Showing posts with label Tools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tools. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Monday, May 23, 2016

USB Rechargeable Screwdriver with Live Circuit Detector

Kind of cool - a USB rechargeable screw driver with live circuit detector for $22.

  • Patented Circuit Sensor Non-Contact Live-Wire Detector for outlets, switches, cords and fixtures
  • Safely detects current from up to 1 inch away; communicates with sound and red light
  • 2 LED worklights for illumination in low-light situations
  • Integrated, rechargeable Lithium battery and USB charging port for convenient charging
  • 9-piece screwdriver bit kit and magnetic bit holder

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Folding Step Stool

Yeah, this is kinda random, but it fits with my useful tools page I am working on.

We bought this small, folding step stool and a more substantial wooden step stool for our daughter. The folding stool was great for her. It is light weight, so she could easily move it around to different places. And, since it folds up, it was easy to tuck out of the way. I find I use it all the time to get to the top of cabinets or to change a light bulb.

The best part... it is only $10 at Amazon.

Via Kinja Deals

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pocket Whiteboard

I love whiteboards. They are a favorite tool of mine. Low tech, yes, but very effective.

Now I can have a whiteboard where ever I go... the Noteboard Pocket-Size Dry Erase-Board.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Network Training

I did some on-line network training and learned about a very powerful tool.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Oscilloscopes for Radio Amateurs: Add a Scope to Your Ham Shack

I'm curious if Oscilloscopes for Radio Amateurs: Add a Scope to Your Ham Shack is any good. The description is:
Oscilloscopes are a useful tool in the world of electronics, allowing radio amateurs to “see” the signals inside their equipment. With personal computers and today’s technologies, a variety of analog, digital or hybrid scopes are available to hams for solving problems and testing new ideas in home workshops. 
Oscilloscopes for Radio Amateurs is filled with practical information you’ll need for using a scope. It begins with an overview of the oscilloscope and continues on to discuss characteristics, applications, probes, controls, and input modes. If you’re considering adding this piece of test equipment to your ham shack, there is an explanation of scope specifications and features to help you select an oscilloscope that is right for you. 
- Why Get an Oscilloscope?
- A Little History
- Every Scope Has These Elements
- Probes and Accessories
- Scope Sections in Detail
- Input Modes
- Let’s Put a Scope to Work
- If You Are Going to Buy One – Specifications
- Software Oscilloscopes — Capable and Free
- Reviews of Several Current Models
Or does anyone know of a similar text?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Rigol DS1054Z Oscilloscope

Mike's got a new toy. I always tempted by adding tools to my bench... you know, something besides a screw driver and duct tape would be nice to have.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Simple Tools II

In addition to the calendar, I also love having a big whiteboard. Networks diagrams, workflow, ad hoc WBS - there are a million things to prove the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words.

It became a bit of a running joke that I couldn't work with the team on a project or issue without being at the whiteboard.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Simple Tools

When I do finally get back to work, I'll want to get one of these giant wall calendars. It is decidedly low-tech, but I loved being able to see the year all at once. I would track:

- month-ends (when we were on a 4-4-5 fiscal calendar), so I could make sure we didn't try to schedule downtime/maintenance during that critical period
- holidays for each of the plants (US, China, Mexico)
- vacations for my staff
- off-site training for my staff

You can use dry erase markers, but I prefer using permanent Sharpies. (You already knew I was a fan of Sharpies for the ham shack.) If something was in flux, I would make a note on a Post-It that I could move around until the date was finalized. Bright colors are a must!

Friday, March 21, 2014


Speaking of task managers... So many tasks revolve around e-mail, I like to use it as a virtual task manager. I've used Tasks and Appointments in Outlook, but they made it awkward to get back to the original message that generated the activity. I wanted to use the original message in order to maintain the history.

I've used Boomerang (for Outlook) and like it, except there was no quick option to have a message reappear in three days - critical for the Friday to Monday period.

TechHit has released SnoozeIt which is a similar tool. I already use TwInbox - which is their plugin to get tweets in my Outlook. I might have to check it out.

An update... before I got this posted, I saw KK Cool Tools recommending Boomerang for Gmail. What really caught my attention was this:
"You also — and this is a sweet add-on — get to choose whether you want the message to Boomerang as a function of whether your email receives a reply, is not clicked, is not opened, or regardless. So if you you choose to only Boomerang in 1 week if there is no reply because you want to make sure your email is attended to, and then the recipient replies in 2 days, your email will not come back to you in 1 week."
Cool indeed.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

For the Toolbox

Here is another great item for your toolbox... Silver Sharpies. They are great for a variety of uses. For one, I mark the various power supplies for my HT radios. No more matching plugs to make sure I have the right wall wart for the UV-5R or UV-3R.

I also use them for my magazines. Since all the magazines look a like, it is important to have an easy way to identify one that starts having problems.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

For the Toolbox

I've got a Black & Decker screwdriver that I really love. It is amazing the torque it provides. (They are very handy for taking radios apart. Ha!)

