NEW PRODUCT – Allen Wrench (Hex Key) – 2.5mm - To build all your fun CNC machines, you’ll need an Allen key! This one is 2.5mm in size and works with our M4 screws and will make assembling your extruded aluminum project a cinch.
NEW PRODUCT – Ratcheting Crimper Pliers – #18-28 AWG – Make cables and wiring harnesses with ease using smooth ratcheting crimpers. These precision machined crimpers will turn you into a pro, no more painful struggles with pliers and generic crimpers that smoosh your contacts so they wont fit properly. Once you’ve pressed enough, the ratchet releases, so you know when you’ve applied enough force.
This model will work best for smaller common connectors, from 0.1mm2-1.0mm2 / AWG #18-28 – all those frighteningly small contacts used in fine pitch connectors.
NEW PRODUCT – ESD-Safe PCB Cleaning Brush – Neat-freaks! Put down that toothbrush and pick up this nice ESD-safe cleaning brush! If you want to have a nice clean board (or maybe you’re doing some repair) you can use this stiff-bristled brush without worries. Some people like to drip a little rubbing alcohol on their PCBs after soldering and then scrubbing to remove rosin/flux. Finally, you have the right tool for the job.
About 7″ long from end to end, scrubby part is 1.5″ x 0.5″ with 0.5″ bristles
NEW PRODUCT – Digital Genuine Hakko FX-888D (936 upgrade) – Known by engineers for making excellent quality tools & soldering irons! This is a genuine Hakko FX-888D with digital temperature control! We worked hard to get the best and a great price, these are not Chinese/Taiwanese knock-offs. This iron is an upgrade to the venerable Hakko 936 – smaller footprint but more powerful for a faster heat up time.
The Hakkos have quality construction, this iron is the last one you’ll need for decades. Heats up in 30 seconds, with a calibrated temperature control knob gives precision heat to minimize cold solder joints. Once you know you’re on the path of electronics, this is the iron you’ll want beside you on your desk.
We got the medium tip on this iron, the most popular size, great for through-hole and some SMT. You can purchase replacement Hakko tips anywhere (we’ll carry some soon).
The PSS 3100e from MAFELL is the worlds first self-driven, rail-guided and mobile panel saw. In a single operation, the portable panel saw system handles cutting of lengths of up to 2800 mm (110 1/4 in.) and with the follow-on fence even longer cuts are possible.
Last week in my college physics lab we got to use these variable resistance ‘boxes’. They had two inputs and six dials, and could generate one million different resistances across the two inputs. I knew I had to have one, and why not make it myself? This tutorial demonstrates how to build one for yourself for pretty cheap.
NEW PRODUCT – Hakko Brass Sponge Solder Tip Cleaner. This brass sponge is super glam and super useful. Preferred by many soldering pros for cleaning off the tips of their soldering irons, it never needs wetting, wont cool down the tip, and its slightly abrasive to remove caked-on flux.
This model is made by Hakko so you know it’s not only good-looking but a pleasure to use.
NEW PRODUCT – Deluxe Solder Stand with Solder Roll Holder. This is such a sweet soldering stand, we had to carry it in the shop. It comes with a nice heavy metal frame, a double-wrapped soldering iron tube to keep your hands safe, a removable sponge and (best of all) a solder roll holder! Upgrade your setup for some luxurious soldering action.
Comes with the metal stand, and sponge. Take a few minutes to put together with a screwdriver. Doesn’t include a soldering iron or solder!
NEW PRODUCT! Large Double-Sided Storage Tote Box – This tote is “totes awesome” – plenty large with lots of storage, double sided design, solid clips, clear tops and a pleasing, easy to carry shape. We love this tote for storing all of our goodies and keeping them safe from home to the studio to the workshop. One side has little ‘cups’ that can be removed. The other side has the classic divider system.
Outside dimensions: 13.5″x11.5″x3.25″
One side contains 15 compartments made with movable dividers. Each compartment’s capacity is 2.6″ x 1.9″ x 1.25″, they can be made larger by removing the dividers.
The other side contains five 2.3″ x 3.5″ x 1.25″ bins and five 2.3″ x 1.8″ x 1.25″ bins, which can be removed to make bigger compartments or while working on a project.
If you’re serious about electronics and engineering, you’re going to need some tools to help poke, prod, measure and coerce all those stray electrons into going to their proper destination or tracking them down when they go astray. While hardly exhaustive, this guide will hopefully point you to some of the keys tools you might need to design, build and test things more efficiently.
I’ve tried to list them in the order that I think they should be acquired from most frequently used to more specialized gear, but obviously it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Where relevant, I’ve tried to list at least two models, one lower cost but reliable option for people getting started or intermediate users, and one professional device that I know is tried and tested if you need something that you can rely on day in and day out year after year when the numbers really matter. (more…)
NEW PRODUCT – Aluminum USB Microscope with Precision Stand – As electronics get smaller and smaller, you’ll need a hand examining PCBs and this little USB microscope is the perfect tool. Its smaller and lighter than a large optical microscope but packs quite a bit of power in its little body. There’s a high quality 640×480 camera sensor inside and an optical magnifier that can adjust from 20x (for basic PCB inspection) to 300x (for detailed inspection). Eight mini white LEDs are angled right onto whatever you’re examining so you get enough lighting to see, and are smoothly adjustable via a dial on the side. Watch the above video on YouTube (please subscribe!) and Vimeo.
If you plug this into any computer, it just shows up as a standard USB camera and the Windows/Mac software lets you take snapshots using the button on the side of the microscope or direct from the software (so you don’t move the camera).
We tried a bunch of different USB microscopes and when you need a thin camera, with a precision stand, this one is the best combination of optical clarity, usability, and price. It’s perfect for electronics hacking, rework, SMT (de)soldering, inspection, and soon you’ll find yourself pulling it out to look and photograph all sort of cool small stuff around your lab and home. Its small size means you can poke inside of enclosures to get a good peek!