Bench tools you can't live without

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semicolin
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Bench tools you can't live without

Post by semicolin »

I'm terrible at woodworking, godawful at paint and ink work, but I know my way around an electronics workbench. If you're just getting started with electronics and board work, here are two of my favourite (and indispensable) tools on the bench.

First: soldering/desoldering station. There are a few different model and brands floating around. Decent controlled temperature soldering irons for the hobbyist have been around a long time. For most modern hobbyists getting into electronics, with Raspberry Pi and Arduino kits, all of the solder work is brand new, and they're not removing old components for replacement like we do in pinball. Soldering braid or spring loaded solder-suckers just aren't reliable enough to do what we need to do. To do board re-work, having desoldering iron connected to an electric vacuum pump makes the process so much easier.

For the beginner, the Aoyue 701A++ repair station will do everything you need. It has both a soldering and desoldering iron built in, and the price is right at under $300CAD.
61MLfyU6LWL._SL1000_.jpg
My other indispensable tool is this assemble-it-yourself universal component tester. It can identify capacitors, resistors, diodes, transistors, SCRs, and tell you which leg is which. It's especially useful for telling you the ESR on old electrolytic capacitors. As they age, the value increases, and it can cause circuits to behave unpredictably. It's also useful for quickly testing components before you install them, which is really important when you're buying components online and want to avoid counterfeits. Best part? It's under twenty dollars. Insane.
maxresdefault.jpg
What are your favourite indispensable tools?

pharoah007

Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by pharoah007 »

Helpy me helpy hands :)

(The alligator clip and magnifying glass tool )

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semicolin
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by semicolin »

pharoah007 wrote:Helpy me helpy hands :)

(The alligator clip and magnifying glass tool )
Oh yeah! I used to laugh about those things and figure I'd never need such a stupid gimmick. They were on sale for $10 a month ago over at Gervais and I figured, ah, what the hell. Turns out they are brilliant helpers for tinning wire. Don't know how I ever lived without one.

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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by steamfitter »

https://www.amazon.ca/PanaVise-333-Asse ... B000SSR8FY

Hold circuit boards up to 12-Inch (304.8mm) wide and up to 0.156 (4mm) thick
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by Sparky »

My beer holder. LOL

Actually, my old and trusted OTC-100 multimeter. I have had it since 1995 and it is my ultimate go-to. If I had to get rid of almost everything, the multimeter would stay.

Second? My Taito Multi-Checker. I have completed the schematics for it. It has a pattern generator for checking monitors. It produces 14 different voltages so I can test a lot of things. And I have built 17 harnesses for it, and counting. I even test pinball boards on it.

I sold it once years ago, was lucky to get it back. Now, like the multimeter, it will NEVER leave.
Multichecker.jpg
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by simon »

pharoah007 wrote:Helpy me helpy hands :)

(The alligator clip and magnifying glass tool )
Any recommendations for a good one? I bought one at Madison and it completely destroys wire insulation when I clip them.

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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

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Sparky wrote:Second? My Taito Multi-Checker. I have completed the schematics for it. It has a pattern generator for checking monitors. It produces 14 different voltages so I can test a lot of things. And I have built 17 harnesses for it, and counting. I even test pinball boards on it.

I sold it once years ago, was lucky to get it back. Now, like the multimeter, it will NEVER leave.

Multichecker.jpg
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by Fifty »

Sparky wrote:My beer holder. LOL

Actually, my old and trusted OTC-100 multimeter. I have had it since 1995 and it is my ultimate go-to. If I had to get rid of almost everything, the multimeter would stay.

Second? My Taito Multi-Checker. I have completed the schematics for it. It has a pattern generator for checking monitors. It produces 14 different voltages so I can test a lot of things. And I have built 17 harnesses for it, and counting. I even test pinball boards on it.

I sold it once years ago, was lucky to get it back. Now, like the multimeter, it will NEVER leave.

Multichecker.jpg
That thing is a BEAST!

