You know you are an electronics junkie when...
(C) 2004 Hank Wallace
There are people who design electronic products because they can
make money doing so. There are others who design electronic products
because it's in their genes. These people do it right because they
cannot sleep until it's right. They want you to be happy with the
product as a matter of principle and character. If you are a member
of the latter group, you will identify with these characteristics of
an electronics junkie!
- The smell of rosin flux takes you back to your childhood.
- You don't want to clean off your bench because you need
access to all those clipped leads for breadboarding.
- You notice that a chip in your prototype has a date code older
than your kids -- and your marriage.
- You find yourself flipping through the diagrams in the TTL data
- You express common relationships in electronic terms: "I like
potatoes 12dB more than rice. 15dB with gravy."
- You still have bags of parts you scrounged out of old black and
white TVs when you were a teenager.
- You can't part with those old magazines, even the ones with roll-
your-own S100 bus articles.
- Your eye glasses lenses are held in place by copper hookup wire.
- You have an 8748 windowed micro mounted in a frame on your wall.
- You own clothing that has been repaired with pop rivets or tie
- Your idea of good bathroom reading is the National Semiconductor
Linear Applications Handbook.
- You spend days building an electronic device rather than stoop to
buying the completed product at Radio Shack for $9.95.
- You tell your spouse all that stuff "will be worth something
- The smell of burning components brings back fond memories.
- You remember your first electric shock or RF burn, and relate the
story often at parties.
- Your kids' toy box is labeled "DigiKey".
- Your family complained of a lost infrared remote control when it
was actually on your bench for protocol analysis.
- You find yourself explaining how things work to people who really
- Your kids know the color code before they can multiply.
- You're so tired of deciphering overzealous preprocessor code in
GNU programs that you turn off your computer and spend some
time building something that runs on electrons and not latte.
- Your spouse knows not to ask you to fix anything electronic if it
will be needed in the next six months.
- The original RCA CMOS data book can be found beside "The Hobbit"
on your bookshelf.
- You have run a 100 foot extension cord out to the car to do a
little light soldering on its electrical system.
- Lightning destroys an appliance and the thought of salvaging its
parts makes it feel like Christmas.
- You decipher the Morse code you hear in films.
- You can name ten LMxxx series part numbers and their functions in
less than thirty seconds.
- You are excited about your new project, but your bench is such a
mess that you end up building the whole thing in your lap.
- Assembler is the computer language of choice, and you still have
the entire 8080 and 6800 instruction sets memorized.
- After your lame Windows PC crashes for the fifth time, you spend
the remaining hours soldering contentedly on a prototype. Your
soldering iron doesn't 'crash'.
- You have had a tetanus shot after running a component lead into
- You have found a lithium battery in your pocket change.
- You have modified a fingerprint by touching an unexpectedly hot component.
- In an effort to make an ergonomic judgement, you have applied
dial calipers to any part of your anatomy.
- You are currently using a cliplead as antenna, picture hanger, or
connection in a household appliance.
- Any single room in your house has more than 50% of its floor
space occupied by surplus gear.
- You have more network cable in your home than telephone wire.
- Neighbors frequently comment about the northern lights above your
house, when you know it's only ionization from your antenna array.
- Your bench has scorch marks from switching power supply projects.
- The number of incompleted projects on your bench has more digits
- You buy cheap power strips and install your own surge suppresion
- You pause the DVD player mid-movie and zoom in to examine a
circuit which is supposed to be a secret chip that can destroy the
planet, only to recognize it as a relay card from the 1970's.
- You have sawn open a wall-wart to replace the fuse.
- Your son is showing you his new video game and you watch
intensely, but only because you are mentally computing the memory
requirements for the 3D rendering engine.
- Any piece of wire longer than six inches is worth saving.
- You sharpen your diagonal cutters to keep them in tip-top shape.
- Your EPROM eraser bulb is so old that it takes two hours to
erase a chip.
- You remember the shock you felt when you saw the term "DAMN FAST"
in a National Semiconductor data book.
- Your prototype EMP generator blew out all the electronics in
- You find metal chips from chassis work in the clothes dryer's lint
- The term "Object Oriented" refers to something physical.
- You have a 30-year-old copy of the Signetics Write Only
Memory (WOM) spoof data sheet.
- Your toolshed contains rope, various rakes, a shovel, and a
fourteen element Yagi antenna.
- You have ever found application for a cliplead in church.
- You can't fix an appliance without a schematic.
- You find yourself staring vacantly at glowing vacuum tube
filaments like the boy scouts stare at campfires.
- You're editing a photo and are looking in the color palette for
that great purple of the smoke you see when tantalum capacitors