Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Smoke Test

Photo courtesy Flickr

This irresistible piece of nomenclature applies to a procedure used to evaluate a piece of electronic gear, generally a used one. Take it home, plug it in, and keep an eye on it. If it starts to smoke, unplug it and figure out what’s wrong. Or get rid of it.

I discovered the wisdom of a smoke test the hard way by setting out and turning on a vintage wood-cased bookshelf radio. The eek! factor was significant. Smoke tests of other gear now happen on a stone work top.


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