Author Topic: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread  (Read 1446442 times)

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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4450 on: December 07, 2017, 06:33:19 am »
While you may well be a shameless soldering addict, a soldering iron is still not a piece of actual test gear is it?  :popcorn:

Granted, it's not an actual piece of test gear. However, it's so intimately related to test gear, especially the slightly less than perfect test gear that we tend to get a hold of, that we could give the soldering/desoldering/rework equipment an honorary invitation to the TEA house. ;D

What say ye?
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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4451 on: December 07, 2017, 06:35:53 am »
Not sure if I am qualified to join TEA yet as I hate the muck. Coffee Rules  :scared:

No worries, we have coffee, too, defined as follows:

COFFEE: Continuous Observations For Future Electronics Equipment - The state when you just can't stop running searches on eBay because you just know that the piece of equipment that you don't yet know you need is going to be listed at any moment.
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Online Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4452 on: December 07, 2017, 06:36:20 am »
While you may well be a shameless soldering addict, a soldering iron is still not a piece of actual test gear is it?  :popcorn:

Granted, it's not an actual piece of test gear. However, it's so intimately related to test gear, especially the slightly less than perfect test gear that we tend to get a hold of, that we could give the soldering/desoldering/rework equipment an honorary invitation to the TEA house. ;D

What say ye?
Well thats one way of trying to get a borrow of his soldering kit I suppose  :-DD
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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4453 on: December 07, 2017, 06:37:43 am »
Gadzooks, you got me there, Specmaster. :-DD
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Online mnementh

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4454 on: December 07, 2017, 07:29:12 am »
Arh, now I can see the magic of the Metcal system and put that way it kind of makes sense and has given me the itch to get one apart from one problem, as a retired person I can't afford expensive items like that  |O

While you may well be a shameless soldering addict, a soldering iron is still not a piece of actual test gear is it?  :popcorn:

Of course not... as long as every piece of test gear you collect arrives and remains 100% fully functional, and you never ever have a need, or even a whim to upgrade anything on any of them.   :-DD


mnem
9 out of 10 cannibals prefer vegetarians.
When that happens I get my cheap arse Hakko clone out do the job with that, if I need more heat, I pop on a larger tip and I'm not in anyway taking anything away from these high frequency irons, I love that sort of technology just unable to justify its high cost on a fixed low income thats all, so I and many others will have to do what we have to do to get by  :-DD

And that is why I recommended the clone T12 Tips and OLED T12 controller as a budget alternative... they are about 3/4 of the MetCal performance for any given tip, have auto sleep mode and quick-change tips just the same, and if you can afford Aoyue you can afford to build it and power it with an old laptop power brick if you aren't up to building a 28V/4A power supply. Plus it has a really nifty OLED Display and Menu-driven dashboard with both set temp and actual temp at all times.


While you may well be a shameless soldering addict, a soldering iron is still not a piece of actual test gear is it?  :popcorn:

Granted, it's not an actual piece of test gear. However, it's so intimately related to test gear, especially the slightly less than perfect test gear that we tend to get a hold of, that we could give the soldering/desoldering/rework equipment an honorary invitation to the TEA house. ;D

What say ye?
Well thats one way of trying to get a borrow of his soldering kit I suppose  :-DD

Well, my T12 station is apart right now pending delivery of a new extruded AL project box; but anytime you're in the Houston area feel free to drop in for a cuppa (TEA or COFFEE). We can scour fleaBay from the couch on my TV or nuke some breadboards at my new bench, which I made big enough for two to allow for my son...

Here's another one I just stumbled across while looking for a new case... US$23 and comes with the right handle. Add $11 and get an extruded AL case made for it; Banggood has a 24V PSU module for $7 that will fit, too.

mnem
moo?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 07:38:00 am by mnementh »
 

Offline HalFET

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4455 on: December 07, 2017, 08:04:53 am »
If anyone is feeling incredibly brave, you could have a go at this one: https://www.benl.ebay.be/itm/Datron-Wavetek-4920-8-5-Digit-Self-Cal-Digital-High-Accuracy-Voltmeter-DMM/401455250476

Could be a 5 minute fix in which case it's a steal, could be unrecoverable and a useless boat anchor, also no service manuals to be found.
 

