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SPC-4004.jpg

Our friends at element14, who sponsored today’s Electronics Tools Gift Guide, have offered an awesome giveaway to MAKE readers. It’s an SPC Technology 4004 Soldering Station, with digital read-out. It retails for 153.51, but it’s going to one lucky MAKE reader.

To be eligible, just tell us in the comments below what sorts of electronics projects you like to do, or would do, if you had a fine iron like this! Eligible entries will close at 10:30am PST tomorrow and we’ll announce the winner shortly afterward. Good luck!

Element14 Special Offer
Element14 is offering a 15% savings on gifts for the electronic enthusiast by using voucher code HECK15. Check out the other cool tools in their element14 Holiday Guide, including Akro-Mils toolboxes, the Fluke-233 DMM, and a Weller Butane Soldering kit.

Important Note: If you comment below do not forget to deselect “Email me if someone responds” underneath the comment entry form. Otherwise, you’ll get hundreds of comment entries emailed to you!

UPDATE: The winner of the soldering station is infinitychic36. Congrats! Email sent.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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Comments

  1. snshijuptr says:

    I would like to have the soldering iron so I can start making my own hardware. My PhD program has been been so very boring lately, and I really could use a jump start like this.

  2. Patrickiv says:

    I like to make guitar amps.

  3. Erock says:

    I would use it to wiring up the guitars I seem to keep making

  4. Hammer says:

    Hi,

    It’s been over a decade since I last touched a soldering iron, but now that my daughter is 10 years old I think she’s mature enough to handle a soldering iron with supervision.

    I’d like to show her how to build small electronic projects, and see if her interest in computers extends into electronics.

    Thanks!

  5. Tim says:

    Get the youngest started on some more complicated kits and eventually move to doing some arduino projects. Plus the eldest could borrow it and finally do something with the Lilypad she bought when she was earning her BFA in Textiles.

  6. Addidis says:

    Well I would use it to assemble all of my prototypes. So far I have a midi controller, datalogger, 2 different usb to serial converters 3.3 and 5 v and a bunch more I cant think of to list.
    I would also use it to assemble my few development tools with headers that still need to be installed. (pic32 io expander for instance) My 7.99 radioshack iron’s tip is just too dull to not make a mess of it.

  7. lylemarshall@gmail.com says:

    Would use it to work on my weather station for my dad.

  8. sjos0001 [launchpad.net] says:

    I would use it for various projects that have been piling up in my to-do list since the start of the semester. Persistence of Vision HDD Clock, LED Cubes, TV-B-Gone, a squellete, mostly kits and projects I see on Make, Instructables, and other websites. I’ll also probably end up using it for future projects for school, as well.

  9. mischka says:

    I absolutely love hacking toys, so the soldering station would do a good job soldering resistors, pots or capacitors to electronic trash.

  10. scherpenisse.net says:

    I recently rewired the keyboard of a knitting machine and my next step would be to make the carriage of the machine motorized with reed relays at the end so it would knit all by itself.

  11. Donald Haas says:

    Ooh, I’d start by actually finishing my Arduino color clock project instead of leaving it all breadboarded.

  12. drfter22 says:

    science projects!

  13. Steven Roberts says:

    It would be built into the lab aboard my sailboat (Nomadness), and used to conjure Arduino-based projects that collectively form the ship’s nervous system (with wireless browser and local/remote voice UI). Boards will be “etched” with a small CNC router, and I’m looking forward to geekery at anchor!

  14. Jim says:

    Been wanting to do some High Altitude Baloon photography, but with the twist I’ve seen once of having a gondola that can direct itself back to my launch site, so I don’t have to go chasing it all over creation.

  15. dbius says:

    I would make the most amazing LED programmable displays ever!

  16. tatagatha.myopenid.com says:

    I’m working on yet another pen plotter and my soldering station just broke!

  17. Rebecca J. says:

    First I’d learn how to use it, then I’d make LED light toys.

  18. loumsc says:

    I am 61, disabled and on SS. I do repairs on older Heathkit products. Modifications to Heathkit products as well as repair computers. This is to supplement my SS income. My old iron does not show temp and is getting old and obsolete. This would help me greatly. Sure would like to win it!

  19. Rob says:

    I’m currently working on an analog display based on an Arduino and Ethernet Shield. It’s going to use the PWM capabilities of the Arduino to drive three analog meters. I’ve already coded the web server end of the project. I’m going to have the following displays:
    1. a timer that indicates the percent completion of the work day.
    2. The number of incomplete tasks from my Evolution client in Linux.
    3. The needle will point to the time of my next appointment again from my Evolution client (which syncs to Google Calendar).

    The Arduino will grab the numbers from my web server and convert them to a PWM current to drive the analog meters. With most of the coding done, I just need to solder everything up. However, my soldering iron is old and has oxidized pretty badly. I cannot find a new tip for it locally, so I would love to get this iron and finish up the project over the holidays! Here’s a post on my web site detailing the project a little more:

    http://neerk.com/index.php/blog-mainmenu-2/neerk-posts/262-arduino-based-analog-desk-display

    Essentially, it’s an open source, custom built version of the now defunct Ambient Dashboard.

  20. MrFantsyPants says:

    My family recently worked together on a TARDIS quilt ( http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=365904.0 ) with a flashing light on the top. My wife did the design quilting, I designed and fabbed the circuit, and our 7-year-old daughter soldered it all together. The next one, a lilypad bioluminescent jellyfish, will require much finer control with the iron.

  21. aaronbot3000 says:

    I would use it to see what I can do with making spectacular LED cubes.

  22. Jess says:

    I like working with microcontrollers! If I had this soldering iron, I would use it to make my own Arduino compatible board, my own design AVR projects, and much more.
    I’m planning on posting my upcoming projects on my website. :)

  23. Dr Benway says:

    Continue working on our Arduino controled robot tank with my son.

  24. sobachatina.myopenid.com says:

    I am going to be making five optical theremins and one real theremin for the upcoming family reunion.

    This soldering iron would make the task much simpler.

  25. John says:

    Since I’m currently looking for work, I’ve had time to fix some of the old equipment around the house that needs mending. Either old electronics or the stuff my young son keeps breaking. We’ve got an old and basic soldering gun, but an upgrade like this would be appreciated.

    Also, I want to teach my son to start tinkering and good tools would make that go a lot easier.

  26. gadgetmerc says:

    Not to complain to much because i have got by with it for a while now, but my soldering iron is a piece of junk. I would like to have one that can hold a consistent temp.

  27. Alowisney says:

    I’d be able to finally fix my wife’s electronic piano that has a bad component.

  28. Matthew Moore says:

    I’ve always been interested in electronics, but never had a soldering iron except when I borrowed from friends, with this solder kit I’d learn how to properly solder, and make awesomeness.

  29. Bradley says:

    It was announced that my family is going to have a homemade Christmas next year. I have a few ideas of things that I could make with this beauty of tool. :)

  30. Matt Silvia says:

    I currently have two “top of mind” projects this would be a great help with.

