Alignment tool - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Design & Build > Equipment & Tools

Equipment & Tools From test equipment to hand tools

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 30th January 2013, 02:49 PM   #1
VMat is offline VMat  Brazil
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: SP
Default Alignment tool

Hello,

I'd like to buy an alignment tool for trimpots and such, and I've noticed there are some that are "static-free", which I suppose means "conductive". Apart from the danger of putting them close to high voltages, is there any practical difference between a "static-free" and a "regular" one?

I might just get both because they are cheap. But if someone could give me a reason not to buy one or another, I may buy a few leds instead, or something more useful. Like a glass of wine...

My main purpose is to calibrate low-voltage audio equipment - amplifiers, cassette decks, maybe tuners in the future (if I dare). No TV's. I rarely do it, actually, but when I do, I hate to use those tiny metal screwdrivers that often interfere in the audio signal.

Thanks!
__________________
VMat
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th January 2013, 04:13 PM   #2
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Static free is not the same as conductive. Some plastics or other substances can build up static charges, other things don;t. Rub a balloon on a wool sweater and it gets a charge, rub a balloon on a cotton sweater, and it doesn't. That doesn't mean cotton is conductive.

And if you are looking at different brnds of tool, sometimes the difference between static free or not is that one company decided to use it as a marketing point while the other did not. But there are static sensitive circuits, and so they make specialk tools for that. Just as they make brass screwdrives and other tools for use in circuits that must be non-magnetic. The plastic will not be conductive and shock you. Plastics that can conduct electricity would be labelled conductive, rather than static free.

The plastic hex sided tools - usually come in various colors and sizes - are all plastic and safe to use, even in TVs. There are also little plastic robs with tiny flat metal tips to use a small screwdrivers for trim pots. The plastic shaft is insulated, only the little tip is metal.

In my experience, the metal screwdriver interact with tuned circuits, like the RF and IF cans in an okl TV, but I never recalled a time when it upset a trimpot. The plastic tools can be put down into a tuning coil without fear.
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th January 2013, 05:12 PM   #3
VMat is offline VMat  Brazil
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: SP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
Static free is not the same as conductive.
Of course... what was I thinking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
In my experience, the metal screwdriver interact with tuned circuits, like the RF and IF cans in an okl TV, but I never recalled a time when it upset a trimpot. The plastic tools can be put down into a tuning coil without fear.
Last time I used the screwdriver to set the bias in an integrated amp, it caused a buzzing sound (and a few clicks) just by touching the trimpot. Not loud, but a bit annoying. Then I used a wooden "thing" that I made from a toothpick, it didn't make any noises, but it didn't survive two or three uses either. So I decided to buy a proper tool for that.

Bottom line, if I got you right, is that the static-free version should do no harm to the amp (or to me while using it), correct?

Thanks,
__________________
VMat
  Reply With Quote
Old 30th January 2013, 05:36 PM   #4
macboy is offline macboy  Canada
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Ottawa, Canada
How about a ceramic screwdriver?
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2013, 09:26 AM   #5
VMat is offline VMat  Brazil
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: SP
Quote:
Originally Posted by macboy View Post
How about a ceramic screwdriver?
I have considered those too, but I prefer the slimmer profile of the "alignment tools".

Thanks for the tip, anyway.
__________________
VMat
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2013, 09:37 AM   #6
diyAudio Member
 
s3tup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Israel
I like these
VISHAY SPECTROL 'PEN STYLE' TRIMMING TOOL | eBay

They won't slip, they are 2-sided, one side is the same as regular screwdriver - the other side is a screwdriver recessed in the tube.
__________________
The missing link between lead and gold in alchemist's world was BS and commerce.
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2013, 09:44 AM   #7
oz7aff is offline oz7aff  Denmark
diyAudio Member
 
oz7aff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Denmark
In the production we use Ceramic Screwdrivers like this

270 Ceramic Slotted / Screwdrivers / Onlineshop / Wiha.com / Premium Tools for Professionals
__________________
Regards Max
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2013, 09:58 AM   #8
VMat is offline VMat  Brazil
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: SP
Wow, many replies! Thanks, guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by s3tup View Post
I like these
VISHAY SPECTROL 'PEN STYLE' TRIMMING TOOL | eBay

They won't slip, they are 2-sided, one side is the same as regular screwdriver - the other side is a screwdriver recessed in the tube.
That's the one I was about to buy at first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oz7aff View Post
Those look great, but are a bit expensive considering I'm not going to use them very often. And again, the thick handle sometimes will prevent me from reaching some oddly-placed pots without disassembling a lot more than I want...

I'm going to get that pen-style thing, and maybe an anti-static version as well.

Thanks again!
__________________
VMat
  Reply With Quote
Old 31st January 2013, 11:20 PM   #9
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lansing, Michigan
That Vishay tool is one of the things I tried to describe, though I did it poorly. They work great, I have one.
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The last tt alignment tool you'll ever need? Conrad Hoffman Analogue Source 18 11th June 2009 06:47 PM
Free Cartridge Alignment Tool + Speed Discs enjoythemusic1 Analogue Source 6 26th March 2008 07:30 PM
Need a tool! Tenson Multi-Way 12 19th March 2007 08:36 PM
tool wearout traw Parts 2 18th September 2006 04:08 PM
Demagnetising Tool/Tool Demagnetiser mrfeedback Everything Else 30 4th October 2002 11:53 PM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 08:21 PM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2