A ‘little helper’ for cutting square tubing

via Arduino Blog

YouTuber “HomoFaciens” had quite a bit of square tubing to cut for his latest CNC router. As he’s known for combining simple tools with creative uses of electronic components, he came up with a jig that helps him precisely position his cuts.

This device works using an encoder made out of paper, tape, and a nail sharpened on both ends. Two IR emitter/receiver pairs send pulses to an Arduino Uno, which displays this number on an LCD screen. The machine is calibrated by measuring a known length of tubing verses the number of pulses for an actual distance measurement. Once set up, not only can the digital ruler be used to properly cut tubing, but can be put on a drill press for accurate hole placement!

Interested in building your own ‘little helper?’ Read more about the project on HomoFaciens’ page here, and see it in action below!

Memorial Day weekend sale

via Pololu Blog


We are having a big Memorial Day sale now through Tuesday, with discounts on over 1000 products when you use the coupon code MEMORIALDAY17. Stock up on robot parts now so you can build cool things all summer long! Note that we will be closed on Monday, so orders will not ship until Tuesday, May 30.

For more information, including all of the sale items, see the sale page.

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

via Dangerous Prototypes

BP

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • We’ll contact you via Facebook with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month, please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

via Dangerous Prototypes

BP

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • We’ll contact you via Facebook with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month, please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Friday Product Post: Tool Time (Pt.2)

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

Hello, and welcome back to the second week of new tool products! Last week we introduced a variety of new soldering tools, but this week it will be a bit different. This Friday we are happy to introduce new screwdrivers, hex keys and a handy set of SMD tweezers! We absolutely fell in love with the quality of these tools and wanted to make sure all of you have a way to easily obtain them. Let’s take a look!

Xcelite Ergonomic Screwdriver Set (6pcs)

TOL-14234
49.95

The Xcelite Ergonomic Screwdriver Set provides six different screwdrivers, each featuring a shockproof ergonomic soft inner core and handle. Utilizing Xcelite’s own Ergonic® handles, each screwdriver in this set conforms to your hand to provide great comfort and reduce torque loss to provide you with a fantastic slip-resistant tool! The set includes two Phillips head and four flathead screwdrivers.

Xcelite 8-in-1 Screwdriver Set

TOL-14235
27.95

The Xcelite 8-in-1 Screwdriver Set provides eight high-quality bits in a single ergonomic tool. Each bit is easily accessible with a spring-loaded magnetic housing that holds the seven included bits you aren’t currently using. Though the screwdriver set includes eight unique bits, the end of the shaft features a 0.25" hex driver that can fit most of your existing ¼" bits. With a strong magnetic hold and no-roll handle design, this is one of the best all-in-one tools we have used!

Chapman Pocket Screwdriver Set

TOL-14190
12

The Chapman Pocket Screwdriver Set is a unique addition to the screwdriver family, as it utilizes a ¼" ratchet, similar to one found on a socket wrench, as well as four custom-built drive bits. This pocket screwdriver is aptly named for its size — not only fitting in your pocket but also fitting into tight spaces that a normal-sized screwdriver would not be able to fit. Moreover, to change the direction you need the screw to go, just flip the pocket screwdriver over!

Hex Key Set - SAE (Ball End, 13 Pieces)

TOL-14222
19.95

This is a set of 13 high-quality hex keys from Allen. Each key in this set is equipped with a ball end, allowing an entry angle up to 25° in the screw to work in hard-to-reach areas. These specific keys utilize the United States customary system. The wrenches will work for any SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) parts.

Hex Key Set - Metric (Ball End, 9 Pieces)

TOL-14223
23.95

Need Metric instead? We have you covered with this set of nine hex keys, also from Allen. These are identical in every way to their sibling above, except that they utilize a much more efficient measurement system (yup).

Hex Key - Plas-T-Key T Handle (Straight End, 7/64")

TOL-14220
4.95

This is a T-Handle 7/64" hex key from Allen. The Plas-T-Key is Allen’s standard handle and features a plastic grip, which provides durability and extra torque while in use. Each hex key is 2.125" long with a shaft composed of a black oxide-finished, tempered steel alloy that is terminated in a straight end.

