Hobbies in general are very much an art-form; an expression of the maker, a twist on the norm. Technical hobbies are no different, and also require a basic tool-set to create your masterpiece.
In this post, we’ll lay out some of the basic tools needed for projects on this site. You may have some of these items laying around the house, but if not, we’ll provide our best recommendations on what to get and where to find them.
Git is the industry standard for software versioning. Countless amazing, open-source, projects are stored in Git repositories. The two most popular options are Github (Free Public Repositories, Paid Private Repositories) and BitBucket (Free Private Repositories, Paid Public Repositories). Hitech Hobby uses Github and hosts public repositories at: https://github.com/hitechhobby . (Read more about using Git here)
Many of the projects on this site will involve a micro-controller in one way or another. The advent of these affordable, compact boards have launched the Hitech Hobby industry into a new age of automation that was previously only accessible to large organizations.
While there are many options out there, a standard Raspberry Pi will be sufficient for most projects. Buying a kit is usually the most cost effective way to go, as you will at least need: the controller, a power supply, and a storage card.
3D printing is now a large part of the hobby community, regardless of which hobby you prefer. 3D printing can be a stand alone hobby in and of itself and this tool will play a large role in projects on this site. If you’ve found your way to this site, you likely already have a printer, but if not, we’d recommend a machine with auto bed-leveling. A kit will help you learn how everything works, and makes for a fun afternoon or weekend. We recommend something with some quality parts, like the Original Prusa i3 MK2S 3D printer. Alternatively, clone kits can offer cheaper up-front costs, but will need to be modified to achieve similar quality.
A large part of Hitech Hobby-ing is simply exploring how things work. Taking apart old devices, connecting spare parts to make something new or tinkering with software to add functionality. Creativity can be limited, by the junk/treasure you have laying around the house. To that end, it may be useful to have a collection of spare parts to experiment with. A few of our favorites are:
Of course you’ll need a soldering iron and some soldering supplies to connect all the electronic parts. We also suggest an iron with replaceable heads, and variable temperatures, to join 3D printed parts in some cases. Here are some parts we recommend.
Each project on the site will have its own set of required parts and tools. We encourage you to explore variations of each project, customizing the end result to reflect your personal style.