Ben wrote in with a great question:
I had a quick question regarding the Three Fives Kit. First of all I just wanted to say that great job on the kit! I LOVE mine and it was a blast to put together. I just had a quick question about one of the packing items used when the kit is shipped. I loved the resistor organizer/holder you shipped the resistors and have been trying to figure out where to get them. The best I could guess was that they are sewing needle holders, but I have been unable to find them as such.
Many of our soldering kits have multiple resistor values, but the Three Fives kit is unusual among our projects in having nine individual resistors of different values. This presented an interesting problem: how to make user friendly packaging to make it easy to find the right resistor. Sure, you can read the color code stripes, but that can be a pain for folks with color blindness or just plain old poor vision.
Our solution was to design a custom wallet, modeled after needle packets, to hold and label the resistors with their locations & values. The resistors are dropped into slots, secured with a label, the cover flap is closed over them and then tucked under a tab. During use, each resistor is simply pulled out from under the adhesive label.
The wallets are laser cut out of sheets of 60 lb manila cardstock. It bends easily along the perforations, but is very sturdy and can withstand many repeated bends. (Aside: this weight is very similar to punch cards, which—to go full circle—is what I use for storing sewing needles.)
We reused the wallet with a different label when we released our multi-colored Menorah and breadboard Menorah kits, which also happen to use nine resistors in a variety of values.
Today we’re releasing this resistor wallet design in two versions: one for nine resistors, and one with slightly narrower spacing to hold ten.
If you use our resistor wallet, we’d love to hear about it or see pictures in our flickr pool!
Over at Dead, too much lettuce., Scott built an Access Point garage door opener with a Raspberry Pi, an Arduino, and our Simple Relay Shield.
I bike to work. Bikes live in the garage. But with only 2 remotes, I could not keep one in my bag all the time to be able to get to the bike. So a new option had to be created. Most people would have bought a new remote…
Our friend Schuyler St. Leger added a vintage telephone bell to his Alpha Clock Five to make an alarm clock that could wake the dead— or at least a teenage boy who’s been watching late night TV.
This newly minted (date code: 1403) 555 footstool comes to us via Martin on Twitter, who writes:
My 555 footstools arrived. Build by my father-in-law, based on design files from @EMSL
Here are our original project post and our design. This is the first time that we’ve seen someone else build one based on our design. Nice!
Ann posted instructions in our forums for creating an electric kistka (wax pen) for the Eggbot for traditional Pysanky egg dying techniques. She used nichrome wire, krylon tape, a modified kistka, and a 2xAA battery holder with a switch and described how to mount it in the Eggbot. She posted a couple of designs to Thingiverse demonstrating the technique including the rose design pictured above.
For a Humpty Dumpty design, she wrote up how she made it:
Using eggbot and custom electric kistka, plotted the Humpty Dumpty picture and text on an egg. First plotted outline, dyed brick, colored in bricks by hand with kistka, dyed blue.
You can check out her other designs for the Eggbot on Thingiverse.
Dave wrote in to tell us about the kitchen timer he made:
I just wanted to say thank you for putting together such a great site and set of products. I’m a newbie and after about 4 months o studying your articles and using the Diavolino as my development board, was able to make a cool little kitchen timer for my parents this Christmas. I definitely could not have done it without your articles and products.
He documented the project with a series of videos (youtube playlist) showing his progression through building it. Shown above is the breadboarded prototype next to the finished timer.
Thanks for sharing your project photos and videos, Dave!
Ryan Lane posted a couple of short videos of the WaterColorBot drawing a Storm Trooper and Seattle with markers. He traced a photo of the Storm Trooper and applied a half-tone filter before plotting with the WaterColorBot.
Chris Connors from How2Today posted about making lots and lots of holiday ornaments using his Eggbot.
From Maniacal Labs comes this unusual use for a Bulbdial Clock.
Over at EEVblog, the (simply wonderful!) Electronics Engineering Video blog, Dave Jones has posted episode #555 — about our “Three Fives” discrete 555 timer kit. It’s an hour-long video, in which he builds the kit on camera, and more importantly walks through the the equivalent schematic to explain (and show) how it works, right down to probing the circuit with a scope. If you’re interested in how analog electronic circuits work, you’ll likely find it to be an excellent use of an hour, even if you’ve already built the kit yourself.