06/17/16

5 Tools Everyone Tinkering In Electronics Should Be Using

1. Soldering Iron — Weller WESD51 Digital Soldering Station
For me a good soldering iron is really a necessity, specifically something with changeable tips and a flexible cable. I now have the best solder iron I have ever owned. The Weller WESD51, a digitally controlled iron with a max output of 50 watts. The iron is microprocessor controlled with a temperature range of 350F-850F. Digital LED display provides temperature setting and actual tip temperature readout in degrees. If I leave my iron on for some reason, it has auto power-off after 99 minutes.
https://www.amazon.com/Weller-WESD51-Digital-Soldering-Station/dp/B000ARU9PO
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2. Xuron — Cutters and Pliers
Nippers, cutters and precision pliers make life so much easier. You can cut closer to your solder points and hold small parts better. I normally would be a little more general in my recommendations, but I really these tools compared to my Kobalt needle nose.
http://xuron.com/index.php/main/consumer_products/3
Xuron-Butterfly-Pliers-Arrangement
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11/11/13

Open Source Telescope Control

board

Telescope mounts connected to computers and stepper motors have been available to the amateur astronomer for a long time, and for good reason, too. With just the press of a button, any telescope can pan over to the outer planets, nebula, or comets. Even if a goto command isn’t your thing, a simple clock drive is a wonderful thing to have. As with any piece of professional equipment, hackers will want to make their own version, and thus the openDrive project was born. It’s a project to make an open source telescope controller.

Right now, the project is modular, with power supply boards, a display board, motor driver, an IO board (for dew heaters and the like), and a hand-held controller. There’s an openDrive forum that’s fairly active covering both hardware and software. If you’re looking for a project to help you peer into the heavens, this is the one for you. If telescope upgrades aren’t enough to quench your astronomical thirst you could go full out with a backyard observatory build.

Danke [Håken] for the tip.

~ http://hackaday.com/2013/11/04/open-source-telescope-control/