Every year before Maker Faire we spend a day in San Francisco to visit the Noisebridge hackerspace, Instructables, and other open hardware/DIY/hacker friendly people. Noisebridge is located in a neighborhood called the Mission District, and it has dozens of delicious … Read more
Author Archives: Ian
A couple days ago mbed, the ARM platform with a silly online compiler, announced that it’s register abstraction layer would be released under an open source BSD license. Readers raised the point that this is only partly true. We hate … Read more
If I come back from China 10 kilos heavier this is the man to blame. Some of the best soup dumplings ever. Proper procedure is to bite the top and drink the soup inside. Then eat the pastry and meat … Read more
We’re getting 10 to 20 spam comments a minute. I locked down links in comments. Sorry for any spammy comment notifications going out. No idea why a kismet isn’t working. Could be a hack. Will reinstall WordPress shortly.
Before crossing into China I always stop at Taco Loco half way up the mid central level escalators on Hong Kong Island. very easy to get here from the terminus of the airport express train. As always, a couple carnitas … Read more
On Tuesday I leave to spend a month working on new projects in Shenzhen. Here are the parts I’m taking with me. Everything could be bought there, but that would waste a ton of time. This a good assortment if … Read more
This week we take a look at the 946A+ solder reflow hot plate from our last Shenzhen equipment haul. There’s a ton of no-name 946A+ out there, ours happens to be D-GOLD. They’re all pretty similar, and run about $50 … Read more
Yoshi, who you may remember from the New York Trip video, takes us on a tour of the Switch-Science.com open hardware design, manufacturing, and shipping office. The office is on the edge of Akihabara, Tokyo’s electronic component market. Check out … Read more
Bus Pirate users MightyOhm and A connected Ape reported oscillations of 150mV-400mV on the 3.3volt supply pin. A huge thanks to them both, as well as numerous investigators in the forum for looking into the problem. This appears to effect … Read more
A box just rolled in from Mouser, two days early by FedEx. Mostly 8pin through-hole chips for the Bus Pirate educational kit. Sadly, not free.
Wow, there was a lot of crap treasure in there! Next a few new tables for the tools and oscope. Going to anchor a table to the wall for the pick and place, as suggested in the comments. There’s also … Read more
Loading up the pick and place with part reels. We decided to put the most common, cheap stuff in the back of the ‘stack’ of reels. After all, it won’t need to be swapped. Less used stuff is going towards … Read more
Experimenting will probably continue all day. A sturdier table is going to be a must.
Managed to get the language to English by setting the language configuration to ’0′, then loading a pick and place instruction file. After loading a file everything is magically English. Settings won’t save without a special warranty voiding password from … Read more
Currently made it half way up the stairs.
After you’ve dispensed solder paste it’s time to reflow all that solder. This is where the reflow oven comes in. It seems like reflow hot plates are a more popular choice in most small shops because they’re smaller, cheaper, and … Read more
Without a doubt the solder paste dispenser is a cool tool. Compressed air hisses and solenoids crackle while precise amounts of solder paste extrude into beautiful droplets on a PCB. A few minutes with a paste dispenser saves $15-$25 (or … Read more
Last goodie for today is a dual headed vacuum pickup pen. A pump creates a vacuum to the pin. Set it down on a part and cover the small hole in the side of the pen to suck up the … Read more
A PCB preheater warms boards before removing parts for repair. This makes it easier and less traumatic to remove big parts like smd voltage regulators, TQFP and BGA chips. The hot plate can serve dual use as a preheater, but … Read more
This is a air driven solder paste dispenser with suck back for precise solder droplets. Size of droplets and repeat interval are set on the front panel. Dip switches on the back control 16 different modes. Seems to be exactly … Read more