[Kenji Larsen] Shows off the Ultimate Hacking Kit

If you roll into a hardware hackathon empty-handed, you’re going to be at a disadvantage compared to those who bring equipment with which they’re already familiar. Pray that you never roll into one where [Kenji Larsen] is your competitor. Luckily, this weekend he came out to mentor for Hackaday’s hardware hacking village at the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon and not as a competitor. In this video he shows off the huge rollerbag which he calls his “Hack Pack”. I’d say there’s a 50/50 chance his travel setup is better than your home lab.

Where do I begin (seriously, watch the video)? Perhaps best to note is how organized he is. For instance, the large plastic bag containing his battery-operated and plug-in Dremels also has conveniently sized stock like acrylic and metal. There are compartment boxes full of sensors, others contain things like passives, batteries, battery chargers, hundreds of Moteino modules, handfuls of BeagleBones Black, breakout and dev boards of every flavor. He has all the necessary tools like hemostat, x-acto blade, steel ruler, and magnifying glasses. There’s even a 3D printer in the bag — a Printrbot Simple which [Chris Gammell] played with all weekend err… learned to use as part of his role as a mentor.

We had a ton of hardware along with us, but time and again [Kenji] was there for the save on some of the less-common needs. He’s a expert when it comes to fabrication techniques and it showed. We also give him mad points for staying up overnight for all 20-hours of the build session. Thank you so much [Kenji], I think I speak for every one of the hardware hackers when I say you helped bring the event to the next level of exhilarating and exhausting fun. Please direct your own thanks, stories, and well-wishes, and follows to [Kenji’s] hacker profile.

If you weren’t able to make it to NYC this weekend, you definitely missed out. We’ll be telling the story of that all week. Those on the West Coast will have a chance next weekend at Hackaday Prize Worldwide: LA. The workshop is sold out but socializing on Saturday, and a Sunday free-build are both still available for RSVPs.

40 thoughts on “[Kenji Larsen] Shows off the Ultimate Hacking Kit

  1. >I’d say there’s a 50/50 chance his travel setup is better than your home lab.
    Not likely. Unless he happens to carry my scopes, multimeters, 300W bench supplies etc. (yes I own more than one of each)

    As for traveling, I went to 2 trade shows with a full car of equipment. It was the days before internet was ctaching on and let alone WiFI at hotel room, so we had old modems, CRT and full sized computer. We set up our hotel room like a lab and if the house clean staff walked in would have mistaken that it was some TV police show stakeout or “Halt and Catch Fire” scene. :)

    1. It’s really all about transporting containers. The takeout containers are brilliant and work very well (I’m a big fan of using old Kool Aid containers cause the lids make great part dishes), but the key is having a great container for your….containers. I love his setup of having it all in a luggage container although, I’d be extremely worried about taking it on an airplane.

          1. @Mike.
            You’re not allowed to take drills or bits on nor saws of any fashion. IDK if a dremel would count as a drill or saw in this scenario.but it wouldn’t be allowed on. Any tools over 7″ are also banned

  2. What? No laser printer? No blank PCB and chemicals for etching your own board? (c:

    Dang! That one bag has more stuff than my entire workbench and much more organised. How does he track of them all? Would he notice, for instance, if someone takes off with a RasPi/BBB/Arduino or two or three? (c;

          1. Truth! Closest I came was a basic electronics course, but I failed out of second semester because the instructor for the course was a USN (Ret.) Theoretical Physicist… never has what should have been such an easy course been made so blindingly difficult for so many. And yet somehow, with a few handfuls of tools, a lot of self-directed reading, lots of elapsed time, and some very patient mentors… well, here I am. It’s possible, friend, believe me. You CAN do it. :-)

  3. I love the Chinese food containers to hold various things. I did the exact same thing with my electronic projects when I traveled for work. Between those and a handful of flat tackle boxes you can sort a pretty hefty amount of tinkering supplies. I didn’t bother taking anything more than a multimeter though since we normally only stayed one night at each location before moving on.

  4. Ha. No. Not even close. He does have a 3D printer, something I don’t have. My lab has proper instruments, though. And ADCs and DACs up to gigasample speeds as well as latest architecture microcontrollers, DSPs, FPGAs, and all the analog and other digital glue that is necessary to do anything substantial. Didn’t see any of that here. But a decent travel kit for sure.

  5. What is this ? Hoard-a-day? Sorry, but this does not even come close to the ultimate hack kit. I can’t even consider this a hack kit. The ultimate hacking kit is ‘THAT’ which you happen to have or find to solve a problem. It often is just the bare essential stuff that does the job, whether or not it was intended for that use.
    For all the shit he has got in there, one could name a myriad of things that he doesn’t. Surely any problem worth having a go at will need some tool of thing that he simply can’t get from his hoard. This is just a fancy blinky led kit. A over-though maker kit at the best.

    A pocketknife used as a tool to fix a car in the middle of nowhere is a hacking kit. Legos gears and superglue to fix something random mechanical is a hacking kit. Item A meant for purpose B used for purpose Z is a hacking kit.

    This is my first arduino kit on crack.

    Ow, and did I miss the soldering station?

  6. Seems like a cool guy, but yeah, He doesn’t hold a candle to my home lab as far as components or tools. But I’m kind of a parts hoarder :)

    And I don’t see much in the way of being “organized” either. Having stuff in containers is not being “organized” when there are random things hanging out in the same boxes together for the most part. Lipo’s and micro-grabbers, some beagle bones here, oh here’s another unrelated box with more beagle bones the same stuff in it… etc…. I think he must have grabbed a bunch of stuff last minute and started throwing it in boxes. And since that must have been more effort than anyone else at this hack-a-thon, someone was wowed by the amount of items he has. But I couldn’t call it organized.

    More like shock and awe with parts count.

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