Hackaday Links: February 9, 2014


Here’s a quick tip to extend the usefulness of your multimeter. It’s a set of mini test hooks soldered to alligator clips with a short hunk of stranded wire in between. You can buy mini test hooks that go right on the metal probes of your meter, but the weight and bulk of the meter probes and cords sometimes get in the way. This rig allows more flexibility because of that wire.

Staying on the theme of test equipment tips, here’s a simple way to make a Y-connector for logic analyzers. [Thomas] uses a dual-row pin header, shorting each pair of pins so that both rows are connected. When this is plugged into a pin socket it leave two pins for connecting your test equipment and the rest of the project hardware.

After seeing our feature of a 3-wire Character LCD [Chad] wrote in to mention he built a 1-wire version using an ATmega328.

If you’re going to be in Anaheim this week you can stop by the ATX-West expo and see a 3D printer with a 1m x 1m x 0.5m printing area. [Thanks Martin]

Speaking of 3D printers, here’s a big delta robot (seven feet tall) outfitted for alternative material printing. It’s printing a CT scan of ribs and a heart in hot glue. This seems to be a popular material for more artistic uses. We just saw a hexapod which deposits hot glue as it roams.

The weaponized quadcopter post from Tuesday was a controversial one. The really bad part of it was the laser, which strapped to anything is extremely dangerous. But the other hack may have just been poorly executed. Hackaday alum [Jeremy Cook] wrote in to mention that fireworks and quadcopters can be used more responsibly. He strapped a sparkler to his quadro and used it to make light graffiti. You may remember that [Jeremy] wrote an introduction to light graffiti for us back in November.

18 thoughts on “Hackaday Links: February 9, 2014

    1. Last I looked one can’t go into Radio Shack to pick up a package of banana plugs anymore, not at the store nearest to me at the times I looked anyway. Other than purchasing a set of test leads and cutting of the probes.

      1. I doubt you can get test hooks from radio shack either. But it’s all available easily from online suppliers. Different colours of test hooks, alligator clips, banana plugs and spools of wire are essential components of every electronics test gear hookup drawer.

        1. NB: if you buy pre-made test leads from China, cut the clips off and use your own wire, that’s all it’s useful for (the wire they use is very high resistance, corrodes, can’t carry any current worth a damn without carbonising)..

    1. Yea; on one July fourth one guy was making super sparklers by bundling a bunch of them together. All fun and games until his wife picked one up, only to have a spark landed on her hair with a coating with hair spray. I don’t know what it was made from, but it burnt itself out before anyone found something to smother it with. while I’m sure it was hot for a moment, no injury resulted

    1. You could always just do like they did for sparking robot toys back in my youth. Essentially the same thing as a lighter (friction against flint) but with a motorized wheel.

  1. My test lead set for more than 40 years has been an alligator clip on the minus end and the another mounted on a red 4 inch long probe handle. Soldered into the alligator clip on the probe is a needle sharp (dangerous) steel wire (piano wire) which protrudes form the mouth of the clip about 1 cm. When I need two probes I just clip the neg onto a loose probe with a wire loop protruding from it’s end. This loose probe is a useful tool in it self, hardened steel sharp as hell and will scribe, scratch, and dig into anything. The ball ended probes that come with all test equipment are useless. I simply won’t use them. Poor connection gives garbage form a digital meter, if any crap read steady for twice as long as garbage appears that ‘s real. It was decades ago, I still remember how many shorted slips happened (poof) and that was before DIPs yet alone surface mount.
    Get on point!

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