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Developing Perspectives

Leaded Components: Reports of their death have been greatly exaggerated.

I’ve been reading and writing about the imminent demise of leaded components for decades. Even so, at least half of my work still involves leaded components. After all, what’s not to like? Leaded components are easy to work with. It’s easy to identify the value of a leaded resistor or capacitor with the naked eye, and leaded components are readily available.


Recent posts from the Nuts and Volts Blog:

Sensor to Avoid Crowds

Let’s say you’re one of those folks who doesn’t like crowds and hate standing in line. As a result, you often decide to stay home to avoid the frustration of waiting for a table at your favorite restaurant, fighting the hoards for sale items at Macy’s, or bumping up against a herd of sweaty people at the gym. If so, you’ll be happy to hear about a new device from recent startup, Density (

The Density IR sensor is a basic people counter that — installed at the entrance to a public place — keeps track of how many people have entered and how many have exited, thus allowing it to provide both real time and historical data to help you decide when and if to drop in. Gathered information is collated by the Density Application Programming Interface and transmitted to a web application for use by a custom app.

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Build The Incredible Christmas Tree Dipstick!

Checking the water in the Christmas Tree need not require laying upside down getting poked in the head by pine needles!

It was Christmas afternoon. The gifts had all been opened, and a substantial brunch had been consumed. The members of the household were all off doing their various things. The resident techie was wandering around the house with his new Dremel® tool, looking for something to grind, buff, drill, polish, or otherwise fold, spindle, or mutilate, when a voice called to him from somewhere in the house.

“Hon, have you checked the tree, lately?”

This was wife code talk for, “Add water to the Christmas tree, now please.”

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Back in 2008, Nuts & Volts sponsored the $100 Workbench Challenge. It was a great success and we had plenty of readers enjoy participating in the contest and showing off their carefully crafted work spaces. With the changes in available tools and technology, we decided to bring the challenge back, but this time even bigger and with a lot more prizes! Our new two-part contest is a combination of straight-up workbench design and a bit of "show and tell." So, let’s get down to details. What exactly is the Workbench Challenge 2015? Check out the details... 

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Featured Articles

Bling Up Your 4th Of July With A Set Of Custom SMT Earrings

Of all the articles I have written, it seems that the most popular one was the December 2014 Christmas Earrings project. I received a ton of emails asking me to make other types. I thought it was interesting that the version designed using a microprocessor and surface-mount (SMT) components was far more popular than the simple one using through hole parts.



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