Boldport: Pips (#23)

When I was thinking about cancelling my AdaBox subscription I came across Boldport Club.

As a member of the Boldport Club you’ll receive an electronics project once a month. Our projects are designed to be engaging, challenging, entertaining, collectable, and to promote exploration and discovery through the use of electronics.

Weird timing that AdaBox007 actually included the Cad Sticker set from Boldport Club.

Over the last year or I’ve come to realize I really enjoy little soldering kits. Time will tell if the Boldport Club is satisfying and worth the cost. Each project looks unique and really well designed. I paid for a year up front, which comes out to pretty much the same as a year of AdaBox and I get something every month instead of quarterly.

Here’s a time-lapse of my assembly of Boldport Club #23: Pips.

It was a fun assembly and works as advertised. Not sure I’ll get any future use out of it though.

AdaBox007: Spy

When Adafruit hinted that AdaBox #007 would have a spy theme I was excited. I did a time-lapse of the unboxing this time since they do their own unboxing (scheduled some time next week) which is much better than listening to me talk.

This box has more content than any other box so far.

  • Large Padlock & 9 Piece Lockpick Kit
  • Software Defined Radio USB Receiver with Antenna
  • Adafruit GEMMA M0
  • USB Cable – 6″ A/MicroB
  • AAA Battery Holder with On/Off Switch
  • 3 AAA Batteries
  • Fast Vibration Sensor Switch
  • Piezo Buzzer
  • Panel Mount 10K Potentiometer + Knob
  • Invisible Ink Pen
  • 5mm Purple UVA LED
  • IR (Infrared) Receiver Sensor
  • 5mm Super-bright IR LED
  • 0.1mm Magnet Wire
  • Digikey Digi-Keyer Puzzle
  • Digikey Web Cam Cover
  • EFF Multisticker Sheet
  • 2600 Magazine: The Hacker Quarterly
  • Hackspace Magazine
  • Boldport Club Cad Sticker

I’ve always wanted a lock pick set and the clear padlock seems like a cool way to learn. I’ll have to make some videos once I start learning how to pick locks.

Even with this box being one of the better ones, I think I’m going to cancel because I have built up quite a collection of Adafruit microcontrollers and other components. I need to start building projects that I actually use around the house instead of just tinkering and taking everything apart after I learn. I like the subscription, but they’ve left me wanting more because it really is focused on the beginner. Not saying I’m an expert by any stretch of the imagination but I have so many of the things included in most of the boxes now.

I can’t help myself and have already subscribed to a different monthly electronics kit. More on that in a few days.

Trimmed Out Garage Window

I finished the inside of the garage window. I wish I had leveled the side framing with some shims before getting to the trim because the hole in the wall isn’t square. I already had the framing nailed in when I noticed, so I didn’t want to mess with it. I made sure to put the trim on square though. Learned a good lesson and it looks fine for a garage window.


The blind no longer fits, but I’ve been enjoying the extra light in the garage, so maybe I’ll keep it as is.

The Draw of Estate Sales

Going to estate sales has quickly become a favorite weekend activity. It’s crazy to think someone’s entire life is on display for anyone to pick through. Some people were collectors, DIYers, or hoarders. Others had few possessions. Often, each room has some kind of theme and organization, which may have only made sense to the owner. I also wonder how many items were moved around by the people who set up the sale. So many thoughts run through my mind as I move through a house.

I enjoy finding deals on things I can restore, repurpose, or just catch my eye. Today I picked up a few things I’ll definitely use around the shop. The find of the day was a cool foot pedal. It’s old so the wire is crumbling and there isn’t a ground connection so I’ll rewire it with a new outlet and plug. I wonder if it’ll work with my bench grinder or scroll saw.

March Madness Thoughts

Random thoughts heading into the Elite 8.

  • Did a 16 seed really beat the #1 team in the country? No, they embarrassed them! Still can’t believe it.
  • I said Michigan State was overrated before the tournament and they proved it by losing to a poor Syracuse team. State’s strength of schedule this year was extremely weak and they lost both games to Michigan.
  • Teams playing zone defence have done well.
  • The ACC clearly was the best conference in the country.
  • The SEC got way too many teams in the tournament.
  • Loyola has won 3 games by a total of 4 points. I hope they pull off another win and make the Final Four.
  • Duke has a tough road to the Championship game with Kansas tomorrow and potentially Villanova in the Final Four. Big win last night when they shot <20% from three, shot <40% overall, and were out rebounded.
  • Michigan has the easiest road to the big one with a 9 seed tonight and either a 9 or 11 in the Final 4.
  • I picked Duke to win it all 82-76 over Michigan.

Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

One of my favorite places to be is on a difficult solo hike. Just me and the mountain, with nobody to slow me down.


I took this photo in 2011 on the Echo Canyon Summit trail at Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona. It’s my favorite hike and one I did many times when I snowbirded for a few winters. The elevation change is more than 1,200 feet over 1.2 miles, so it’s a very challenging hike.