I can not count the number of times I fried electronics by "oopsing": connecting the wrong wire to the wrong connector. Twelve volt power does not go well on a three volt data input. I've learned electronics in the school of hard knocks: electrocuted fingers and all. I've learned. I now always, ALWAYS use both color coding and labels on everything I work on. Especially when I go into the field with my electronics. In the field, cables are longer and you can not always look into the sealed box with your sensor to double-check if the red wire is the twelve volt or the five volt power line this time.
It is what I call a #GeoScienceHack: a simple thing to do to make sure that my experiments work. From eight years of working with experimental geoscientists and sensor design scientists I know that every single geoscientists has her or his own #GeoScienceHack.
Because we think it is vitally important for scientists to share their methods, Cathelijne Stoof from Wageningen University and I are going to collect and share as much GeoScienceHacks as we can. To kick this off, we have a poster today at the EGU General Assembly in Vienna, in my MacGyver poster session. Normally posters are used for presenting, we use ours for collecting. It is a blank poster with a marker next to it. Anyone is invited to share her or his #GeoScienceHack. Cathelijne and I will collect all hacks and publish them as wide as possible. Firstly: here on my website. Secondly: on a new Tumblr. Finally, to give contributing scientists a career incentive to share their #geosciencehack, we will write an academic paper in the upcoming special issue on MacGyver-Geoscience listing all hacks and having all contributors as co-author.