This post is just thinly camouflaged hucksterism to fill my Amazon affiliate coffers, although if you have a nerd on your holiday list it might be helpful. Links are to Amazon but often a quick Google will net a lower price. These are products I’ve bought and used in the past year which seem to be working well for me, although as with all things YMMV…
- Weller WESD51 Digital Soldering Station
I love this thing. Makes soldering easy and quick instead of a chore.
- Metro Vacuum ED500 DataVac 500-Watt 0.75-HP Electric Duster 120-Volt
Fun and useful. I’ve used it to clean a number of PCs and other electronics, inflated air mattresses (not sure if that voids the warranty or not) and blown out a variety of filters. Even used it to clean the window screens.
- Saleae Logic USB Logic Analyzer
There are less expensive products that do the same thing, but the software is well done and it works flawlessly.
- TP-Link TL-WN721N 150Mbps Wireless N USB Adapter
This is my go-to adapter when troubleshooting other people’s connection problems. Seems to work perfectly with Linux as well.
- La Crosse Technology BC-700 Alpha Power Battery Charger
Just a neat charger, tests batteries, conditions them, etc.
- Imedion AA 2400mAh NiMH Rechargeable Batteries, 4-Pack
LSD (low self discharge) NiMH batteries, which means they stay charged longer before use. Some of our digital cameras will not work with ordinary NiMH batteries but do with these.
- SiliconDust HDHomeRun Dual High Definition Digital Television HDHR3-US (Black)
We finally cut the cord (or the Satellite link) this year. Hooked up to our HDTV over the air antenna it pulls in free broadcast channels. Windows 7 sees this as two TV tuners on the network and will record programs as well as stream them directly to a computer.
- Roku HD Streaming Player
We have a Roku hooked up to every TV (720p only, you need the next model up to do 1080). Works great with Netflix and Amazon, ok with Hulu+, lots of free channels, etc.
- Ticket To Ride
A really fun board game that does not go on forever, has easy to learn rules and, well, trains!
- Zombie Dice
Quick and easy, fun for kids who like zombies.
If you love me, here are a few things I’d love to find under the tree, but I’ll probably just end up buying them for myself…
- The Art of Electronics
I hear it’s a great read and my local library does not have a copy available.
- Rigol DS1102E 100MHz Digital Oscilloscope, Dual Analog Channels, 1 GSa/s Sampling, USB Storage
My free 40 year old oscilloscope just isn’t cutting it anymore. I’m happy to accept a donation of a less antique oscilloscope though. I could also use a bench supply, signal generator, and…
- Makita MAC700 Big Bore 2.0 HP Air Compressor
The cheap Husky from Home Depot really doesn’t have enough oomph for my needs.