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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by Sparky »

cait001 wrote:
Sparky wrote:Second? My Taito Multi-Checker. I have completed the schematics for it. It has a pattern generator for checking monitors. It produces 14 different voltages so I can test a lot of things. And I have built 17 harnesses for it, and counting. I even test pinball boards on it.

I sold it once years ago, was lucky to get it back. Now, like the multimeter, it will NEVER leave.

Multichecker.jpg
this is the coolest thing I've ever seen.
Yup. And as far as I know, there are only 3 left out there.

My screen is PERFECT with zero burn-in, and it is recapped. Should last forever now.

It initially tested pretty much everything with voltages between 5V and 24V, but I have added more power circuits to power coils and flipper units. My next step is to create display driver circuits. 100V for Williams and 200V for Ballys and Sterns. I also need to build more harnesses to test complete pinball boardsets. I may build test panels that I can install boards and displays on, just for testing purposes.
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by Mrhide »

I’m expecting it to have wiggly arms and start screaming “danger Will Robinson!!”
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by Battlezoneman »

Sparky wrote:My beer holder. LOL

Second? My Taito Multi-Checker. I have completed the schematics for it. It has a pattern generator for checking monitors. It produces 14 different voltages so I can test a lot of things. And I have built 17 harnesses for it, and counting. I even test pinball boards on it.

I sold it once years ago, was lucky to get it back. Now, like the multimeter, it will NEVER leave.

Multichecker.jpg
It was a cool machine. I wish I had more time to have played around with it. It came from North Carolina if I remember right. Guy said that it was bought by an arcade rental business to do repairs but that the business went under shortly after and the machine sat in storage for 15 years+ before someone found it and started playing around with it. I was able to fix some of the hacks inside before I let it go. I remember it was also very heavy.
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by cap »

cap wrote:
OTTOgd wrote:I bought a Hakko 808 over 5 years ago and it's still awesome. But I'm pretty sure there's a newer version though. Tonnes of positive feedback: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic ... ost-716027
It appears the 808 was replaced by the FR-300 which was replaced by the FR-301. Thanks for the recommendations, I will definitely consider a Hakko if I decide to splurge.
Looks like a decent price: $342 for a Hakko FR301-03/P which is guaranteed to be the 120V US model
https://www.amazon.ca/American-HAKKO-Pr ... B07BFVFMS9
You may find lower prices on ebay but they are often the Japanese model, the different voltage affects the performance here.
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by djsupermariobros »

I order the station at amazon paid 279 tanks for the tip work well
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by steamfitter »

Got this today, it should make life easier

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... e=emb_logo
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Last edited by steamfitter on Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by cait001 »

Not quite the same, but essential tools I love that I never expected to own before pinball:
telescoping magnet rod
digital micrometer
dental picks
WANTED: Stern Jurassic Park Pro, 21 (1946 Duval), NSM Freispiel Sieg Super-Match, 1972 Bally Continental Bingo slot machine
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by Bagdad »

Kind of unrelated to board work, but after seeing that video I ordered a bunch of tools. The magnetics nut drivers with long shaft, very usefull when working under the PF...

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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by cait001 »

Bagdad wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:22 pm
Kind of unrelated to board work, but after seeing that video I ordered a bunch of tools. The magnetics nut drivers with long shaft, very usefull when working under the PF...

Tools of the Pinball Trade
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmf5cig_rqU
which set should one buy?
I saw this https://www.amazon.ca/Klein-Tools-647M- ... KIUYQ?th=1
WANTED: Stern Jurassic Park Pro, 21 (1946 Duval), NSM Freispiel Sieg Super-Match, 1972 Bally Continental Bingo slot machine
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by mrmikeman »

cait001 wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:28 am
Bagdad wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 5:22 pm
Kind of unrelated to board work, but after seeing that video I ordered a bunch of tools. The magnetics nut drivers with long shaft, very usefull when working under the PF...

