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Neutral color LED headlamp
I generally find that unless I'm building a new PC from scratch, I'm having to work in less than ideal conditions. No matter whether I'm repairing a PC, fixing a network cable, or diagnosing some other random problem I'm always struggling to get light on what I'm doing.
For a few years now I've been relying on LED flashlights and headlamps. They offer a powerful light and last a very long time. But they have one drawback — the light the LEDs give off has a blue cast and this can make it hard to identify colors. This isn't a problem when dealing with screws and such, but when I'm dealing with cabling or wiring, it can sometimes be challenging to tell some colors apart.
This is why I've made the switch to the ArmyTek Wizard Pro XM-L2 Warm. This ticks all the boxes for me:
- Very variable light output — From a firefly more to one that feels like "Superman's laser beam melt your face off" mode
- Choice of batteries — I can either use two disposable CR123A lithium cells or one 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable cell
- It's hard anodized to take bumps and knocks
- The LED color output is a neutral 4000K which means colors look far more normal
- It features an impact-resistant glass lens with sapphire with anti-reflection coating
- The supplied headband is comfortable
Sure, you can spend big money on a PSU tester, but for confirming a dead PSU I find a cheap tester is handy. Also, if you have a few hard drives handy, you can add some load to the PSU by connecting them up before you test. My go-to device is the FrozenCPU tester. It's cheap but reliable and does what is says on the tin and not bad value for a little over $20.
If you want to take power troubleshooting to the next level then you can get your hands on a decent multimeter. If it's something you're going to use occasionally then a cheap one will do fine, but if you want something that will last you years then I'd go with the Fluke brand.
Broken/chewed up screw remover
I find that jobs get exponentially tougher when someone else has had a go at fixing something and in the process caused more problems.
One problem I come across every so often are chewed up or broken screws. Usually they're as a result of someone being too enthusiastic with a poor tool, but other times they're because someone's taken a powertool to the screws.
iFixit have two great tools to deal with such problems. The first is Neji-Saurus – the screw extracting dinosaur. It's a crazy name for a fantastic tool that can grip screw heads, bolts, or nuts allowing you to twist out even the most damaged fasteners. It might seem steep for $30, but it's a real lifesaver.
If you need to tackle screws that have had their heads sheared off completely, the precision screw remover set is worth a look, and can help get you out of a jam.