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brianafischer

Supplies for the Common Controls Engineer?

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I am attempting to compile a list of supplies that a common controls engineer would use. I think this site would be a great source of feedback for additions/advice... My list so far: Laptop computer w/serial port Programming cables (how do you sort them? maybe I'll add a list of them all later..) Roll-around cart for on-site support/travel USB KVM for connecting desktop/laptop (Trendnet TK-207K KVM Switches) Please add your advice/comments. Thanks

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I would put DVOM at the top of the list, and I use heavy duty zip-lock bags to sort my cables and keep them "trained" and untangled... Don't forget screwdrivers...we all have our favorites, one in particular I find indispensable: http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?...UseBVCookie=Yes It's actually 1/8 x 4 inches, but the picture they had for that description was wrong... And don't forget: --Jumper wires with insulated alligator clips --fuse puller --soldering iron there are many more....

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My two favorites, a portable resin top table with folding legs and a handle and my folding chair. I do a lot of work in-plant on control panels where there isn't any place to put a laptop or to work on an instrument. So my favorite field service tool is my portable bench. I need a place to setup and work on a PC so I'm not squatting on the floor or holding the PC while working. Carts are too awkward to carry in a sedan, and trying to scrounge up a cart in someone else's plant for more than a temporary, couple minute hauling of stuff is a toughie. So I bought a portable, folding plastic resin table (or bench, if you will) that's light weight with a top that's 20"x30". I fastened a drawer pull handle on the side at the balance point so it carries easily in one hand. It's maximum height is only 28", a tad too low for a 6'3" guy, but otherwise ideal. Guys in the plant will ask me if I'll iron their shirts for them when I'm done, because the folding legs look just like your Mom's ironing board. But, hey, if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen! With my portable bench and my folding chair and I'm ready to stare at the logic on the PC screen all day long. I won't leave the shop without - 50' extension cord (if you panels don't have Ac power outlets) - an AC outlet strip, with GFCI with its long 15' cord. My other favorite tool is Harbor Freights' 100 piece security bit set, that includes 100, 1/4" hex drive security bits, only 8 of which are duplicates (4 extra #2 phillips, 4 extra #2 pozidrives) all in a plastic case for $15 regular, $10 on sale. part number 91310. The only bit it doesn't have, to my knowledge, is the tiny T6 torx size used on cellular phones cases (my kids bought colored faceplates which require the removal of a tiny torx on Nokias) Set includes bits: SAE hex allen (1/16 - 1/4) SAE hex allen security (5/64 - 5/32) metric hex allen (1.5-8mm, no 7mm) metric hex allen security (2 - 6mm) torx (T8-T45) security torx (with the bore in the center) (T8-T40) straight blade screwdriver (metric designations from 3-8mm) spline drive (M5-M8) clutch drive (1, 2, 3) tapered square drive (0 - 3) 3 tine phillips* (1-4) 4 tine offset phillips* (6, 8,10) 2 pin spanner (4, 6, 8, 10) phillips (0-3) pozidrive (0-30) adapters: male 1/4" hex x magnetic female 1/4" hex 1/4" male hex (fits screwdriver) to 1/4" square male socket drive adapter, one short, one long Y thingie with 1/4" hex male (don't know what it is) Highly recommended because all the bits are in one place - the red plastic box. You do need a hex bit screwdriver, though. Other tools: A requisite is a set of long leads (15 footers) for the DVM signal source: 4-20mA unit ethernet crossover and straight cables. ethernet 4 port switch with its AC power supply adapter paper clips (put 'em under screw terminals so the alligator clips can grab something besides a round screw head) 10 ohm, 68.5 ohm & 250 ohm precision resistors (for various AI shunt resistors) AA & AAA batteries A digital camera with 3x optical zoom, to 'document' situations 'as found' and/or 'as finished'. A set of miniature screwdrivers that fit the screws on terminal blocks. A Wago spring release 'screwdriver' (what do they call that thing, anyhow?) For firmware updates, I carry a smaller 350VA or 400VA UPS to ensure that power doesn't fail during the firmware upload. DB9 serial straight cable, DB9 serial null modem cable, DB9 sex changer adapters F-F, M-M Brother P-Touch label machine and a couple spare label tapes (I mark everything ! !) Dan

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what vehicle or convoy of vehicles do you use for transport ?

