Member Since: December 6, 2006

Country: United States

  • Atmel Tech on Tour-Jete

  • Demonstrating the new Sparkfun "Ballerina-Matic" muscle actuator board.

  • Sorry man, I gotta check your bracelet. We had a couple of engineers try to crash the party.

  • I've almost finished blue wiring the estrogen module in, Pat. Next - the sex change hack!

  • Alpha testing the prototype "SparkFun Paper" brainwave to NFC wearable device. By concentrating his thoughts, Bob mindtweets: ...Inventory...meh...

  • Arduino needs to move ahead. I like Atmel's parts but there are way better bang for the buck microcontrollers these days - Arm Cortex family for example. Leaflabs is doing it - check out their Maple board.
    It won't be long till you can run a full blown linux distro on a single device - you can run uClinux on them today. That will enable some pretty fantastic embedded, networked devices. We'll need something a lot more capable than Arduino in its current form to enable novices to use devices like that.
    Great video BTW !

  • I made a simple rework tool out of an older soldering iron. I saw the idea someplace but can't find the link now. The idea is to blow air thru a hot coil of nichrome wire. Wind a coil of nichrome wire about the size of a pen spring. Attach a length of silicon tubing to a brass tube about the same diameter as your coil. One end of the nichrome is pinched between the brass tube and the silcone tube and the other is attached to the metal part of the soldering iron that held the heating element. The coil sticks out where the soldering tip used to be. Attach a wire to the brass tube and another to the soldering iron metal and connect it to a variable DC supply that can handle an amp or two. You will probably need some kind of heat resistant, insulating material to get the tubes fitting snugly inside the iron so it all stays together. Attach the other end of the silcon tube to the pump and adjust the power supply till you are getting really hot air exiting from the nichrome coil.
    It's good for small parts but since the tip is so small it won't do large chips.

  • One thing I have found a hot air gun useful for is removing parts from old boards. You need one that gets really hot and moves a lot of air. Heat the crap out of the solder side till the solder melts then give the board a sharp whack over a coffee can or something to catch the parts. A lot of solder comes off too but I've salvaged hundreds of thruhole and SMT chips, connectors, passives etc this way. You can remove SMT parts from the component side too but it requires care not to overheat the parts. Do this in a well ventilated area !

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