Mechanical Pencil Hack Dispenses Wire

Looking for an easy way to manage wire when prototyping PCBs? Ever consider using a mechanical pencil to dispense it? Turns out, it works pretty well — and all you need is a 3D printed attachment!

[Proto G] is using a Papermate 0.5mm mechanical pencil, which means if you get 0.5mm wire (or solder) you can use it to dispense the wire without tangling your spool. In the demonstration, he uses 0.5mm magnet wire which has a thin enamel coating on it and melts away easily when you solder it.

The 3D printed wire-spool and guide snap onto the back of the mechanical pencil allowing you to load it up with a considerable amount of wire for prototyping. He has all the .STL files available on his Instructable in case you want to add this tool to your workshop.

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Arduino Based Remote Shutter For Beme

The well-dressed hacker [Sean Hodgins] has put together a neat little project: a battery powered remote shutter. He built it for use with Beme, the latest Snapchat clone that all of the cool kids are now using.

This service is designed to get away from the selfie culture by starting to record when you hold your phone against your chest, so you are looking at the thing being recorded, not your phone. [Sean] wanted a bit more control than that, so he built a remote control that starts the recording by moving the servo arm over the proximity sensor.

He built this neat little device from an Arduino Pro Mini, a battery, a small servo, a couple of power control boards and a cheap RF link from SeedStudio, all glued onto an iPhone case. It’s a bit rough around the edges (the servo makes some noise that is picked up on the recording, for one thing), but it is a great example of how to lash together a quick prototype to test a project out.

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