Hardware & Tools

This page lists most of the tools/hardware/vendors that I use or have used.

Hardware


Arduino

Arduino

I’ve only used the Uno Rev 3 model so far. Very easy to setup and get going. Great for beginners.


Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi

Inexpensive and has a large active community so lots of resources to draw from.

Just starting to get the know the Pi. So far I’m impressed.


PiCamera

PiCamera

Using this for robot vision on the Pi. Highly recommended.


Servo Shield

Adafruit Servo Shield

If you need to prototype something with a bunch of servos then this is a great shield to get.


Motor Shield

Adafruit Motor Shield

Great shield for driving motors on the Arduino.

I use this to for prototyping.


Proto Shield

Maker Proto Shield

Anther great shield for prototyping but a bit spendy. I added a mini breadboard. Works great.


Elenco Breadboard Set

Breadboard with Jumper Wires

I got the Elenco 9440 breadboard. Pretty cheap and not the greatest quality but works perfectly well.

My main gripe with breadboards is that there is no third power rail for projects that require bipolar power so that the +Vcc, -Vcc and GND can be easily routed to all components.


Bluetooth Module

Bluetooth Module

One of my all time favorite pieces of hardware. So easy to integrate and provides untethered access to your mobile bot.

Read the end of this post


Essential Tools


Hook Set

Hook and Pick Set

One of my most frequently used tools, surprisingly. Highly recommended.


Wire Stripper

Wire Stripper

A good wire stripper makes life so much easier.


Crimping Tool

Crimping Tool

Another essential tool, along with all the male and female pins and housings.


Digital Multimeter

Digital Multimeter

Got to have one.


Hakko Digital FX888D

Soldering Iron

You can get a very inexpensive iron for under 20 bucks but it would be better to get a variable output station like the Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station or even better, if you can stretch the budget, get a temperature controlled iron like the Hakko FX888D.


Tamiya Calipers

Calipers

Use these a lot now that I use SketchUp to model my builds.


Foam Tape

Double Sided Foam Tape

This is just the best stuff. Strong adhesive but leaves no residue and comes off in one piece. The added bonus is the “padding” it provides that helps protect components from vibration.


Other Tools


Dremel

Dremel

I bought my Dremel many many years ago. It’s definitely been useful, now more so with robotics.


Dremel Work Station

Dremel Work Station

Makes the Dremel a lot more usable and precise, particularly when drilling holes.


Rigol-DS1102E

Rigol DS1102E

This is a reasonably priced item (for an oscilloscope). Really love having one. Makes life so much easier! Not cheap but if you get serious with electronics, and can stretch the budget, it is definitely worth every penny.

I would recommend replacing the supplied probes with these Hantek ones. The Hantek probes are superb.


Saleae Logic Analyser

Saleae Logic Analyser

I’ve bought this but have not used it in anger yet. I’m sure I’m going to. Then I’ll see how useful it really is.

Keep in mind that this is a very basic analyzer so don’t expect the world from it.


Vendors


Pololu

Pololu

My general goto place for parts. Really like the service and support.


Other


LED Work Lamp

LED Worklamp with Lens

Very spendy but very pleased with this lamp. Light is bright and clean, and the magnifying lens is excellent. The lens flap is also perfect as it helps keep the lens dust free.


MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro

Using Parallels to run Ubuntu and other operating systems.

Some of the software I used is listed on the Software Page

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