Grounding mat w/ cable and alligator clip
Ethernet to USB adapter, drivers
Bootable USB stick/(thumb)drive w/ utility sw
Additional USB drives/sticks w/ BIOS updates, etc.
Large paper-clip ready to reset, force DVD/CD disc ejects, etc.
Thermal conduction putty/grease/stuff
Grounding strap w/ cable and alligator clip
Shirt-pocket digital multi-meter
Plastic putty knife for prying open plastic cases w/o scratching
3M Magic tape + dispenser
Overly complicated screwdriver bit handle w/ #2 Philips bit
Additional driver bits, Torx, Philips, blade styles
Small sockets w/ bit-to-1/4" adapater
long-reach diagonal cutters
Phase 1 and phase 2 kits are on the lower left.
Starting at the upper left:
Grounding mat with wrist strap. Doesn’t actually have a connector TO ground, you’ll note, but does keep you and the workpiece at the same potential, so better than nothing. Now you appreciate the little chain that drags on the ground under the carts and chairs in some labs.
Some people and their environment and wardrobe choices generate more electrostatic potential than others. I know a guy who used to lead with his car keys to the latch seat on the door jamb, whenever he went through a doorway at the office. One key would arc to the bare-metal plate the door latches on. He drew arcs that made audible "pop!" sounds if he didn’t offer a low-impedance path, and the arcs hurt. Could have had something to do with polyester suits. I prefer cotton.
The mat can’t hurt, might help. If the workpiece’s grounded cord is plugged in, use an alligator clip haywire to connect chassis ground to the mat. Or touch the chassis ground with one hand while working. Or connect the mat to ground at a grounded outlet- the North American 3 wire receptacle ground connection take a standard "Banana" jack. (A forthright Canadian friend uses the word "jill" in place of "receptacle"… the counterpart to a "jack". Suit yourself)
Ethernet (RJ-45) to USB adapter. More than two connectors and a wire, there’s Ethernet transmitter / receiver hardware in the body of it, and USB receiver / transmitter hardware too. Just like you’d expect, these have their own MAC and you may have to make that known (depending on how your network runs). Sadly, I haven’t yet seen a PXE boot setup that accepts the external adapter’s MAC. But I have over-written the adapter’s default to have the adapter take the place of a failing-but-not-completely-broken built-in NIC…
Note ROM disk with drivers.
Partially-unbent paper-clip, size large. For resetting things with recessed reset buttons, forcing CD/DVD drives to eject, etc. Its on a badge-clip and attaches to the lanyard with the bootable USB stick. Save the last one you made and you don’t have to find another paper clip when time is of the essence…
Small tube of thermal putty. Better quality heat-sink-and-fan assemblies come with a dab already in place, and it will squish and flow when heated. If you’re reusing a heat-sink when upgrading the processor on something, you’ll need your own supply. It does dry out, so put the cap on after cleaning the surfaces. Don’t buy the big, economy, size, unless you really use it frequently. I don’t like to let an open tube go more than 6 months.
Non-conductive ruler. Wood or plastic. A metal edge on a wooden ruler is OK, but an all metal ruler is unnecessary trouble.
Grounding strap – wrist band to aligator clip, use with mat or separately, see discussion at top.
Pocket-size volt-ohm-(amp)-meter, aka VOM. Cheap. Something to read what you expect to be +/- 5V, 120 VAC, 240 or 208 VAC, +/- 12, 3V lithium cells for CMOS memory, etc. Built-in leads don’t fall out or break off. Some alligator and/or "ball clip" jumper wires will help if you need to secure one or both ends. Ammeter functions in these are usually too few mA to bother with, but if you use it, get some replacement fuses, its a "when", not "if", situation.
"Magic" tape dispenser. For mending or sealing paper and cardboard. The "magic" 3M tape can be written on with ballpoint pen, vastly superior to shiny tape.
Large multi-bit screwdriver, with Phillips, regular, Torx and socket ends. For unusual jobs, where it is worth having the right tool for the fastener. You can’t buy an assortment of ‘bits’ without getting all the regular blade and Phillips sizes in any event. I prefer a dedicated handle and a bit that doesn’t come off, but I don’t have 1.3 meters of wall space to hang them all on.
Phase 4 exists, it includes a small, sharp, knife, coffee cup and coaster, cup or can for pens, pencils, plastic flatware, skinny tools; duct-tape, vinyl tape for color-coding, extension cords, a Brother or similar label maker, zip-lock polyethylene bags, nickel-plated anti-static bags, boxes and bins for organizing stuff, extra monitors, keyboards and mice. Broom, dust-pan, small-but-powerful vacuum cleaner (Mighty-mite from a garage sale, or similar). Speakers for your radio / computer / phone audio when acceptable. I don’t favor headphones in the lab, may people do. A water bottle or large plastic cup.
There are also consumables: tie wraps, facial tissues for blowing your nose and cleaning up surfaces, paper towels / napkins, light cardboard tags to attach to stuff that has a story. Blank CD/DVD media. A notebook.
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