From the Tips Box: Drone Hacks Galor, DIY Solder Dispensers, and Mood-based Music

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By Jason Fitzpatrick on August 30th, 2012


Once a week we round up some of the great reader-submitted tips and share them with everyone. This week we’re looking at AR Drone hacks, crafting a DIY solder dispenser, and enjoying mood-based music.

Dronehacks Catalogs Dozens of AR Drone Mods


Cal writes in with the following hack/mod blog to share:

I saw your article about quadcopters [Maximize Your Quadcopter’s Range with a Wi-Fi Repeater] and thought you guys would enjoy the Dronehacks blog—if you or any of your readers are into playing with the Parrot AR Drones you’ll find more hacks, mods, and cool tricks there than you could possibly add onto your Drone. Happy modding!

Well then, sign us up for the extended battery and frickin’ laser beams mod. Thanks for sharing Cal!

Enjoy Mood-based Music at Moodstream


Angie writes in with a streaming music tip:

I tried out the StereoMood app, it’s pretty cool… but I’m going to have a hard time prying myself away from Moodstream. The service is owned by GettyImages and it pulls from the Getty database to provide images and videos related to the mood of the music you’re listening to. The Getty database is absolutely huge and you rarely seem the same image twice… it’s fun to leave it on in the background while you’re working at your desk.

Moodstream is interesting, in comparison to StereoMood, because you can easily and actively adjust the playlist on the fly. Nice find, Angie!

DIY Soldering Tool Offers Comfortable Grip


Ray writes in with a tip for all those electronics DIYers reading HTG:

Years ago I had a little solder dispenser but recently, when I got back into hobby electronics, I couldn’t find one quite like it. I ended up finding a tutorial on Instructables where a guy made one almost exactly like the one I recall from the 1980s, one that holds a spiral of soldering tin in a plastic tube so you can feed it out as you go. For any other old electronics geeks that might be reading along with me here, now you can build your own.

We’ve seen some DIY models that dispense the solder using a mechanical-pencil like mechanism but this one clearly holds a lot more solder in the same space. Nice DIY project, Ray!

Have a tip to share? Shoot us an email at and look for your tip on the front page.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/30/12
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