Author Topic: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.  (Read 4755 times)

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Offline obiwanjacobi

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Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« on: September 26, 2015, 08:28:15 am »
What hacks do you do to make life easier?

Here are two of mine...

To keep my (thin) solder from unwinding on me:


What do you do when you have 10 wires but only 5 colors?:
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Online GreyWoolfe

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Re: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2015, 11:48:20 am »
I like the use of the rubber band.  I made a solder reel holder that keeps the reels vertical.  My thin solder is always unspooling.  I will have to see if it works for me.

Edit:-the rubber band works great.  It keeps the right amount of tension on the spool.  Thanks for the tip.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 11:49:42 pm by GreyWoolfe »
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Offline mcinque

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Re: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2015, 08:01:23 pm »
nice solutions!
 :-+
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Offline PA4TIM

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Re: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2015, 09:00:09 pm »

www.pa4tim.nl my collection measurement gear and experiments Also lots of info about network analyse
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Offline KL27x

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Re: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2015, 11:00:17 pm »
I don't use droopy thin solder.* But this bar holds the solder where I need it when I am short a hand.


The spool holder comes off the base when I need to position it.


*You might spy a tiny spool of droopy thin solder between the two reels of kynar wire. That is old, low-temp telecom bismuth solder that is long obsolete. I bought a 1kg spool for cheaper than regular solder from MPJA, years ago. They must has been clearing out someone's old inventory. It is flux core and it works like ChipQuik with the flux built-in.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 11:23:42 pm by KL27x »
 

Offline KL27x

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Re: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2015, 11:39:19 pm »
The most useful "hack" I have learned from an electronics forum is that hot glue peels off with alcohol. I use so much hot glue, I buy it #10 lbs at a time. For tacking wires, for assembling prototypes, for simply holding things temporarily.

I have a Panavise with a million different attachments. I have the little alligator clamp third hands. And they hardly ever see the light of day, because hot glue and w/e objects are randomly on my bench already will usually do a better job at temporarily holding a board for soldering. :)
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2015, 09:16:48 am »
For solder I take the spool, and use a drill and a screwdriver to wind up a small spool that fits in the old tubes of fizzy tablets. then a small hole poked through the top ( remove the silica gel from the lid if there) so the solder is convenient to hold and place on the bench. That way I do not have the black marks from the lead/tin on my fingers. I keep a few around with different diameters as well, thin for small parts and thick for wires and large components.
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2015, 09:35:41 am »
Come up with rules for what wire colors you will use for what and stick with them.

Never use red for ground. Or black/green for power. If that means you can't make your project until you can buy more wire so be it.
Stupid wire colors will always come back to bite you!

In fact, i recommend spending $100-200 on a good stock of wire colors in various sizes.
Make up a wire reel holder so you can just pull out whatever color you need.

« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 08:20:41 am by Psi »
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Offline rickselectricalprojects

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Re: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2015, 05:37:24 am »
If you cant read the component part, get some thermal paste and smudge it over the part, it works like a treat
 

Offline tron9000

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Re: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2015, 08:05:35 am »
love the rubber band trick and the thermal paste on the IC: Brilliant! :-+
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Offline Psi

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Re: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2015, 08:18:11 am »
A clothespeg a header and some hot glue makes a good diy programming jig

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Offline Psi

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Re: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2015, 08:23:42 am »
This one is Mike's hack so give him the credit..

If you remove your smt passives onto a loose sheet of paper you can tap it with the tweezers and make them flip over
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Offline tautech

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Re: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2015, 08:52:55 am »
Knocked up this simple test header when I had only 2 channel scopes and for times when your probe hook was too big to connect to items of interest. It allows multiple connections to be bought to 1 point, a safety feature when working higher voltages and also negates the need to power down the DUT once you've connected all your points of interest.
The cheapy grabbers are ok for simple connections to DIP's, TO-92, TO-220's etc.
Made from a short strip of 10mm Phenolic switchboard panel although any plastic or acrylic would be perfect too. Recessed holes are large enough for either the probe reference lead or the grabber hook to be attached to the recessed loop. Cable is tinned and formed to a loop for probe grabber hooks. Either a drop of glue or a tight fit secures cables.
The colour coding on my block was done with high-lighter markers and they don't all show up too well on the phenolic, acrylic would be better.
Anyway, simple to make and handy at times.
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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2015, 05:25:32 am »
These are great hacks, not just for beginners. Thanks for sharing. Keep 'em coming.
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Offline obiwanjacobi

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Re: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2015, 05:36:11 am »
These are great hacks, not just for beginners. Thanks for sharing. Keep 'em coming.

+1 thanx all!
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Life-hacks for the beginning EE.
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2015, 06:02:10 pm »
Was doing some SMD practise boards yesterday, so simply put all the SMD parts into a small tin that I have a few of as new and unused. That way I could simply close the lid when needed and tap the tin with the tweezers as well to flip the chip resistors around to grab them. When I was finished i just left the unused there, for the next time.

Note, must take a bigger magnifier with next time, the old overhead projector base Fresnel lenses will do as massive magnifiers to see the fly speck parts.
 


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