Hardware Tools

Hardware Tools

DISCLAIMER:  This is Tom in Tech Support's personal website; therefore, any and all recommendations for products and services are solely his personal opinion.  Although Tom is employed by Siemens, no endorsement by Siemens is intended or implied.

Chapman Set:   Few things are more frustrating than trying to install or remove a screw or an allen bolt without ample room for a screwdriver or an allen wrench. In these situations, one of the best tools you can own is a Chapman Set.  Various kits are available, each containing different bits.  I strongly recommend a set with both standard and metric bits.  The Master Kit (#5575) contains every bit Chapman makes, but costs $95.  I have Kit #7331, which only costs $37.

Click here for the Chapman Selector Tool.

 

 

Computer Power Supply Tester:  When you press the On/Off switch on a personal computer and nothing happens, most people immediately suspect the power supply.  However, I've found that at least 25% of the time, the motherboard is at fault.  Dell computers are especially notorious for this problem. On a personal computer, the On/Off switch does not connect directly to the power supply.  Instead, it connects to the motherboard and then the motherboard sends a PS_ON signal to the power supply.

For less than $25, you can purchase a computer power supply tester.  Afterwards, you simply unplug the power supply wiring harness from the motherboard, and then insert the tester into that harness.  The tester will send the PS_ON signal to turn on the power supply, and then the tester will indicate whether each voltage is present.

Click here for more info --> Computer Power Supply Tester

Hard Drive Adapter:  So what happens when your obsolete computer motherboard dies, but your hard drive is still functional and it contains all your valuable information and files?  An inexpersive way to salvage your data is to use a multi-function adapter that can connect SATA or IDE drives to a USB cable.  Simply remove the hard drive from the old computer, and then connect the adapter between that drive and the USB port of a working computer. 

Click here for a $35 multi-function adapter from Coolgear --> MultiFunction_Adapter

Power Protection:  Some people will spend $1000 or more on a home computer, a monitor, and a printer, and then plug them into the cheapest power strip they can find.  If you believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, then purchase an APC surge protector; or better yet, an APC UPS.  Unlike that $5 power strip you probably bought at the local Wal-Mart, every APC power strip comes with a $10,000 guarantee that any device it powers will not be damaged.

I live in the lightning capitol of the world (Central Florida), so I have all my television and audio systems on APC surge protectors and each of my computers on an APC UPS.   And I've never had an electrical problem with any device powered by an APC device.

A surge protector only provides surge protector, but a UPS also provides a battery backup.  Replacing the batteries in a UPS is not much more difficult than changing the batteries in any consumer electronics.  See the video below for an example, i.e., replacing the battery on a APC-1500.

Link >  APC Battery Selector Tool

Link >  Alpha CFR1500 Manual

Link >  APC-1500 Manual