Cleaning up after Christmas - some seasonal tips.

Save a few of the cocktail sticks after you've sucked off the mini sausages or olives; these pointed little sticks are handy for prodding around your suspect printed circuit boards - more selective than a screwdriver or a finger; cleaner and better insulated too. The odd stick can also be used to clean up knurled knobs as well.

Those few left-over paper serviettes are handy for dusting down some of the equipment cabinets. Mind you, if it's really necessary to spring clean things like measuring gear then that Christmas gift after-shave that you'll never use can be put to good use. I know that the pong is likely to linger in the workplace, so here's how to make it acceptable. Just add to it a little unburnt charcoal (from your barbecue, of course); this decolourises and deodorises the stuff in one go. If the charcoal doesn't all settle, pour it through a kitchen paper towel or a serviette as you funnel it back into a jar.

The ends of toilet paper rolls can serve as swabs with this cleaning fluid. And on the subject of swabs, those bathroom "cotton buds" are really handy for cleaning around some of those meter fiddly bits.

If you lit the oil lamps for the festivities, save a little paraffin - it's quite good for cleaning up scruffy components; resistors, for instance. Usually it doesn't remove the codings or bands as many spirits do (but you have probably already drunk those anyway).

Don't forget that damp cigar ash is quite good for polishing up any metal bits you may have around.

Still it's just as well Christmas comes but once a year; it does interfere with our project progress. Whether or not you take any of this advice seriously , remember:

(it makes people wonder what you've been up to)


I should like to thank Bimal Sandle, E.A.Matthews and Matthew Williams for the articles in this Newsletter, and to all who wrote to me. Matthew Williams is now well into the second year of a degree course in electronic engineering at Cardiff University; he was admitted directly into the second year because of the excellent results he achieved in the HND course he completed earlier this year, and I should like on behalf of the club to offer him our sincere congratulations.

I hope to produce Newsletters in 1991 according to the following schedule:

Last date for receipt of contributions      Despatch Target
February 28th                               mid March
May 31st                                    mid June
August 31st                                 mid September
November 30th                               mid December
I hope that members will help me to keep to this schedule by sending articles and letters in good time - the earlier the better; don't leave it till the last minute.