DeWalt Literal Hack Upgrades Battery

There are several important decisions you make in your life: Coke or Pepsi; vi or emacs; PC or Mac. But, lately, you need to pick a battery ecosystem for your tools. DeWalt? Black & Decker? Or just cheapies from Harbor Freight? But what happens when your vendor of choice changes their batteries? That’s the situation [jleslie48] found when a DeWalt 14.4V battery died. All the new tools require 18V batteries, so buying an old battery for one tool didn’t make sense. Time to literally hack the old tool to accept the new battery.

Presumably, nothing in the drill will mind the higher voltage. It is all a matter of mechanics and nothing a Dremel tool won’t fix. Since the tool was old and the 18V batteries relatively new, [jleslie48] decided to limit modifications to the tool only leaving the batteries intact for use with the newer tools.

The only problem once you remove the pins and clips that interfere with the battery fit, it won’t actually stay on the drill. We might have turned to duct tape or zip ties, but bungee cord works, too, as you can see in the finished product.

Honestly, though, the bungee is good because you can stretch it to remove the battery for charging. We might have just cannibalized the drill for its motor, but next time you have a tool with no battery, it might be worth looking to see if you could modify the tool.

Bungees are great for robots, too. Or, you can lay siege on your neighbors.

The Screwdriver You Don’t Need, But Probably Want

Screwdrivers are simple devices with a simple purpose, and there is generally little fanfare involved with buying yourself a new set. We’ve never seen one marketed as an object of desire, but we have to admit that [Giaco] managed to do precisely that. He created the Kinetic Driver, a fidget spinner precision screwdriver designed to use its rotational momentum to loosen and tighten screws.

The main difference between the Kinetic Driver and other screwdrivers is a big brass mass at the front end for high rotational inertia and a high-quality ceramic bearing at the back end for minimal drag. It uses 4 mm precision bits, so its utility will be limited to small screws, which makes it perfect for working on small electronics.

[Giaco] says the idea came after running a successful Kickstarter campaign for a utility knife, where he found that his favorite screwdriver for the many small screws was one with a fat metal body which allowed it to spin easily. In the video after the break, he gives an excellent insight into the development process. He started by creating a series of 3D printed prototypes to figure out the basic shape, before making the first metal prototype. [Giaco] also shows the importance of figuring out the order of operation for machining, which is often glossed over in other machining videos. Be sure to check out the beautiful launch video at 17:52. Continue reading “The Screwdriver You Don’t Need, But Probably Want”

3D Print Your Own Electric Screwdriver

For the odd job every now and then, a regular screwdriver does the job. However, in situations like a small production operation, it can quickly become uncomfortable to use. In these situations, an electric screwdriver is incredibly useful. There’s no need to rush out to the store, however – you can build one yourself, and [Electronoobs] did just that.

The build is simple, consisting of a series of cheap modules hooked up together. An 18650 battery provides power through a boost converter to an H-bridge motor controller, which allows the DC geared motor to be driven both forwards and backwards. There’s also a USB battery charge module, that allows the screwdriver to be recharged from a standard micro USB charger. It’s all neatly packaged in a 3D printed case with a couple of tactile buttons for forward and reverse operation.

It’s a testament to the quality of modern supply chains that one can assemble a usable tool like this at home from prepackaged modules. All the parts, including the bearing and drill chuck, were sourced from eBay.

We’ve seen servos repurposed into electric screwdrivers, too. Video after the break.

Continue reading “3D Print Your Own Electric Screwdriver”

Zippo Keeps Your Bits Safe

[Laura Kampf] found a new use for an old Zippo lighter by turning it into a carrier for her screwdriver bits. There are several multitools out there which can accept standard screwdriver bits. The problem is carrying those bits around. Leaving a few bits in your pocket is a recipe for pocket holes and missing bits.

[Laura’s] solution uses her old Zippo lighter. All she needs is the case, the lighter element itself can be saved for another project. A block of aluminum is cut and sanded down to a friction fit. Laura uses a band saw and bench sander for this. The aluminum block is then drilled out to fit four bits. Small neodymium magnets are taped into the holes with double-sided tape. These magnets retain the bits, ensuring none will fall out when the lighter is opened.

This is a great quick project and an excellent way to carry four bits. We’re curious if the second set of holes (and a shorter bar) could expand this carrier to 8 bits – 4 on top and 4 on the bottom. [Laura] noticed this too, but decided to keep the build simple with 4 bits.

We love Every Day Carry (EDC) projects like this – in fact, a few years back we had our own EDC contest featuring the Adafruit Trinket. Check out the awards announcement post for some awesome pocket projects!

