I found the screwdriver set that I was mentioning. It is called the autoloader. It can be purchase from Amazon as a set (no I did not get the pink set). It looks like they have an upgraded version. Here is their website.
I hear you there on the budget. I am thinking about makning my own custom body for the Pilot Hi-tec refills. I have access to some sintered tungsten that I could add to the front of the body that would make it a real nice device. I would love to make it similar in shape to my mechanical pencil as I really like that shape as it fits well in my hand.
I like your idea, let me know if you end up doing anything with it. The integrated breadboard that I have is really great, but it weights over 10lbs (it has a nice steel case). I have seen a few updated boards of this style, but they are in the $500 range. I see no reason they should be this costly. I imagine that one could make a board like this for under $100 and have the same functionality.
The reason that I do like this breadboard that I have is that it has lots of things like switches, speakers, pots, and a few simple diagnostic and signal generation tools. It also has a variable power supply. It is simple, but it has worked well.
I personally use the guts from an old Cat4 cable. It is cheap and plentiful, and the internal wire is color coded. I also have a small set of flexible, premade jumpers. My boards never look quite as neat as Max's, but I usually am not leaving it on the breadboard for long.
My wife and I have a similar agreement. Her expensive habit is clothes, and mine is tools and stuff for my modeling projects. It tends to balance out well.
As to bits that I do not have, most of those come from trying to get into an Apple product. I hate it when groups use custom fasteners to try and prevent people from getting into the device for repairs, or to see what is going on.
I do a fair bit of repair work and fixing things for people. I would not be without various sets of screwdrivers, especially those with a driver and tons of bits - flat, philips, posidriv, hex (allen key) torx and security torx (with the hole in the middle). tri-wing, etc. And no matter how many you have, you'll always come across something for which you don't have a driver, to give you an excuse to add to your collection....
I have an ongoing argument with my wife as to whether a man can ever have too many screwddrivers. Fortunately she is the same with earrings, so I can always keep her quiet if she starts on at me about it :-)
@Max....@Aeroengineer:It looks very interesting, also very well laid out with the jumper wires.
Love your work Max, I'll second that. My breadboards usually look like rats nests and it sometimes gets very difficult to trace wires. I got with some breadboards I bought, an assortment of preformed jumpers in various lengths and since I ahve started using those my projects look a little bit more like yours.
I'm with you Duane. I usually have 2 or 3 projects on the go and so need a few breadboards. I recently got a bunch of breadboards in various sizes for a song off a local electronics store which stopped doing small hobbyist parts.
I'm working on something at the moment which will have each breadboard mounted on a small case inside which there will be regulators for +/-5 and +/-12V. I'll plug them into a power supply with +/-8 and +/-16V unregulated outlets, using 8-way DIN plugs which I also have a lot of. I have tons of 150mA polyfuses I got off some old boards and will use them as current limiters. I have enough pins on the DIN plugs to maybe send some other voltages and have higher voltage or current supplies too.
I like also building into my breadboards things like LEDs, switches (debounced if necessary) speakers etc (I do very varied projects). I might make one housing with more tools on it like Adam's - a small DMM and probably my Xminilab - a small MSO + Signal Gen from Gabotronics which I won - see more here
They have some VERY tasty goodies for projects like this - you could make a small self-contained development environment as long as you're not doing anything tooo fast. On that one, I am thinking about making the breadboards plug-in, again so I can work on a few things at a time without dismantling one to do something else.
All I need is some time to get all this done. Work has a nasty habit of interfering with the interesting stuff...