Chapter 14. Maintaining Your Cool (Stuff)

Don't forget that you have invested time, effort, and hard-earned dollars in circuits, knowledge, and equipment! Those investments are like your car or home; you can preserve their value in the world of circuitbuilding by performing regular maintenance. If that conjures up images of greasy overalls and giant monkey wrenches, forget it! Just by planning ahead and organizing the job, you can ensure that the kind of maintenance described in this chapter can be performed in minutes.

Taking Care of Tools and Test Instruments

The most important stuff to maintain is your growing collection of tools and test instruments. After you've been working with electronics for a few years, you'll have several hundred dollars-worth of tools and parts accumulated, so it's important to take care of them. Besides, after you've grown used to a specific tool, it becomes part of your extended family!

"Clean and dry" is the mantra for tools. Electronic tools don't require frequent sharpening or oiling the way metalworking and woodworking tools do. But they will rust or corrode if allowed to get damp or wet! If you take tools outside overnight or work in the rain, be sure to wipe down your tools before putting them away. If you can, put them under a warm lamp (a desk or bench lamp will do) for an hour or so to let the heat of the light bulb evaporate the water or condensation.


Keeping track of loaned-out tools or books can be a problem, so make a note of every loan ...

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