Steve on Flickr writes: “A recently acquired 1978 Heathkit dip meter, in excellent shape and tested very close to calibration. Had to replace the rotted foam that held the 9volt battery in place, but that was no hardship.”
One of our favorite things to sell here at Adafruit are experimentation/beginners kits. We know that with every one of these kits that we sell, we are introducing someone to a new hobby or skill. Thankfully, Adafruit stocks a huge variety of experimentation kits for all age levels. Here are our favorites:
We also offer a great starter pack for the Arduino. This pack includes everything you need to follow along with Ladyada’s fantastic Arduino tutorial. Once you have completed the online tutorials you will have some great gear to get you started on your first project. We also have a budget Arduino pack that will allow you to finish Ladyada’s tutorial as well.
mbed is another really powerful microcontroller that is also super easy to use thanks to the mbed online IDE. We have this neat mbed RFID/NFC starter kit that will not only introduce you to the mbed, but also teach you how to incorporate RFID/NFC into your projects.
Wave JT is a multi-function LED chaser/scanner/sequencer. Wave JT incorporates Joule Thief to power the LEDs, so it operates on just a single AA battery.
Wave JT has over 16 sequence patterns, and speed can be adjusted by double/triple tapping the button. It’s the most compact yet versatile LED chaser.
Sequence patterns include many variation of the classic “Larson Scanner”, random sparks, fade in/out, flashing, etc.
This developed as a spinoff from the hardware and controllers I’m designing for a range of nixie clocks and watches as a ‘simple’ project that wouldn’t need much software to complete it.
All visible parts are made from materials contemporary with Nixie technology and no modern plastics or resins are used anywhere in its’ consruction (other than the electronic components and PCBs). The board and pieces are machined from phenolic resin laminate and assembled using brass fittings. The brown base pieces have been filled and wiped with gold and silver engravers wax, giving a ‘worn gilding’ appearance.
The displays are ex-Soviet Nixie gas display tubes, manufactured in the early 1980s.
Kinetic Creatures are a set of three walking cardboard animal sculptures. The Creatures, Elly the elephant, Rory the rhino, and Geno the giraffe, are each made up of cardboard pieces that you assemble using tabs-and-slots. By turning the wire handle the creatures come alive with a simple mechanical motion.
We recently updated our distributor, reseller and hackerspace pricing! Now, 1 quantity has UP TO a 30% discount off many items, this is allows you to get a great discount by just ordering 1 of something. Great for folks who just want to try 1 item of each of something out in their store, etc. As always, once you order 50+ or more of something the discount goes UP TO 40% off many items as well. Note! *Not ALL items have reseller pricing, reseller pricing is for items we can discount for our resellers. We are adding more all the time! Remember, the minimum order is $250 per order, not including shipping.
We have a very easy reseller program and would love to have more great people & companies as a distributors/resellers/hackerspaces. Our products are high-quality and we think they’re the best engineered & designed in the market. How can you be a distributor? Just fill our form here, keep in mind the following questions!
Are you an online store, a physical store or a hackerspace that would like to distribute our products? Please include a link.
Can you place orders $250 and over (Not including shipping) each time?
Can you pay via paypal or credit card? For international large orders, can you pay via wire transfer?
Do you have a UPS account? (This is not required, but helpful).
Smart startups don’t try to compete with behemoths. Dumb startups sometimes do. Fusion Garage was the company contracted to design and build the CrunchPad tablet in 2009, which, after ages in “development” … came to market as the hideous and overpriced JooJoo. (Like, just in time to compete with the iPad.) The company’s followups, the conceptually interesting but dangerously undercooked Grid 4 smartphone and Grid 10 tablet, got a bit of attention before the company, which had probably shipped no more than a few hundred units of anything, ever, collapsed under $40 million in debt.
Microsoft can afford to do this right. So can Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony. But some startup? Not a chance. When it comes to hardware, young geniuses need not apply. The line for Code Academy starts over here.
FOR ANYONE who still does not quite grasp the technologically obsolescent U.S. Postal Service’s calamitous financial situation, here are a few facts from Thursday’s Government Accountability Office report.
