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Here are some products and tools I use and recommend.

I have bought all of these items and can vouch for them. You'll see me use them in the videos. 

Tools I use in the lab

Magnetic helping hands. This thing actually works. Goosenecks don't have spring back and the claw is all aluminum. Alligator clips tend to slip out of their gooseneck though.

Pro's Kit 900-015 Helping Hands. This old classic is cheap and unbeatable. I have two. This one is better than the one with the lens attached, which gets in the way, or worse, tips the assembly. 

Justrite Dispenser Can for acetone. A safety dispensing bottle than can actually hold acetone without it evaporating nor eating the plastic! It also dispenses just the right amount. This was a tip from Adam Savage.

Akro Mill 64 Drawer Organizer. What I use to organize my transistors, ICs and component collection. I wish the vintage ones were still available, but they are not. That's the best replacement I found. Expensive for what it is, I usually wait for a promo when you can buy them for $40. Unfortunately the cheap Chinese ones all have issues.

Scott Shop Rags. The original shop rag that does not tear apart when you use it. 

Devcon 8.5o  5 Minute Epoxy. Epoxy in perfect lab quantity. Ah the joy of not having to squeeze it out of a plugged syringe or a mushy tube.

Permatex 22058 Dielectric Grease. That's the stuff you need to lubricate sliding contacts in your HP XY plotter or graph recorder.

Wiha 26390 Hex Metric Screwdriver Set. I finally got tired of fumbling with small Allen wrenches, and sprung for a metric set of hex screwdrivers.

Wera Hex SAE Screwdriver Set. I finally got tired of fumbling with small Allen wrenches, and sprung for an imperial set of hex screwdrivers. They didn't have Wihas, but the imitation "Weras" were of good quality too.

Ablaze 1 Gallon Vacuum chamber. For outgassing molding compounds or generic vacuum mayhem. As seen in the Tek 224 restoration episode. This is a higher quality chamber, with quality valve hardware and good seals. I am so glad I paid a little extra.

Amazon Basics Heavy Duty Power Strip. What do you do when you have to power up an Apollo communication setup with a godzillion boxes? Well you need power strips with a godzillion outlets. I have them all over the lab and benches.

D-line floor cord covver. Cable covers to prevent tripping. Plus you can roll stuff over it. I finally found one that's weighty but supple, lays flat, does not slip, and that allows casters to roll right over it.

Qisan Keycap Puller. Tool to pluck the keys from your vintage keyboard without damaging them. It just works. I see you - don't use your screwdriver! 

Gearwrench Pozidriv Screwdriver Set 80061H. Got HP instruments? Then you got Pozidriv screws! They look deceptively like regular Phillips screws, but they aren't. A normal Phillips screwdriver will not byte in them and will mangle them up. 

Wiha 26210 Pozidriv Screwdriver. For the smaller Pozidriv screws.

Wiha 26205 Pozidriv Screwdriver. For the even smaller Pozidriv screws.

It's a genuine Fluke, and it's only $45. It's also small and rugged, and batteries last forever. I ended up purchasing 3 of them for the lab so we don't steal each other's. But we still do. There are two limitations: it does not measure amps, and the probes leads are way too stiff and do not have interchangeable tips. So I always add a set of Bionso probes to them, and it instantly becomes the most stolen meter in the lab.

Fluke 8845A-EFPT Extended Fine Point Tip Adpater Set. Very long, very stiff, and very pointy pokey probes from Fluke. They slide right over most regular probe tips. This was a tip from Mike Stewart. Will reach anywhere and won't cause shorts. 

Bionso 25 piece multimeter leads. Good quality test leads for little money. I particularly like the very thin, piercing probe tips that are gold coated, unlike other probe sets. Resistance is very low. Even better than the ProbeMaster leads that you can't find anymore.

My trusty Hakko desoldering tool. A tip from Carl. Don't know how I ever lived without it. Beware, you'll need to purchase a few extra tips with varying diameters (I use the 1mm, 1.3mm and 1.6mm tips).

Deoxit D5. The quintessential contact cleaner, lubricant and restorer. A must for vintage equipment repair. Does not cause contact damage in the long term - quite the contrary, it protects them.

Deoxit Gold G5. You need this different chemistry if you are lucky enough to have old-fashioned gold plated contacts. And yes, gold DOES oxidize. It just does it slower.

Kester 24-6337-0027 "44" Rosin Core Size 0.8mm. The tried and true Lead-Tin solder with rosin flux core. Lots of flux, will solder anything. Flux requires cleaning with solvent if you want it to look good afterwards.

Kester 24-6337-880 "245" No Clean Rosin Core Lead-Tin Solder, 0.8mm. This has an activated rosin core, which is more potent than rosin, so they can use much less in the core. Therefore it does not leave a rosin mess like the traditional rosin, and you don't need to clean. That's what I use for new builds, when I know the PCB and parts are not oxidized. No mess left behind unlike the traditional rosin.

ChipQuik Low Melt Temp Solder. Miracle low melting point solder that will stay molten for an incredibly long time. It will allow you to safely desolder surface mount chips with hundreds of connections without heating up nor damaging the stuff nearby. Warning, it tends to eat into your solder tip too, so reserve a solder tip just for that.

Salon Care 40 Volume Clear Developer.  For retr0brighting old yellowed plastics. Just dilute in water, dunk your yellowed plastic parts in there. No need for UV either, just a little bit of low heat will do. As seen in my Protek restoration video.

