Tech Marinade
Uncovering Hidden Innovation in DIY Electronics
The 5 Gifts You Can Give Your DIY Prodigies
by Kyle Patrick Cayabyab ▪ 12.3.2013 Holiday

This holiday season instead of fighting to get your kid the new console, why not try these DIY gifts? Help inspire creativity amongst your loved ones as these gifts teach engineering and construction. The possibilities are endless with many of these choices and can open up the door to becoming different toys with a little bit of creativity.

Elenco Electronics Snap Circuits Jr.

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Your kid can learn about circuit construction with this safe kit by Elenco Electronics. Having received the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval and numerous other awards, the Elenco Snap Circuits Jr. allows for over 100 different projects to be built. With the snapping feature of the parts, the kit also poses no risk from soldering or any other risks involved with circuit construction. This kit is perfect for the child that likes to tinker and make robots. The Elenco Electronics Snap Circuits Jr. can be purchased for $20.55.

Maker’s Toolbox

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And if you have a child that already wants to move into building robots, you can look to Maker’s Toolbox for two great options. You can purchase either the Scribbler or the Cardboard Proptractor kits. The Scribbler is an adorably jittery robot standing on four markers that can scribble around on a sheet of paper or whiteboard when activated. The Cardboard Proptractor is a robot that can be controlled. It uses two propellers that can move it forward and change its direction with the flip of a switch. If you want to know more, we wrote an article on Maker’s Toolbox earlier and you can check out their online store! The Scribbler can be purchased at $25.00 and the Cardboard Proptractor at $35.00.

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Electric Imp Powered Electrical Outlet Instructable
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 11.29.2013 Learn

FCO0W0XHMVJGVLQ.MEDIUM[1]Want to make a remote-controlled outlet?

Instructables user MidnightMaker needed a modern solution for controlling the new, hard-to-reach, florescent lights in his garage. First, he tried using a Stanley Remote Powered Outlet, but after three device failures, he needed a better solution. Like a true Maker, he decided to retrofit the Stanley outlet with his own circuit based around an Electric Imp.

The parts for the project will cost you about $80 plus shipping, more or less. It requires a little technical skill, some cutting, some soldering, and some coding. The instructions are detailed and well-written so it can be an enjoyable weekend project.

Read the instructable here.

Tutorial Roundup will return in full next week! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with Maker news.

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Tutorial Roundup 5
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 11.22.2013 Features

It’s time to heat up that soldering iron. This week we look at three tutorials to help you build your favorite project. Solder like a pro! Place surface mount parts at home! Build your own PCBs without the hassle of using a manufacturer! Hey, we know you can do it even if you didn’t know you could. That’s why we’re here.

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Electroninks Incorporated Draw Up Some Buzz With Their Circuit Scribe Pen
by Kyle Patrick Cayabyab ▪ 11.21.2013 News

Imagine having the freedom to create electronics with the same ease that one would sketch or write ideas with. Prototyping takes new form as all that is needed as a board is a single sheet of paper. Electroninks Incorporated has developed a ballpoint pen with conductive silver ink called the Circuit Scribe.

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EE Times University Hosts Free Microcontroller Fundamentals Course
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 11.19.2013 Learn

The EE Times University hosts free online courses on a variety of topics covering the electrical engineering industry. They’ve been doing this for about a year, with topics ranging from high-speed digital design to industrial system design. Continue Reading

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Bring Your Web Development Skills to Life With The Tessel Microcontroller
by Kyle Patrick Cayabyab ▪ 11.18.2013 News

tessel_jsprint_620Another great find from the Dragon Innovation front page is the Tessel microcontroller. Labelled as one of the success stories, Tessel is an open-source microcontroller that can be programmed in JavaScript and is compatible with Node.js. Utilizing built in WiFi support and the capability to install modules using one line to the Node package manager, Tessel matches up with the growing population of savvy web developers an introduces them to the possibilities of faster and more flexible hardware development.

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