Monthly Archives: May 2017

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!

comments | comment feed

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.

DIY NAS

via Dangerous Prototypes

NAS-BOX

A DIY NAS project from Peter Scargill:

So I’ve had a fair experience of these systems. Well, this blog entry isn’t about expensive NAS systems. It’s about a cheap one… really cheap that is – and DIY.
How cheap? Well, about £12 depending on what you have handy. For this price you need a handy 2.5” hard drive, a FriendlyArm NEO or NEO2 and of course the 1-Bay NAS Kit for NanoPi. Beware that the front panels for NEO and NEO2 are SLIGHTLY different – i.e. the Ethernet connection position varies slightly so these are not cross-compatible without a spot of filing which is why I’m showing you the stock photo!
Anyway… so I plugged my trusty 100GB 2.5” hard drive into the board (well, it was free and was sitting doing nothing), plugged the NEO2 into the board, downloaded the ROM and.. well, that was it really – turned on the power (you need a 12v power supply) and waited. Sure enough the unit appears on my network.

More details at Scargill’s Tech blog.

Enginursday: 60 USB Chargers in Parallel

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

Sometimes engineers need to take a break from crunching numbers and furrowing their brows at data sheets, and do something fun instead. Today I wanted to find out what would happen if I took 60 5V, 2A power supplies and wired them together. And for that, I felt it would be best to just make a video.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to actually do this (there are better ways of generating so much current), and my methods are definitely suspect, but hey! It’s an experiment. Have a look to see what happens!

And…ahem… don’t try this at home.

Enjoy!
Marshall

comments | comment feed

Log your hamster’s runs with Arduino

via Arduino Blog

We’ve all seen hamsters in a cage, furiously running nowhere. Perhaps you’ve thought about the pointlessness of this activity, before going to the gym to lift weights up and down or run on a treadmill. From an outside perspective, both activities seem pointless, but when you realize the benefits, maybe tracking what “feats of strength” you’re able to accomplish, things become much more clear.

As seen on Hackaday, in order to track the activity of his daughter’s hamster, John Mueller implemented an Arduino Uno-based system that records revolutions using a magnet and a reed switch. Every time the magnet on the wheel passes the fixed switch, it triggers an Arduino input, recording how many revolutions, and thus how many miles the little guy runs each night. Results are quite impressive considering its size, recording over 3.5 miles on one occasion!

This type of encoder concept could be used in many different situations, such as logging bicycle speeds, or tracking motor stats.

ATM90E36 Dev-kit for 3-phase AC metering

via Dangerous Prototypes

IMG_20170116_115148

Tisham Dhar blogged about his ATM90E36 3-phase energy monitor project:

After successfully building the single-phase energy monitor with the ATM90E26 there has been lots of interest in the 3-phase version. Being an open-hardware project, many people have created remixed and derived versions as well. After a while I started receiving requests to assist with the code for ATM90E36, the 3-phase version of the Energy Monitor chip. However I did not have the hardware to test the code, so I put together this basic devkit to access the SPI bus and easily inject voltage and CT signals to take the ATM90E36 through its paces. This is the first board I have designed based purely on user demand rather than to scratch my own itch, since I don’t have 3-phase supply at home.

Project info at Tisham Dhar’s blog.

Check out the video after the break.