Tag Archives: vintage tech

The Heathkit Build – Part 2 – Building

IMG_2769 - Version 2

Last part we unboxed the Heathkit, looked at all the components, and started to build some of it. Now it’s time to finish off the build with the three main plates. This part is cool as you are able to see the creation come together before your eyes. We even created our own replacement part!

We also saw some cool vintage Heathkits at the Electronics Flea Market, and will show some pictures of those. Read on for more!

Continue reading The Heathkit Build – Part 2 – Building

The Heathkit Build – Part 1 – Unboxing & Components


Ever wondered where some of the kit projects get their inspiration to strive for clear instructions, excellent documentation, and an overall fantastic DIY experience?

Heathkits were electronics kits popular in the late 1940s and 1950s. We have a mint AC Voltmeter kit that we will be building up over the next few days! We plan to document the experience and share it with all of you! Read on for more delightful photos and descriptions!

Continue reading The Heathkit Build – Part 1 – Unboxing & Components

Solving an old surplus mystery


Several years ago, we came across this interesting artifactat one of our local electronics surplus shops, and couldn’t really make heads or tails of it. But after the passage of the aforementioned several years– along with several dozen interesting suggestions from our readers –we haven’t been able to get much closer to an answer.

But then, at this month’s Electronics Flea Market, we came across what appears to bea related chunk of hardware:

Ampboard - 2
Continue reading Solving an old surplus mystery

Electronics Flea Market, 8/2010

Fleamarket_2010_08_14 - 08

We’ve just posted a few pictures from last weekend’s fantastic Electronics Flea Market at De Anza College in Cupertino.

Fleamarket_2010_08_14 - 15

One interesting thing that we came across: a set of leadframes not so different from those that might be made from that photomask that we wrote about a couple of weeks ago.

Fleamarket_2010_08_14 - 01

Only one two more flea markets left this year, September 11 is the next one; mark your calendars and we’ll hope to see you there!

(For a few more, check out photos from another electronics flea market a couple of years ago here.)

Corrected 8/16/10: two more flea markets left for 2010– Sept. 11 and Oct. 9.

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories: Year 4


Happy birthday to us! Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories has now been around for four years. We’ve collected some interesting projects from this past year to celebrate.

Microcontroller and Electronics Projects:

Tabletop Pong
Tabletop Pong

Moving from breadboard to protoboard

Revenge of the Cherry Tomatoes

drink making unit
Drink making unit

pin 1
Finding pin 1

xmega - 2
Say hello to xmega

Adding a Chronodot to Peggy 2

Meggy Twitter Reader
Meggy Jr RGB Twitter Reader

twisted wire bundle
Twisted Wire Bundles

LED graph
Some thoughts on throwies

rovin pumpkin
Rovin’ pumpkin

ADXL335 - 10
Accelerometer with an AVR (updated)

LEDcalc - 20
Wallet-size LED Resistance Calculator


seeing magnetic fields
Seeing Magnetic Fields

Ice Spikes
Ice Spikes

opposition effect in clover
Opposition effect

Kitchen Science 18
Litmus Candy

Beans day five
Gibberellic Acid and Giantism in Sprouts

Simple LED Projects:

fake seven segment display
Fake seven segment display

LED-lit sea urchin
LED-lit sea urchins

Edge Lit Cards
Refining edge-lit cards

Food Hacking:

Ice Cream Gyoza -13
Ice Cream Gyoza

Lemon Pickle
Lemon Pickle

The array

coffee bean cooler
DIY coffee bean cooler

Marmalade 30
Marmalade: easier than it looks

AtomicCookies 7
Atomic Cookies

asteroids cookies
Asteroids (the edible kind)

Crunchy Frogs01
Crunchy Frog

Kit Projects:

Bulbdial Clock Kit

Peggy 2LE

LED Hanukkah Menorah Kit

Larson Scanner
Larson Scanner

D12 bag8
Handbag of Holding Kits

Crafty Projects:

arecibo 2
SETI Scarf

scrap acrylic
Scrap acrylic shelf

24 hour tombstones

ipad 3
iPad lap stand

Custom iron ons 10
Custom iron-on techniques

Geek Design:


Typographic Coasters
Typgraphical Character Coasters

Ornamental Components 08
Ornamental Components

Cat String 6
Radio controlled string

Bookend - 9
Bookends for physics geeks

Lego business cards-2
Lego Business Cards

Tie Stools2
Portable Stools

And, don’t forget, you can win a Peggy 2 or one of 13 other prizes in our clock
concept contest
, going on this week.


And now, a few words form our sponsors…

Popular Electronics, July 1976

Well, someone else’s sponsors, actually.


We recently came into possession of this July 1976 issue of Popular Electronics, and scanned a few of the vintage ads– including a few from companies that you might recognize.

Continue reading And now, a few words form our sponsors…

What makes Blip tick?

blip - 05

After our Tabletop Pong project, someone suggested that we should check out the Tomy Blip, a handheld game dating to 1977.

And so we did. We snagged one on eBay, and here it is: “Blip, the digital game.”

Blip is unlike any other handheld that I’ve played, and (as you’ll see) it’s quite a piece of engineering. In what follows, we give it a test drive, and then take it apart and see what makes it tick.
Continue reading What makes Blip tick?