We’re running a Thanksgiving sale in the shop: save 20% or more on selected kits and components, Black Friday through Cyber Monday with free US shipping for all orders over $75.
Joyce sent us this picture of her 2013 Lord of the Rings Pez dispenser LED menorah.
I thought I’d share my new menorah hack with you all. Friends even started asking about “this year’s theme” so I guess it’s now an official tradition.
Would it be possible to post the assembly instructions for the solderless kit? (if there are any) I’m wondering if this kit would be suitable for somebody who has no electronics experience at all. Does it call out the row/col number for every resistor, jumper, etc?
Printed instructions do come with the kit, are very helpful, because there’s an actual size component bending guide on the page. We have also posted a pdf version on our documentation site. No prior knowledge of electronics is needed, and we call out the location for each component and provide clear diagrams to follow.
We recently acquired this beautiful Erector Rocket Launcher Set from 1958. While not quite complete, it is still tantalizing with its girders, nuts, bolts and motor. The printing on the metal box is beautiful.
The motor is labeled “Erector Electric Engine” and features a clever mechanical gear shifter.
While our set did not come with instructions, there are online resources for vintage building sets, and Girders & Gears has a thorough description and pictures of a more complete set. They also have instructions available for download, which include the following practical warning:
CAUTION: Be sure there is no one in front of the launcher when the rocket is fired.
The Peek-O-Book is a close relative of the Snap-O-Lantern. The book occasionally opens and peeks out with its LED eyes before snapping shut again to look like a normal book on a shelf.
A compartment is cut into the pages of the book and the circuitry is hidden inside.
The orange LED eyes are affixed to a small piece of wood which is then glued to the cover of the book so that they just fit inside the compartment. The rest of the electronics are nestled inside the compartment.
We made the Peek-O-Book for The Art of Tinkering book release party at the Exploratorium Afterdark event last week. Many of the tinkerers featured in the book were invited to hack a copy of the book. The cabinets in the Tinkering studio were packed full of hacked books and projects from the book. You can see pictures of some of the other hacked books in our photo set.
Years later, now, I just was made aware of this great pumpkin idea of yours and wanted to thank you personally for keeping my toaster ’alive’ in a fun new way… this is SO cool.
The SPARK (Science Play and Research Kit) Competition is requesting submissions for what they are calling “Reimagining the Chemistry Set of the 21st Century.”
To be clear, we’re interested in science beyond chemistry. We borrow this term to capture the spirit and magic of what the classic chemistry set spawned in the 1940s – 60s. We’re looking for ideas that can engage kids as young as 8 and inspire people who are 88. We’re looking for ideas that encourage kids to explore, create, build and question. We’re looking for ideas that honor kids’ curiosity about how things work.
We’ve delved into that spirit with our posts on Vintage Chemistry Manuals and Vintage Chemistry Sets. We also see it in our community in groups like Public Lab, with projects like Thermal Photography. It is exciting to see this contest trying to promote that spark of curiosity. Submissions are due in January, and we’re looking forward to seeing the winners when they’re announced in February. In the meantime, we would like to hear what you want to see in science kits for the future.