Simple trick lets you see your parts
Editor’s note: The trendy title is mine. Do not blame the author. [md]
All too often, we electrical engineers are under the gun to get a circuit working now, and don’t have the luxury of ordering parts and waiting – even a day. The problem: loose parts in the tool box can be nearly impossible to read – even under bright light and high magnification. Same goes when trying to repair an existing device, or take a photograph.
To solve this problem, simply apply ordinary cellophane tape over the body of the IC, transistor, or other component. Be careful though, as tape can generate considerable ESD, so avoid touching the actual pins of the package.
Notice the dramatic difference in the photos. Both were taken under identical conditions, the only difference being the components on the right have cellophane tape applied.
—Jay Davis is a Senior Electrical Engineer in Outdoor Products Engineering at TTI.