Category Archives: COMPONENTS AND TOOLS

Build Your own Custom Multi-tool

custom-multi-tool-unfolded

While perusing Hackaday a week or so ago, I saw this excellent custom multi-tool that included a USB drive, (traditional) keys, a few selected Allen keys, and, of course, screwdrivers.  Naturally, I felt I needed one, and after some thought, realized that I already had all the elements needed to make one: a Kikkerland 6-in-1 Hex Set and a worn out promotional multi-tool.

As seen in the video below, the first step was to disassemble both tools.  The Kikkerland set was quite easy, requiring only a hex key to non-destructively disassemble the frame.  The multi-tool required more “violent” means to get at the knife, can opener, and screwdrivers.

My tool configuration is meant to use primarily when mountain biking, and should fit my needs pretty well.  My only slight fear is that if something like this was kept in a pants pocket, the knife could come open and injure the user.  I suppose that’s possible with any multi-tool, but something to think about with something homemade like this.

I’ve got too many keys to use in a configuration like this, but for a more general-purpose tool, one of these USB drive keys would make an excellent addition.

Lenovo Yoga 13 Custom Space Saving Stand Video

After using it for a few months, I finally got around to making a video showing off the custom stand that I made.  I’ve been really happy with the desk space savings, and it’s fairly quick to place and remove the computer on it.  Here’s the original post that gives more specific info on the build if you want to try it yourself.

7 port usb hub with Lenovo Yoga 13 stand

The hub looks nice, there. I could probably do a better job of wire management…

I recently added a 7-Port Powered USB Hub (Amazon), which is a huge improvement over my 10 year old 4 port hub.  It seems to be much faster, and recognizes my devices faster as well.  Granted, the old hub was USB 1.1, and I’d lost the power cable for it.  There wasn’t much competition, but I was quite pleased with the new one regardless.  Also, it has 2 “fast charging” ports, which I’ve found quite useful for charging my cell phone.

yoga-13-flipped-standIf I was starting over with this stand, I might make the stand a little taller.  I’m fairly tall, so both monitors should probably sit higher on my desk, and the Lenovo Yoga 13 lines up more closely with the bottom of the larger monitor.  This “catalog solution” worked well at work, maybe I could use some of my old textbooks that I no longer use at home.

 

More Cheap Component Finds

dollar-store-components USB LED, earbuds, batteryI’m generally on the lookout stuff to break, modify, or otherwise use in my projects.  I recently obtained a few hackable items that I thought were pretty cool for not much money ($3.00 + tax).  As usual, many of them are from the dollar store like the components on the right.  The USB LED light I’m not sure what I’ll do with it, but it looked cool.  The earbuds could be used with my insulated headphones since I ripped out the original mono plug in my latest hornet altercation, and the CR2032 3 volt batteries could be used for more throwies (here’s my “ultimate throwie” design).

I was also given some other interesting components by a relative who knows that I like to build stuff around the house.  These included a clock with a temperature and humidity gague, a package of solar LED “path lights,” (similar to these lights from Amazon) and some assorted cables.  These lights are generally used to light a driveway or other path around the house, but I immediately though of using them for “solar throwies” or something similar.  I’ll do a post on the results of my experiments a bit later.  For now, there are some pictures of my latest haul after the “read more” thing. Read more »