:: Tech Resources ::
What a brilliant idea. The Techshop is a facility
(located in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and Los Angeles)
that has everything you need to build your projects. You pay
a monthly fee and you get to use lathes, mills, plasma
cutters, sheet metal equipment, a 3D printer and seemingly
everything you could possibly need. They also include classes,
and 3D workstations. Plus, it's great being around smart, competent,
and enthusiastic people. Check them out for sure.
This Oakland-based organization teaches industrial
grade fire arts, such as welding and smelting, has frequent fire-based
performances, and has great pyrotechnic/fire/high-voltage theatrical
events. This is where you go to learn about art that is hot. And they have many showcase events.
What a fun site. These people have put together
a site with tons of how to build it projects - from hundreds of
people - and lots of discussion. Most of the projects are not all that technical. But they sure
are fun. However, there is a whole tech section of how to build
something quickly and easily. Very creative.
Make Magazine is an online site for a vast array
of DIY projects. They also host a number of Maker Faires around the
US. Totally fun.
:: Electronics ::
This is one the most popular mailorder source for everyday electronic components. They have almost everything.
This is a great site for protoyping your
custom projects. They include books, resources, classes, and supplies. They're
big on Arduino and XBee-based projects and include every detail on how to build
finished projects. The skill set ranges from beginning soldering, to autonomous
aircraft. Yeah! They sell cool electronics parts such as tiny GPS, SBCs, and
SMT ICs. Really fine folks, too!
Another great site. MakingThings provides software and
electronics tools for those who are creating projects that interact with the
physical world. Their products include parts for making interactive art exhibitions,
product prototypes, educational tools, interactive kiosks & displays, DIY & hobby
projects, and custom control systems. Check out their Projects section.
This is a free PC Board layout and design program that includes an autorouter and schematic capture. Itís not perfect, but itís fine for most projects. It's also easy to learn. We've used it for our projects.
They are really into building combat robotics for many
years. So, these guys know a lot.
They have a lot of very cool things, including some custom devices focusing on robotics and R/C devices.
They have an excellent guide to all types of batteries and how to charge and take care of them.
They sell AVR related devices, alphanumeric displays,
Large LED panels, and low cost super bright LEDs.
They sell a tiny ultrasonic rangefinder.
They have a very nice diffused T1 3/4 (5mm) RGB LED.
I've used these for a lot of things and they are good and inexpensive. Yet, for variable color work, be sure
to get the diffused RGB LED - the clear ones don't mix colors very well.
If you are using the 13 RGB LED controller, be sure to order only the common
Anode RGB LED -- common cathode will not work (either will work with the mRGB LED,
although it defaults to common Anode). Also, if you are going for high power,
they have some nice XLamp 1 watt LEDs. These are not RGB LEDs, so they require
a lot more power than either of the RGB LED controllers can provide. But with
a power amp and some mixing, they emit a lot of light.
Easy to use, powerful and affordable schematic capture and printed circuit board design package. It's called Eagle, which is a popular and excellent program for designing PCBs. They have a free version for hobbyists. See a review of it here
These folks produce a really nifty high-power RGB LEDs.
This thing is incredibly bright -- by stats, at least 10x as bright as the
SuperBright RGB LEDs, but I think it's higher. They require a lot
of power and absolutely must have a heat sink (they get incredibly hot and
will fry themselves in just a few minutes without one). But for lighting up
big things and color washes, they are hard to beat.
They have an RGB LED PIC serial controller board. It includes the components and details of how to build it.
Vvvv is a great program for generating real time video synthesis, such as VJ needs. It is designed to facilitate the handling of large media environments with physical interfaces, real-time motion graphics, and audio and video. Check out the examples on Vimeo and Youtube to get an idea of what you can do with it.
Here is another excellent source of RGB LEDs
This is where you buy specific components right of the shelf. They are located in San Jose, CA.
A PIC (which is a tiny single board computer) Programmer.
Bob Blick is an ex-teacher and his site has working electronics projects such
as PIC processor, servo motor drivers, etc. A great site for building your
own tiny computer/controller.
They sell a single board x86 computer that consumes 6W,
and uses an AMD GX2-466 Processor.
They sell a single board x86 computer, the Via Eden Processor.
Here's where you can buy a small single board x86 computer.
This is one of my most favorite electronics surplus
places in LA. If you go there, plan on spending a long time. That's where we
get our missile parts, helicopter blades, X-ray machines, and things that must
of had some strange and important purposes here on earth.
He's compiled a nice list of Silicon Valley surplus stores.
Electronic Surplus store in the Bay Area.
Electronic surplus/recycling store in the SF Bay Area (Oakland).
Weird Stuff in Sunnyvale, CA (mostly old computer parts)
ACE in San Jose, CA (mostly components)
Excess Solutions in Milpitas, CA. They sell hardware, power supplies, larger
components, and have a good fan collection)
Anchor electronics. It's small but well organized. Many components are behind
the counter. And they have $1 bags of switches and inductors.
Suppliers of R/C electronic controls and motors.
Robotics Wifi pack.
Horns to headlights and motors
Layout pgm links, downloads and data.
This site has some excellent, small, and inexpensive electronic devices that ca help you with your projects. Some of the products include a tiny GPS module, an RFID reader, a text to speech module, and more.
This is an ďopen project spaceď where hackers can get together and build electronic/mechanical stuff. Itís a great idea and there are other places in the US where this is happening. See their other links.
Reasonably priced source for electronics components,
ICs, prototyping boards, power supplies, etc.
Large electronics distributer
An old fashioned surplus electronics store with parts
including computer and ham radio junk located in Silicon Valley. It's OK.
Another large electronics supply distributor. They are OK with large projects.
Another good electronics distributor