SMD Tweezers - 45° Angle

TOL-14224
24.95

These unique tweezers have been specially designed to be used with vertical applications of SMD ICs. The tips of these tweezers have been bent to a 45° angle to facilitate access to confined spaces and provide excellent visibility of the area to be worked on. Whether you are moving tiny SMD ICs or soldering them onto a PCB, these tweezers should be your go-to choice to help!


Alright, folks, that’s it for this week! We really enjoyed bringing you two straight weeks of high-quality tools, but next week we’ll be getting back to normal. As always, we can’t wait to see what you make with them! Shoot us a tweet @sparkfun, or let us know on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see what projects you’ve made!

Make sure to check us out next Friday with even more new products! See you then!

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Raspberry Pi and CoderDojo join forces

via Raspberry Pi

We’ve got some great news to share today: the Raspberry Pi Foundation is joining forces with the CoderDojo Foundation, in a merger that will give many more young people all over the world new opportunities to learn how to be creative with technology.

CoderDojo is a global network of coding clubs for kids from seven to 17. The first CoderDojo took place in July 2011 when James Whelton and Bill Liao decided to share their passion for computing by setting up a club at the National Software Centre in Cork. The idea was simple: provide a safe and social place for young people to acquire programming skills, learning from each other and supported by mentors.

Photo: a mentor helps a child at a CoderDojo

Since then, James and Bill have helped turn that idea into a movement that reaches across the whole world, with over 1,250 CoderDojos in 69 countries, regularly attended by over 35,000 young Ninjas.

Raspberry Pi and CoderDojo have each accomplished amazing things over the last six years. Now, we see an opportunity to do even more by joining forces. Bringing together Raspberry Pi, Code Club, and CoderDojo will create the largest global effort to get young people involved in computing and digital making. We have set ourselves an ambitious goal: to quadruple the number of CoderDojos worldwide, to 5,000, by the end of 2020.

Photo: children and teenagers work on laptops at a CoderDojo, while adults help

The enormous impact that CoderDojo has had so far is down to the CoderDojo Foundation team, and to the community of volunteers, businesses, and foundations who have contributed expertise, time, venues, and financial resources. We want to deepen those relationships and grow that community as we bring CoderDojo to more young people in future.

The CoderDojo Foundation will continue as an independent charity, based in Ireland. Nothing about CoderDojo’s brand or ethos is changing as a result of this merger. CoderDojos will continue to be platform-neutral, using whatever kit they need to help young people learn.

Photo: children concentrate intently on coding activities at a CoderDojo event

In technical terms, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is becoming a corporate member of the CoderDojo Foundation (which is a bit like being a shareholder, but without any financial interest). I will also join the board of the CoderDojo Foundation as a director. The merger is subject to approval by Irish regulators.

How will this work in practice? The two organisations will work together to advance our shared goals, using our respective assets and capabilities to get many more adults and young people involved in the CoderDojo movement. The Raspberry Pi Foundation will also provide practical, financial, and back-office support to the CoderDojo Foundation.

Last June, I attended the CoderDojo Coolest Projects event in Dublin, and was blown away by the amazing projects made by CoderDojo Ninjas from all over the world. From eight-year-olds who had written their first programs in Scratch to the teenagers who built a Raspberry Pi-powered hovercraft, it was clear that CoderDojo is already making a huge difference.

Photo: two girls wearing CoderDojo t-shirts present their Raspberry Pi-based hovercraft at CoderDojo Coolest Projects 2016

I am thrilled that we’re going to be working closely with the brilliant CoderDojo team, and I can’t wait to visit Coolest Projects again next month to meet all of the Ninjas and mentors who make CoderDojo possible.

If you want to find out more about CoderDojo and how you can get involved in helping the movement grow, go here.

The post Raspberry Pi and CoderDojo join forces appeared first on Raspberry Pi.