    First, I’m working on a fairly simple underwater remote operated vehicle that I’d like to use both to hunt for shipwrecks, and to aid in exploring the underwater world with my kids who are both currently too young for scuba.

    Second, I have a great idea for a “sense hacking” project that would provide the user with an intuitive sense of which direction magnetic north is in, without having to look at a screen or manually interact with a conventional user interface.

    With those projects out of the way, I might also take a stab at some high altitude balloon video projects… possibly even one that launches from 100 feet or so underwater.

  31. tonyw says:

    I build guitars, and I’m now soldering pickups and pots, wiring up amps, etc with an old junk iron. I’d love to win a “real” soldering station for Christmas : )

  32. rjcantrell says:

    I would use it to make an EEG unit (likely OpenEEG), which I’m planning as the basis of several devices (to record sleep, as a meditation aid, as an alarm clock, for a lucid-dreaming device, “hallucination machine” as featured in Make previously), plus any other new thing I can think of making a brain do.

    For giggles, I want to hook it up to a servo that turns on a laser pointer, just so I can say “brain-controlled laser” as often as humanly possible.

  33. Plasma2002 says:

    Ive had a bunch of SMD components just waiting for me to start putting together, but I always tell myself I’ll do it some other day, due to me not having a good iron. If I won this, i’d be thrilled!

  34. Matt says:

    My little sister is getting me the Arduino Starter Kit for Christmas that I’ve really wanted for awhile. The main projects I want to play with initially are LED light stripping. The goal is to have a completely programmable light system for above and below my kitchen cabinets. They will be RGB of course to achieve the full range of colors. The LED strips themselves cannot be connected to a breadboard/controller without soldering the connections. I therefore have this pretty intense need for a soldering station so I can get started on these projects. I’m too excited to wait any longer!

  35. Ita says:

    I’d use it to make my steampunk jewelry.

  36. Jean says:

    My boss at work requires a whole bunch of random stuff be shoved under his door since I work at night and he’s not there.

    I need to make him a little door chime that plays the AOL “You’ve got mail!” sound whenever he opens his door, and it has to fit under the door since I can’t get in. So clearly, a soldering iron is required to make this bit of electronic prank.

    I may attempt bonus points by only having it play the sound after something is dropped in. Hm.

  37. BaronVonDarrin says:

    Death ray and/or other super villainous projects.
    Not all makers arre good guys and not all villains very well funded. Help a villain be super.

  38. bogomip.net says:

    I’m building a home library and am working on an Arduino-controlled system that will manage LEDs embedded in the library shelves and give me the ability to raise/dim lights, light up a book’s location, etc. I have a lot of soldering ahead of me and this would help a great deal. I plan on writing up an article when finished and submitting it to Make!

  39. JBurris says:

    Hey! I’m a new graduate and I’m looking to learn more about the world of microcontrollers and electronics.

    A station like this would greatly aid me in my continuing education! I’m thinking a nerdkit would be a good place to start, along with something like this :)

    Here’s hoping!

  40. sburlappp says:

    My local non-profit robotics club could use some good tools!

  41. Chuck says:

    Totally! A cupcake though. Even with a free iron I can’t afford a thingomatic.

  42. stormadvisor says:

    I have several Amatrue Radio projects to do. Building a digital mode (PSK31) interface, and a QRP tranceiver. The smaller the better.

  43. Jonathan Keane says:

    I’m thinking some lightweight heating systems for cold climates.

  44. Rob says:

    I would use it for a variety of projects though most of them would revolve around electric guitars and basses. I build basses as a hobby and would like to get more into the electronics side of them by building preamps and other effects. I’m currently starting to wind my own pickups so it would be a tremendous help there over the $7 one temp iron I currently have.

    I would also use it to help build tools that I would use to aid in my bass building addiction which would include a gauss meter, pickup testing utilities to graph resonant frequency of pickups and a cnc to help in the building of the basses themselves. A number of these small devices such as the gauss meter would most likely be built using arduino boards as a platform

  45. Saint Ereo says:

    I have a pile of all rocked-out Wah-Wah pedals, that just want to rock for a little bit longer…they want to add some funk to just one more groove, to get that “just-so” tone for that one song,(you know the one) to add so much more soul to just one more guitar solo!

    We could call it “Make a Wah Foundation.”

  46. Matchstix says:

    I’m just starting to get into electronics (it is my major after all) and I’m teaching myself bit by bit how to do everything rather than wait a semester and learn it in class. I’ve never had the oportunity to take E&M classes at all, so some of it is confusing, but the internet, and especially MAKE is super helpful.

    I’ve got some projects in my PROJECTS: TODO notebook: a little mini sound mixer on my todo list, as well as a Minty Boost, a dimmer box for my high school, and a headphone amp. I’ve got a decent enough multimeter, but my soldering iron is a not-so-good $10 Radioshack one. (What? I was young, naive and on a budget.) A nicer soldering iron that doesn’t take 15 minutes to heat up would be nice.

  47. Vicki says:

    I just graduated from EE and have been limping enthusiastically along (inspired daily by Make on my RSS feed, of course) with my $10 Radio Shack iron and produced an iron man arc reactor, pumpkin light, color organ, CRT remote-controlled fishtank and some other projects. But I just can’t do any fine work with surface mount components or microcontrollers.
    I would really like to make my entire apartment controllable from a remote laptop and stuff, and a quality soldering iron would be a really helpful tool!
    Yay Makers!

  48. justin.gasal.myopenid.com says:

    A garage-door remote sensor and switch, an anemometer, a solar heater pump controller, and many more!

  49. TheCapt says:

    Current project is a powder coat oven.
    Previous projects are a things like motion sensor for my garage lights, timer controlled double valve for my water softner. I tend to also be fixing lots of things lately too – my sons mp3 player, 200 disc CD changer…etc.

  50. zymurgyathome says:

    I’d fix my son’s magic wand that has been sitting on my desk in pieces for over a month.

  51. madsci says:

    I’ve mainly been using a RadioShack butane-powered iron, and I love how portable it is and how quickly it heats up. However, it’s wholly inappropriate for surface-mount soldering (did I mention it shoots fire out the sides?)

    I’ve been trying to make a multi-cell lithium-ion battery charger for some time now to install in a wheeled robot so that it will able to recharge itself (and properly, none of that constant-current crap). I have all the SMT components and a PCB done in Eagle, I just need an iron capable of putting it all together!

  52. zthralls says:

    I would use this soldering station to assist me in a a scrolling marquee that reads text messages/tweets.

  53. Twist says:

    This would be the perfect starting block for my circuit table.

    with the soldering Iron, I would not only be able to do my side projects (such past projects as a strobe light, led light organ [project inspired by Collin's post on Makezine.com] and smaller ones) I would be able to do my school projects (elec engineering)

    I would also mean that I wouldnt have to drag all my side projects to school and have profs frown upon me doing non-school projects in the lab

    1. Twist says:

      Sorry last sentence should read:

      It would also mean that I wouldnt have to drag all my side projects to school and have profs frown upon me doing non-school projects in the lab.

      there is no edit button

  54. Schazamp says:

    I will make a temperature controller for my DIY homebrew mash tun.

