tvodrd suggested I keep a list and it's a good idea. After only a month, here's a start on mine:
List of things to Iíve learned (though not necessarily in order)
1. Measure twice, cut once (too important to leave off any list)
2. Bench test everything before installation
3. When soldering, be advised that heat sinks do just that - transmit heat to fingers very efficiently.
4. Everything melts. It helps to know what and when.
5. Smoke is usually a bad thing.
6. Ask first, someone else has already done it wrong before you and someone else has already done it right too
7. Thereís no such thing as too many tools
8. More power is not always the best answer
9. Half the fun can be in the doing, but that assumes you know what youíre doing.
10. What ever it is, always assume itís loaded or plugged in
11. Sometimes it's cheaper and easier to buy the damn thing than it is to fabricate it.
12. Just because it fits doesnít mean it will work
13. The flame that burns twice as bright actually does burn half as long.
14. Just about anything can be fixed if you spend enough.
More to come, unfortunately. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] wmpwi!! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crackup.gif[/img] Ain't it true! It takes a while to "get it right," but when you do, it will have been more than worth the effort!
if extra parts are cheap, buy extras because they sometimes have *legs* on them.
Just when you think you have it figured out in your head and dont write it down, someone comes and asks you a stupid question that makes you forget your ingenius idea.
When you finish with something easy nobody wants one, but when you make something nearly impossible everyone bugs you to tears to make them one for free so sometimes you only show those that appreciate it and know they don't grow on trees.
You test battery always goes dead when you are on the verge of completion.
If you have something complicated working on the bench it will break upon assembly every time.
If you have every tool imaginable you will always need one more, but if you only have a few tools you seem to have too many you don't use.
You always forget you have heat shrink tubing until you are finished soldering everything.
You always need one more test/clip lead than you have.
Even if you are an octupus you never have enough arms.
Always stop and think "Where is it going to go when it slips?" Not "IF", but "WHEN". Sharp object, grinder, soldering iron tip, whatever, always think about the set-up and where the tool is going to go when it slips.
Also, if you get even an inkling that something isn't right with the set-up or you feel even a tiny bit uncomfortable, STOP. Think about it and redo the set-up or jigging or clamping or the entire operation. You can always find a safe way to do the operation. You only get one set of hands and eyes.
-The soldering iron will finally get warm just in time for your wife to ask you to take out the trash.
-Your friends and neighbors will tease you about your flashlight collection...until the power goes out.
-If you have a favorite "emergency" flashlight, practice changing the batteries and (if necessary) the bulb, by feel, in the dark. If it can't be done quickly and easily then get a different "emergency" flashlight!
-If inserting the batteries backwards will destroy the LED in a flashlight, get a different one for "emergencies" (see previous entry).
-Always buy the kids a couple of their own flashlights...or you'll never be able to find yours!
-When using a powerful light indoors, be wary of mirrors! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif[/img]
When picking up a ziplock store bag of pre-shredded cheese make sure you're grabbing the end that opens and not the bottom, as the ziplocks on those bags just dont work...
And the followup, even though you've seen others in the house using a dustpan, does not mean that they put it in a reasonable place from where you'll be able to find it after spilling a pound of shredded cheese all over the floor...
You always are involved in working on the hardest part of a project when the doorbell or phone rings with someone that has an emergency.
If you buy a 4 pack of batteries you will always need 5 of them, if you buy an 8 pack you must have 9.
When you find batteries on sale and buy 3 times as many as you will need in a year someone will need half of them and you will end up wishing you had bought 5 times as many. When you buy 5 times as many batteries as you need, nobody will need or want extra batteries so they sit for years and you worry about them going bad before you use them.
Everyone wants you to help them fix their stuff, car, electronics, plumbling etc... but when you need an extra hand to finish your flashaholic project they act like you are imposing on their free time and look at you like you are an idiot.
That perfect host either turns out a mm too small to fit everything or everything fits and you inadvertantly destroy it when someone interrupts you for their *less trivial* project help.
The only time you have a power outage is when you are just about to finish your greatest flashlight made for..... you guessed it.... a power outage, so you cannot finish it till next power outage which doesn't happen for years, by the time which you bought a neater gadget you use for that power outage instead.
JTice, yeah, I've done that before on car stereo harnesses. I solder all of my wires and heatshrink them rather than crimp. Drives you nuts!!
