Monthly Archives: November 2013

  • Holiday Gift Ideas at Kimco

    The holiday shopping season is upon us. To help you pick out the best gifts for the hobbyist on your list, we've made a list of great ideas for every budget. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the gifts we have selected in three different price ranges. Get your shopping done NOW!

    Under $50:

    PanaVise 301
    Panavise 301 Standard Vise Kit with Head and Base
    - Kimco Price: $49.99

    Every workshop needs a PanaVise, and the 301 is a perfect choice. Like having an extra set of hands, the 301 standard vise will hold household repair projects, printed circuit boards, automotive parts and more. Its jaws open to 2.25” and has a heat tolerance of up to 200°F. This unit is compatible with other PanaVise accessories and the base can be screw-mounted to a workbench or shop counter.

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    Dremel 7300
    Dremel 7300-N/8 MiniMite 4.8v Cordless Rotary Tool Kit
    -Kimco Price: $32.82

    The Dremel MiniMite is a versatile tool for a variety of light-duty projects, including drilling, sanding, shaping and detailing. This portable tool can be used nearly anywhere, making it a perfect addition to any household. This MiniMite kit comes with a variety of accessories and is compatible with Dremel bits with up to a ⅛” shank.

    Suggested add-on:
    Dremel 531 ½” Stainless Steel Brush

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    Eclipse Pro's Kit Driver
    Eclipse Pro's Kit PT-1136A LI-ion Cordless ScrewDriver, 3.6V with Light
    -Kimco Price: $17.18

    A handy cordless screwdriver that won’t break the bank, the Eclipse Pro’s Kit PT-1136A has a directional head that can be adjusted into three different configurations, making it perfect for hard to reach spaces. The built in LED light makes using the driver in low light situations a snap, and included in the kit are a variety of driver bits.

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    Under $100:

    FX888D
    Hakko FX888D ESD-Safe Digital Soldering Station
    Kimco Price: Price: $91.35

    The Hakko FX888D is a popular hobbyist soldering station that features an easy to use digital display. The FX888D packs a big punch for a small price, and it looks really cool too! This station is perfect for use on RC cars and airplanes, computer parts, circuit boards, and other electronics.

    Suggested add-on:
    Additional Wire Sponge

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    Steinel ThermaMelt
    Steinel TM6000 ThermaMelt 6000 Butane Powered Glue Gun
    Kimco Price: $53.04

    This is one serious glue gun. Powered by butane, this gun heats up within three minutes. It is suitable for a variety of hobby and crafting applications and uses replaceable LEC fuel cells.

    Suggested add-on:
    Additional fuel cells

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    Daylight U33700
    Daylight U33700 White Twist Portable Task Light
    Kimco Price: $59.99

    As the name implies, this task light folds up to be easily portable. The rotating head features a “flicker-free” ballast and a 13W energy saving tube (200W equiv). This is a quality lamp for any hobbyist.

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    Under $200:

    Dremel 4000 Kit
    Dremel 4000-6/50 High Performance Variable Speed Rotary Kit with 50 pieces
    Kimco Price: $185.28

    The finest and most versatile of all of Dremel’s rotary tools, the hobbyist in your life will be thrilled with the Dremel 4000-6/50. Featuring a high-performance motor, this tool is suitable for thousands of different hobby, repair, and crafting applications. Sharpen garden tools, sand painted surfaces, cut tile, metal, wood, plastic and more using the 50 included Dremel accessories.

    Suggested add-on:
    Additional cut-off wheels

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    Aven Mighty Vue Magnifier
    Aven 26505-ESD Mighty Vue ESD-Safe Magnifer with Clamp, 3 diopter, 30" Arm
    Kimco Price: $157.08

    This illuminated magnifier features a crystal clear 7 x 5.2in., 1.75x (3 diopter) lens and is the perfect addition to any workbench. The spring-balanced arm has a 30in reach, and the head is equipped with two 9 watt fluorescent bulbs.

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    Visit our gift page for more great holiday gift ideas.

  • Using Branson ultrasonic cleaners for electronic circuit board repair and assembly.

