Last minute-y gifts under $50

For geeky girls with an edgy fashion sense:

Green Resistor Necklace and Earrings $39 are a subtle and sophisticated fashion accent that come packaged in an anti-static bag, and the Cat5 Choker and Bracelet set are an irreverent and bright accessory that elevates network cable as a beautiful statement. They also come in petri dishes–the choker in a large Kirby Bauer and the bracelet in a standard 90mm.

For music nerds and DJ types:

Electronic Music Emergency Adapters $30 gives every electronic musician and DJ a safety net for their performance by providing the common adapters needed for connecting computers and music gear into mixers and the house system.

Kids (and grown-up kids) who love science:

Yes, that’s a gigantic Cold Virus $8.50, a Brain Cell, $8.50 and a Robot $12.50 who looks surprised.

For gamers and retrologists (lovers of retro):

That’s a teeny Pac Man Arcade Game with candy inside $3.50, Mario Candy (well, just his grinning head) also $3.50, and one of our most popular guys, the Super Mario Bros. Mushrooms

Geeky jewelry sets made from electronic components make gift giving easy

All of these come packaged in an electronics anti-static bag on black foam.

Top Row: Green Resistor Necklace and Earrings3 $42, Teal Capacitor Necklace and Earrings $36

Second Row: Fuse Necklace and Earrings Set $26, Yellow Capacitor Necklace and Earrings $65

Third Row: Diode Chain NEcklace and Earrings $42.50, Cat5 Necklace and Bracelet $32.50.

Fourth Row: Microcontroller Cufflinks and Tie Clip $42.50

New limited edition jewelry from Zelle for the holiday season

Zelle has created a series of limited edition necklace sets for the holiday season. Each of them comes with a Certificate of Authenticity (pictured below). In the top row there’s the Audio Amplifier Filigree Necklace $140 and the 2012 Microcontroller Necklaces (sold separately) $34, and the bottom has Microprocessor Chain Necklace (limited to 4) and Yellow Capacitor Necklace and Earrings.

New Fuse Necklace and Earrings from Zelle

Zelle started their fuse necklace series with a single fuse pendant on a black cord, and it was popular among men. For women, here’s a necklace and earring set made of fuses. It would make a great gift for any geeky / DIY girl!

All of these come with a Certificate of Authenticity, too–it’s based on the one that came with Windows 95.

New geek necklace sets and limited edition earrings in time for Valentine’s Day

Green Resistor Necklace and Earring Set
Here is a companion necklace to our popular Green Resistor Triplets Earrings. The necklace features larger versions of the resistors use on the earrings and comes packaged in an anti-static bag with a tamper-proof holographic authenticity seal.

Teal Capacitor Necklace and Earrings Set
Both our Teal Triple Capacitor Necklace and Capacitor Earrings are popular, so we decided to combine them as a set, with just a slight variation on the necklace.

Orange Varistor Earrings
Varistors are like the “surge protectors” in a circuit. We happen to have two pairs of these orange components elegantly made into earrings.

Bridge Rectifier Earrings
We only have one pair of these earrings made from bridge rectifiers and dangly spring rings

. All of these pieces come in silver anti-static bags with a tamper-proof, holographic seal of authenticity. Make someone happy this V-Day!

New limited edition ties from Cyberoptix

Cyberoptix has unleashed more limited edition ties made from real vintage screens used for printing circuit boards. The Resistor Ties feature a pattern for (presumably) an oven’s controls. If you click the detail photos you can zoom in and check out the component labels. The modified polka-dot pattern of the Screw Ties is actually various screw heads including Frearson, Philips, Polydrive, Robertson, slotted, Torx, hex and cross (check out this awesome identification guide we found on Instructables). One of these would be a great gift for an engineering / DIY kind of guy. The Element Control Tie features a graphic, minimalist slice of a wonderfully geometric circuit board screen that was used to print circuit boards for appliance control panels on an oven. Lady Ada has a nice section on circuit board design if you’re curious.

Cyber Monday? Nope: Chuck Testa

Hello, friends! Liz here. In case you’re wondering why Fractalspin is not jumping on the Cyber Monday / Black Friday uber-discount-mania bandwagon, it’s because the prices you see here are closely tied to real value.

Mrr?? Ok, let me explain.

I started Fractalspin to share cool stuff with people who are interested in fashion, technology, geekery, edgy electronic music, and the blurry overlaps within and without. It’s been super fun, and so rewarding to meet such a cool group of people who’ve wandered this way from all directions. I feel so lucky to have interacted with you all, and I am grateful for your support. I personally select everything we carry here because I think you’ll like it, and the stuff I choose to carry is special. I seek out interesting people creating innovative things who have committed their time and energy to creating these interesting things.

Now that the gushing gratitude is out of the way, let me share some profiles with you so you see where I’m coming from.

I met Michael Una of Unatronics through a friend and got a tour of his studio. It contained–besides the obligatory monitors and computers–a disco-ball bike helmet and a bicycle that would generate music patterns triggered by wheel-speed. Later, he sends me an invite to an art opening at a show featuring his latest work. His piece involved sitting in a chair with headphones listening to ambient sounds that were supposed to resonate with your brainwaves and create a different state of mind. No, this is not craziness–this is being researched. Since Michael understands electronics, he built his own musical toys, the Beep-It, Beep-It Deluxe, and the Seeq-It.

Love our geek-chic ties? They have come from the mind of Bethany Shorb, aka Toybreaker / Cyberoptix. I met her because while touring as an electronic music producer and DJ through Detroit, I saw her art, performed alongside her, and was intrigued with all the things she does. Fast forward a bit and I learn she’s making cool ties. So it’s obvious: Must. Share. We carry the geekier side of the ties she puts out. BTW: She also doesn’t do mega-sales. For pretty much the same reasons.

Unlike major retailers who negotiate on price as a function of distributor-ship arrangements (boring, I know), here at Fractalspin, it’s not about margins. It’s not about increasing chart digits to make shareholders happy. It’s not about doorbusters or bait and switch action. That makes zero sense.

It’s about giving you something super cool that you probably didn’t know was awesome until just now, and you feel comfortable knowing that we are doing it right.

Take a deep breath. And another. Then think about your gift recipients. What do they need? It doesn’t matter what you paid for it–that’s only a tiny victory in your own mind. Think about what they need that they can’t readily acquire.

Does Chuck Testa need Black Friday deals? Nope.

Keep it local, keep it human-level, keep it authentic.

Totally sincerely, IRL for reals,

Liz McLean Knight

Boots! Gear Bags! Woot.

We’ve added a bunch of boots to the site, and these GI Jungle Boots with a Ripple Sole would make a great summer boot since the upper is made of breathable fabric (normal combat boots are all-leather).

We’ve also added some neat gear bags that have multiple possibilities for usefulness, especially if you’re an electronic musician or DJ. These larger gear / duffle bags–Tactical Gear Bags–with both handles and backpack straps give the bags versatility and are available in two different sizes, the smaller version of which meets US airline carryon requirements.