Tricks and Tips 2021

Thread Starter


Joined Mar 24, 2008
This is the third thread with this name I have indexed the first 2 in my personal index, Wendy's Index . To keep it from being closed prematurely, I am setting the following rules:

1. Do not comment just for the sake of posting. Only posts containing a trick or tip will be allowed. This thread will be heavily moderated, anything posted here that do not meet this criteria in the opinion of the moderators will be deleted. If you have a question start your own thread. If you really like the idea use the like tag (button).

2. Any repeats of someone else's ideas from this or the previous tricks and tips threads will also be deleted.

3. At the end of this year This thread will be locked and a new one started next year.

Be aware of my comment about being heavily moderated This thread is not meant to be a dumping ground as has happened in the past.


Joined Jul 18, 2013
Copied from as a one time exception.


I seem to recall a post recently where someone was trying to locate power resistors with stand off support.
I recently had an issue when looking for similar replacement but did not have much time to seek one out.
I had some power resistors that were meant to be mounted vertically with a channel in one side and board clips.
In order to replicate the original style, I came up with some improvisation.
The pictures tell the story, the muffler cement sets up pretty hard!
14g Copper wire used for support & conductor. Tin from a coffee can trimmed to suit slot and soldered connection.


Thread Starter


Joined Mar 24, 2008
I'm on a savings kick about using batteries, especially AAA. As it happens a 5/8" dowel is very close to being the same diameter as a AAA battery. So I cut them to length as a AAA, drill a small diagonal hole from the center to the wall as shown. The hole shoud be the flattest side of the dowel.


My biggest use is for under the counter LED lights from Harbor Freight.. I measured 0.7A draw on one of their hand held lights! I use USB power cubes, which usually start at 1.0A and can go as high as 5.1A, usually under $5. I measured the leads on a cut down bad USB charge cord until I found the 5V power leads. On a 6V (4 batteries) 5V will work well. And on 4.5V lights (3 batteries) I put a 1N400X diode in seris to drop the voltage down to 4.3V, on the 0.7A models it is needed, as the design can not tolerate 5V (Harbor Freights designs have no safety factors designed in (destroyed one unit finding this out), strip the power lead, poke it through the hole on the side, fold the bare wire over the end to create one electrode, tape the wie where it enters the dowel and put the pseudo battery in its new home.

How to use diode on + electrode to reduce voltage, Final assembly.
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Thread Starter


Joined Mar 24, 2008
I thought of this trick because of toothpick dispensers. I have several large stock of diodes rather than put them in a bag I put them In a pill bottle with a hole drilled in the top 2x the size of the body of the diode. when I need one I shake the bottle upside down until one pops out. I have circled the hole in red to make it stand out.

Diode Despenser.jpg


Joined Jul 1, 2009

If you need to relocate, and you have parts cabinets to move, there is always the risk of parts falling out or getting scattered. It's tedious, but worth it if you take each tray out and saran-wrap it, and put it back. When you get to your destination, everything has stayed in its place in the trays. And you only need to remove the saran-wrap when you actually go access that tray again.

For me, I have rows of parts cabinets of different sized trays, many divided in half, and bin shelving with bins. Saran-wrap is the _only_ way (or some cling-film like it) to wrap things to stay level with the top of a tray and/or oddly shaped parts that may stick outside the dimensions of a bin (or that you cannot afford to mix- different colored LEDs that are the same type and clear, for example- you don't want to have to test thousands of LEDs by hand to redivide them into bins)...