  55. I8cheerios says:

    I want to merge a bluetooth controller with a USB thumb drive and add the software similar to DropBox. This way I can have two thumb drives which, when each inserted into a USB drive (computer), will synchronized their flash memory automatically. This way a computer can drop a file on the one of the thumb drives, the software will copied it automatically to the other, and the second computer can see and retrieve it. This will make a virtual sharing space, without the need for wifi, cables, or an internet connection.

  56. Dr. CroW says:

    I want to start teaching some basic electronics to kids in my comunity (BEAMbots, APC and similar projects).

  57. Philip says:

    I’m doing a wiimote mod, and will be doing some surface mount soldering!

  58. Vorple says:

    I’d use it to solder the electronics on a model Polaris Submarine.

  59. ewohwerd says:

    I would go back and clean up the dirty solder jobs on my latest creation, an rgb led strip backlit macquarium.

  60. Ben says:

    I make a number of costumes and puzzles, but not having the equipment or experience to make electronic components to them, I’ve always been limited to what I could do mechanically. With a soldering iron I’d be able to teach myself to use and add micro controllers which would add a whole new dimension to my projects.

  61. Clay says:

    I want to introduce my son to the world of circuit fabrication, but have been making do with a huge and inefficient Sears soldering gun. He can barely even hold it.

    I’ve been looking for a soldering station, but have been overwhelmed by the number of units out there. What should I get?!?!?

  62. riftware says:

    My oldest son is one of the youngest members of his high school robotics team. He has expressed interest in building some of the things he’s seen on Make and elsewhere. I currently make things with my Arduino Mega and would love to be able to give him a decent soldering station of his own in our work area.

  63. LastRaven says:

    I have a bunch of LED projects I would like to try, but one in particular is a Daft Punk-esque LED table that lights up in response to the beat of music. It would be awesome to be able to solder up something decent with this sweet piece of equipment since my current device is beat and holding me back from completing a lot of work.

  64. stevedave says:

    I would love to have this to help me with my Halloween projects. Winters in Wisconsin are long and cold and it will help keep me plenty busy!

  65. ebfisher.myopenid.com says:

    I’ve been avidly building CMoy Pre-Amps, Minty Boosts and an Ice Tube Clock with a $5 cheapo Soldering Gun. I’ve been pondering upgrading before moving towards building Arduino-based projects and other Home Audio experiments.

    This is an amazing Soldering Set and it would delight me to no end to have such a master tool at my disposal!

  66. Madbassist42 says:

    I would make an army of beam robots and take over the world!!

  67. RSlover says:

    My son has an interest in Robotics and is a whiz at anything mechanical, but has very little hands-on experience with electronics and soldering. Would like to use the station not only for his use, but I also like to take old non-working consumer electronics items and repair them for reuse. A solder station would make all of these things much easier.

  68. craigkelker says:

    Cheap equipment is tempting and I have the burns to show it. My current iron has a tiny pistol grip for a child’s hand. It’s cute if nothing else.

    Its carny hand-sized grip leads to burns. Burns lead to cussing. Cussing is a part of hacking, but I don’t like burns. Burns hurt. And burning flesh smells.

    Burn me no more. Please.

  69. mightywombat.livejournal.com says:

    ALL OF THEM. That may sound like a cop-out answer, but there are a lot of projects I’d like to do, but working with surface mount components is… tricky without a temperature controlled iron. I’ve long held that there’s nothing a person can’t make without the proper tools and so, with this tool, I would RULE THE WORLD.

  70. chrisdavis03 says:

    I find myself repairing just about everything that breaks at my studio, from speakers to LCD displays, with a TERRIBLE soldering iron.

    Plus I am starting to dabble in robotics and component recycling. So a nice soldering iron would help.

  71. Gabriel says:

    I love to make small devices that use lights and/or sounds to amuse and entertain myself and others. Things with LEDs and shift registers and arduinos and such to make cool things happen.

    With an iron like this, I’m sure that my process would be easier and that I’d get More Done.

  72. Sikariporras says:

    I’m still looking for a nice and cheap eighties Mercedes, that will eventually be converted to be running on veggie oil. There will be quite e lot of electronics involved, as the end result will have a (hopefully) beautiful temperature sensing and heating of the fuel going in to the engine. A soldering iron is something needed, as my current one is, well, very bad.

  73. toolusingmonkey says:

    - Have some really cool computer case mods to work on
    - Teach my kids to solder – using quality tools
    - Learn to repair robots so I am useful to our future robot overlords

  74. nate_maker says:

    I think I’d start with an Atari Punk synth and then move on to some crazy Arduino toys. This would make the greatest prize I’ve ever won!

  75. paul says:

    After about 35 years of hacking, kit building and repair, using pretty much the same 25watt iron, I t hink its about time to seriously consider a station. I know an item like this would make building with smaller items so much easier, but to be honest, I just could never budget the extra cost these stations were asking. Maybe nows is the tim! lol

  76. haasebert says:

    I’d make lots of stuff for use with my Arduino or Lilypad. Maybe a speed sensor for an RC car, or an IR intervalometer for my camera (to replace the servo-driven one I just made). So many possibilities!

  77. jasonemiller says:

    Were I to score this beautiful tool, I would do the following.

    First, I would sit down with my 8 year-old daughter (and, later, my 4 year-old) and take lots of stuff apart. We have a pile of things: a coffee maker, an old DVD player, a satellite dish, and old PC.

    Second, I’d build things with my daughters. Blinky bugs, Throwies. Aruindo controllers for our chickens. Garduino controllers for the vegetable garden. (I’d also start teaching them to code.)

    Third, I’d also take my teaching to campus and use Making to get my college students excited about learning through tinkering. This approach has great (untried) potential, from a formal pedagogical perspective. (Not that I like being formal…)

    In summary, one SPC Technology 4004 Soldering Station will help me excite the next generation about Making and learning through creating and destroying.

    That is all.

    J

  78. Tom says:

    I would love to have this to solder the connections from my Netduino to my garage door remote so that I could finally finish my project. It would allow me to open my garage door with just my Android.

  79. Mr_Alb says:

    Yeah I have one of those monstrosities where you pull a trigger and a u-shaped piece of copper glows red at the tip. I have had the thing since high school. Its time to get something with a slightly finer tip and a controlled temperature.

  80. jasonemiller says:

    If this beautiful instrument, the SPC Technology 4004 Soldering Station, were to be awarded to me, I would do several things soooo much better than I could do now.

    First, I would be able to spend more time teaching my daughters (8- and 4-years-old) about tinkering and making. We have a pile of things to take apart. On the top are a coffee maker and an old DVD player. There’s also an old PC in the pile. We’d build blinky bugs, throwies, and Garduino devices to help us grow plants to put in the vegetable garden in the spring. (The Arduino work would let me introduce the girls to coding, too!)

    Second, the SPC Technology 4004 Soldering Station would help me infect my college students with the joy of making. It’s amazing how ignorant they are about how things work. Tools like this would give me that extra ‘umph’ to develop a MakerShed on campus for students and the community.

