Dangerous Prototypes gift guide, stuff we love

Posted on Thursday, November 25th, 2010 in kit biz by Ian


Things we really love, that we think you should have too. Based on Ian’s Hack a Day comment, with additions by Jer, Vimark, and Machine Geek:

  • Aoyue 968, the best 3-in-1 soldering station for about $100. Ian reviewed it on Hack a Day. $100 and up
  • Proxxon TBM220/110 drill, for super clean PCB holes and PCB mods. Also reviewed on HaD. $200 and up
  • 5x head visor from Adafruit. It’s on our list this year, we’ll review it. $15
  • Jewelers loupe and bright light, for inspecting SSOP soldering. Even a $1 loupe works great
  • 00 tweezers, scalpel, and other surgeons tools for placing SMD parts by hand, other ‘corrections’. $1 and up
  • real debuggers: ICD/PICkit ($20-$200), FT2232-based JTAG debugger for OpenOCD ($50+), MKII (or whatever AVR is doing these days, $150+), something MSP430 (if you’re into that kind of thing, $20+)
  • Prototyping tools like the Bus Pirate ($30)
  • A logic analyzer like a Saleae ($150) or Logic Sniffer ($45)
  • An oscilloscope like the DSO Nano ($89)
  • SmartTweezers to test surface mount components. Only for the serious SMD geek  at $315+. Ian reviewed them
  • This year there were tons of cheap development platforms with integrated debuggers such as the STM32 Value Line discovery kit, TI Launch Pad, and more. $10 and up
  • Flux. lots and lots of flux. You can never have enough really. $1 and up
  • Solder wick, lots and lots of wick. See the previous bullet. $1 and up
  • Female jumper wires, they make your life better. $1 and up

What’s on your list?

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 25th, 2010 at 9:10 pm and is filed under kit biz. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

4 Responses to “Dangerous Prototypes gift guide, stuff we love”

  1. Ferdinand says:

    for AVRs the Dragon is a better choice. it’s cheaper ($50+) and has more features (includes debugging).

  2. Ruud says:

    I think I’ll get myself a OLS this year, or maybe spend the money on pcb fabrication (but that’s not really a nice gift). The DSO Nano also looks nice, but I would maybe save some more and get a ‘real’ digital oscilloscope. Do you have some advise on that?
    Any other gift suggestions in the $40-$60 range? (already have a BP and Aoyue 937)

    What type of flux are you guys using? I got the ‘Liquid Flux Pen – Water Soluble’ from SparkFun, but didn’t got the chance to use it yet. I would rather have a no-clean type, but dind’t find a cheap source.

    Boy I would love a small laser cutter, but that’s just a little above budget :)

    • Ian says:

      My flux is in a syringe and labeled “Philips Flux Gel 5ML Lot 35177 Use before 02/2000”. I got it at a surplus (Baco) in the Netherlands, explaining the Philips labeling :) It was probably 6 years past the use-by date when I got it, but it still works great. I don’t think it’s water washable, I use acetone to clean up all my boards.

  3. jnd says:

    I’m waiting for the DSO Quad :) Also on my list is info LED matrix board, dual color 32×16 for just $20 (5mm version for $26) at Sure Electronics. They should have it available already but they keep delaying it…

    I just checked, they seem to be in stock now :)

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