Tools of the Pinball Trade
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmf5cig_rqU
which set should one buy?
I saw this https://www.amazon.ca/Klein-Tools-647M- ... KIUYQ?th=1
Lol.. That’s what I got. Out for delivery right now!
Current Lineup:

PINS:
Medieval Madness Royal Edition - Mods: Merlin, Troll lighting
Stern Jurassic Park LE - Pinstadiums, Stern topper, mods: signs, watch tower, raptor pen, T-rex fence, pteranodon, and a few more
Wizard of Oz ECLE - Mods: witch, tornado, castle, crystal ball, emerald city, flaming pots, hot air balloon lighting
Star Trek the Next Generation - Alt translite, Pinstadiums, Pinsound board & speakers, full LED, LED&GI OCD, custom topper, ColorDMD
Doctor Who - Alt Translite, moving Dalek, full LED, Pinsound & shaker, LED&GI OCD, ColorDMD
Revenge from Mars - Running custom v2.21 on original hardware, Mods: saucer LEDs, 6-ball trough, knocker, shaker

Looking for:
Stern SW Prem/LE
Willy Wonka
LOTR

JUKES
Rock-Ola 446 - Up and running. Listed on Kijiji/FB.
Seeburg STD2 Entertainer - Converted to MP3 while retaining the original look and feel.

Gone but not forgotten
So many... Road Show, Monster Bash, Twilight Zone, Lord of the Rings, Simpsons Pinball Party, Demolition Man, Terminator 2, Funhouse, Tales from the Crypt, High Speed, Bad Cats, Flintstones, WWF Royal Rumble, Laser War, Laser Ball, Silver Slugger, Batman Forever, Pinbot, 6 Million Dollar Man, Galaxy, Meteor, Countdown, Hot Tip(SS), and others I just can't think of lol.

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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by Sparky »

What... no one mention the beer fridge yet? LOL
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by mrmikeman »

Sparky wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:21 pm
What... no one mention the beer fridge yet? LOL
Oh you mean THIS THING??
Attachments
IMG-2420.jpg
IMG-2421.jpg
Current Lineup:

PINS:
Medieval Madness Royal Edition - Mods: Merlin, Troll lighting
Stern Jurassic Park LE - Pinstadiums, Stern topper, mods: signs, watch tower, raptor pen, T-rex fence, pteranodon, and a few more
Wizard of Oz ECLE - Mods: witch, tornado, castle, crystal ball, emerald city, flaming pots, hot air balloon lighting
Star Trek the Next Generation - Alt translite, Pinstadiums, Pinsound board & speakers, full LED, LED&GI OCD, custom topper, ColorDMD
Doctor Who - Alt Translite, moving Dalek, full LED, Pinsound & shaker, LED&GI OCD, ColorDMD
Revenge from Mars - Running custom v2.21 on original hardware, Mods: saucer LEDs, 6-ball trough, knocker, shaker

Looking for:
Stern SW Prem/LE
Willy Wonka
LOTR

JUKES
Rock-Ola 446 - Up and running. Listed on Kijiji/FB.
Seeburg STD2 Entertainer - Converted to MP3 while retaining the original look and feel.

Gone but not forgotten
So many... Road Show, Monster Bash, Twilight Zone, Lord of the Rings, Simpsons Pinball Party, Demolition Man, Terminator 2, Funhouse, Tales from the Crypt, High Speed, Bad Cats, Flintstones, WWF Royal Rumble, Laser War, Laser Ball, Silver Slugger, Batman Forever, Pinbot, 6 Million Dollar Man, Galaxy, Meteor, Countdown, Hot Tip(SS), and others I just can't think of lol.