    In summary: the SPC Technology 4004 Soldering Station on my corner of the world huge impact.

  81. Paul says:

    I would use it to help while I am teaching everyone from children to grandmothers how to solder and demystify technology. I would also use it at my hackerspace to have a nice soldering iron.

  82. boomsb.myopenid.com says:

    I’d begin a few Arduino projects I’ve been planning.

  83. applekeith says:

    I have just about worn out my old Weller… I could really use this.

  84. meeyeehere says:

    I have no idea what this thing is or what it does but I know it is something my husband wants and I want to get it for him!My husband is a bit of a computer wiz,a musician,and he mixes and masters music for a living.I am sure this thinga ma giggy will fit in on some part of his electronic life!
    Thanks,and sorry for my lack of knowledge on this subject.I am SO not a computer or technology chick but I aim to please my mister.YAY! Thank you!

  85. Lee Laiterman says:

    I believe I have come up with a fundamentally new approach to competing in the annual “Punkin’ Chunkin” competition. It will require, among other things, some home built electronic circuitry, whose construction would be facilitated with your fine soldering station. Forget about those other mundane projects. Here’s a chance at making our mark in history 8-)

  86. Eric says:

    The project I really want to build is a large display sound-level-bar-graph, to put in the cubes of loud coworkers.

  87. Rogelio Toledo says:

    I’d use it to fix everything that breaks around the house as well as my microcontroller projects and guitar amp mods. I’ve worked on electronics for a long time and I’ve never owned a temp. controlled iron but I know, if I had one, I’d have it in constant use. :)

  88. Terrence O'Brien says:

    I’ll use it to make noise-toys, simple synths and sequencers. Just cause I like things that annoy others.

  89. stinkykiller says:

    I will make a Fan Banner (The Ultimate Fan)
    with LED’s for the Iron Maiden Concert here in Puerto Rico.
    That should be GREAT !!

  90. MakerMike says:

    I like to repair or mod existing electronics.

    Adding off switches to kids noisy toys most of the time.

  91. KBill says:

    Going strong with Arduino, this would be great for making better boards. Also, for teaching kids to solder, I started with mine (6 & 8 y.o.) and plan to spread it through the community.

  92. Aud1073cH says:

    I think I would use this to build a super TV-B-Gone – starting with the TV-B-Gone kit, and building a driver for a high power (possibly >3 watt) LED. This would be built into the eyepiece to put into a telescope. I may be able to turn off the TV from down the street!

    Then with all the peace and quiet I can finally build a modular wacky noise synthesizer.

  93. afreak says:

    I like to rehabilitate old video game consoles. They have rather small parts that my current iron requires a lot of effort to work with. A new iron would allow me to continue to do this with less effort and do it for others who ask of me.

  94. joshua says:

    I would use this to make all new DMX control boards for the haunted house i help run, almost everything we use is custom made. im still working with a 9 dollar radio shack iron. time for an upgrade

  95. edosan says:

    Now that I have my Make: Electronics book and components pack, I was planning on starting them during my Christmas break.

  96. Damage Jack says:

    I have been wanting to make an LED night light embedded into the underside of my platform bed that was on a timer or activated by photo sensor.

  97. RwP says:

    My nine-year-old daughter was learning about ‘batteries and bulbs’ in class, so for extra credit I taught her how to read basic circuit diagrams and use a breadboard and multimeter. She build an LED sequencer circuit using a 555, 4017, and 10-seg LED bar. She really took to it and is now interested in learning to solder. I would give this iron to her as a reward for her continued interest in electronics.

  98. stinkykiller says:

    I would make a Fan Banner like the one Kipkays made *GO* RAYS in youtube, but mine will read “UP The Irons” for the Iron Maiden Concert on April, some others LED projects, start venturing on Arduino and I like to make some other things using servos.

  99. boomsb.myopenid.com says:

    I’d begin a few Arduino projects I’ve been planning.

  100. kurtis says:

    Hmm, let’s see. As a maker-in-training, I can think of lots of things to use this soldering iron for (and finally throw out – I mean recycle or hack – my cheap Radioshack iron!):

    Current Projects:
    - RC airplanes and helicopters
    - UAVs (drones)
    - RepRap 3D printer
    - Taking my Arduino projects from breadboard to protoboard
    - More Useless Machines!

    Future projects?
    - LED coffee table
    - Robots
    - Guitar effects pedals
    - Quad-rotor
    - Something I haven’t thought of yet…

    Thanks element14!

  101. rdm_box says:

    i used to do kits, then my bro took the soldering iron away when he went to uni, so it would be great to 1up his soldering iron.

  102. deeproot says:

    I would use this awesome station to finish the Make: Online led sign I am building to give to you guys/girls for the holidays. I just need to finish a few drivers…

    Please help me.

  103. puertojake says:

    and solder them nice, proper, and reliable…

  104. noise_is_life says:

    There are many things I want to build, various sound related projects, robotics, advanced blinky light projects. Not to mention I’m homeschooling my two boys who will be ready to wield a soldering iron before I know it.

  105. Tim says:

    I would donate it to my hackerspace to use in our bi-weekly circuit hacking night!

  106. Jay says:

    I absolutely love what I have learned from Make and the great community of open source projects for the Arduino, I unfortunately have a very old and outdated; commonly called “fire started” soldering iron.

    I could really use a nice soldering iron that doesn’t run the risk of “burning down the house”!

  107. Chemhacker says:

    I’d donate it to Pumping Station: One, Chicago’s hackerspace – they always need new tools to make things like electric race cars, high-five gloves, or whatever other odd things they make.

  108. jktechwriter says:

    For me, it’d be a chance to continue forward from finishing the Make:Electronics book with a much nicer soldering tool!

  109. TryAndMakeMe says:

    I’m planning a Co-op class with a bunch of middle schoolers to design and launch a near-space weather balloon. This would be ideal to help teach these kids how to solder!

  110. Earl Martin says:

    Vibrobots! Nothing seems to spark my kids’ interest in soldering quite as efficiently as making simple little vibrobots.

  111. 77x says:

    I would use it to build my first 3d printer.. as soon as I have the spare parts or funds to buy parts!

  112. Earl Martin says:

    Vibrobots! Nothing seems to spark my kids’ interest in soldering quite as efficiently as making simple little vibrobots.

  113. JWitherspoon says:

    I would use this to finish my Make electronics book. I couldn’t get very far not having a soldering iron. With Christmas and other family things it may be a few more weeks before I can get one. Especially a really decent one. Thanks -J

  114. Raedweld says:

    My iron’s so old the smallest thing I can solder is an elf. One of these would really help me move the workshop into the 21st Century and I could stop making all these ridiculous wooden toys.

