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.