Maker Nation

Robot Rock

I’ve always been intrigued by the evil robot stylings of Captured! By Robots even if their music wasn’t really my bag, but this new video of New Zealand robo-band The Trons has finally given me something to look forward to when robots eventually takeover mankind.

How do you do soldering? Let’s answer this question together with Hikaru.

Hikaru's diary on learning to solder

Hikaru’s diary on learning to solder is a truly excellent (and unintentionally hilarious) tutorial on soldering. The lessons are spread across 10 “stories” that cover topics such as the history of soldering, iron selection (including how various types of irons work), soldering theory, as well as through-hole and reflow soldering — all with the comedic precision that only precisely translated Japanese cartoons can convey.

This tutorial is straight from Hakko, maker of some of the best soldering irons you can buy, so you know the information is good (if a little biased). It’s easily worth the 10 or 15 minutes it takes to read through, even if you’re already a pro.

Read “Hikaru’s diary on learning to solder”

Dissection of an Uninterruptible Power Supply

UPS Guts

There’s nothing I enjoy quite like tearing into an old printer or VCR to find some new crap for my parts box. Harvesting stepper motors, gears, belts and other mechanical bits is easy (and fun), but I’ve never really considered going after the electronics.

The folks over at uC Hobby have a cool writeup of all the parts they scrounged from an old UPS unit. I was surprised at how many nice parts they found, including a couple of lead-acid gel cells and a serious transformer that could be really useful in your next alternative energy project. And since they’re from a device that’s meant to handle lots of power, the parts are all pretty beefy.

Read “Scrounging a UPS”

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Maker Nation is a blog for and about people who aren’t content to leave well enough alone. A blog focused on taking control of your stuff and making it your own. This is a place for tinkerers, inventors, hackers and geeks.

We’ll give equal time to the absurd and the practical. We’ll customize everything. We’ll break some stuff. We’ll probably push it to the limit or something, and in so doing we’ll probably go too far. But we’ll have a good time and hopefully learn a little.

So if you thrive on making crazy crap or tearing things apart and “improving” them, then I invite you to join us in making technology personal again.

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