Jonard M-130/SX5 spring hook. You will never curse again when installing or removing springs in your Teletype or your IBM Selectric.

That's quite a specalized tool to work on old telco 66 punch blocks. I added it here because I had such a hard time finding a good one.

Xcelite SAS3210 Self Adjusting Wire Stripper. The most used wire stripper in the lab, and another tool I could not live without. It strips without effort, reliably. It works miracles on the smaller wires used in everyday electronics. A tip from Adam Savage. This is not the original (which is super expensive), but a very good, reasonnably priced imitation that works flawlessly. 

Irwin Vise-Grip Wire Stripper (2078300). This wire stripper is for bigger wires, more of an electrician or automotive tool than an electronics tool. I use it way less than the Xcelite, but it comes in handy when dealing with larger gauge wires.

Fluke 62 Max+ Infrared Thermometer. Industrial quality temperature meter from Fluke. None of that flimsy and approximate Chinese rubbish. Gets stolen and used in the kitchen all the time. 

MG Chemicals 99.9% Isopropyl Alcohol. 99.9% isopropyl is very different stuff from the 70% or 90% you find in stores. It does not leave any residue, and dissolves stuff that the lesser stuff can't clean. That's the only one you should use in the lab.

Canson 8.5x11 Sketchbook. Often requested by viewers: my lab notebooks. They are art sketchbooks with hard covers. This one holds up remarkably well.

Basic alligator clips, if you can't afford real Pomona ones. Not gold coated, your resistance may vary.

Basic minigrabber clips, if you can't afford real Pomona ones. Not gold coated, your resistance may vary. They work, sometimes. They are flaky. Go for the Pomona ones if you can.

Pomona 3782 minigrabbers. The real thing. Twice as expensive, 10x as good. Gold plated. 

Pomona B-24-002 banana plug patch cord. The real thing and the only ones I trust. Does not feel cheap. Is not the cheapest either.

6-40 tap and die set, to re-thread all these cross-threaded HP-IB connector screws.

Crimp tool. It's an unabashed copy of the original Paladin crimper. I could not discern a quality difference, despite this being 5x cheaper.

Fork connectors for the crimp tool.

I use these as sound signal monitors. Need to listen to your new Quindar tone generator? No problem, hook in this little guy, works on batteries, needs no space on the bench. Plus its look vintage cool. I modify mine and add a BNC and RCA jack on the side for convienience.

The interphone I hacked in my Apollo Quindar tones episode.

Super flexible, good quality silicone wire. I use the 18 AWG, usually for power connections. Rated 12A / 600V. 

Good quality snips for quite cheap. German, not Chinesium.

Heat shrink tubing in convenient colors and sizes. Thou shalt not have any power connections without heatshrink.

Dremel. They used to have a lifetime guarantee, but I see they got smarter. I use a foot pedal and a flexible shaft extension with mine.

Flexible shaft extension for the Dremel. I can't live without it.

SSC Controls S100-1501 Foot pedal switch for the Dremel. This one is all metal. That combined with the shaft extension allows for much more precise work.


Nice high quality MKT capacitor kit for analog boards. Small rectangular caps. I checked the values on my HP meter and they were within specs.

A Mylar Polyester cap kit for analog boards. Vintage green, holds up to 100V.

A great ceramic cap kit for analog boards. Caps are super tiny, and packaged in handy space saving containers, very easy to find the one you need. Values checked within specs. Rated 50V.

A 400V cap kit. Great for smaller power supply caps or vintage tube circuits recapping.

Adjustable 10 turn pots that will actually plug into a breadboard, with the screw adjustment accessible from the top.

Adjustable one turn pots that will actually plug into a breadboard.

Haisstronica 350PCS Solder Seal Wire Connectors. The hermetic butt splices that were recommended to me by Sarah at the Connections Museum. That's how they were able to splice back their phone commutators with many 100's of cut connections. Much more reliable, smaller and faster than trying to splice with soldering and heatshrink. As seen in my Tektronix power supply repair episode.

Nashua 1541204 Stretch and Seal Silicone Tape. It's an amazing self polymerising tape magical material. Wrap around connectors to waterproof them. Once it sticks to itself, it polymerizes, and you can never take it apart again unless you cut it. But it is truly hermetic. I use that over any exterior connectors.

RS-232 breakout tester. A tip from Usagi Electric. Connect any wire to any other, or just let it go right through using the dip switch. You can monitor the signals with the LEDs. 

40-135mm / 3mm wide recorder rubber belts. Rubber bands of various length to repair tape drive and other vintage mechanisms. I used them to repair my IBM Executary and countless other tape mechanisms.

Computer stuff

The USB speaker for my lab computer. Nothing fancy, works well and looks good. Needs just the USB plug to make it work, no external supply or audio jack needed.

Seagate 5TB external hard drive. The ones I use for archiving everything, including my video footage. I have many of these...

HP X27q QHD Screen. My best  27" computer screen purchase ever. This is made with the same high quality QHD resolution LG screen that is usually sold for much more. What you give up is a paucity of inputs (just HDMI and Display Port), and no USB hub. Which I didn't need anyhow.

RSHTECH USB hub. A USB 3.0 hub that actually works! What a concept. I found this one after I tried a whole bunch of bad ones. Now on every computer in the lab. Power supply helps, but is limited. No more than two HDDs per hub.

Logitech C920x HP Pro Webcam. Nicely engineered webcam. Autofocus works well wihtout hunting, image is superb, field of view is just right. That's my lab's computer webcam.