Tag Archives: rubbing alcohol

Cleaning electrical contacts with Everclear

When I was 19 or 20, I paid a visit to my old grade school to do some computer repair. My fifth-grade teacher dropped in, saw me cleaning up the contacts on a circuit board, and asked why I wasn’t using Everclear. Cleaning electrical contacts with Everclear is, at least, a practice people talk about a lot.

Well, I couldn’t legally buy Everclear yet, for one thing. But let’s talk about why Everclear is good for cleaning electrical contacts but there are other things that can be better.

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Fixing a Lionel 2034 that ran super slowly

The Lionel 2034 with the bent cab had another problem. It would run, but only in super slow-mo, and that was when it would run at all. If I was really patient, sometimes I could get it to run a little after a few minutes, but it had minimal pulling power even then.

The motor needed some maintenance, but it didn’t need any parts. Here’s how I fixed it in less than an hour.

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How to clean heat sink compound off a CPU

Cleaning heat sink grease off a processor is something I hope you don’t have to do often. But if you find yourself needing to remove a processor from a motherboard, it’s a good idea to clean off whatever compound is on the surface of the chip and apply a fresh batch.

You can do it with household tools.

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Fixing Lionel locomotives that run erratically and have flickering lights

If you have a Lionel electric train whose lights flicker and (possibly) runs erratically, I have an easy fix.
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Ye Olde Nintendo 64

I fixed up a Nintendo 64 this past weekend. People of a certain age affectionately refer to it just as “the 64,” though to me, “the 64” refers to a computer with 64K of memory introduced in 1982. I have an inherent bias against almost anything that reminds me of 1997, but in spite of my biases, I found a number of things to like about the system after spending a few hours with it.

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A Lionel Fastrack review

How Lionel Fastrack compares to traditional tubular track and competing O gauge track is a common question. I own both, so I can probably make a comparison.

For the most part, it’s not bad. But it’s not perfect. For some people, the drawbacks are easy enough to overlook. For others, they could be showstoppers. You’ll have to decide for yourself.

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Fixing a phantom paper jam in a Samsung CLP-300

I had a phantom paper jam in a Samsung CLP-300 laser printer. I tried to print yesterday and got nothing but a paper jam message after the click that usually precedes the paper feeding through. I looked inside all the covers, even flipping the printer over multiple times, looking for that stray bit of paper munging up the works.

I found nothing. But I needed to print some resumes. So I fixed it.

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How to get that dusty old train running again

It’s the weekend after Thanksgiving. The time of year when nostalgia runs high and ancient toy trains come out of the basement or the attic and get set up again until sometime after the new year.

Well, hopefully they make it that long. Here are some tips for getting old Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and similar electric trains running again.

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