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There are some slight drawbacks to carrying one's comfort along

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Gender Changers! Gender Changers! Gender Changers! http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat%...1&sku=02781 http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat%...2&sku=02782 http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat%...2&sku=02776 http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat%...2&sku=02774 I have a set of these screw drivers: http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?...L&ihtoken=1 A cable made up with standard RS-232 DB-9 on one end, 3-wires and flying leads on the other end so you can hack into ANYTHING RS-232...snoop and stuff. A Fluke Meter An O-scope A Brady wire-labeler Wire strippers "Kliens" LED flash light Good set of Klien screw drivers Your own lockout tag outs Safety glasses Network snoop software on your laptop. RS-232 snoop software on your laptop download SuperMon from the downloads. Convert software on your laptop. For those "analog" moments... Stop watch. Radio Shack Instant thermo meter. that's all I can think off right now. and I am going to PIN this one too...another great topic...

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I've been looking for an an ethernet switch without an extra power supply (maybe powered from a USB port on my laptop) to connect to my laptop. I find myself often in places where no power cords are available... ok for my laptop but I often need to connect into an existing ethernet.

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Like this one ?

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Lots of good suggestions. Let me add a few. CD Wallet with full set of install CDs for any progams you'll need on site. Never know when the customers morning coffee will find its way into your laptop and leave you without a PC. Thumb drive or other portable media with encrypted copies of all travel documents and wallet contents. Actually had a co-worker get her purse stolen on a job site. The thumb drive and a police report let her catch a flight home. Otherwise she might still be stuck in Seattle.

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I didn't even think of an LED flashlight as a tool, because always I carry mine in my pocket, since these old eyes aren't getting dimmer and dommer. This one uses 3 AAA batteries. $5 from Harbor Freight , p/n 93712-1VGA and I get $9 commission from every sale Dan

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A few extra things that have come to mind: Tape Measure Leatherman or other Multi-Tool (I use the knife/scissors a lot!) USB Floppy Blank Cd/DVD Media (great for giving customer files and PC backups)

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thanx, that's exactly what I've been looking for Beegee

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FYI, I reccomend using a hub or "managed switch" but not a switch. With EtherNet/IP you cannot monitor traffic with a normal switch.

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One of the tricks I have used on cables is the Velcro from the garden dept at most big box stores. It comes in a roll and is vary cheep. You can cut it to the size you need and works good to keep the cables bundled up.

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The Velcro does wonders for keeping cables untangled. I play music in a rock n roll band on the weekends and these things have become absolutely necessary to use. Other items.... Extension cables for your PC to PLC connections. MS DOS boot disk. Windose 98 boot disk works pretty well also. Alligator clips. The list is long. Most of them are covered above. I keep most of the items in a couple of bags that reside on my roll around cart with my PC. I work in a factory, so some of the items will differ from the items you traveling guys use.

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Fluke 771 Milliamp Process Clamp Meter As soon as my dealer gets back to me, I will be adding one of these to my arsenal.

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1 tube of super glue. I used this one today. Sooner or later you are going to have to put a screw in a place that is impossible to reach to start the screw. A dab of super glue on the end of the screwdriver will keep that screw there so you can start it but its easy enough to break the bond to remove the screw driver. It works better than the screw keepers that come on some screw drivers and it seems that a large percentage of the screws I work with are not magnetic.

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I believe they are for driving eye bolts. A couple of band-aids for those . I always have a large supply of zip ties and the tool for tightening/cutting them. Great for keeping "things out of your way". A chunk of caution tape can help you keep "helpers" at a safe distance. A small container of crimp on butt splices and fork terminals. Can come in handy in a pinch, I prefer not to use them for long term solutions. Assorted colors of scotch 33+ electrical tape.

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just about everything mentioned plus padlock, adjustable wrench, set of allen keys (metric and imperial), swiss knife, wire cutter, usb drive, external 2.5" HDD (much more compact and more convenient than pack of DVD discs with all installs etc.). PCMCIA CF reader (with CF of course) to transfer programs to and from robots and HMIs, tons of programming cables, few field attachable M8 and M12 connectors, RS232/RS422/485 converter, magnets, tesla coil (ok, not really, just checking if anyone reads), red pen, yellow highlighter, sharpie marker, lighter (i don't smoke, just compact replacement for heat gun),

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GREAT idea. Thanks for sharing that with us. Dan

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Together with industrial 3M double sided tape excellent for "creative" jobs. I won't give examples, I'd like to keep my credibility intact

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no problem, I have a very creative imagination and we have some (less exemplary) experiences of our own

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Tylenol....to get rid of the headache caused by the guy standing behind you watching you troubleshoot, and saying "Why is this machine not working?"...."Are you nearly done?"...."We need to get up and running ASAP!" Not that I want to promote Tylenol...Ibuprofen works just as well..LOL

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another creative use of tape could also do the job

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Ear plugs to protect your hearing, also double as selective hearing devices.

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