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Nothing terribly clever here, but sometimes you’ve got to build your own tools before the real fun begins. I’ve been doing some mobile Arduino development and I got annoyed with carrying around a bulky coil of USB cable. I could buy a pre-made A-to-B gender changer, but not at 10pm on a Sunday, when I need instant gratification! Plus, in these hard economic times, why purchase something new if you can avoid it?

So, I chopped the ends off an old cable and spliced/soldered the four wires of the USB A male end to the USB B male end. I wrapped it in heat-shrink and electricians tape, and now I’ve got a little stub to jack an Arduino into the side of my laptop. The plug fits in the same small case as an Arduino, a breadboard, and a few LEDs, resistors, and hookup wires.

What have you made instead of purchased lately? Let us know in the comments and put your photos up on the MAKE Flickr pool.

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works in CG animation at DisneyToon Studios and writes for Make, Boing Boing, and other places online and in print. You can find him at jpixl.net and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.


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