Continue reading “Zippo Keeps Your Bits Safe”

A Screwdriver For The Lazy

The TS100 soldering iron is a sleek handheld device with a tiny display. Now the same people behind it have introduced a motion-controlled screwdriver, the ES120. While we are fans of large electric screwdrivers for working on large projects, we aren’t sure we need a $90 screwdriver for little fasteners. However, if you watch the video review from [Marco], you’ll see it has an interesting user interface that might be useful in other projects. [Marco] is also a bit of a cut up, so you’ll get to see how well the little tool can froth milk, provide transportation, or change a flat. [Marco] also does a tear down if you want to see what’s inside the beast.

What caught our attention was the user interface. We’ve had precision power screwdrivers before, in particular we’ve used the General Tools 500 which costs about $20 and has a two position switch. One direction causes the bit to rotate clockwise and the other direction rotates the tool counterclockwise. The ES120 by comparison only has a single button.

When you hold the button, you twist the screwdriver as though you were using an ordinary tool. The accelerometer in the ES120 detects this rotation and begins rotating in the same direction. The tool can produce four levels of torque and has an automatic setting, as well.

Even [Marco] admits that the ES120 isn’t going to replace his normal screwdrivers. Perhaps if you were dealing with hundreds of fasteners a day though, it would make sense. Then again, we have lots of tools and toys we really don’t need, so if you just want a new shiny gadget to show off, the ES120 looks well made and appears to function well.

What we’d really like to see is someone hack the ES120 into something cool like a coil winder. Of course, if you are in a hacking mood, you can always build your own cheap power driver. Perhaps, though, the ES120 might make it easier for some people to start their cars.

Continue reading “A Screwdriver For The Lazy”

El Cheapo Electric Screwdriver

If you have a few hobby servos lying around, here’s a hack that let’s you recycle them and put them to good use. [Kedar Nimbalkar] took a micro servo and converted it into an electric screwdriver. It is simple enough to deserve a short video showing how he did it.

He starts by opening up a 9G micro servo and removing the electronics. All that’s needed is the DC motor and the gears. The two motor wires go directly to the battery via a polarity reversal switch to allow the motor to turn in both directions. The servo horn is cut to size so that it is a tight fit inside the screwdriver socket. A liberal amount of glue is used to make sure it stays in place. The horn is then attached to the modified servo, ready to take interchangeable bits. One last mod before closing up the servo is to convert it to continuous rotation by cutting off the stopper in the drive gear.

He built the power supply from scratch, using a 18650 Li-Po battery, a 5V USB charger, a DPDT switch to allow direction control and a push button to actuate the screw driver. A pair of LED’s connected back to back serve as direction indicators as well as some local illumination.

There’s lot’s of scope to improvise and do everything differently, but the basic premise of using unused servos for a handy electric screwdriver is pretty neat.

Continue reading “El Cheapo Electric Screwdriver”

Hackaday Links Column Banner

Hackaday Links: July 5, 2015

It’s the fifth of July. What should that mean? Videos on YouTube of quadcopters flying into fireworks displays. Surprisingly, there are none. If you find one, put it up in the comments.

The original PlayStation was a Nintendo/Sony collaboration. This week, some random dude found a prototype in his attic. People were offering him tens of thousands of dollars on the reddit thread, while smarter people said he should lend it to MAME and homebrewer/reverse engineer groups. This was called out as a fake by [Vadu Amka], one of the Internet’s highly skilled console modders. This statement was sort of semi retracted. There’s a lot of bromide staining on that Nintendo PlayStation, though, and if it’s a fake, the faker deserves thousands of dollars. Now just dump the ROMs and reverse engineer the thing.

Remember BattleBots? It’s back. These are my impressions of the first two episodes: Flamethrowers are relatively common now, ‘parasitic bots’ – small, auxilliary bots fighting alongside the ‘main’ bot are now allowed. KOs only count for the ‘main’ bot. Give it a few more seasons and every bot will be a wedge. One of the hosts is an UFC fighter, which is weird, but not as weird as actually knowing some of the people competing.

Ceci n’est pas un Arduino, which means it’s from the SRL camp. No, wait. It’s a crowdfunding campaign for AS200 Industries in Providence, RI.

Wanna look incredibly sketchy? Weld (or braze, or solder) your keys to a screwdriver.

The UK’s National Museum of Computing  is looking for some people to help maintain 80 BBC Micros. The museum has a ‘classroom’ of BBC micro computers still in operation. Caps dry out, switching power supplies fail, and over the years these computers start to die. If you have the skills and want to volunteer, give it a shot.

USA-made Arduinos are now shipping. That’s the Massimo Arduino, by the way.

Win $1000 for pressing a buttonWe’re gauranteed to give away a thousand dollar gift card for the Hackaday store next Wednesday to someone who has participated in the latest round of community voting for the Hackaday Prize.