Online Specmaster

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4456 on: December 07, 2017, 08:07:15 am »
Arh, now I can see the magic of the Metcal system and put that way it kind of makes sense and has given me the itch to get one apart from one problem, as a retired person I can't afford expensive items like that  |O

While you may well be a shameless soldering addict, a soldering iron is still not a piece of actual test gear is it?  :popcorn:

Of course not... as long as every piece of test gear you collect arrives and remains 100% fully functional, and you never ever have a need, or even a whim to upgrade anything on any of them.   :-DD


mnem
9 out of 10 cannibals prefer vegetarians.
When that happens I get my cheap arse Hakko clone out do the job with that, if I need more heat, I pop on a larger tip and I'm not in anyway taking anything away from these high frequency irons, I love that sort of technology just unable to justify its high cost on a fixed low income thats all, so I and many others will have to do what we have to do to get by  :-DD

And that is why I recommended the clone T12 Tips and OLED T12 controller as a budget alternative... they are about 3/4 of the MetCal performance for any given tip, have auto sleep mode and quick-change tips just the same, and if you can afford Aoyue you can afford to build it and power it with an old laptop power brick if you aren't up to building a 28V/4A power supply. Plus it has a really nifty OLED Display and Menu-driven dashboard with both set temp and actual temp at all times.


While you may well be a shameless soldering addict, a soldering iron is still not a piece of actual test gear is it?  :popcorn:

Granted, it's not an actual piece of test gear. However, it's so intimately related to test gear, especially the slightly less than perfect test gear that we tend to get a hold of, that we could give the soldering/desoldering/rework equipment an honorary invitation to the TEA house. ;D

What say ye?
Well thats one way of trying to get a borrow of his soldering kit I suppose  :-DD

Well, my T12 station is apart right now pending delivery of a new extruded AL project box; but anytime you're in the Houston area feel free to drop in for a cuppa (TEA or COFFEE). We can scour fleaBay from the couch on my TV or nuke some breadboards at my new bench, which I made big enough for two to allow for my son...

Here's another one I just stumbled across while looking for a new case... US$23 and comes with the right handle. Add $11 and get an extruded AL case made for it; Banggood has a 24V PSU module for $7 that will fit, too.

mnem
moo?
I might look into this a bit more, it looks a nice case and display too. Does that power supply on Banggood require 240v to feed it or what?
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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4457 on: December 07, 2017, 08:20:43 am »
mnem
9 out of 10 cannibals prefer vegetarians.

Less cholesterol? ^-^
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Offline HalFET

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4458 on: December 07, 2017, 08:54:44 am »
ERSA, JBC, Weller and Hakko are all roughly equal footing as long as we're talking prehistoric tech temperature-controlled irons that create heat by making angry pixies beat their heads against a piece of iron wire; it's just like listening to folks argue over whether Lincoln or Miller welders are best. The difference is both of their top of the line weld like crap compared to a mid-range ESAB; and neither of them can even get close to ESAB's plasmarc gear. Their technology is just that much better.


Similarly, MetCal (and clone/spinoff company ThermalTronics) have better technology; it works completely differently than ANY conventional iron. Their irons use high-frequency current to inductively heat an alloy slug to it's curie point, which by its elemental nature then operates at a fixed temperature. But the high-tech doesn't end there; the way it senses and closes the loop temperature-wise is similarly unique.

Instead of using a closed-loop circuit monitoring wherein the control cycle is: Tip at temp, tip touches work and cools, thermo senses drop in temp & turns on heat, heater heats metal slug and work, thermo senses tip at temp again, etc... the SmartHeat system monitors the HF inductance of the tip, and as soon as the tip touches the work that inductance changes, so the increase in applied energy is instantaneous. The "tip touches work and cools, thermo senses drop in temp" part of the loop is effectively eliminated.

This is true of both MetCal and Thermaltronics SmartHeat systems.
You see this as an advantage, but I see it as a major disadvantage from a professional point of view.

I should probably explain though, working in a research setting I tend to encounter a large mix of different solder alloys day-in day-out. One moment it's SAC305, the other SnBi54, and the next day I might be "playing" (if health and safety people permit) with SnCd solder. Given the price of Metcal tips, and the fact that we'd have to get one of those specific rather expensive tips (double to three times the cost of ERSA ones) for every single alloy is already a massive deal breaker, and in fact unless they changed it I doubt you can get one that can do 150°C? I often have to solder on plastic (don't ask - we work on weird things), and there smooth temperature control is an absolute must. And yes, I love all the metcal marketing wank, but they don't exactly cater to those of us who aren't running lead free assembly lines 24/7. Additionally I don't feel guilty about taking an ERSA tip to the grinder and changing it to whatever shape I happen to need, doubt the same would be a great idea with metcal tips.

