Excelite cutters and small needlenose kit at Home Depot, around$15 for both, next time to town I am getting another set for my workbench in the shop, the RS ones are going in the trash. Tired if sharpening them
(with my Dremel, Ha Ha).
TomJ
Einstein once said you don't really understand anything until you can explain it to your Grandmother

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