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Electronics for dummies - McComb G.

McComb G., Boes E. Electronics for dummies - Wiley publishing, 2005. - 433 p.
ISBN: 0-7645-7660-7
Download (direct link): electronicsfordummies2005.pdf
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Hookup wire for general electronics work is 20 to 22 gauge. You use this size for most projects. For heavier-duty applications, like wiring up large motors, you may use 16- or 18-gauge wire. As a point of reference, 20-gauge wire measures 0.032 inches in diameter, whether it's made of one solid conductor or a twine of many conductors twisted together. You read more about wire and wire gauge in Chapter 5.
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Chapter 3: Outfitting Your Electronics Bench
Figure 3-2:
A combination wire cutter and stripper.
Some folks prefer to buy wire cutters and wire strippers as separate tools. Either the cutter or stripper tends to get dull faster than the other (depending on the type of work that you do and the wire that you use). The separate tools tend to be cheaper than one of the combo deals, and you donít have to pay as much down the road if you replace them one at a time.
Another form of wire cutter is the flush or nippy cutter, which you can see in Figure 3-3. It cuts flush with a printed circuit board, and is useful when you need to get in close. The tool works well with wire from 30 to 16 gauge. Thicker wire may damage the tool or dull the cutting blades. For thicker wires, use diagonal cutters, also called linemanís pliers.
Getting a grip with needle-nosed pliers
Pliers help you grip stuff, bend wires, and hold parts in place during project assembly. For intricate work, use a 5-inch, needle-nosed pair of pliers, such as those that jewelry makers use. You can use larger pliers for general-purpose work. (By the way, the size of the pliers reflects the overall dimensions of the tool, not how large the jaws open.)
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48 Part II: Aisle 5, Component Shack: Stocking Up
Figure 3-3:
Nippy cutters trim wire ends flush to the surface.
Be sure that you use the proper size pliers for the job. Using pliers that are too small may ruin the tool. And using a tool thatís too large may damage components or cause unnecessary frustration.
Magnifiers: The better to see you with
A 4X to 8X magnifying glass helps you zoom in close and inspect your handiwork. You may find the magnifying glass particularly handy when youíre looking for solder bridges, cold solder joints, or incomplete joints. (We cover these soldering gotchas more fully in Chapter 8.)
4X or 8X means the magnifier enlarges the image by four or eight times, respectively. You can get magnifiers with other magnification powers. Anything less than 4X may not enlarge the image enough to be of any use to you, and anything more than 8X may be too powerful to do the kind of detail work that electronics requires.
Take a look at the magnifying glass in Figure 3-4. Itís attached to a set of adjustable clips that hold small parts while youíre working. You can find this type of rig, called ďhelping handsĒ or ďthird hand,Ē particularly useful when youíre soldering or at any other time that you need to work with small parts.
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Chapter 3: Outfitting Your Electronics Bench
Another option for you to consider is magnifying glasses that you wear on your head. Sounds painful, but itís not. The unit slips over your head like a baseball cap, with the magnifying glasses positioned in front of your eyes. You can flip the magnifiers out of the way when you donít need them.
Figure 3-4:
These helping hands combine alligator clips with a magnifying glass.
A place for everything, and everything in its place
Over the months and years that you play with electronics, you can amass quite a few bits and pieces of junk. You want to keep track of it all, and you can do this bit of organization easily using a parts bin, also affectionately called a junk box. These bins have drawers for storing nuts, screws, resistors, capacitors, and other little parts. Choose the bin that has the number and size of drawers that you want. I like the type with both small and large drawers; the large drawers accommodate the bigger parts, as well as some tools and supplies, such as solder.
You may find that making labels to mark whatís in each drawer is really useful. You can hand-write labels or use a labeler machine, such as the Brother P-Touch. For drawers that hold several different things, you can use dividers that keep parts separated. Provide a separate label for each section. Donít write directly on the drawer with a marker or anything else thatís permanent. You want the flexibility of being able to change what you keep in each drawer. term LinG - live, informative, Non-cost and Genuine !
Part II: Aisle 5, Component Shack: Stocking Up
Filling out the toolbox
From time to time, you may need to use ordinary workshop tools when constructing an electronics project (for example, you probably need a saw or a drill when youíre building a motorized ghost display for Halloween). But donít think that you have to rush out and buy one of every tool. Depending on the type of projects that you build, you use some of these tools only occasionally. Borrow what you donít have. Just be sure to return them when youíre done!
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