  115. kendrickgoss says:

    SO: You know those towel dispensers that sense your hands and spit out a paper towel? I talked the building supervisor into giving me a broken one and lo and behold: the the sensor circuit still works (it detects your hands with a capacitive antenna – like a theramin)! I am going to hack the circuit in to an arduino data-logger, wrap the antenna around the cat’s food bowl, and document how often and with what regularity she eats. But my soldering iron is 10 years old and acts older. Please pick me! Kendrick Goss

  116. 555ic says:

    I would use the iron to help with some various projects I am working on. Christmas is right around the corner and my old iron is starting to act up. I am working on holiday gifts for a few people and I sometimes work on larger soldering projects like creating synthesizers.

  117. aqwrdsmusings.wordpress.com says:

    I’m looking to finally finish up my crowdsourced data artwork. Placing boxes chained in parks, boxes asking people to press buttons, move sliders, etc. Then collecting all of the data and presenting it with Processing, amount of presses on a button, most active times, etc.

    -Ryan Barnes

  118. mh0020 says:

    I would use this awesome tool to make repairs to my electrical equipment, to finish off various projects (noise makers, pedals, and the MAKE: Electronics projects!) since my old radioshack soldering iron died, and to learn more build on to what the navy has taught me about circuits!

  119. snaffy says:

    Something with LEDs or something for my camera. :)

  120. zieak.com says:

    I won’t lie. I think I already have three soldering irons. I have a few multimeters too. And a few weeks ago I got them out and my 11 year old took an interest. Something like this would probably grab his attention even more!

  121. mycroft16 says:

    I would use this to add rice light systems to my paper craft models. Among various other uses I could dream up.

  122. pants says:

    I’m getting married this spring, and I’ve decided to make square wave synths (with volume, frequency and lfo) for each of my groomsmen. I’ve got to fit it in with school, work and wedding planning, so I could really use a better iron than the one I’ve got now.

  123. sam says:

    I am currrently trying to build an electronics platform for a home made ROV that I hope to eventually be able to make fully autonomous.

    Having a quality soldering iron would make all the surface mount soldering much easier than it is currently.

    Cheers
    Sam

  124. aux_con says:

    I’d get down to business and put together the Thing-o-matic once it arrives at my doorstep!

  125. chris varner says:

    Got my technician license last spring. Been wanting to learn Morse & build an oscillator.

    Also, got the Make: Electronics book last Christmas; have made zero progress — I’m sure that nice iron would inspire me!

  126. BrokenPoet says:

    I’ve been thinking about taking a twist on a past MAKE project: The Chaotic Pendulum. I think that modifying the basic design to include a backboard with with some VCR parts (motor, gears, power supply, small circuit board) to ‘Kick’ the pendulum back into motion once it has stopped. Add some Nb magnets & wire loops connected to LEDs on the rapidly swinging tips of the pendulum, and it could become quite the conversation piece!

  127. Jon Pruett says:

    I’ve made a couple 9v guitar amplifiers, but I’d love to work on a few effects pedals. My el-cheapo solder station is a hindrance though – this sweet rig would help a lot!

  128. Chris says:

    I’m teaching myself to work with the Arduino, it would be nice to make some my breadboard projects permanent.

  129. 2robotguy says:

    Element14,
    For the Last seven years I have been using the same Soldering Iron for all of my projects. Over the years, we has done some great things, but last weekend she passed on and as much as I try she is gone forever.
    Here is a picture of my old friend
    http://i960.photobucket.com/albums/ae85/2robotguy/RIPIRON.jpg

    Looking back at the good days here is a couple of project we did:

    -Building a 60lb Battlebot in highschool
    -Rewiring my 1973 Powder Blue mustang (best 1st car ever)
    -Soldering Wires for three Best Robot. (Best.org)
    -Teaching middle school students soldering and basic electronics
    - 1st ever Crankup Iphone Charger (http://www.instructables.com/id/USBIphoneIpod-Dynamo-Charger/)
    - Using my iron as a welder to assemble my Tilt-N-Trap printable mouse trap http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7E8CZd66lLI
    - Wiring 1st ever Diy Custom fog lights for my 2005 mustang
    http://www.cardomain.com/ride/830418/2005-ford-mustang/page-1
    - Electronics work for PA in mustang
    - 5 meter Wind tunnel electronics
    - 1 & 3lb Fighting robot
    - Soldering RAMPS ELECTRONICS for my MENDEL
    http://i960.photobucket.com/albums/ae85/2robotguy/RAMPS.jpg
    http://www.ultimachine.com/content/freeside4
    - Helping out my old highschool with Electronics
    - Hacking a Battlebot Toy to run with an arduino & motor shield (http://i960.photobucket.com/albums/ae85/2robotguy/ROBOTMOD.jpg)
    - Even SMT Electronics. They said it could not be done
    http://i960.photobucket.com/albums/ae85/2robotguy/CUSTOMSMT.jpg
    - Any may more projects

    In the future I plan on designing my own electronics circuits and contribute more to Open source hardware and the community. I have uploaded many Designs on thingiverse but no circuits because of the limitations of my old friend. Right now I have designed a variation of the Pololu stepper driver chip to handle 4 amp instead of 2. I also plan on giving back to the community with electronics works shops and giving presentations on many different topics Tech topics. The versatility, power and ease of use of the SPC TECHNOLOGY – 4004 – Soldering Station will improve my work flow, reduce errors, and make soldering easier. The ability to have so many different tips allows me to tune my machine for the job at hand. No more paperclip SMT for me anymore! It would be an honor to have this Solider iron on my desk.

    Thank you for the consideration,
    Mark F
    White Gator Labs
    http://www.thingiverse.com/2ROBOTGUY

  130. tlingy says:

    I am working on building a desktop CNC machine…to make even more stuff, of course! This much better soldering iron will make the process so much happier.

  131. Cephas says:

    Working on taking an old 1 Gig MP3 player and stuffing it into a speaker enclosure so that I can put a home made brown noise track on it. Helps with sleeping by a noisy RR crossing.

  132. KurtRoedeger says:

    I would solder some LEDs together. Figure they’re a good place to start.

  133. random23 says:

    I would use it to tweak my LED lights so that I can wire them to a rechargable battery pack.

  134. BlackJade says:

    I void warranties on all sorts of stuff from phones to gps’s etc.

    Also work on my desire to work with adrino.

  135. pat.mkii.org says:

    Right now I’m working on a quadrocopter and I’ve got several other projects planned. One the big things that I’m planning on is building my own radios from scratch, now that I’ve gotten my Amateur Radio license.

  136. dtownmaker says:

    I’m looking to finally put my arduino pinewood derby timer plan into action. Also, the FirePower pinball needs some switches and solenoids replaced.

    Recently new to the warranty voiding scene so I’m sure to find a number of other things to break/fix.

  137. Brandi Weed says:

    but that’d be a hell of a thing to teach myself electronics work with, not to mention great in the long-term once I am able to set my sights higher.

  138. MG says:

    I really want to build myself a robotic arm. I’ve ordered a bunch of parts (hopefully soon to arrive) and a new soldering iron would help a lot. Also I’ve been meaning to get around to fixing a camera flash that got dropped.

    MG

  139. Patrick says:

    Our local robotics group here in Nashville, TN (www.MTRAS.com) have designed our own low cost robot kit for new and existing members. We hope to inspire anyone who wants to get involved in robotics using this kit. Having a good quality soldering iron would be very beneficial in soldering different parts of the kit, show members how to solder, as well as be very useful during build events we host at our local science center.

