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Suggestions for hand tools that are helpful when working with vintage machines?

mbbrutman

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A friend introduced me to the Wiha Chip Lifter, which is basically a small prybar that seems to allow more control when removing chips from sockets. I've also discovered the dental picks are useful for scraping corrosion and manipulating flexible copper contacts in tight locations.

Are there other neat little tools that you know about, or tricks for using existing items as tools?


-Mike
 

Agent Orange

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A friend introduced me to the Wiha Chip Lifter, which is basically a small prybar that seems to allow more control when removing chips from sockets. I've also discovered the dental picks are useful for scraping corrosion and manipulating flexible copper contacts in tight locations.

Are there other neat little tools that you know about, or tricks for using existing items as tools?


-Mike

A very small flathead screwdriver that comes in an eyeglass frame repair kit can be used up under the chip and socket. Rotate slightly in either direction and/or rock up and down. Also works well on older CPU's prior to the ZIF sockets. The older Tandy jewelers screwdriver kit works well also. I have an IC puller but tugging sometimes has the chip leaving the socket in an uneven manner thus risking damaging a contact.
 

glitch

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PLCC puller. Don't know how I lived without one. No more busted PLCC sockets. Mine came from Trojan Electronics (no longer in business), forget the manufacturer.
 

inotarobot

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Hi Mike and ALL here and I wish you all a Happy New Year from Australia.

Some of the diagnostic tools I use on older Motherboards and PCBs apart from a Trusty old MOVING POINTER AVO Multimeter, its way more valuable at times than a modern digital one, are

1. HP 545A Logic Probe switchable for either TTL or Cmos
and

2. HP 546A Logic Pulser that has 3 variation pulses 1 pulse at 10hz. then 100Hz burst of 10 pulses or 100 pulses burst at 1Hz duration. Runs from 3 to 18volts DC

3. HP 547 Current Tracer (sorry was not handy when I took pic below),

4. HP ? an Logic Clip that clips over DIL logic chips and displays with individual lights the logic state of each pin.(sorry was not handy when I took pic below) forgotten the number. Will post later about it if needed

items 1,2 & 3 have power leads that have socket ends that can have fine spring-loaded clips to go around IC legs, or can plug on to pcb pin headers to get their needed power.

The following link is quite an interesting article on how to use some of these HP tools to troubleshoot electronic
https://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/pdfs/IssuePDFs/1976-12.pdf

5. is a small Tektronix AC current probe P6022 that connects to one of my Oscilloscopes or a multimeter using a suitable BNC to pin and inductance adaptor

6. an even smaller Tektronix Current Probe CT-2 that has a tiny hole to pass a resistor or capacitor leg though.
Ok it requires unsoldering one end of said type components and add a tiny flying lead. if I am worried about desoldering a PCB, I may choose to very carefully snip the component leg and use flying lead to both ends. Then after test carefully repair the cut with small length of spare 1/4w resistor leg soldered across the cut.

7RuZIzL.jpg
 
Last edited:

Tooms

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Denmark
Hi Mike and ALL here and I wish you all a Happy New Year from Australia.

Some of the diagnostic tools I use on older Motherboards and PCBs apart from a Trusty old MOVING POINTER AVO Multimeter, its way more valuable at times than a modern digital one, are

1. HP 545A Logic Probe switchable for either TTL or Cmos
and
2. HP 546A Logic Pulser that has 3 variation pulses 1 pulse at 10hz. then 100Hz burst of 10 pulses, or 100 pulse burst at 1Hz duration. Runs from 3 to 18volts DC

Both have power leads that have socket ends that can have fine spring loaded clips to go around IC legs, or can plug on to pcb pin headers to get their needed power.

https://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/pdfs/IssuePDFs/1976-12.pdf

3. is a small Tektronix AC current probe P6022 that connects to one of my Oscilloscopes or a multimeter using a suitable BNC to pin and inductance adaptor

4. an even smaller Tektronix Current Probe CT-2 that has a tiny hole to pass a resistor or capacitor leg though.
Ok it requires unsoldering one end of said type components and add a tiny flying lead. if I am worried about desoldering a PCB, I may choose to very carefully snip the component leg and use flying lead to both ends. Then after test carefully repair the cut with small length of spare 1/4w resistor leg soldered across the cut.

I also have that set, the current tracer and the IC logic probe can be useful.


/Tooms
 

Chuck(G)

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Hollow needles for desoldering. Very effective for clearing holes.

Panavise 324. The PCB bar is standard 1/2" steel rectangular tube, so it's easy to fabricate longer ones for large PCBs.

And, more of a "face tool" than a "hand tool", I would be lost without my OptiVisors:

OptiVISOR1_Left2_Small.jpg

Chinese clones are widely available if you can't afford the real thing.

Also, I find a set of locking hemostats to be useful from time to time.
 

Shadow Lord

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California
A friend introduced me to the Wiha Chip Lifter, which is basically a small prybar that seems to allow more control when removing chips from sockets. I've also discovered the dental picks are useful for scraping corrosion and manipulating flexible copper contacts in tight locations.

Are there other neat little tools that you know about, or tricks for using existing items as tools?


-Mike

Hah.. That is the same exact removal tool included with the Trinity Works PowerStacker CPU Upgrade Kit. I can tell you it makes short work of pulling out a 486 in a non-ZIF socket. Only issues in tight spaces you may not be able to get enough leverage.
 

TH2002

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Jan 6, 2020
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California, United States
A solder sucker I got off of eBay which works great for removing non-socketed chips. Used that to replace the failing PLA on my C64.

Not sure if this counts, but I also use a toothbrush dipped in either isopropyl or denatured alcohol (depending on the situation) for cleaning PCBs and WD-40 on cases for stubborn gunk that refuses to come off with alcohol (used that to clean some sort of sticker residue off the top of my C64).
 

1944GPW

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Brisbane, Australia
Good lighting is essential, for me it's the #1 requirement - "ya can't do anything without good light!!". And an anglepoise magnifier can help if your eyes aren't perfect.

Some hand tools I use are an X-acto #11 blade hobby knife, a small pair of fine needle nose pliers (without serrated teeth, just smooth jaws) and an IBM spring hook which has a lot more uses than just pulling or pushing springs.
Also a digital caliper, 300mm (12") length. A good complete set of small screwdrivers and nutdrivers too. And a set of small rat-tail files.
A small blob of Blu-tack to hold screws onto the tips of screwdrivers is handy. And little containers from takeaway food sauces, for putting screws and washers into as you disassemble equipment.
 
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