This Skil version (Amazon $50) looks neat for two reasons. First, it charges via USB. I can't decide if I think that is useful or just a gimmick. I leave my B&D driver on the charging station all the time, so I don't know if USB would be any benefit or not. Secondly, it has a built-in magazine to hold 12 bits. That sounds like a handy way to store and access them - more elegant than just having them all jumbled up in the grip or in a separate box.

Via Cool Tools

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Time for a new Watch

Hans uses a bunch of bulky, old school equipment on his bench. How long till he just starts wearing his test lab around? (The probes are separate, so one needs to be prepared to answer the question: is that a set of probes in your pocket or are you just glad to see my wave form?)


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vichy DM4070 LCR Meter

I posted about the Leixen Frequency Counter and asked if anyone was using inexpensive Chinese bench equipment? PA1SBM posted that he got a new toy in the shack - an LCR meter.

Get yours at Amazon here or on ebay.

Brief Description 
This professional LCR meter (DM4070is made by VICHY brand. It is a stable and accurate instrument with Large 3 ½ LCD display. It is widely used on measuringInductanceResistance and Capacitance. It is ideal for testing SMD type components.    
The meter offers advanced features such as the ability to perform precision measurements. It is an ideal hand-held tool for labs, factories, radio technology and family use.  

  • New type holster, streamline design
  • 3 ½ digit Large LCD Display
  • Measure Inductance (L), Capacitance (C) and Resistance (R)
  • Metallic screen board with stronger antimagnetic and anti-interferential function
  • Full protect function, capacitor with the function of self discharge
  • Over Range and Low battery display indication
  • Automatic Power Off
  • Conformed with CE Standard 

General Specifications    
  • Display: 3 ½ digit Large LCD (65 x 41 mm) with a max readings of 1999
  • Measuring Range:
    • Inductance (L): 0.1 μH ~ 20 H
    • Capacitance (C): 0.1 pF ~ 2000 μF
    • Resistance (R): 0.01 Ω ~ 20 MΩ
  • Zero Adjust: Capacitance under 20 nF is manual ministrant zero adjust
  • Over range indication: displays "1"
  • Low battery display indication
  • Sampling Rate: 0 ~ 5 Times / Second
  • Operating Temperature: 0 ~ 40 °C (32 ~ 104 °F)
  • Operating Humidity: below 80 % R.H.
  • Power: 1 x 9 V PP3 battery (not included)
  • Dimensions: 185 (H) x 93 (W) x 35 (D) mm (7.28' x 3.66' x 1.38' inch)
  • Weight: approx. 360 g (12.7 oz)    
Accuracy is ±(percentage of reading + number of digit) at (23±5) °C, Relative humidity<75 span="">  

Capacitance (C)                                                                                                       
200 pF
± (2.5% + 5d)
0.1 pF
2 nF
1 pF
20 nF
10 pF
200 nF
100 pF
2 μF
1 nF
20 μF
10 nF
200 μF
100 nF
2000 μF
± (5.0% + 5d)
1 μF

 Inductance (L)                                                                                         
200 μH
± (3.0% + 5d)
0.1 μH
2 mH
± (2.0% + 5d)
1 μH
20 mH
10 μH
200 mH
100 μH
2 H

1 mH
20 H
± (5.0% + 5d)
10 mH
 1 H = 103 mH = 106 μH 
Resistance (Ω)                                                                                      
20 Ω
± (1.0% + 5d)
0.01 Ω
200 Ω
± (0.8% + 2d)
0.1 Ω
1 Ω
10 Ω
100 Ω
± (2.0% + 5d)

One Set Included    
  • 1 x Digital LCR Meter
  • Test Leads
  • 1 x Instruction Manual
  • Standard Factory Package

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Leixen N8 Frequency Counter

Eileen of Leixen asked me if I was interested in the their N8 Frequency Counter. The specs and details are below - including a video demonstrating its use. I see a lot about Chinese radios, but I don't see much about tools like this. Is anyone using anything like this?

[ UPDATE ] I should have included the link to buy ($25 plus shipping) at AliExpress.

N8 handheld frequency counter using dot-matrix LCD, it mainly used to measure the frequency, CTCSS and DCS of radio.

The counter adopts the inductive measurement without the use of feeders, which make the measurement convenient and quick.

The counter can also used as a torch for it has a bright LED lamp.

Measure range: Frequency 1MHz ~ 1000MHz, all CTCSS, all DCS.
Operating Current: 46mA current measurement
Torch current: 20mA
Battery: 3 1.5V AAA alkaline batteries
Auto power off: 60 seconds


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Poor Craftsman

It is a poor craftsman that blames his tools. I agree in general, but would add that the tools do matter - especially at the extremes of quality or skill.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Magpul Bottle Opener

I can't seem to find this Magpul Bottle Opener on their site. Pretty slick none-the-less.

I already have a LaRue Tactical Beverage Entry Tool. I read that it can be used to remove their index clips, too.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cool Tool - RJ45

This is a neat idea from Platinum Tools - the RJ45 connector allows the 8 wires to pass through the end. It makes it easier to verify the order of the wires and you don't have to worry about trimming them too short or long.