    Thanks

    Patrick
    http://WWW.MTRAS.COM

  140. cameron says:

    R/C helicopter projects
    Model rocketry projects
    CNC mill
    Arduino projects
    The list goes on and on…

  141. The Howling Wolves says:

    I would use it to fix the display on our Lego NXT
    Need to fix very small caps
    The Son and I can build NXT stuff…..

  142. ColonWQ says:

    I have two adafruit clocks to put together and a couple of minty boosts. After that I will find other new items to assemble.

    Keith

  143. undeded says:

    I would like to use that soldering iron to start on some projects with my new arduino. I also want to make an led light collar for my dog and I want to solder leds for some plant grow lights.
    undeaded

  144. psilokan says:

    I’m a programmer who’s recently been delving into electronics and working with micro controllers. Currently building a timed lockbox (http://www.fettesps.com/arduino-prototyping-with-fritzing/) as a fun little project that has several interesting hurtles I’ve yet to figure out how to tackle. Eventually I’ll be moving all of this off breadboard and onto a circuit board. For all my work I’ve been using an old 10W iron but I find that everything I go to desolder just wont melt — the iron isn’t hot enough for it. I’d love to get a more powerful one that I could fine tune to the job.

  145. Jeff says:

    I would definitely make an arduino / 555 timer run ugly sweater… flashing LEDs, spinning things. you name it!

  146. Edison517 says:

    I’m actually thinking of putting together a MintyBoost v.3 kit or maybe a TV-B-Gone kit; this soldering iron would be great!

  147. baz says:

    I’ve a cool idea for repurposing a lovely old broken voltmeter as a something-meter using an arduino and ethernet shield…

  148. mmcnama4 says:

    Most recently, I performed a quick hack taking a wall plug, cutting off the end (with the proprietary power plug I needed), and soldered it to a USB cord so I could plug in my bluetooth headset where I use it most.

  149. mmcnama4 says:

    Most recently, I performed a quick hack taking a wall plug, cutting off the end (with the proprietary power plug I needed), and soldered it to a USB cord so I could plug in my bluetooth headset where I use it most.

  150. sailindaze says:

    I’m working on developing the absolute cheapest software driven mobile robot possible. I intend to build a bunch of them and explore the evolution of synthetic culture. My current cheapy iron is not so very good for surface mount. I need a new one.

  151. Ogre Man says:

    … since I tend to make lots of those.

    Perhaps I’ll delve a bit more into a one-off SMT-based creation.

    Maybe something MCU-based that goes blinky-blinky and/or bloopy-bloopy.

    Whatever it is, I’ll be including the kids in the process of making.

    Thanks for the opportunity element14!

  152. Ogre Man says:

    … since I tend to make lots of those.

    Perhaps I’ll delve a bit more into a one-off SMT-based creation.

    Maybe something MCU-based that goes blinky-blinky and/or bloopy-bloopy.

    Whatever it is, I’ll be including the kids in the process of making.

    Thanks for the opportunity element14!

  153. mikem07 says:

    I have an old Elvira and the Party Monsters in need of some serious soldering…

  154. Mike M. says:

    So many things to make, and nice tools make the process so much more fun. I like alternative energy type things, and would like to work on some solar trackers. Hoping to add solar hot water to an upcoming project.

  155. JAF30 says:

    Some guitar effects pedals for my brother.
    Making my own audio and video cables.
    And Minty boosts as birthday presents ( I have the tins already)
    And so help me I want to try one of the pixie clocks at http://www.adafruit.com. And then for a finale I want to build a mame cabinet using a android tablet for a screen.

  156. Bill Morgan says:

    This would nelp me move from kit building (relying on neat solder masks) to making some of my own boards.

  157. El Zombre says:

    Guitar amp for myself.

  158. chopper12 says:

    To finish up my latest 41hz amp4!!!!

  159. chopper12 says:

    I need it to get me fired up to finish my latest amp project!

  160. lythander says:

    11 and 9, girl and boy. I’m getting your book and the first bag of parts to begin, and would rather they had proper equipment.

  161. K says:

    Want to get to work on home automation kits. Maybe something with Arduino

  162. bklnyc says:

    I will teach my 9 year old how to make electronic circuits!

  163. EvilGenius121 says:

    If I had that (really nice) iron, it would save me a lot of trouble than using my $5, rather abused looking, soldering iron. My list of ideas for projects grows pretty much weekly and I am currently making a small speaker system, and a joint LED music bar to go with it. I also have other projects parts ordered (adaptable time lapse camera shooter), and another few ideas in my head. Maybe with this I will be able to finish my home built equivalent of a mintyboost easier too! With it I could also buy various tips for easier SMT soldering. Would be a great help for heat sensitive IC’s. I would retire my $5 iron to do the dirty work- removing hard components from PCB’s and the like. I might even be able to resurrect my point and shoot and use it in the time lapse project (I need a fine point iron, and I just cant bring myself to use the paperclip or solid wire on the iron trick). Its been dead since I took it apart and broke the sensitive switch contacts. Now its my camera to play around with =D
    My sisters iHome is also starting to make buzzing noises. I sense a need for a good soldering iron in the future. Thanks so much for the giveaway!!

  164. srpsco.myopenid.com says:

    I have a disability that can keep me in bed for days at a time. So i am currently setting up a status and automation system – so I can remain productive.

  165. IWorkInPixels says:

    I am about to get my Makerbot in the mail, which I will be using to start a manufacturing business and hackerspace in my town.

    I would use this soldering iron to make the electronics portion of my printed projects, and to research new technologies at the hackerspace.

    And also, for total world domination…

  166. dtownmaker says:

    I’m looking to finally put my arduino pinewood derby timer plan into action. Also, the FirePower pinball needs some switches and solenoids replaced.

    Recently new to the warranty voiding scene so I’m sure to find a number of other things to break/fix.

  167. sven-markuson.myopenid.com says:

    It would be nice to replace my 15 year old radio shack soldering iron with the taped up cord. A new iron would also help me fix electronics that my friends and family bring to me. I would also like to finish up a few project of my own including a temperature logger and a LED therapy light for my wife.

  168. Minimaker says:

    Hello, my name is Ward and I am the “lead” of Godwin FIRST Robotics Team 540 (you can check us out at team540.com) right now we currently only have a very cheap Radioshack iron that really isn’t the best in the world, so to speak. We have to solder many things that require lots of precise variable heat, for example connectors that we use are plastic yet are recomended to have at least 700 degrees for soldering them. Too little we have a bad connection, too much we mutilate the plastic, thus it would be very beneficial to have such a nice station like this. Thank you.

  169. rocketman63 says:

    I build experimental rockets (often scratch-built rockets, motors, and DIY fuel). I would use the soldering iron to make a load cell and MCU-based motor-thrust measurement and recording system as well as avionics packages to record flight telemetry.

  170. Robin says:

    I’d like to un-make some things around the house to make them better, no matter what my wife says.

