It’s hazy. It’s hot. It’s humid. It’s summer! And we’ve got plenty of it left to tackle #BackToSchool while dreaming of a lounge by a pool. Or a lake. Or a pond, river, sprinkler, splash pad…whichever. Check out some of our top picks below for alll the accessories – things for your jacket, your backpack, your pockets, your desk. Why, we’ve got some things you can wear ‘round your neck!
Accessories for Wearing
If you love FLORA and GEMMA and are looking for a project we highly recommend a trip to our shop as well as the Adafruit Learning System. Scroll below for some no solder, no programming options that are sure to snazz ya up!
Adafruit Circuit Playground Lanyard: Peep this super-special character lanyard designed by artist Bruce Yan. We dig the vibrant colors and handy double-hooks (perfect for toting around your HalloWing M0 Express!) It feels great, and very durable, so you can show it off at your next event and take your #BadgeLife to the next level. Read more
Blue Circuit Board Pendant Necklace with Silver Chain: Reduce, reuse, re-fashion! Show that you love the look of blue soldermask with this lovely Blue Circuit Board Pendant Necklace!
Circuit Breaker Labs is a woman-owned, US-based company that recycles circuit boards from computers, calculators, phones, etc, to make stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry. We think this is a fantastic solution to the crippling e-waste problem, and we’re proud to carry smart jewelry that inspires dialogue in responsible recycling through art.
Circuit board necktie “Resistor”: Resistor. Super detailed resistors and capacitors oh my! How can you resist? Impress any nerdy guy or girl: computer scientist, programmer, electrician, engineer or maker. Is your tie wearer also a tinkerer with solder and blinky things? Perfect for folks of the geeky persuasion. Nerd power!
Pins! We’ve got Blinka the CircuitPython, Boomy the BoomBox and Joy that will make great additions to your gear this year. We love our enamel pins and we think you will too! More of a patch or badge wearer? Don’t worry, we’ve got ya covered 😉
Ultimate wearability and modern style. The customizable Leatherman Tread goes everywhere you do, it follows TSA specifications for taking on an airplane so it can stay on you when you travel. Roll up your sleeve and get to it with the multi-tool that’s always on and built for the job at hand.
Accessories for Toting
We’ve selected these items specifically for the maker ON THE GO! We get it, life’s busy and sometimes ya gotta be prepared whenever, wherever you are.
AdaBot LunchBox: Your eyes do not deceive you – this is absolutely an AdaBot lunchbox! Whether you’re sporting this at school, work, Maker Faire, or jury duty, this beautiful, shiny blue lunchbox is guaranteed to turn some heads.
Fill it up with your favorite edible goodies – heck, fill it with your favorite electronic goodies if you want. From bananas to breadboards, jumper wires to jelly beans, and resistors to rugelach, pack this vivacious vessel with all the things you love.
Maker-Friendly Zipper Case: How many pockets does an OTG (On The Go) maker need to carry their boards, wires, miscellanea when away from their desk? The world may never know. Instead of chucking your Raspberry Pi or Metro M0 Express into the abyss of your cargo pants, backpack, or purse, you can pick up a candy-colored Zipper Case!
We got one of these with some electronics we bought online and fell in love with it as these are the exact perfect size for hackers and makers who have projects they carry to/from events, work or school. Not too big and not too small, these are perfect for packing your microprocessor or single-board-computer of choice. There’s even a little pocket on the inside that you can use to tuck in accessories like USB cables, probes, jumper wires, extra batteries, etc!
Enter Ada-friend Mike Doell to the rescue! This minimal but elegant acrylic case will turn your board into an electronic snowflake. The enclosure is designed to snap together securely with no tools required. You can still press all the buttons and slide the switch thanks to a clever plastic widget fitted inside. The case winds around all the touch pads so you can still touch them or attach alligator clips.
The silicone is super soft yet has enough stretch to snugly fit on your board without fear of tearing, and the white bottom “bumper” slips on very securely when you don’t want to plug your micro:bit into our DragonTail breakout. The rubber over the LED matrix is very thin, so the red LEDs will shine through when they’re lit.
Adafruit PCB Ruler v2 – 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.
USB Key Key – 2GB: Are you a white hat or a black hat? When you need to become hacker antihero ‘Ms. Robot’ and take down crooked corporations by sneakin’ into Wall Street backdoors after hours, this USB Key Key will be part of your arsenal.
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!
Large Double-Sided Storage Tote Box: This tote is “totes awesome” – plenty large with lots of storage, double sided design, solid clips, clear tops and a pleasing, easy to carry shape. We love this tote for storing all of our goodies and keeping them safe from home to the studio to the workshop. One side has little ‘cups’ that can be removed. The other side has the classic divider system.
Adafruit Pocket Screwdriver: Have you ever been in a situation where you desperately needed a screwdriver right away? Now you can have one at-the-ready all the time — enter the Adafruit Pocket Screwdriver!
Precision screwdriver set: Break seals! Void warranties! With this handy screwdriver set at your hands, all hardware you touch will open up and reveal their secret innards.
