Solder Joint Defect Picture Guide (+ SMT)

Who knows how this will last, but IPC (a trade organization that publishes solder and electronics standards) has demos of thousands of dollars of all their training material available. This includes picture books of good and bad joints for both lead and lead-free solder (dull and grainy OK for lead-free!) as well as low-res versions of their DVDs, which cover everything from hand soldering techniques, to ESD safety and even PCB manufacturing. The through-hole and SMT picture booksare great references, in particular. The DVDs have great up-close video (and cheesy music). These standards were the primary source for our soldering guides and videos.

What a Great TGIMBOEJ

We just received a TGIMBOEJ in the mail, that’s a The-Great-Internet-Migratory-Box-Of-Electronics-Junk in long form. Our box included a huge, old LCD panel, a mini 6GB hard drive, a GPS something or other, some super old style capacitor can, a power supply, an old relay and a bunch of other little odds and ends. The box started in Canada at ogi lumen (the prettiest nixie pictures on the net), and then went to We’ll be sending it to moderndevice.comnext. The idea is that you take what you want out, put in what you want from your own junk pile, and then pass it on. We’re going to nab the power supply. The rest of this entry has more pics.

mini 6Gb harddrive about the size of a coin dollar.

A nice custom perf board creation–it’s even got daughter cards of a sort that hang off the bottom.

some sort of gps device

Old school relay… computers used to click before transistors and tubes.

Check out the capacitor can on the right.

New Kit: Stribe1 Touch LED Strip Controller

Each Stribe1 has a touch strip and double column of LEDs that can display and control music and video programs. Multiple Stribe1’s can be daisy-chained together to form a low-res, multi-touch display. Use with Max/MSP or other software to adjust track volumes with VU meters, make a sequencer, control synth params and pitch, “scratch” through sounds, etc. Designed by Josh Boughey as a modular version of his original 8 strip Stribe (which won two editor’s choice awards at the Austin maker faire!). The Stribe1 kit page
Stribe1: Touchstrip + LED Bargraph Display from CuriousInventor on Vimeo.

Kit Demos in Atlanta Friday, 11/6

If you’re in Atlanta, we’ll be demoing some kits at the launch event for Georgia Tech’s new Center for Music Technology. We’ll have all the music related kits, including the Voice of Saturn line, MIDIATOR and a soon to be released Stribe. There will also be some other interesting technology, including a robotic drummer and marimba player, some other modular synths, and some computer assisted / generated performances. The event goes from 4 to 6:30pm.


CuriousInventor launched in late 2006 (pre-arduino era!) as a place to enable hobbyists, students, and musicians to create their own technology. We sold open-source kits and tools, and offered numerous guides & videos on things like soldering, metal working, screws, electronics, and more. 

The store is now mostly empty, but we’ve kept the product pages and guides up since they have useful information. Many of our guides and videos still rank on the first page of google searches and have been seen millions of times. Content on this site and the CuriousInventor YouTube channel produced by Scott Driscoll.

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