    Ultrasonic Cleaner from Branson Ultrasonic Cleaner from Branson

    Imagine a gunky part with all kinds of crevices and grit embedded in those crevices. How are you going to get it clean? Toothbrush? Toothpick? Environmentally incorrect cleaner that gets you in trouble with the proper-disposal crowd? Ultrasonic cleaning to the rescue!

    In layman terms, an ultrasonic cleaner is a tank for a cleaning solution (usually water and an additive) that has a basket to lower the dirty part into the solution and let it hit all sides. The solution then is zapped with ultrasonic super-bubbles that are safely invasive, hitting all those crevices and holes with a force that loosens the gunk. Any hard surface can be ultrasonically cleaned, provided it is compatible with the solution you are using,for example: a sooty piece of fine china that's been in through a fire. Comes out like new!

    Any industry that needs to clean itty bitty crannies benefits from using some type of ultrasonic cleaning device. There are two workbench sized options that come in handy in just about any shop or workspace that needs to be able to clean smaller, delicate or intricate hard-surface items; the Branson CPX1800 and the Branson CPX1800H.

    Both units are designed to be easy to use. They have digital controls that can be adjusted to the specific thing you are cleaning and you can set the timer so you can go do something besides stand there monitoring the process. The control circuit keeps the tank's frequency at the point you set it to and adapts to changing load conditions, which means that those ultrasonic superbubbles will be working the whole time. The 40 kHz industrial strength transducers will last for years, just sitting on your bench taking care of cleaning your stuff. Both units have a tank that is 6" long, 5.5" wide and 4" deep and the solution has to move around the part so they aren't for really big things (but there are bigger units that can handle it). The CPX1800H adds heat to the solution and you need to do your homework to see if you'll need it. Some stuff just needs that added oomph, like using hot water to wash dishes.

    Branson has been careful to listen to customers and put features they've asked for in these units.

  • PCB Repair Made Easy with the Weller WLC100 soldering station

    Weller WLC100Repairing and maintaining printed circuit boards can be difficult. Though most that deal with PCBs on a daily basis know how fragile they can be, it is important that the correct tools are employed when repairing these fragile circuit boards. There are a few common issues that may solicit repair with a PCB, things like broken connections and loose wires are among the most common. Having a tool like the Weller WLC100 40 watt Hobbyist Solder Station is the best way to insure that users are able to quickly and efficiently repair issues that may arise.

    This station has the capabilities to restore both bulky and delicate repairs. This is a 40 watt station so it has the power to create powerful and lasting connections that are not likely to break with light use. This station is light, easy to move, and easy to use which makes it perfect for small and intricate repairs. The machine is light weight so it can be used on the spot for quick repairs. It is also relatively inexpensive so money can be spent on other materials. With a machine like this, money can be spent on more important things like connection material and soldering material to insure a safe and durable connection.

    Repairing PCBs does not have to be difficult. With the right information and the right machines and tools, repair can be quick and painless. There are two types of soldering that an at home hobbyist may run into. The first is soft soldering, this is the process they will most likely employ when repairing electronics like PCBs. With soft soldering, the process begins by selecting a very soft material as filler, this is generally a tin alloy. The process is called soft soldering because it is generally used on parts that have a very low melting point, because they have a low melting point, these parts must be soldered at a much lower melting point than other items like a piece of steel for instance. Another type of soldering that may be encountered is hard soldering. However, this is not likely to be the repair process chosen with PCBs. This process involves solder being applied at a very high temperature using materials like silver solder and brazing solder. Other products you may need could be things like small snips or tweezers, soldering material, and more.

    Repairing connections can be a tricky business and without the right information and materials, a repair can go horribly wrong. Without precision, delicate handling, and tools that can get the job done right the first time, many hobbyist and those repairing their own PCBs will be facing future repairs and even replacement. Taking the time to find a great tool to help with the necessary repairs to your PCBs is the key to getting a repair done right the first time. These repairs, when done correctly, can last for the remaining life of the PCB and can help to extend the life of older or even damaged PCBs to help save time, money, and effort in the long run.

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