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Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred by David Erik Nelson

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Appendix A. Electronics Components, Tools, and Skills

Although it’s almost always cheaper to buy electrical components and tools online, if you happen to live near a shop catering to electrical tinkerers or ham radio enthusiasts, always go there first. These shops generally offer excellent deals and are invariably staffed by wise old folks with a bottomless reservoir of tips, tricks, and quick fixes—in addition to occasional stories about being stationed at South Pacific remote listening posts during World War II.

Almost anything you purchase at RadioShack will work about as well (with a higher sticker price), with one exception: jacks. Normal operation puts a great deal of strain on jacks, especially the springy metal tongue that presses against ...

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