The tools you use to build, tinker with, and fix your electronics are as important as the electronic products and components themselves. The proper tool can salvage something you thought was done for or even help lead you in a direction that exceeds your original expectations about the project you set out to accomplish. We’ve got a range of suggestions for you this year: from open source hardware tools, to a multimeter pen, even a portable Wifi Microscope.
For those engineers who are just getting started, check out Ladyada’s Electronic’s Toolkit: Working with substandard equipment is a terrible way to learn electronics: a lot of frustration with too little success. The right tool set will keep you progressing without the stressing.This toolbox contains carefully selected hand tools that will last you for many many years. The kit includes: 30W adjustable temperature soldering iron, Soldering stand, Solder, rosin-core, 0.031″ diameter, 1/4 lb (100g) spool, Solder sucker, Panavise Jr, Diagonal cutters, and much more! (read more)
Available at Adafruit!
JTAGulator by Grand Idea Studio: On-chip debug (OCD) interfaces can provide chip-level control of a target device and are a primary vector used by engineers, researchers, and hackers to extract program code or data, modify memory contents, or affect device operation on-the-fly. Depending on the complexity of the target device, manually locating available OCD connections can be a difficult and time consuming task, sometimes requiring physical destruction or modification of the device. JTAGulator is an open source hardware tool that assists in identifying OCD connections from test points, vias, or component pads on a target device. (read more)
Adafruit USB Power Gauge Mini-Kit: This little USB port go-between is like a speed gauge for your USB devices. Instead of hauling out a multimeter and splicing cables, plug this in between for a quick reading on how much current is being drawn from the port. Great for seeing the charge rate of your phone or tablet, checking your battery chargers, or other USB powered projects. (read more)
SMD Component Testing Tweezers: These tweezers are perfect for anyone who does a lot of work with SMD components (and hey, who isn’t these days?) Use these instead of squinting and trying to use clumsy multimeter probes to detect an LED’s color, polarity or resistor/cap value! The multimeter ‘probes’ are the two tips of a tweezer-shaped multimeter. Simply ‘grab’ a resistor, capacitor, diode or LED to test. It has a “scanning” mode where it will try to guess what type of component you have, or you can select the component type with the Function button and it will auto-range for you. (read more)
Mini Work Tool: A little tool-box in your wallet – good for every-day use, travel, or when you’re on a camping trip. Handy credit card sized multitool packed with useful features. Comes with 11 tools!Can Opener, Knife Edge, Screwdriver, Ruler, 4 Position wrench and more! (read more)
Autoranging Digital Multimeter Pen – MS8211D: Chances are you spent time today poking into a circuit with two hands and then craning your neck over looking over at a multimeter display, which causes you to slip and lose your spot. OK well at least we had to do that, and that’s when we decided it was time to pick up one of these pen-style digital multimeters. It’s small and light but has a full featured multimeter inside. The ground probe is actually a wired clamp (it has a nice sharp tip or you can grab onto a ground wire). So you can just poke around with one hand and see the values instantly. (read more)
Oscilloscope Probe 100MHz: Poke and prod your electronics with a new ‘scope probe. This is a classic probe, good quality and has a nice strong spring-clip and grounding clip. Good for up to 100MHz signals, with a standard oscilloscope BNC connector. Comes as shown, the ring color on the body of the probe/connector may vary. (read more)
Adafruit PCB Ruler – 6″: The first time you soldered up a surface mount component you may have been surprised “these are really small parts!” and there’s dozens of different names too! QFN, TDFN, SOIC, SOP, J-Lead, what do they mean and how can you tell how big they are? Now you can have a reference board at your fingertips, with this snazzy PCB reference ruler. (read more)
WiFi Portable Microscope – Usable With Android/iPad/iPhone: As electronics get smaller and smaller, you’ll need a hand examining PCBs and this little USB microscope is the perfect tool. Its smaller and lighter than a large optical microscope but packs quite a bit of power in its little body. There’s a high quality 640×480 camera sensor inside and an optical magnifier that can adjust from 5x (for basic PCB inspection) to 200x (for detailed inspection). Eight mini white LEDs are angled right onto whatever you’re examining so you get enough lighting to see, and are smoothly adjustable via a dial on the side. (read more)
Jot Pro Stylus: No more fat finger frustration! This stylus for your tablet or smartphone has the familiar feel of a pen, giving you grade A dexterity. It’s not only sleek, but because it’s made from aluminum and steel, it’s durable, too. It’s even tested to work with most screen protectors. (read more)
Mag-Clip Multi-Function Magnetic Tool Hanger: This is the perfect gift for those tool obsessed makers who are lacking in the organization department. The magnetic tool hanger holds up to 15 lbs. and has space for up to 71 tools. It’s easily mounted and trasnportable; ideal for those who have more than one workspace. (read more)
Megapro 6PDRIVER-CC Four-in-One Pocket Driver Set: This pocket device is best used for work with small electronic devices. It’s light-weight and space-saving; as portable as a pen. It keeps all those small driver heads together in a neat, compact manner – making it practical for organizational purposes as well. (read more)
Laser Guided Scissors: Laser guided scissors are a great gift for the perfectionist crafter in your life. Think: space age Martha Stewart. The laser helps improve accuracy and eliminates that pesky, crooked edge you could’ve sworn was straight when you were cutting it! The scissors work well on both paper and fabric making them the perfect tool for the aspiring wearable electronics fashionista in your life. (read more)
Here are your 2013 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.
UPS ground (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 13, 2013 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive in time for Christmas.
UPS 3-day (USA orders): Place orders by Thursday 11am ET – December 19, 2013 – Arrive on 12/24/2013.
UPS 2-day (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 20, 2013 – Arrive on 12/24/2013.
UPS overnight (USA orders): Place orders by Monday 11am ET – December 23, 2013 – Arrive on 12/24/2013.
UPS International: Place orders by Monday 11am ET – December 16, 2013. Can take up extra time due to worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2013 or sooner.
Please note: We do not offer Saturday service for UPS.
Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, Christmas, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, New Year’s Day, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
United States Postal Service, First Class and Priority (USA orders): Place orders by Friday – December 13, 2013 – Arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.
USPS First class mail international (International orders): Place orders by Friday – November 22, 2013. Can take up to 30 days ore more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2013 or sooner, but not a trackable service cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/24/13.
USPS Express mail international(International orders): Place orders by Friday – December 13, 2013. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2013 or sooner.
Gift Certificates are always available at any time.
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