Quote
The (un)Holy Trinity of ERSA, JBC, Weller and Hakko will ALWAYS have their loyal followers; especially among those with a "turn it up to 11" mentality who simply MUST HAVE a knob/button they can mess with. But those who solder to get the soldering DONE AND DONE RIGHT prefer MetCal and Thermaltronics, because they know their gear will always be at the RIGHT temperature for the job at hand, and they will always be able to get the exact right tip for that job. I learned that lesson long ago with my Weller GT7 soldering gun; when you need bigger, you simply need bigger, not higher temperature. It has 150W power, 6-second heat-up time and solid-state temperature control. It is old-school tech, but sometimes it simply is the right tool for the job.
I dislike JBC and Weller at this point actually, they're good enough for hobbyist usage. (Now if we're talking Weller Magnastat, those I do like. And actually those are employing a system in the same spirit of Metcal.) But when talking conventional stations Hakko and ERSA are on their game, they fixed the deficiencies using software and some clever hardware design apparently. And Weller and JBC are still catching up in my opinion.

And before you ask, at home I use a 80 Euro ERSA iCON I bought of eBay as "not working - for parts", took about 10 minutes to fix and 50 cents in spare parts.  >:D
 

Offline neo

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4459 on: December 07, 2017, 12:12:36 pm »
It is expensive, from my current perspective at least, and probably not the best idea. Regardless i am going for a Heathkit ID-22, i think i found something i like more than fluke meters. Heathkit anything  :-DD.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Heathkit-ID-22-Electronic-Switch/263356968653?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649
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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4460 on: December 07, 2017, 12:22:49 pm »

Here's another one I just stumbled across while looking for a new case... US$23 and comes with the right handle. Add $11 and get an extruded AL case made for it; Banggood has a 24V PSU module for $7 that will fit, too.

mnem
moo?
Is this kit any good, it is 75 watts, the display is less than the one you linked to, just the 3 main digits for the temp display, includes power supply etc, alloy case etc. One that strikes about the T12 tips is they are just so long, or is large portion of that hidden inside the handle? My current tip / handle assembly, the tip protrudes no more than 8Cm from the handle, these T12 ones seem excessive to me.

https://www.banggood.com/DSK-Digital-Soldering-Station-Kit-Soldering-Iron-Station-Temperature-Controller-p-1055574.html?rmmds=search&cur_warehouse=CN

EDIT:
Found the same one on Aliexpress, all assembled and tested complete with 5 tips so have placed my order, so if its half as good as everyone says it is, my Hakko clone will become my backup station, all in it was £38.20, only problem is I think my order went through twice. I'll have to wait till I get my confirmation email and cancel 1 if I need to  :palm:
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 02:00:31 pm by Specmaster »
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4461 on: December 07, 2017, 12:28:07 pm »
pat - really nice job - fortunately I have a master switch near the door of my Ham shack that has saved my WD1's bacon a few times.
Mr S - No sound from my WD1.  :-+
Mine has a subtle but distinct buzz. I've opened her up and fiddled with tightening and loosening the transformer screws, but it doesn't make much of a difference. I did notice that removing the screws altogether almost completely eliminates the sound, so it appears to be some form of mechanical coupling. Obviously, no transformer is going to be without sound completely.

Maybe the spring washers got flattened out and don't do their job properly any more. I'll have to replace them to see.
 

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4462 on: December 07, 2017, 01:26:54 pm »
Added to my Test Gear Stash overnight so maybe TEA jnr.  8)

HP4440B Capacitor decade box Teardown/Restoration thread when it arrives as outside at least it has had a hard life.

Also may have added a couple of individual Muirhead resistor Decades to the collection  :palm:

The inside photo is what it 'should' look like.

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4463 on: December 07, 2017, 01:40:59 pm »
Does yours make any sound? My WD2M has an audible buzz. I tightened the mounting screws of the transformer, but no improvement.

None that I've ever noticed.  I just put my ear up against it, and can juuuuuust barely hear a very faint hum, but this was with my ear literally 2 inches away from the side in a quiet room.

-Pat
If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 
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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4464 on: December 07, 2017, 01:58:05 pm »
pat - really nice job - fortunately I have a master switch near the door of my Ham shack that has saved my WD1's bacon a few times.
Mr S - No sound from my WD1.  :-+

Thanks, Rob.  It's something I've wanted to do for a long time (and for what the damned thing costs, it should HAVE either a pilot light or an illuminated power switch, FFS  :rant: ).  After discovering it on again for at least a few days once more a few weeks ago.  This typically happens if I'm doing 'quickie' little things, where I turn it on to solder something, then immediately turn it off again because I'm "done" soldering, then shortly discover something else that needs to be soldered and fire it up again and turn it off; lather, rinse, repeat a few times and eventually it gets left on, though in my head I've been turning it off every time.  Then I see a bunny, and it stays on.  Amazingly, despite what's likely a cumulative week or more of unattended 'on' time, the original tip is still in fine fettle.  A quick poke or three in the metal scrubbie thing in the stand to clean off the crud, some fresh solder, and it's good to go once again.  I normally have it set to 660* F.

