Emergency Quick Prototyping Pack

Between my home lab, the hackerspace that I co-run, the booths we set up at various events, and my day job, I find myself packing and unpacking electronics supplies pretty often. To cut down on wasted time (including the time I spend running to RadioShack to pick up that tiny-but-oh-so-important part that I forgot), I’ve developed a small mobile pack over time of the stuff that I always seem to need for basic prototyping, but can’t always rely on finding lying around.


Start with a bag that speaks to you. You’re going to have it on you all the time, so get one that’s small enough to carry around with you, but spacious enough to be useful. I found this beauty at the dollar store.


Once you’ve picked out the perfect bag, fill it up with:

An Arudino Uno, which is the handiest Arduino for prototyping, because it comes with little slots over the pins to allow for solderless connections. Just plug your jumper wires in and go.

A Type-B USB Cable, to program the Arduino Uno.

5V USB Portable Battery, which can be used to charge your Arduino on the go.

A tiny breadboard, for testing tiny prototypes.

Jumper Wires, which are pre-stripped and plug easily into your breadboard and Arduino Uno.

Proto Boards for prototyping soldered projects.

Qtechknow Sensor Kit, for quickly connecting any sensor you want to your Arduino.

Resistors: 1K (medium-resisty), 10K (high-resisty), and 470 (not-very-resisty) Ohms. Most projects can be covered in the prototype phase with some combo of these values, in my experience.

Misc. LEDs and Lamps, for testing output. If you don’t have the proper output device on hand, an LED makes a great stand-in to make sure the rest of your project and it’s sensors are functioning properly.

A strip of individually-addressable RGB LEDs, because they are extremely easy to work with and make every project 10x pretty.

Solder, for… soldering.

Clippers for trimming and stripping wire.

Red & Black Shrink Tubing, to cover up soldered connections in your wires.

A Lighter for shrinking heat shrink tubing, melting rope ends, and burning the scum off of audio wires.

A Flux Pen for soldering LED strips or other pesky connections.

A LiPo Battery, for quick portable charging.

USB LiPo Charger, to charge up your LiPo, which has probably been in a drawer for the last month.

A 9V Battery Connector, for quick alternative battery power.

Sharpies + a pen to label project wires and draw diagrams. (Blue for data wire, Black for ground wires, and Red for Power wires.)

Misc. SD Cards and Micro SD Cards, just in case. (Many boards use these, and sometimes you just need to transfer or take files with you.)