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Archive | October, 2013

Thumb Lites


A salesman sent me some samples of these little LED lights. I stuck one on my keys about a month ago and it’s still kicking.

There is always virtue in a product that only does one thing well. These mini flashlights are perfect for car keys or house keys. If you are unlucky enough to own a car old enough not to have a radio fob, these lights are amazingly effective and handy. They only do one thing very, very well, and they can save you from having to dig out that $400 flashlight otherwise called a smart phone.

I have had this one riding around on my somewhat battered car key, for about a month. I was pleasantly surprised that it hasn’t fallen off in that time, so the self adhesive glue seems quite aggressive. It also hasn’t gone dead from brushing against other things in my pocket. The battery is replaceable by just removing the one screw that is visible in the photo. It also has not called any of my friends at awkward hours in the evening.

Here’s a summary of the features as I see them:

  • Inexpensive.
  • Made of metal.
  • Replaceable battery with easy access.
  • Aggressive self adhesive pad on rear sticks to keys.
  • Switch is hard enough to prevent accidental activation.
  • Preempts having to dig out expensive smart phone “flashlight”.
  • Great gifts for geeks and civilians alike.

I’m giving away 15 of them with orders (you have to buy something else) with discount code “ThumbLite”.
In the shop here.

Make Your Own RBBB in MAKE


Issue 36 of Make Magazine just hit the mailboxen of subscribers; it’ll hit the newsstand on October 23rd or so. The Really Bare Bones Board is featured in the Make Your Own Damn Board article, which is a tutorial on basic board design in EAGLE. We made a special EAGLE library with just the parts on the RBBB, which you can download below. Right click to save (an EAGLE library is an XML file), and place it in the lbr directory of your EAGLE installation.