-Pat

If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4465 on: December 07, 2017, 02:15:39 pm »
Nicely done Pat, the mod looks great.
As for posting from anything other than a computer, I feel if it doesn't have a real keyboard it is not worthy of anything except a reading or viewing device for videos. :)
I'll only use voice to text on my phone, I hate the virtual keyboard.

Thanks, Sue.  That little pilot light has been kicking around since some time in the mid 80s is my guess; apparently I was saving it for the perfect application.  It would have been nice if I could have put it in the black base (more contrast when it's lit), but of course there's stuff in the way there.  It wound up going in nicely where I put it, and the hole is the only irreversible change - the wiring was completely non-invasive and required nothing more than moving the transformer primary connection fastons.  I should have done it a few years ago when I first got the station.

As for typing, I'm with you - a real keyboard is the best (buckling spring mechanism being the best of the best).  Touch screens don't particularly like my fingers to begin with, and autocorrect is good for coming up with some very creative interpretations of things I type (especially some of the more obscure terms we techies are inclined towards), but sometimes I'm just too lazy to go fire up the real computer when I have the tablet in my hand, so I do battle with Apple's interface.  Last night I really did come very close to frisbeeing the damned thing.  And of course that should have been iPad, not iPod.   |O  It annoys me when I miss something like that when proofreading.   |O

-Pat
If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4466 on: December 07, 2017, 02:37:38 pm »
I had an old push-in neon panel indicator

Little tiny Neon indicator? You should have done better...



Well, truth be told, that one's a bit wimpy, too.   :P :P :P  Go big or go home!! 

I do have an AC Mains powered LED indicator that I suppose I could wire up.


I don't think it would accidentally be left on with THIS pilot light.

(of course I'd need to wear sunglasses to solder, too...)

-Pat
If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4467 on: December 07, 2017, 02:47:50 pm »
I think Weller's solution to the problem is the WDH10T stand, which automatically turns the iron off when placed into it.
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4468 on: December 07, 2017, 05:36:53 pm »
HP4440B Capacitor decade box Teardown/Restoration thread when it arrives as outside at least it has had a hard life.

Cool. I haven't seen one of those before. Looking forward to the thread.
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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4469 on: December 07, 2017, 05:41:39 pm »
Cool. I haven't seen one of those before. Looking forward to the thread.

Bit of a search here shows 1 or 2 amongst the members. I trawled up the manual but Keysight don't have it available any form anymore online. Including postage $90 AUD or under $70USD if it is fully electrically functional a bargain.
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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4470 on: December 07, 2017, 07:04:24 pm »
Nicely done Pat, the mod looks great.
As for posting from anything other than a computer, I feel if it doesn't have a real keyboard it is not worthy of anything except a reading or viewing device for videos. :)
I'll only use voice to text on my phone, I hate the virtual keyboard.

Thanks, Sue.  That little pilot light has been kicking around since some time in the mid 80s is my guess; apparently I was saving it for the perfect application.  It would have been nice if I could have put it in the black base (more contrast when it's lit), but of course there's stuff in the way there.  It wound up going in nicely where I put it, and the hole is the only irreversible change - the wiring was completely non-invasive and required nothing more than moving the transformer primary connection fastons.  I should have done it a few years ago when I first got the station.

As for typing, I'm with you - a real keyboard is the best (buckling spring mechanism being the best of the best).  Touch screens don't particularly like my fingers to begin with, and autocorrect is good for coming up with some very creative interpretations of things I type (especially some of the more obscure terms we techies are inclined towards), but sometimes I'm just too lazy to go fire up the real computer when I have the tablet in my hand, so I do battle with Apple's interface.  Last night I really did come very close to frisbeeing the damned thing.  And of course that should have been iPad, not iPod.   |O  It annoys me when I miss something like that when proofreading.   |O

-Pat
Problem with proof reading is that ones brain tends to fill in the missing or misspelt word or even the autocorrected wrong word. So when reading it back to yourself before commiting it the ether waves, I find that it often passes the test, even in preview mode. But sometimes I go back to my post and read what I actually posted and find that the gremlins struck again, even typed on a proper keyboard I can get it wrong.

It seems that the small text window on the forum for editing etc does little to help with your missive scrolling out of sight etc, fine for a one or two liner but they often lack clarity. Much the same on a phone or tablet with the horrible on screen keyboard that insists it knows precisely what you want to say. That problem is made worse because of the limited space available to display it all.

