MickMake Mail #21: IkaScope, Tindie goodies & appliance hacking.

A bunch of goodies arrived. The IkaLogic guys sent me one of their IkaScopes to review, a bunch of Tindie goodies for the MickMake/Tindie competition and a few appliances that I really need to hack.


IkaScope

Hardware

The probe tip has a nice solid click feel to it letting you know that it’s started acquisition. It can be replaced, which is essential for an all-in-one bit of test kit like this.

It would have been good to add some buttons to the side to change settings like; resolution or timebase.

You, of course, only have the one input, so no external triggering, which will limit the use-cases for this device a air bit.

It has excellent galvanic isolation, because of the battery and WiFi connectivity. So, you won’t see stray currents caused by ground loops.

Having no cables getting in the way is really nice. You just pick it up and use it.

The +/-40v input is limiting and not having a standard BNC type input means you’re stuck with the one impedance and can’t use a 10x probe.

Software side

Apart from an issue with Mac OSX; Windows and Linux worked OK and came up with the same interface as the iOS app. Frankly software can be fixed and from what I’ve seen so far the interface is very solid.

It is a little primitive. With only one input there’s not a heck of a lot you can do really, but it does have everything you need.

Price

A little pricey, but I can see a lot of R&D went into it and it’s resulted in a pretty solid product.

IkaLogic don’t have the same name as other test gear companies, so naturally we question the asking price, but if they keep producing quality products like this, then they’ll go far.

Would I buy one? At that price, probably not, but for what you’re getting the asking price is right.

Summary

So what do I think?

Being able to just pick it up and scope out anything no matter where it is, changes the way you work.

Really, the only thing I can fault it on is the price. Anyone wanting to sell a product has the same issue. You have to be able to recoup all your R&D costs, but if you price it too high you miss the market you’re aiming for. Price it too low and you don’t get enough margin to cover costs.

It’s one of those products that shines in remote testing. So, for example if you’re up a ladder, or stuck in a comms room trying to figure out what the heck is going on with a bit of equipment, being able to scope out there and then… well it’s the only product that does it. So, my advice to the company is look for ways you can partner with telco or mobile repair companies and provide this as part of their test kit. That way you can increase production and the cost per unit will go down for the average Maker.


Tindie – MappyDot

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get a response out of the MappyDot and didn’t have time to investigate any further. So I’ll revisit this one in a later Mailbag.


Tindie – BerryIMU

Another great IMU that can be plonked onto a Pi from Ozzmaker. (Quick start guide.)


Tindie – Water Me Bird

A great little DIY soldering kit that is very practical. Saves you from killing your plants.


Kogan – Smart Kettle hacking

Part of my “let’s hack everything I can possibly see” initial investigations. Seems that this kettle runs, of course, one of the cheap 8051 based MCUs that are flooding the market due to the 8051 patents expiring.


Kogan – Bread Machine hacking

Same with the Bread Maker! Should be a very hackable bunch of appliances.


If you like this YouTube channel please subscribe by clicking the in-video button, or the little red “Subscribe” button in your browser or app. You can also get updates by subscribing to me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and also Tumblr.