Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Hackerspaces

Twas the night before Festivus and all through the space, not a creature was stirring, not even a bot. Well, actually, there is always something stirring at my hackerspace, Hive76, whether it be a last minute project for a museum, or a new microcontroller to test. Inevitably there’s also a workaround to be had, whether it be from shabby equipment or lack of goods. So, I asked around and got a real holiday wish list from the group, and after a taste-test of one member’s home-made mead, they even let me take pics. So, enjoy my space’s abbreviated list, as we know it could have been hundreds of items long. Happy Festivus (and feel free to stop by any Wednesday night for Hive76’s open house).

The multimeters were stacked on the shelf unit with care, in the hopes that someone would give them a repair. This is Pete, looking a bit skeptical as to whether this multimeter will actually work. It’s  so old that it comes in its own wooden box. Although it’s a beautiful antique, it isn’t very portable. So, on the wish list is Adafruit’s fave Extech Auto Ranging Multimeter. This modern beauty won the EEV Blog Multimeter Shootout hosted by David Jones. He actually performed a drop test with it and described it as being built “like a brick”. With its rubber holster, this 12 function meter has an easy to read display, sharp test leads and an auto off feature. It also has CAT III 600V overvoltage protection. So, if you need something that can hold up to the normal fallout in a hackerspace, this is for you.

The soldering irons were nestled all snug with their lead, except for this one, which had lost its fine head. Sadly this is true, and as we snapped this picture Matt laughed, not knowing the actual whereabouts of the tip. Making matters worse, we are about to do a workshop with a lack of functioning irons. So, that’s why we have a Digital Hakko Soldering Iron on our list. This iron has a digital temperature control and heats up in 30 sec. Matt let me know that he has this exact model at home and purposely bought it from Adafruit because he had heard about the knock-offs out on the market. He wanted the real deal and loves it; unfortunately he’s not willing to share it at the space. (We still love you, Matt).

When what to my current project did appear, but a miniature board with five others near. One thing you always need to keep around a hackerspace is a 6-Pack of Trinket Microcontrollers. Be like Mike — get rid of that chunky board and make your project smaller. These little boards are powerful and Arduino programmable, making any prototype a quick turnaround. Actually Mike has used Trinket for a snazzy LED wearable cuff. They’re also fun to keep on hand for microcontroller workshops, as they talk nicely to NeoPixel strips. This pack comes with 3.3 V and 5 V units, so you can be set for any project.

With fried LEDs all black on their chips, someone please get some NeoPixel Strips. We were just talking about how well NeoPixels go with Trinkets, and here’s Mike, showing off a really scary strip that was found at our space. So, put NeoPixel Strip on  your list and you can light up your 3D printer, brighten some crappy walls, or illuminate a wearable masterpiece. It comes with a weatherproof  cover that refracts the light nicely, but you can use it without the cover, too. Just guard it, because it will disappear faster than that large BJ’s barrel of Twizzlers. Give it to us, precious!

He hammered and shouted and called them by color:  “Yes, red and blue! More black, white and yellow! For the top of the cable, for the end of the wall, smoosh it, squeeze it –mold Sugru on all!” According to Chris, this Multicolor Pack of Sugru should be on everyone’s list. We use it to fix all sorts of things around the space, including cables. If you’ve got some sort of plastic thing that’s broken, this is your quick fix. It’s also good for aluminum, steel, ceramic, glass, wood and even some fabrics. All this and it cures by air — it’s so magical.

My eyes were twinkling as I sat in the nook, inking and stamping each little book. When people come to visit your hackerspace, it’s only proper to be ready to stamp their Hackerspace Passport with your symbol. This passport was created in response to Mitch Altman’s master plan of everyone visiting spaces and sharing ideas around the world. It has a nice official feel, without the security issues. I was happy to star in this shot, as a firm believer of visiting hackerspaces. Besides, I’m hoping my mother-in-law sees it, because I really want one of my own– hint hint. It’s the perfect little gift for any maker.


A bunch of propellers it had on its back; it looked like a copter awaiting a hack. Pete and Chris are giving the helicopter a smirk because they know we lack some serious quadcopters for merriment. So, we’ve got the IRIS+ Autonomous Multicopter on our list. This bad ass UAV has auto take-off and landing, “draw a path” mission planning on the mobile app, and GoPro friendly mount. You can program your own “follow me” selfies, which is just crazy. Imagine your next friend’s wedding or the next time you want proof of visiting Area 51 — so many possibilities. The best part is this thing is made for makers who like to tinker, as it is open source everything.


The plate of warm glass he held tight in his gaze, while plastic extruded in paths like a maze. At Hive76, David is our 3D print guru. He loves to work on models of his future house and anything else people throw at him. Our current printer has visited many a Maker Faire and received some bumps and bruises along the way. So, David always has his eye on the next new model, and this LulzBot TAZ 4 is a winner. This is the open source dream, and it can print ABS, PLA, PVA, high-impact polystyrene, and wood filament. With add-ons it can do nylon and other materials. It also has a built in extruder fan and enclosed electronics case. We are loving the sturdiness — bring it on!

A clink of the gun and a shift of its arm, the zip tie was fastened and I was unharmed. Chris is very close to his zip ties, especially in Hive’s large version of Connect Four.  So, it’s not surprising that a much needed item is a zip tie gun. We found this Malco Zip Tie Gun available on the net, and it will adjust the tension of the tie, as well as nip off the end. After placing 50 ties you’ll be thanking us — it will do wonders for your manicure.


But I heard him exclaim as he laid down his card, “Happy Festivus to all and raptor attacks”. Late night at open house is game time, and one of the faves is Cards Against Humanity, which you can buy or download from the creators. Steve likes to write in his own answers on the blank cards, allowing for some fun customization. If you haven’t played before, imagine old school Mad Libs, only with pre-made answers that will insure that no one escapes without slander. It’s stupid, snarky, prankster fun that really brings people together.

Adafruit Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2014

Here are your 2014 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.

The Adafruit Shipping Department works hard to get your orders out as quickly as we can, but once they’re in the hands of our carriers they’re out of our control.

Carriers have been struggling to keep up with the sharp rise in online orders. Last year UPS, FedEX, and USPS all experienced delivery delays.

So all the Adafruit Shippers say: Please be sure you get your gifts early! Order as soon as you can! Once you place your order we’ll ship like the wind!

UPS ground (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 12, 2014 – There is no guarantee that UPS Ground packages will arrive in time for Christmas.

UPS 3-day (USA orders): Place orders by Wednesday 11am ET – December 17, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014.

UPS 2-day (USA orders): Place orders by Thursday 11am ET – December 18, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014.

UPS overnight (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 19, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014.

Please note: We do not offer Saturday or Sunday service for UPS or USPS.

Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014, Christmas, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, 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 12, 2014 – Arrive by 12/24/2014 or sooner.

USPS First class mail international (International orders): Place orders by Friday – November 21, 2014. Can take up to 30 days ore more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2014 or sooner, but not a trackable service and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/24/14.

USPS Express mail international(International orders): Place orders by Friday – December 5, 2015. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2014 or sooner.

Gift Certificates are always available at any time.

When in doubt contact us!

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