  171. Robin says:

    I’d like to un-make some things around the house to make them better, no matter what my wife says.

  172. Parker says:

    The first thing i would make would be a blinking princess crown for my daughters bicycle helmet. She just learned how to ride her bike and likes riding it at all hours of the night!

  173. Emilio says:

    I’m still in high school so I don’t know if I’m even eligible, but making things is what has been keeping me sane through school. I currently have a $10 Radioshack “firestarter” that has lived up to its name. This iron was fine when I only needed it to (clumsily) solder wires together (most significantly KipKay’s night vision project) but as I drifted farther into the world of microcontrollers my iron has begun to show its weaknesses. Inadequate heat control has left quite a few bad solder joins requiring me to redo them. I also tried my first SMD soldering about a week ago, a task made very difficult by my cheap soldering iron.

    I try to keep myself busy when it comes to side projects, helps keep me sane as I said before, so I tend to do a lot of soldering. Recently I’ve been playing with the MSP430 Launchpad so if I do win this iron the first thing I would likely do is make a small project board for it. From there, I can think of a few longer term projects: adding interesting homebuilt effects to a rendition of Macbeth that a friend of mine is directing is one I am particularly looking forward to.

    Thank you for your consideration.
    Emilio

  174. DaLooK says:

    to solder the uC at the main board of a warbot im planning to make, maybe also make a controller.. :D

  175. sirisfou says:

    I spent the last summer trying to build small payloads to cram in small 3/4” rocket body tubes. Other than that I’d be building as many devices as I can to turn off TVs and noisy things around me as possible. Automated hidden TVBeGone is the next project I’m working on.

  176. casaheil says:

    I’d love to win this new soldering station. I’ve got an old Radio Shack pencil iron I bought close to 30 years ago. I built a simle half-wave rectifier to drop the power down to delicate items. It’s been good to me but its long overdue for an upgrade.

    Most of my projects are music oriented ranging from a 1953 Clavioline I’m rebuilding to a couple of 80′s synths that need repair.

    Hope I win!!!
    Thanks,
    — Steve

  177. Samy B says:

    Never have done it but always wanted to learn.

  178. Dave L says:

    I work on my own guitars, other instruments, amps and effects. I’ve also just started to get into circuit bending.

  179. kenrich111 says:

    I’ve been featured a couple times in the past on Make and other maker/electronics web sites. I’m always putting together some crazy and not so crazy projects with my 13 year old daughter’s assistance. We’ve built some modular pcb prototyping boards, a iPhone controlled baseball/softball scoreboard, and more. All of this with my trusty 30 Watt fire starter and an even tighter budget.

    My current project is a whole house power meter, which is not terribly unique. The unique part about this project is what I will do with the data. Once the metering is complete, I will be working on various ways of visualizing power consumption in a residential environment. An overly scientific numeric display is out of place in the home. I will try to use more subtle methods such as mood lighting, background noise, and other strategies that hint at current power consumption.

    There are quite a lot of gaps in my bench equipment and the equipment I do own are mostly all circa 1980′s or cheap Chinese specials. I would have to say the one tool that frustrates me the most is that dang 30W soldering iron. Never the right temperature…

  180. 3boysdad says:

    I spent a great deal of time repairing broken toys, broken electronics, kissing boo-boos, and fixing tools…I also spent a great deal of time teaching my boys (3 of them, hence the user name) how do it themselves. I teach them to be curious how something works and that “sometimes its OK to break something when you are figuring how it works”. This nice gift would provide me with another good teaching tool.

  181. JDobbsRosa says:

    One of my bosses wants me to make him a prop Bat-Puter type flashing light panel for an upcoming show at our theater so I’ve been working on my soldering with cheap kits and a cheap iron. I think I’ve gotten my skills up to on of these being almost the right item. Either way thanks for being a great blog.

  182. Mark says:

    build a netduinoplus based temperature logging device, using web service, sql server.

  183. skee57 says:

    I would make all the electronic parts to things that I currently have plans for: chicken door opener, etc. I would love it as well as use it all the time.

  184. adcurtin says:

    I do all sorts of stuff with electronics. I’m an EE (and CS) major in college. I take apart stuff and fix it often.

    My current project is a giant 5×7 pixel display. I’ve made 3 so far, and am working on a 4th that will have 4 leds per pixel instead of 1 (RGBW). The displays are quite large, at approximately 2′ by 3′.

  185. Pete says:

    I would like to introduce my daughters to electronics through building neat projects with them. When I was a kid, I remember tearing apart electronics and building new things and how much fun it was. It’s a great learning experience and something we can do together.

  186. ral says:

    I am currently designing two projects for my co-workers.

    One is an automatic track switching relay for a model train.

    The other is a motion activated strobe/siren/water sprayer for keeping deer and birds away.

    It would be nice to have a station like this for the builds.

  187. amacneil.myopenid.com says:

    If I won this I’d use it to build a couple of audio projects that are on my to-do list (squelette amplifier and a CMoy Headphone amp) and also attempt to fix an alarm clock that died just a few months after I bought it.

  188. Greg Nagy says:

    Arduino shields are like pokemon for adults, “Gotta build em all” .

    Actually, I would use it not just for microcontroller projects, but retro computing and model train projects as well.

  189. GregW says:

    I am just starting my adventure in to embedded electronics, being totally inspired by what I have seen done in my MAKE Magazine Daily…a better soldering iron is on the need list…having one like this would be a dream!

    I have been playing around with several prototypes, including a variant of the prolific firefly jar (one for each kid, in their favorite colors of course) that will allow the kids to tap and shake the jar to agitate the fireflies, a Magic the Gathering timer/life counter for my son (we both love to play that game), and my large project is an electronic Othello board that would let the users toggle the colors on the buttons and eventually (once I figure it all out) would validate the players move, automatically flip the colors, and calculate the winner at the end of the game (I have written a forms based app to do all that…just need to figure out how to embed it all and interface with the buttons).

    There are also a couple of kits I have had my eye on…the one in the lead is the bulb-dial clock from the MakerShed…now THAT has a LOT of soldering!

    Who knows what else will jump in to my head in 2011!

  190. BitterTait says:

    The first project I would use it for is the alarm clock of DOOM v.3. This is a scratch built alarm clock with three notable features:

    1. It is notably loud. several times louder than a standard alarm clock. Loud enough that in the unlikely event that I sleep through it, the neighbors will wake me up forcably.
    2. To prevent the alarm from turning back on, you are required to solve math equations, base conversion problems, interpret morse code, braille and rot-13, and whatever other quizzes I think of between now and finished time.
    3. Every time you answer a question wrong, you get a mild electrical shock.

    The next project is a variation on the wrist mounted flame thrower posted a while back. This one is upgraded with an auto-start pilot light, so you don’t have to rely on the clunky manual lighter starter.

    Should I survive that project, I’ll solder up a temperature controller for a ten dollar radio shack iron and see how they stack up against each other.

  191. Anke says:

    I would give this tool to my husband for Christmas so that he can make me a little robot dog!

