Why We Support Open Source (but not everything we do is)

Why We Support Open Source (but not everything we do is)

Open source hardware and software has become a huge industry and movement. The idea that we can all make better widgets by sharing flies in the face of conventional industrial secrecy, patents, NDAs, and lawsuits. While there is still a place for “trade secrets”...
Introduction to Through Hole Soldering

Introduction to Through Hole Soldering

Through hole components have been around for a long time – those little bug looking parts on circuit boards with leads coming off and going through the board. Though hole (TH) components have one or more conductive leads, or pins, and those are perfectly matched...
How to Solder Wire to Wire Connections

How to Solder Wire to Wire Connections

Splicing Two Wires: The ability to electrically and mechanically join two wires together is essential for all types of prototyping, maintenance, and modification of any electrical system. There are several ways to join two wires including wire nuts, Wago connectors,...
Want to Start Soldering?

Want to Start Soldering?

Soldering can be quite intimidating – the hot iron, the smoke, the images of burned and destroyed equipment. However, with minimal tooling, and a little practice, anyone can make professional looking solder joints with consistency and ease. We’re going to...
GEARS 2021 Workshop

GEARS 2021 Workshop

Well, 2021 has been a lot of firsts for everything – many of them not so great – but it was an exciting first year for the GEARS (Generalist Electromechanics for Applied Researchers) Workshop! This workshop has been a long time in the making, and we plan...
Stop Testing Batteries with a Voltmeter!

Stop Testing Batteries with a Voltmeter!

What’s the first thing you check when something doesn’t work? Power! The classic “is it plugged in” question, though hated by everyone, can pretty often solve the problem in seconds. What about equipment with batteries? Well you can change them, but some equipment has...
Five things to ask before 3D printing, molding, or machining

Five things to ask before 3D printing, molding, or machining

3D printing is a great technology – in fact, when I talk with children, they don’t realize that not everything is 3D printed, in fact, little in the average person’s life is. Subtractive manufacturing and injection molding are still the dominant players in mass...
Will Your GPS Work After April 6?

Will Your GPS Work After April 6?

Technology often lasts longer than it’s designers imagined, generally long enough that at least one design decision made in an early stage eventually rises up and threatens the ecosystem. The GPS system is about to encounter such an event – the counter rollover...
Level Up Your 80/20 Frames

Level Up Your 80/20 Frames

We love 80/20 T-slot rail. It’s a quick way to make frames and supports for instruments, experimental gear, and even some strong storage fixtures. One of the common issues when making a frame with 80/20 is that it needs to be installed on an un-level concrete floor,...
How to use your hail ruler

How to use your hail ruler

Recently we’ve been hit by several hail storms in the Colorado front range – after digging around for a ruler after one storm, John pulled out his Digikey PCB Ruler and posted some hail photos on Facebook and Twitter. Folks really reacted to the photos,...