Category Archives: COMPONENTS AND TOOLS

Howto Video: Make a Coin Cell Battery Pack with Shrink Wrap

I really like coin cell batteries, specifically CR2032 models, but using them requires a small holder. This works well enough, but if you need to use several in series, things get out of hand size-wise. Here’s my solution: shrink wrap and hot glue to attach one or more coin cells together for an easy way to power your small device.

The concept is pretty self-explanatory, but check out the video below for a few tips on how to do this, as well as what I plan on using this with. You’ll need to use very large shrink wrap to fit over one or more of these batteries, and I used this package from Amazon. Between that and a few other heat shrink packs I’ve purchased, hopefully I won’t need any more for some time (but who knows).

For other coin cell ideas, check out my polycarbonate Christmas tree star, or my drink coaster made with four of these batteries. Also, you may notice that my video thumbnail style is a little different here. I’ve been experimenting with it, so I’d love to hear your feedback!

Howto Video: TS100 Soldering Iron Storage Case

I love my TS100 soldering iron (Amazon). After you plug it in and press the start button, it heats up to your desired temperature in a few short seconds. It’s extremely compact and portable, however, the box that comes with it requires you to disassemble to iron in order to put it away. I came up with something that I see as a major improvement, in that all you have to do is unplug it and slide it into a very secure and padded piece of PVC material.

Check out my simple build in the video below. It’s extremely tough, and lets you throw it in your toolbag very easily! I also picked up a holder for it here (Amazon), which is honestly a little big for it. On the other hand, it’s an improvement over sticking it wherever I could find space, so I’d recommend getting something similar to go with it, if not that exact one.

New Noise Isolating Headphones after a Cracking “Issue”

No Service for You!

Aurvana-Gold-crack CreativeAfter using my Aurvana Gold noise cancelling headphones from Creative Labs (Amazon) for less than a year, one of the earpiece supports started to crack. Perhaps I should have tried to drill a hole in front of it to increase the radius and stop propagation, but I instead opted for epoxy. After it got worse, I realized it was still under warranty, so great nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, when I finally figured out how to contact them, I was informed by what appeared to be a canned email response:

“Please be informed that we are not able to provide the servicing for the headband of the Aurvana Gold headphone because the damage on the headband is not included in the warranty servicing on this product.”

That seems a little crazy, and after my protest, I got a nearly—but strangely not quite—identical message:

“Please be informed that we are not able to provide the servicing for the headband of the Aurvana Gold headphone because the damage part is not included in the warranty servicing on this product.”

I’m not too happy with Creative Labs’ customer servicet, though they did “generously” offer me 10% off a new product. I honestly did like these headphones when intact, but obviously it was time to look at other options.

Noise Isolating – Not Cancelling

I work from home, as a technical writer—or several other titles discussed on my consulting page—and also have a young family that can sometimes often be heard running, screaming, shouting, laughing or other sounds that aren’t conducive to me thinking. Because of this, having a relatively quiet office is a necessity. In fact, I even built the noise barrier seen here on Homes.com.

The barrier and a few other steps do help, but without headphones the noise is just lower, not gone. Also, noise cancellation may work with droning such as from a plane or lawnmower, but for intermittent chaos sounds, it doesn’t do much. Instead I decided to go with a set of headphones meant specifically to block out noise. In fact, what I got are more like safety earmuffs than a music-focused headset (Amazon), and are supposed to knock noise down by an impressive Read more »