It makes me wonder if the signature at the end, sent by my xxxxxxx etc is actually trying to promote that brand and model, or providing us with an excuse for the often jumbled appearance and the mistakes that make it thorough.

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4471 on: December 07, 2017, 07:37:59 pm »
Problem with proof reading is that ones brain tends to fill in the missing or misspelt word or even the autocorrected wrong word. So when reading it back to yourself before commiting it the ether waves, I find that it often passes the test, even in preview mode. But sometimes I go back to my post and read what I actually posted and find that the gremlins struck again, even typed on a proper keyboard I can get it wrong.

It seems that the small text window on the forum for editing etc does little to help with your missive scrolling out of sight etc, fine for a one or two liner but they often lack clarity. Much the same on a phone or tablet with the horrible on screen keyboard that insists it knows precisely what you want to say. That problem is made worse because of the limited space available to display it all.

It makes me wonder if the signature at the end, sent by my xxxxxxx etc is actually trying to promote that brand and model, or providing us with an excuse for the often jumbled appearance and the mistakes that make it thorough.

Sent from my SM-J510FN using Tapatalk

Yeah, I swear that there's some sort of mental block that prevents seeing something on the screen.  I find that especially true with drawings and schematics.  I can spend what seems like 20 minutes looking over every part of it on the screen and not see any errors.  Print it in 11 x 17" format, and almost without fail I'll spot something glaring out at me as I look at the damned thing while carrying it back from the friggin' printer!!   |O |O |O |O |O

Similar story with posts, but I usually catch those errors before posting as I preview incessantly.

-Pat
If it jams, force it.  If it breaks, you needed a new one anyway...
 

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4472 on: December 07, 2017, 07:50:03 pm »
Problem with proof reading is that ones brain tends to fill in the missing or misspelt word or even the autocorrected wrong word. So when reading it back to yourself before commiting it the ether waves, I find that it often passes the test, even in preview mode. But sometimes I go back to my post and read what I actually posted and find that the gremlins struck again, even typed on a proper keyboard I can get it wrong.

It seems that the small text window on the forum for editing etc does little to help with your missive scrolling out of sight etc, fine for a one or two liner but they often lack clarity. Much the same on a phone or tablet with the horrible on screen keyboard that insists it knows precisely what you want to say. That problem is made worse because of the limited space available to display it all.

It makes me wonder if the signature at the end, sent by my xxxxxxx etc is actually trying to promote that brand and model, or providing us with an excuse for the often jumbled appearance and the mistakes that make it thorough.

Sent from my SM-J510FN using Tapatalk

Yeah, I swear that there's some sort of mental block that prevents seeing something on the screen.  I find that especially true with drawings and schematics.  I can spend what seems like 20 minutes looking over every part of it on the screen and not see any errors.  Print it in 11 x 17" format, and almost without fail I'll spot something glaring out at me as I look at the damned thing while carrying it back from the friggin' printer!!   |O |O |O |O |O

Similar story with posts, but I usually catch those errors before posting as I preview incessantly.

-Pat
Problem with incessant proof reading I find that unless you quote the message to which you're replying, that others have posted before you do and the flow has been lost and often as not the context as well is changed due to someone else's post.

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Offline neo

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4473 on: December 07, 2017, 07:51:43 pm »
Another great example of productive block is, with my 8800A i knew a power supply was shorted but it took me this long to think that it might be  a tantalum. First 3 tants i pulled were dead as doornails and their all being replaced shortly, quick question can 220u 6V tant be replaced with a much cheaper electrolyic on the AC converter board? The only reason they used tant that i can think of is size.

P.S. The 8800A has to have the worst possible connector for extender cards, fragile receptacle met with a tight fit and limited space, i miss the card edges of earlier models  :-DD
A hopeless addict (and slave) to TEA and a firm believer that high frequency is little more than modern hoodoo.
 

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Re: Test Equipment Anonymous (TEA) group therapy thread
« Reply #4474 on: December 07, 2017, 07:55:07 pm »
Another great example of productive block is, with my 8800A i knew a power supply was shorted but it took me this long to think that it might be  a tantalum. First 3 tants i pulled were dead as doornails and their all being replaced shortly, quick question can 220u 6V tant be replaced with a much cheaper electrolyic on the AC converter board? The only reason they used tant that i can think of is size.

P.S. The 8800A has to have the worst possible connector for extender cards, fragile receptacle met with a tight fit and limited space, i miss the card edges of earlier models  :-DD
Quick answer is yes, many of us here do that as a temp measure. I don't think it's a size issue, more of stability and reliability then anything else.

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