This set contains 6 screwdrivers, 3 Phillips (#1, #0 and #00) and 3 flat (2.4mm, 1.8mm and 1.4mm). These sizes will open up pretty much any consumer electronics you come across. We picked this set to carry because it is better quality than most low cost sets. Instead of thin metal rods, these have contoured plastic handles with grippy sections to give you good control. The ends have a rounded plastic ‘bead’ (instead of a pointy metal hexagon) that will let you press down with your palm for better torque. They come in a handy carrying case
Pocket Ref – 4th Edition – by Thomas J. Glover: Have you ever wanted comprehensive information on a diverse amount of subjects in a pocket sized, well-organized format…and not had a cell phone signal or internet connection?
Look no further! This pocket reference book is actually incredibly cool – even if you have a smart phone, wear a pair of Google glass, have read all of Wikipedia, etc. It’s 864 pages of comprehensive tables, maps, formulas, constants, conversions, everything! There are knot tying diagrams, pictures of airplane signals, the dictionary of American sign language, spice scales for hot peppers – the list goes on and on and on.
Circuit Patterns Trading Cards from Arachnid Labs: If you’re an industrial designer, chances are you’ve got a set of IDEO method cards. If you’re an artist or musician, maybe you like to flip through a set of Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies. And if you’re an engineer, now you can brush up on techniques and discover time-tested patterns with Arachnid Lab’s Circuit Patterns card set.
Circuit Playground Express – Base Kit: It’s the Circuit Playground Express Base Kit! It provides the few things you’ll need to get started with the new Circuit Playground Express. This version of Circuit Playground is super powered, and will work with Microsoft MakeCode, CircuitPython, code.org CS Discoveries or Arduino IDE.
You can use Circuit Playground Express with code.org CS Discoveries, but we recommend this code.org Individual Pack which has the alligator clips and LEDs you’ll need to follow all the lessons.
Accessories for Your Desk
One of our favorite things about accessories is how expansive the ‘accessory’ category can be! We can use accessories to make what we already have more useful, versatile or attractive. I mean…c’mon! Keep scrolling for some of our favorite ways to accessorize your primary work space!
Pimoroni Mood Light – Pi Zero W Project Kit: Our Pimoroni pals have curated a beautifully modern Mood Light Kit that’ll look great on your bedside table, bookcase, or desk. It’s even internet-connected!
Black Miniature Metal Webcam Cover: Let’s just say, hypothetically, that someone wanted to take over your webcam and observe your every move. And let’s just say you didn’t want them to – because, hypothetically, you were building an open-source white hat firewall, or an CircuitPython chaos inciter, or you can only do one pull-up and just ate a whole bag of Bugles.
Helping Third Hand Magnifier W/Magnifying Glass Tool – MZ101: The classic ‘third hand tool,’ as seen on every desk! We have one next to our Panavise jr, they complement each other well. This tool is good for holding small PCBs and wires for tinning or soldering to parts.
Ladyada’s Electronics Toolkit: Starting out on your electronics adventure?
Want to wield the mighty soldering iron?
Tired of saying “I’d totally get into electronics if I only knew what tools to get…”?
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.
USB Microscope – 5MP interpolated 220x magnification / 8 LEDs: 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 5.0 megapixel sensor inside and an optical magnifier that can adjust from 20x (for basic PCB inspection) to 220x (for detailed inspection). Eight 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.
Professional Non-Slip Magnetic Project Mat: Repairs can be tough. You don’t need missing screws making it worse. iFixit designed this mat to make repairs easier. You won’t lose screws and won’t forget which screws go where.
Miniature Desktop Fan – 12V: This little desktop fan is simple but super handy. It’s a ~12VDC fan in a nice enclosure, you can sit it on your desk and power it off of any 9V or 12VDC power supply (even a USB booster cable if you want). We’ve used this fan pointing out to cool off hot projects or PCBs after reworking, or turn it around to make it an exhaust fan during soldering.
Stickers! Adafruit’s high gloss, vinyl stickers are designed to help you celebrate achievements in electronics, science, and engineering. If stickers aren’t really your thing, don’t miss our posters, Make Robot Friend puzzle or coasters!!
FREQUENCY – Adafruit’s 1st Vinyl Record: A black box arrives in the mail. It’s a Cupcade, from Adafruit and you’ve been anxiously waiting for it. You rush to your workbench, switch on your soldering iron, and take out your kit. But there’s something missing.
It’s not a component. Or a tool. Or a broken link in one of our tutorials. There’s no soundtrack.
No problem, you stroll over to the record player at the far side of the room. The case you’re looking for is on display, sitting on a shelf next to family portraits and 3D-printed gizmos. You take the case down, pull out the bright pink 150 gram 12″ vinyl disc, and place it on the player. Slowly, the whir of a spinning record joins your Hakko’s low hum as you flip your stereo’s switch. A fuzz fills the room. The tone builds to near climax as you raise the needle and place it on the record’s first ridge.
The Art of Electronics 3rd Edition by Horowitz & Hill HARDCOVER – Third Edition: We absolutely love The Art of Electronics by Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill. So much so, our Ladyada (Limor Fried, founder and engineer of Adafruit) scored a review copy and even gives her commendation on the back cover!
August is Back to School Month here at Adafruit! Each week we’ll be bringing you a #BackToSchool content on the site! Stay tuned for product and gift guides, tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System, and inspiration from around the web! Get started by checking out Adafruit’s educational resources, such as our kits and project packs, suggested products for young engineers, blog posts for educators and an extensive selection of books to help you learn!