Category Archives: tool hacks

Current Measurement with Oscilloscopes

What do a Rogowski coil, a magnetic core, and a hall effect sensor have in common? They are all ways you can make oscilloscope probes that measure current. If you think of a scope as a voltage measurement device, you ought to watch the recent video from Keysight Technology (see below). It is true that Keysight would love to sell you a probe, but the video is not a sales pitch, just general technical information about making current measurements with an oscilloscope.

Of course, you can always measure the voltage across a shunt resistor — either one that is naturally …read more

Continue reading

Posted in agilent, current measurement, current probe, HP, Keysight, oscilloscope, tool hacks | Leave a comment

CNC Milling is More Manual Than You Think

I was in Pasadena CA for the Hackaday Superconference, and got to spend some quality time at the Supplyframe Design Lab. Resident Engineer Dan Hienzsch said I could have a few hours, and asked me what I wanted to make. The constraints were that it had to be small enough to fit into checked luggage, but had to be cool enough to warrant taking up Dan’s time, with bonus points for me learning some new skills. I have a decent wood shop at home, and while my 3D printer farm isn’t as pro as the Design Lab’s, I know the …read more

Continue reading

Posted in cnc, Hackaday Columns, machining, man vs machine, mill, Supplyframe Design Lab, tool hacks | Leave a comment

Simple Jig Gives Plastic Homes to Orphaned Projects

Look around your bench and chances are pretty good that there’s a PCB or scrap of perfboard or even a breadboard sitting there, wires and LEDs sprouting off it, doing something useful and interesting. Taking it to the next level with a snazzy enclosure just seems too hard sometimes, especially if you don’t have access to a 3D printer or laser cutter. But whipping up plastic enclosures can be quick and easy with this simple acrylic bending outfit.

At its heart [Derek]’s bending rig is not much different from any of the many hot-wire foam cutters we’ve featured. A nichrome …read more

Continue reading

Posted in acrylic, bending, case, enclosure, lexan, misc hacks, nichrome, plastic, Thermal, tool hacks | Leave a comment

Smart DC Tester Better than a Dummy Load

Testing DC supplies can be done in many ways, from connecting an actual load like a motor, to using a dummy load in the manner of a big resistor. [Jasper Sikken] is opening up his smart tester for everyone. He is even putting it on Tindie! Normally a supply like a battery or a generator would be given multiple tests with different loads and periodic readings. Believe us, this can be tedious. [Jasper Sikken]’s simulated load takes away the tedium and guesswork by allowing the test parameters to be adjusted and recorded over a serial interface. Of course, this can …read more

Continue reading

Posted in battery, dc, generator, Microcontrollers, power supply, solar, solar cell, supply, tool hacks | Leave a comment

UV Light Box Cures Both Sides of a PCB

[GiorgiQ] needed a UV light to cure the etch resist on his printed circuit boards, and what better way to accomplish this than to build the perfect UV light box himself? The box consists of a custom PCB (of course) featuring a pair of 12V relays tripping quad 9×12 matrices of 400nm UV LEDs, with a total of 432 diodes in use — not to mention resistors to protect the LEDs. All of it is run by an Arduino Nano.

The enclosure is made out of 12mm MDF and 3mm cast acrylic, and the circuit board fits into a tray …read more

Continue reading

Posted in DIY UV Exposure, tool hacks, uv pcb | Leave a comment

Automating a Bowl Feeder with Arduino

Search for “bowl feeder” on Hackaday and you’ll get nothing but automated cat and dog feeders. That’s a shame, because as cool as keeping your pets fed is, vibratory bowl feeders are cooler. If you’ve seen even a few episodes of “How It’s Made” you’re likely to have seen these amazing yet simple devices, used to feed and align small parts for automated assembly. They’re mesmerizing to watch, and if you’ve ever wondered how parts like the tiny pins on a header strip are handled, it’s likely a bowl feeder.

[John] at NYC CNC is building a bowl-feeder with Arduino …read more

Continue reading

Posted in alignment, arduino, Arduino Hacks, bowl feeder, collation, misc hacks, photointerrupter, small parts, tool hacks, vibrating, vibratory | Leave a comment

The Clutter Manifesto

My basement workshop is so crammed full of stuff I literally can’t use it. My workbench, a sturdy hardwood library table, is covered in junk to the point that I couldn’t find a square foot that didn’t have two layers of detritus on it — the top layer is big things like old projects that no longer work, boxes of stuff, fragile but light things perched on top. Underneath is the magma of bent resistors, snippets of LED strip, #4 screws, mystery fasteners I’ll never use, purple circuit boards from old versions of projects, and a surprising number of SparkFun …read more

Continue reading

Posted in cleanliness, clutter, disorganization, Hackaday Columns, mess, Original Art, tool hacks, workshop | Leave a comment

Shop-Made Fixture Turns Out Dream Welds

You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep, and you can tell a lot about a craftsman by the tools and jigs he or she builds. Whether for one-off jobs or long-term use, these ad hoc tools, like this tubing rotator for a welding shop, help deliver results beyond the ordinary.

What we appreciate about [Delrin]’s tool is not how complex it is — with just a motor from an old satellite dish and a couple of scooter wheels, it’s anything but complicated. What we like is that to fabricate some steering links, each of …read more

Continue reading

Posted in arc, fabrication, fixturing, jig, rotator, tig, tool hacks, tools, torch, welding | Leave a comment

Review: JYE Tech DSO150 Oscilloscope Kit

Do you remember your first oscilloscope? Maybe we have entered the era in which younger readers think of a sleek model with an LCD screen, but for the slightly older among us the image that will come to mind is likely to be a CRT-based behemoth. Mine was a 2MHz bandwidth Cossor from the 1950s, wildly outdated by the 1980s, but it came to me at no cost. It proudly proclaims itself as a “Portable Oscillograph”, but requires its owner to be a weightlifter to move it. I still have it, as a relic and curio.

For most of us …read more

Continue reading

Posted in Featured, kit, oscilloscope, oscilloscope kit, review, reviews, tool hacks | Leave a comment

IoT with the Ethereum Blockchain

Anyone keeping up with financial news today is surely inundated with stories about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. While most of the news is about the potentially inflated value of some of these coins, and how drastically they have changed in price in just a decade, there are other interesting things going on behind the scenes. For example, the currency Ethereum allows for a distributed programming platform of sorts to be implemented in the blockchain, which [GusGorman402] has taken advantage of in his latest project (YouTube link, embedded below).

The device that he built is based on an ESP8266 which connects …read more

Continue reading

Posted in blockchain, cryptocurrency, currency, ESP8266, Ethereum, go ethereum, smart contrac, tool hacks | Leave a comment