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PCB Design Demo Board

Cool Tools, DIY, Electronics
April 26, 2011 No Comments

I’ve become addicted to our local maker space called Metrix Create:Space and while I’m there I always ask them what is the latest stuff they got in.  That’s when I was shown the PCB Design Demo Board which was designed by Jon Chandler.  Priced at $10, it’s a bargain because if you have ever made a PCB yourself, picking the hole, SMD pad, silkscreen lettering and trace sizes can be a challenge.  This $10 can help save hundreds in errors associated with picking the incorrect footprints in Eagle.  Also, if you are in the Seattle area peep Metrix Create:Space — just don’t hog the laser cutter!

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Cool Tool: Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer

Cool Tools, Grooming & Fashion
March 8, 2011 1 Comment

We had our newest member of the Mavromatis family born on 3.2.11 and while we were in the hospital I asked the nurse which thermometer she recommended.  Her recommendation was for one of the temporal artery types.  So I ordered the Exergen 2000C Temporal Artery Thermometer from Amazon.com and it arrived today.  It is a very cool tool and after a few different subjects (myself, my wife and my daughters) it reads very accurate temperatures pretty much instantly.   The case design is simple and plain, but was very surprised to find out that it is “Made In U.S.A.”.   I guess the only “features” to mention is that is has a LCD screen, takes 1,000 readings per second, and has a “Silver Ion Antimicrobial Probe Head”.  Priced at around $34, this is a MUST HAVE for any household with kids where keeping them still is almost impossible.  The Exergen 2000C Temporal Artery Thermometer is Mavromatic’s Cool Tool for March 2011!

– AMAZON.com — Exergen 2000C Temporal Artery Thermometer

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Sugru | hack things better

Cool Tools
March 5, 2011 No Comments

I always love finding out about cool new stuff that can be used to make things better. And that’s what Sugru is all about. A moldable silicone formula that took five years to perfect comes in a variety of colors and offers properties of curing at room temperature, soft-touch feel, self-adhesive, temperature resistant, waterproof, flexible and even dishwasher-proof making Sugru a must for all hackers toolbox. Watch the video above for some ways to hack things better using Sugru.

– Sugru | Order Page


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Powerbuilt Digital Torque Adaptor – My Favorite Tools – March 2010

Cool Tools, DIY, Favorite Tools, Home Improvement
March 13, 2010 4 Comments

When I’m changing my brakes I  just tighten to what I think is “tight enough” — not always a good thing.  All automotive bolts and parts have a recommended torque amount that should be followed. Sure, you can get yourself an analog torque wrench, but why would you when you can get the Powerbuilt Digital Torque Adaptor that turns any 1/2″ rachet into a digital one?

This little gadget not only can be used to calibrate analog torque wrenches (which you’d pay about the same as the adapter if taken to someone to calibrate) but you can use it in situations where you need precise torque pressure using a standard rachet wrench.  The feature I really like is that you set the torque amount you want to achieve and then as you tighten you get both visual (LED light & LCD torque amount) and audible indication.

The Powerbuilt Digital Torque Adaptor is Mavromatic’s, “My favorite tools”, for March 2010.  It runs about $50.

– AMAZON.com – Powerbuilt Digital Torque Adaptor

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Final Cut Blade – Blade that sands while it rips

Cool Tools, Favorite Tools, Home Improvement
March 11, 2010 No Comments

The Final Cut Blade is one of those products that make you go, “Why didn’t I think of that!?”.  It’s genius!  It really is… a blade that sands while it rips!  The way it works it very simple — you attach a self-adhesive  sand paper which is designed to fit most blades and comes in sizes ranging from 10″ to 12″ — as the blade cuts, it also gives a nice sanding.  You get perfect edges that are ready for glue or staining.

Watch the video above to view how the system works.  Blades and sand paper is available directly from the Final Cut Blade Store.

Final Cut Blade – All in one step… Just cut, the sanding is a bonus

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Garmin ecoRoute HD bluetooth wireless dongle

Automobiles, Cool Tools, DIY, Electronics
February 15, 2010 2 Comments

The Garmin ecoRoute HD is a bluetooth wireless dongle which plugs into your vehicles ODB port allowing you to monitor sensors such as intake air temperature, coolant temperature, throttle position and engine load, intake manifold pressure, battery and charging system information, mass airflow rate, timing advance and emissions — you can even check and clear engine trouble codes without visiting the car dealership.

The ecoRoute works with newer Garmin Nuvi GPS units that feature ecoRoute firmware, but since this is bluetooth… A) is it hackable? B) will an iPhone App be released from Garmin to pair with the device?

At $149 (retail) the Garmin ecoRoute HD is a great feature to add to your Garmin Nuvi GPS.  It’s available for pre-order now from Amazon.com.

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