One Tool Twists Wires, And Skewers Shish Kebabs

Twisting stranded wire with your fingers in preparation for tinning and/or soldering is almost a reflex for folks making electronic assemblies. But what if the wires are too close to get your fingers around, or you have the fingers of a sumo wresters? Well [DIYDSP] has a solution for you (see video below the break) that’s easy to make from a shish kebab skewer that’s probably rolling around your kitchen drawer. The reason that [DIYDSP] wanted to twist such closely spaced wires was to solder a length of 0.1 in O.C. stranded ribbon cable directly onto a PCB pin header pattern.

The method is very simple. Drill a long hole in the factory-cut flat end, followed by using a countersink bit to give a conical taper to guide the wires in. [DIYDSP] found that a 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) drill bit was a bit too large to grip the types of wires he was using, and finally settled on a 0.6 mm bit. If you are using larger wires, you should experiment to get the right size, or just build a handful of these of differing diameters since they’re so easy to make — just mark them clearly so you don’t accidentally grill shish kebabs with them on the BBQ.

The resulting tool is not unlike the business end of a hand-held wire-wrap tool, but works different principle and is a fraction of the cost. If you do any amount of interconnect wiring with stranded wires, then you should check out this video and whip up a couple of these to throw in your tool box.

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The Incredible Shrinking Coin Cell Battery Pack

How’s it going with your project for the coin cell challenge? You can only use a single one, but Hackaday alum [Jeremy S Cook] has a great way to package coin cells into a sleek little power packs whether you need one, two, or even four.

[Jeremy] is building a wireless Wii nunchuk, so he needs a small battery that won’t short out or get punctured in the confines of the controller body. A single coin cell holder is already a bit bulky, and he needs to use two in series. He thought, why not try shrink wrapping them together? The only downside here is that the biggest tube that came with your average heat shrink multi-pack is probably a bit too tight to fit around them, so you might have to buy more (aw, shucks!).

After trying a few ways to make a good connection between the leads and the bare coin cell faces, [Jeremy] settled on generously stripping stranded wire and wrapping the long strands around the end to form a conductive swab. This slides in nicely between the coin cell and preshrunk tube. A little more heat will make a good connection, and some hot glue secures the wires. Click past the break for his build video and the other connection methods he tried. Have you come up with something better? Let us know in the comments.

Stray a bit further from the bench and you might come up with something like this googly eye battery holder we saw a few months ago.

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