Time and time again, I find myself referring back to previous work... measurements, part values or wave patterns noted during the construction or testing of various circuits. In fact, I have found that gathering and recording as much data as I can about a particular circuit being built or fleshed-out is an immensely enjoyable part of the homebrewing experience. My notes may not be beautiful but they certainly have saved the day on many occasions when looking back at earlier builds or even just to see where I left off the day before!
When homebrewing, I usually build a test-bed version, allowing me to change components easily and observe or measure the results. For older style tube-based transmitters that I have come to enjoy building, this is usually done on a wooden base while more modern circuits are scratch-built 'ugly' style or 'ugly Manhattan' style on PC board. Once everything has been optimised, the final and better-looking version is built.
Along the lines of keeping track, the same can be said for documenting inspirational project ideas. I maintain several large spiral notebooks in which I cut-and-paste interesting circuit ideas or procedures that I have either seen on the Web or photocopied from books or magazines.
|Doug Demaw Article|
|Ideas & Reference Notebooks|
Keeping track surely adds a little more work to the hobby of homebrewing but the time is well spent and for me, most enjoyable.