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

  1. #1

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

    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

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbbrutman View Post
    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.
    Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

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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.

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    Nibbler tool for notching sheet metal Useful in so many way. https://www.amazon.com/Parts-Express...693740&sr=8-13

    Secondly a real brass cleaning ball for your soldering iron tip. Pay extra for real brass.

  5. #5

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    A set of nut drivers and some dental picks.
    -- Lee
    If you get super-bored, try muh crappy YouTube channel: Old Computer Fun!
    Looking to Buy/Trade For (non-working is fine): Mac IIci hard drive sled and one bottom rubber foot, Multisync VGA CRTs, Decent NuBus video card, PC-era Tandy stuff, Weird Old Unix Stuff, Aesthetic Old Serial Terminals (HP and Data General in particular)

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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/pdf...Fs/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.

    Last edited by inotarobot; January 1st, 2021 at 03:28 AM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by inotarobot View Post
    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/pdf...Fs/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

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    40 pin Insertion Tool and a 40 pin Extraction Tool will keep you from bending leads.
    40pin_tool.jpg 40 pin Extract.jpg

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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:


    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.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbbrutman View Post
    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.
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

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