First-class mail, the source of half of USPS’s revenue, has declined from 104 billion pieces per year to 74 billion pieces over the last decade. Estimates are that volume will shrink by 34 billion more pieces by 2020. Meanwhile, the postal service calculates that almost half of its 461 mail-processing facilities are redundant. The USPS’s $25 billion in losses over the last five fiscal years have left it within $2 billion of exhausting its $15 billion line of credit with the U.S. Treasury, which is the only thing standing between the postal service and total collapse.
In February, USPS projected that annual losses would rise to $21 billion by 2016 and proposed a plan to cut costs by an offsetting amount. This would involve dramatic reductions in the USPS infrastructure and workforce. But there appears to be no alternative. “The Postmaster General has stated that maintaining a vast national postal infrastructure is no longer realistic,” the GAO notes.
Tax day is next Tuesday, so we wrote about how we do our taxes as a sole proprietor/single member LLC. We show our actual supporting documentation for things like travel expenses for the Open Hardware Summit and Maker Faires, and our accounting of tool and equipment deductions. We hope it will help some new kit makers get a jump start on taxes, instead of freaking out at the last minute like we did the first time.
Over at I Heart Engineering we have upgraded some of our product packaging. Here are some of the design concepts. These stickers are important, because this means we can make packaging for selling quantity one of prototype designs. This in line with our philosophy of lowering the cost of failure. Fail early, fail often, succeed occasionally.
Mixtape Alpha is the smallest synthesizer we could make without a prescription. It has a stylophone style input for continuous note generation, and 6 buttons for discrete notes. With 4 voices, 4 effects, and 5 note polyphony there is quite a range of expression. But, the best part is, you can record the songs you make, and trade mixtapes with your friends! Perhaps even better, it’s based on the ATmega328p, and can be hacked to make even crazier sounds than we came up with.
Whenever I want to play with a new radio I look around the basement and see what’s down there. With myrecent acquisition of the Heathkit BR-2 Broadcast Receiver I wondered what else I had in the way of Heathkit receiver kits. There is was – my Heathkit GR-54 General Coverage Communications Receiver.
The GR-54 was produced between 1966 and 1971. It is all mode (AM/LSB/USB) single conversion Superheterodyne consisting of 6 tubes (6BH6 RF Amp, 6EA8 Osc Mixer, 6BA6 IF Amp, 6BA6 IF Amp, 12AT7 BFO Product Detector, 6HF8 AF Amp and diodes). The price when this kit was produced was $85-$135.
I got a real deal on this one. I paid $25 for it in good working condition. And that included the manual.
Turns out, at the time of this writing, there is an original unbuilt Heathkit GR-54 on eBay – the bidding is now at $709. Got that? That is not a typo. An unbuilt Heathkit is bid up to $709 with 16 hours remaining in the auction. Don’t belive me? Here, look…
The best part about the post besides the photos is a comment under the post…
When I was 15 yrs old, I was offered a Summer job at my local grade school cleaning toilets, mopping/waxing floors, and weeding the gardens around the school and church for $1.50 and hour. Being obsessed with electronics, the first thing that I bought with my very hard earned money was a GR-54… It was one of the most precious items of my life for many years… all the things I learned with it, and because of it. That radio solidified my obsession with electronics, and lead me to the very lucrative profession as a very well employed electronics design engineer today.
Like so many electronic engineers of my age (mid 50′s), I owe my start to hard personal work, and Heathkit. Through the years, I collected manuals and studied the theory sections until I understood how the item worked. I specifically recall sitting in the lunchroom of Denby High school studying the IB-100 frequency counter- amazed that it indicated the measurement in “numbers” and not an analog meter. I sat there trying to understand the description of a “flip-flop” while my classmates were throwing food at each other (wonder what they are doing today?) I studied, studied, and studied until I finally understood how each stage functioned for every manual that I could afford those days (at $2.00 each).
We hope every kid now has a favorite kit they’ll look back on years from now.