Lynx, I bought a TON of C batteries for dirt cheap a year or so ago, but didn't realize they were carbon zinc. I thought they were light weight! I plan on hooking a bunch of them in series for a power source for my HV generator.
But actaully, I haven't ruined any LED's or Luxeons or anything like that yet. I know some of you hate me, and I'll probably screw something up next for saying this!!
When you find yourself putting in an exhorbitant amount of effort on a task, you are on the wrong track - fall back, regroup, take a different tack.
When that part, or tool, that you just set down 20 seconds ago, goes missing for more than 10 minutes, it has dematerialized - it will not rematerialize until you buy another one. Same thing goes for that tool that you didn't need when you saw it just recently - but now that you need it, it is nowhere to be found.
Sometimes when you drop a part and hear it bounce twice, the second bounce was into another dimension (or parallel universe if you prefer). It might take 2 years to come back, or it may never come back.
The act of taking some things apart generates an extra part, which you will notice when the thing is all back together and appears to be working normally.
No matter how long you keep that pile of scrap parts and material around, you won't find a use for it till you throw it out.
The easiest way to lose something is to set it somewhere where you won't forget it.
The easiest way to forget to take something is to set it by the door so you won't forget it.
When at the grocery store buying items to make a particular dish, you don't buy item A because you know you have some in the fridge. What you forgot was that you put item A in the fridge a year ago, and now it's a science project.
electrolytic caps have the polarity shown for a reason, try and follow the polarity
(gee is was just a little reverse power, but it sure did pop loud)
heat shrink CAN be slightly expanded, when you dont have any big enough.
solder wick is a pain, but it might be better than heating the part, and throwing it on the ground quickly to slop the solder off it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] if there is enough solder, the solder sucker is the best though.
meter set on OHMS is a bad way to test polarity and conduction of the ends of a battery. (wont tell you who i learned this from :-)
you can fast charge rechargables as long as they dont fast Overcharge.
when making curcuits, 95% of the parts, are there to fix the deficiencies and problems of the 2 needed to do the actual work
programming is easy, debugging till it works exactally right is both time consuming and near impossible, but dont ask microsoft to do it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
[ QUOTE ] wmpwi said:
13. The flame that burns twice as bright actually does burn half as long.
[/ QUOTE ]
So appropriate about lights and cars. A car enthusiast told me a while back "There's no such thing as a low-consumption high-performance car - if you want her to MOOOOOOOVE she's gonna drink". I could say the same thing about the lights.. crank up the power to the business end and do expect runtime to fall. Where's my USL again?
My other additions..
1. Better to buy a $50 piece of gear from the get go than buy a $10 piece of gear five times. Learned this many years back with cheapo computer mice that were lucky to last two weeks - literally.
2. The ONE single time you do not have a light with you is the time you are guaranteed a blackout. I was at a place that lost power for five minutes, the person that was with me said that was the only time he decided he wouldn't need a light. Well, guess who was carrying the U2.. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] it was only five minutes, but what a cannon that U2 is in pitch blackness. I dialed it down to level 4! (coming from someone who never sets it lower than 6, not while my lithium ions are in it)
3. A Surefire official Z60 lanyard is $12. A DIY paracord lanyard and McGizmo clip is less than $4. Sure makes that $270 flashlight you lost for the lack of a lanyard look cheap now.. lanyard it or lose it!
1). A great warranty on a piece of crap just gets you a newer piece of the same crap when you replace it -- get the good version upfront.
2). The piece of crud version will cost you less. However, it probably won't hold up your when life could depend on it, or when it just plain would come in real handy -- get the good version upfront.
3). When you look for quality also look for practicality. If it isn't there when you need it 'cause it's not carryable, what good is it, regardless of the cost?
4). Too pretty/rare/collectable/valuable to carry versions are nice. The ones you can use when you really, really need 'em are the ones that you really, really appreciate.
5). The pain in the butt you get from carrying too much stuff goes away pretty quick when you save someone from having a disaster, large or small, and you get the "Oh, so that's why you've always got that with you! Thank you!" Especially true when you see the "I'm gonna get me one of those!" look in their eyes (true addicts love to spread their addictions). And even better than that when the soon to be addict is really hot! Hubba, hubba! Chicks do like geeks!