  192. picaxer says:

    I have many uses for this iron. Currently I’m helping my son on a Holiday LED display contest entry that requires using a microcontroller. Next will be battery powered night light/reading light that shuts off after 15 minutes. Next will be an electronic music box for my daughter. Many ideas on using an IR remote control to send commands to a microcontroller.

  193. Joshua Rothhaas says:

    I do science project based baby sitting and this tool would allow the 8-12 year old I work with to build all kinds of neat stuff.

  194. JWB says:

    I am an aspiring independent inventor. I will be formalizing a R&D business for this soon, and have concluded that equipment fabrication should be the primary focus at this stage. With the means to create any tool I might need, the pursuit of innovation will be slowed by no obstacle.

    We find ourselves at the cusp of another industrial revolution. Miniaturization and open-source software forever changed the computer: placing the tools of industry and academia into the hands of the laymen. The emerging open-source hardware movement has the same potential to alter the face of manufacturing and fabrication.

    The equipment resulting from this movement enables independent inventors, hackers, makers, tinkerers, and scientists (all one in the same) to innovate at a greatly reduced cost. As the community reinvests in developing the intellectual equity, the benefit is felt by all. With this in mind, I intend to contribute all laboratory equipment, fabrication equipment, and tools I develop to the open-source communities, thereby freeing me to focus on product development.

    Make magazine, a gift subscription from my mother, has been a source of great encouragement. The open-source hardware movement, coupled with examples detailed in Make, has vindicated my business aspirations. What had once been planned as something for retirement has become my entire focus for 2010.

  195. Kyle Kellogg says:

    I’m relatively new to doing the kinds of projects here on make, having only been at it for about a year. Things I’ve done in the past are make autonomous mobile robots, analog controllers for immersive musical experiences, and some work in making an LED suit to be worn for an interactive performance which was used in conjunction with some Processing based tracking code I did (relayed that to a 20 foot projection display for the audience to watch the dancers’ movements to the music).

    Right now, I’m working on creating an adjustable temperature stabilizing environment for my homebrewing.

    In the future, I’d really like to do some more analog controllers and branch out into doing a hexapod robot.

    Having a decent soldering iron would really help, because I’m stuck with using a relatively cheap one right now which has definitely not been helpful to my endeavors. Ah, the joys of having aspirations, no money, and hefty college loan debt.

  196. riche says:

    I want to build me some electronics for a Reprap, some arduino projects and start getting into some basic SMT soldering projects.

  197. amcguire.myopenid.com says:

    I would like to have a new soldiering iron to help teach my son and some of his peers more about electronics.

  198. alcology says:

    I have to make a circuit to change the resistance of my gas tank sending unit so my gas gauge and I will know how much gas is left in my car! I’ll be doing this anyway, but it would fun with one of these

  199. soundsanction says:

    I am inventor slash film maker, and I have a couple of inventions for robotic camera mounts and movable tripods I would love to make. I also wanna make a robotic lawnmower. I am an amateur and this device may make it easier for me or harder for me but I am very serious about manifesting my inventions.

  200. soundsanction says:

    I am inventor slash film maker, and I have a couple of inventions for robotic camera mounts and movable tripods I would love to make. I also wanna make a robotic lawnmower. I am an amateur and this device may make it easier for me or harder for me but I am very serious about manifesting my inventions.

  201. sturnfie.myopenid.com says:

    I would use the soldering station as a tool in salvaging components from “junk” electronics. I volunteer to instruct microcontroller project courses to highschool students and typically use salvaged components in the course project kits as a way to keep the cost per student at a minimum.

  202. bubsnubsly says:

    Recently I have started to invent and reinvent designs and projects. My primary interest is robotics but I have been unable to start any projects. This is due to budget constraints. I am a programming student with a bad back, and I cannot find a way to afford the things need. I am hoping that this can be the start I need to further my interest. I understand that a lot of people have specific needs and that mine is more of an interest, but I hope you see the potential I posses and chose me!
    Thank you!

  203. hiramasa.myopenid.com says:

    This is primarily to get my nephews started in electronics. they like how I tinker with it, but it’s been hard to teach them with my crappy soldering irons.

    I’m hoping to show them what a good solder looks like.

  204. JackP says:

    After my last 3 hour soldiering session, I realized I either need a new back or a more efficient soldering iron. Getting too old to use cheap and crappy equipment.

    When is Make magazine giving away free backs?. =)

  205. punknubbins says:

    Due to my frustration with cheap kitchen thermometers, and my reluctance to shell out a ton of money for a good quality lab thermometer. My fantasy project right now is to build a kitchen thermometer with multiple thermocouple inputs for precision measurements, alarms for maximum _and_ minimum temps (think candy making), data logging, plus an expansion interface (digital hydrometer for brewing?), and bluetooth connectivity so I can monitor it from my cell phone or a computer. I have been playing around with this project on a breadboard for a few weeks now and finally want to start fabricating a semi permanent prototype, but my radio shack iron just doesn’t cut it.

  206. SilverAdept says:

    I hope I can get this one :).
    I would be using it to finally get to the Adafruit SIM card reader kit and the mini amp kit.

  207. Gareth Branwyn says:

    Thanks for all of your entries, folks. We’ll announce the winner within the hour.

    And look for more element14 tool giveaways over the next 8 days!

  208. James says:

    I’m a network engineer and my server and router lab needs an NTP server.

    My next project is to reclaim a WWVB chip from a radio controlled clock, send the data to an RS232 output and use it as the root of my NTP server architecture.

  209. Hollimer says:

    Past projects:
    -stained glass windows
    -new power jack on wife’s laptop
    -various Halloween costume LED setups

    Future uses:
    I’d use this to build a power controller for a wind turbine to charge a battery bank and run a water pump for my upcoming backyard aquaponics (fish + veggie growing = fast growing, organic food supply) project. Already got a sweet motor to uses as the generator.

    Also planning on building a solar panel with a solar tracker and would use this to complete that project as well.

  210. Dale says:

    Who can get enough of extruder boards. Must have more materials!

  211. G33K says:

    I would make Arduino projects, robots, guitar effects, room security systems, and other gadgets, and hopefully get in to small scale SMD.
    Thanks for the chance!
    G33K

  212. Gareth Branwyn says:

    The winner of the soldering station is: infinitychic36. Congrats! Email sent.

  213. stinkykiller says:

    I don’t see infinitychic36′s post !!

  214. scotth61 says:

    I would use this to make a lot of the cool projects featured in Make:
    :-)

    Scott
    (don’t forget to pick me!)

  215. Gareth Branwyn says:

    Her login name is actually “Vicki”

  216. Anonymous says:

     Hé, je suis en train de trouver une solution pour le problème de batterie, j’ai eu un calcultor et tous mes calculs a été enregistré dans l’, puis j’ai pris la batterie pour vérifier si c’est la rouille ou pas. Ensuite, il ne montrant la mémoire priveous que je le plus besoin. S’il vous plaît.___________________________pile lithium chargeur de piles

  217. Ed Reed says:

    I could use this to replace the fuse in my t.v.