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mrmikeman
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by mrmikeman »

Fresh off the delivery truck and out of the package..
Attachments
IMG-2422.jpg
Current Lineup:

PINS:
Medieval Madness Royal Edition - Mods: Merlin, Troll lighting
Stern Jurassic Park LE - Pinstadiums, Stern topper, mods: signs, watch tower, raptor pen, T-rex fence, pteranodon, and a few more
Wizard of Oz ECLE - Mods: witch, tornado, castle, crystal ball, emerald city, flaming pots, hot air balloon lighting
Star Trek the Next Generation - Alt translite, Pinstadiums, Pinsound board & speakers, full LED, LED&GI OCD, custom topper, ColorDMD
Doctor Who - Alt Translite, moving Dalek, full LED, Pinsound & shaker, LED&GI OCD, ColorDMD
Revenge from Mars - Running custom v2.21 on original hardware, Mods: saucer LEDs, 6-ball trough, knocker, shaker

Looking for:
Stern SW Prem/LE
Willy Wonka
LOTR

JUKES
Rock-Ola 446 - Up and running. Listed on Kijiji/FB.
Seeburg STD2 Entertainer - Converted to MP3 while retaining the original look and feel.

Gone but not forgotten
So many... Road Show, Monster Bash, Twilight Zone, Lord of the Rings, Simpsons Pinball Party, Demolition Man, Terminator 2, Funhouse, Tales from the Crypt, High Speed, Bad Cats, Flintstones, WWF Royal Rumble, Laser War, Laser Ball, Silver Slugger, Batman Forever, Pinbot, 6 Million Dollar Man, Galaxy, Meteor, Countdown, Hot Tip(SS), and others I just can't think of lol.

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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by Bagdad »

mrmikeman wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:22 pm
Fresh off the delivery truck and out of the package..
I bought the same on amazon.ca, but only the 4 "most common" ones. There was a package with 1/4 + 5/16 and I added 11/32 & 3/8 individually. It was less expensive and I don't think the 2 others are that much needed as long shaft/magnetic.
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by Bagdad »

Sparky wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:21 pm
What... no one mention the beer fridge yet? LOL
I got this one from Walmart. Not too expensive and the blue LEDs look nice. The only thing that suck is that the LEDs seems to fade over time. I already replace them last year and they already look faded.

Next time I order at comet, I'll try to replace them with a real SMD strip instead of the cheap one that come with the fridge.
P1040429.JPG
Own: Diner / Hurricane / Who Dunnit / Black Knight SOR premium
Looking for : JunkYard / Bram Stoker's Dracula / Black Rose

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mrmikeman
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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

Post by mrmikeman »

Nice game room fridge!! Mine is really plain but I've had it for 30 years.. It was a b'day present from my parents when I left to join the military!

Still going strong after so many moves.
Current Lineup:

PINS:
Medieval Madness Royal Edition - Mods: Merlin, Troll lighting
Stern Jurassic Park LE - Pinstadiums, Stern topper, mods: signs, watch tower, raptor pen, T-rex fence, pteranodon, and a few more
Wizard of Oz ECLE - Mods: witch, tornado, castle, crystal ball, emerald city, flaming pots, hot air balloon lighting
Star Trek the Next Generation - Alt translite, Pinstadiums, Pinsound board & speakers, full LED, LED&GI OCD, custom topper, ColorDMD
Doctor Who - Alt Translite, moving Dalek, full LED, Pinsound & shaker, LED&GI OCD, ColorDMD
Revenge from Mars - Running custom v2.21 on original hardware, Mods: saucer LEDs, 6-ball trough, knocker, shaker

Looking for:
Stern SW Prem/LE
Willy Wonka
LOTR

JUKES
Rock-Ola 446 - Up and running. Listed on Kijiji/FB.
Seeburg STD2 Entertainer - Converted to MP3 while retaining the original look and feel.

Gone but not forgotten
So many... Road Show, Monster Bash, Twilight Zone, Lord of the Rings, Simpsons Pinball Party, Demolition Man, Terminator 2, Funhouse, Tales from the Crypt, High Speed, Bad Cats, Flintstones, WWF Royal Rumble, Laser War, Laser Ball, Silver Slugger, Batman Forever, Pinbot, 6 Million Dollar Man, Galaxy, Meteor, Countdown, Hot Tip(SS), and others I just can't think of lol.

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Re: Bench tools you can't live without

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