All posts by Windell Oskay

About Windell Oskay

Co-founder of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories.

Open Circuits

I’m very pleased to announce my forthcoming new book, Open Circuits: The Inner Beauty of Electronic Components, co-written with Eric Schlaepfer.

Open Circuits is a coffee table book full of cross-section photographs of electronic components, along with photos of those components in context, and descriptions of how they work. It’s coming this fall from No Starch Press, and is available now to pre-order.

Book cover for Open Circuits

From the rear cover:

Open Circuits is a photographic exploration of the surprisingly beautiful design waiting to be discovered inside everyday electronic devices. Through painstakingly prepared cross-sections and stunningly vivid close-up images, the book reveals a hidden world full of elegance, subtle complexity, and wonder. From simple resistors and capacitors, to cutting-edge circuit boards and retro Nixie tubes, the authors’ arresting imagery transforms more than 130 electronic components into awe-inspiring works of art that will delight engineers, artists, designers, and photography enthusiasts alike.

My co-author Eric Schlaepfer has been our regular collaborator on projects such as the Three Fives and XL741 soldering kits, as well as the MOnSter 6502 and our Uncovering the Silicon project.

Open Circuits is coming this fall in hardcover, and is available now with a pre-order discount and early-access PDF from No Starch Press.

It’s also available to pre-order at your local bookstore — who we sincerely encourage you to support — as well as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other major booksellers.

Linkdump: December 2021

TinyNES console with two controllers attached

Linkdump: January 2021

CMYK embroidery

The AxiDraw MiniKit 2

AxiDraw MiniKit 2

Today we are introducing a major refresh of the smallest member of the AxiDraw family of pen plotters: the new AxiDraw MiniKit 2. The AxiDraw MiniKit 2 is our special compact DIY-kit version of the AxiDraw lineup.

AxiDraw MiniKit 2

Versus the original AxiDraw MiniKit, the MiniKit 2 has been redesigned for easier assembly, better precision, and higher performance. The key change is that the long linear rail that forms the base of the machine — a custom aluminum extrusion in the original — has been replaced with a solid bar of 6061-T6 aluminum, machined in the same precision process as our top-of-the-line AxiDraw SE/A3, and then anodized to a satin-silver finish. This change simplifies a number of the assembly steps, but more importantly has a cleaner overall look and tighter manufacturing tolerances for improved precision.

AxiDraw MiniKit
In addition to be being “Mini”, the MiniKit 2 is also still a kit.

Unlike other models of the AxiDraw family like AxiDraw V3 and AxiDraw SE/A3 (which come assembled, tested, and ready to use), the AxiDraw MiniKit 2 is a machine that you assemble yourself.

We’ve taken great care in designing a kit that is rewarding to build, own, and use.

AxiDraw MiniKit

The new version is also heavier than the old one, which helps it to stay stable on your desk at higher speeds and gives it a small boost in effective speed, in addition to the upgrades in precision. Small but sturdy, The MiniKit 2 is built with machined parts, just one custom aluminum extrusion now, attention to detail, and care.

Linkdump: September 2020

Anterior view of Bathynomus raksasa, a new species of giant isopod (Photo: SJADES 2018)

Linkdump: August 2020

Microchip synapses 29 – Between the now and the infinite by LEONARDO ULIAN

Linkdump: July 2020

Hand drawn flex PCB with wirebonds and soldered components

Linkdump: May 2020

Map in coronal frame with bird pertching

Linkdump: April 2020

Illustration of spacecraft and orbits for lunar landing

Linkdump: January 2020

PCBs swung out on wiring harness acting as hinge or book spine