EEVBlog #555: The 555 kit review

555 kit review

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.

LED Pez Menorah 2013

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.

She incorporated our new multi-colored LED Menorah kit into this one. You can find our previous LED Pez dispenser menorah posts here and here.

Breadboard Menorah Kit Instructions

aberson asked about our new Deluxe Electronic Breadboard Menorah kits:

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.

Two New Menorah Kits

Breadboard LED Menorah Kit

Hanukkah comes remarkably early this year, starting on Thanksgiving day, November 28.

Today, just in the nick of time, we are releasing two new LED menorah kits for 2013 that complement our consistently popular Deluxe LED Menorah Soldering Kit.

Breadboard LED Menorah Kit - Parts

The first kit, the Deluxe Electronic Breadboard Menorah Kit, is a response to two requests that we frequently receive: (1) for an LED menorah kit that doesn’t require soldering and (2) for a menorah kit with assorted multicolor LEDs— for that assorted-color candle look. (Nailed it!)

The kit includes a 6″ transparent breadboard, 10 mm LEDs in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and warm white, a control button, battery holder, and a pre-programmed microcontroller.

Breadboard LED Menorah Kit
Breadboard LED Menorah Kit

While the electronic components— the microcontroller, resistors, control switch, and LEDs —are essentially the same as in the Deluxe LED Menorah Kit, we’ve had to make quite a few changes to the layout and firmware to redesign the circuit to lay out so neatly on a breadboard. Additionally, as the perceived brightness of different LED colors can vary quite a bit, we’ve included a specific set of per-color resistors to even out the overall brightness levels.

The Deluxe Electronic Breadboard Menorah Kit is in stock now, and ready to make happy campers on some night(s) of Hanukkah this year.

Special Edition LED Menorah Kit

For the second new kit, the multicolor Special Edition Deluxe LED Menorah Kit, we’ve brought the assorted multicolor LEDs back to our original Deluxe LED Menorah Soldering Kit. Because, why should breadboarders have all the fun?

Special Edition LED Menorah Kit

And it even looks good with the lights off! The new Special Edition LED Menorah Kit is in stock and shipping now.

Peek-O-Book

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.

Peeking

A compartment is cut into the pages of the book and the circuitry is hidden inside.

What's 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.

Exploratorium Art of Tinkering

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.

Cylon-approved

Red Eye

Andrew Probert, the designer of the Cylons for the original Battlestar Galactica TV series, wrote to say:

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.

Our Cylon Jack-O-Lantern project and Larson Scanner kits are carrying on the tradition!