New Product Friday: Bright New Products


We’re back from Thanksgiving break, so now we need to talk about all the products from the past 2 weeks. We’ve had some new stuff show up, so let’s get right to it and see the video.

We had a lot of fun writing ‘secret’ messages on the glow in the dark panels. When I was playing around with one of the panels, I turned to Nick to ask “what do we have that’s brighter and more concentrated than an LED” and of course it hit me, a 75W laser! It’s good to have toys.

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Who doesn’t love glow in the dark? We saw these large photoluminescent panels and just had to have them. We really don’t know what people will end up using them for, but they’re still pretty cool. We have them in 3x5", 4x6", and 8.5x11" panels. They have a self-adhesive backing so they can be used like stickers and they cut quite easily. The thing that surprised us more than anything was how bright they are. ‘Charge’ them up under a bright light and be amazed at how bright they are when the lights go out. They rival an EL panel in brightness with the lights off.

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The Cerberus has proven to be a very popular cable. We have a new addition to the ‘you shouldn’t make a cable like that, it’s not the right way to do it’ lineup of SparkFun original abominations, the Hydra. The Hydra has a standard USB-A on one side, and breaks out to a barrel jack, JST PH, and pair of alligator clips. How many times have you wanted a simple way to get 5V and didn’t feel like slicing up a USB cable?

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Need a tiny GPS module? You might want to check out the new GP-635T. It’s just 35x8x7mm and actually works. Isn’t technology wonderful?! Now you can embed GPS in just about anything!

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If measuring acceleration is what gets you going, check out the new ADXL362. It’s a full 3 axis accelerometer that has low power consumption and even a ‘wake-on-shake’ feature. And did we mention that it’s TINY? No? Well, it’s tiny.

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For all of our lady hackers, we now have t-shirts that fit your more sinusoidal waveforms. We have them in two colors, gray and red. They also make great presents, hint hint.

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This week we’ve also got a new version of the Fio V3 with the ATmega32U4. It now has fancy new firmware, so be sure to check the firmware notes if you want to see what has changed in this revision.

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For anyone looking to mess around with their phone, or other devices that use a TRSS connection, we have a basic TRSS audio cable. It’s 18" long and comes unterminated on one end.

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We have both our 10k and 330ohm resistor packs back in stock. We switched to thicker leads, so they’re easier to push into breadboards. They still come in packs of 20 (they’re really packs of 25, but sometimes they miss one or two, so we’re just calling them 20, and you might get some extras).

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We’ve also got a new revision to our XBee Shield. The new version does away with the simple diode level shifter in favor of a more robust MOSFET level shifter. Now you can reliably use it with various logic levels.

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And lastly, we’re now shipping the SparkFun mini-B USB cable in retail packaging instead of the old black ones.

Well, that concludes yet another Friday New Product Post. We’ll be back next week with more new products, a video, and whatever else we come up with from now until then. Thanks for watching and reading. We’ll see you again next week.


Comments 37 comments

  • “sinusoidal waveforms” New pickup line?? :-)

    • haha defined as a curve that describes a smooth repetitive oscillation, think I might get tapped in the jolly for that…

      • Not as good as, “Baby I wish I was your derivative because then I could touch your curve at all points.”

  • If I cut one end of the Hydra cable, will it grow back two of them?

  • Laser. Beam. Photons.

  • Yikes! Need some caps for those alligator clips….if those babies touch while plugged into your USB port without protection built into cable…. bye bye USB port!

    • nope, USB protection will kick in and pretty much nothing will happen.

      a simple way to stop them from touching is to connect one of the alligator clips to the cable on the other one, just down from the clip. there’s no way they can touch at that point.

      • Coincidentally, a couple of days ago I blew up a power supply by clipping the leads to each other… I must have put something on top of a clip, which drove the clip’s teeth through the insulation and onto the wires inside. Definitely my own fault, but it’s something to look out for!

    • Yeah, I to would be cautious about that, but you can get lucky. Many computers do have some sort of current protection on the USB lines. I discovered this once due to a paperclip that found itself in the wrong place at the wrong time. I got a hot usb port error, but the port made it through all right. Unfortunatly, there is only one way to see if your computer has the same protection. I would tie a knot in one of the allegator clip leads so that they do not naturally rest side by side.

    • I thought the same thing. I would be pushing the insulation as far up as possible.

      Once happened to me but it wasn’t alligator clips and it wasn’t 5 volts. It was a set of automotive jumper cables. Someone commented that it was neat that my cables had a built in light. :-O

  • sinusoidal waveforms FTW! :) Do you think the glow panel could be use to make glow letters?

    • for sure. it cuts easily and the 8.5x11 is a good size for lots of small letters, or big letters.

  • BY THE WAY. Here’s the Vimeo link: https://vimeo.com/54582043

    Hmph.

  • those photo-lum panels are used alot on ships for emergency signs (exit, fire extinguisher etc..) they also make 50ft rolls in 1in, 2in, and 4in widths

  • Rather than using a 75W laser, try using a lower powered 405nm laser (even 5-15mW is decent) and that photoluminescent paper will light up far more. I have some glow-in-the-dark spray paint, and even a very light coating of that lights up noticeably glowy with a wave of the beam over the surface; I’m sure the effects will be far stronger on that paper. You can even focus those lasers down into a sharper point for higher concentrations at higher speeds on that spindle thing.

    You can get those 405nm lasers on Amazon as pointers. They’re usually always overspec at around 40mW in power (rather than 5mW as they’re supposed to be). Be careful with your eyes.

  • Photo Strobe lights and photoluminescent panels are fun to play with, one flash and it images whatever is in front of the material.

    I wonder if your 10um wavelength laser was actually exciting the photoluminescent material or just heating it. Most plastic films are opaque at 10um which is why they cut so well.

    I have also played with ultra violet LEDs and they really make that stuff light up!

    • We tried not to heat it too much with the laser, we were hoping that it would be excited by the light. The panels are PVC after-all, not a good thing to put in your laser cutter… or to burn by any means really, lol

      The photo strobe idea is excellent, I remember having a toy as a kid that was essentially just that. I believe it was Nickelodeon branded. Anyway, it was a fun toy but giving a child a camera flash to play with is just asking for trouble. I was blinding kids all over the neighborhood, lol

  • I’m afraid to ask this question because of last time’s event…..but can you charge multiple things at once on this? Don’t create a rift in the time space continuum like what almost happened last time Robert!!

    • you can, but you still have current limitations. as long as you don’t exceed what your USB port wants to give, it doesn’t matter where it’s coming from.

      • Can you safely charge a lipo with it?

        • this is just a cable, nothing more. plugging it directly to a battery would be bad news. you need a charger still.

          • Alright! Those glow in the dark panels really look bright!! Hmm…..are they at all weather proof? Will they last some rain?

            • as long as the adhesive holds up, there’s nothing preventing them from being in rain. the panels themselves are just PVC.

              • So a glow in the dark bird house might work? Also, you guys forgot to mention the most important news!! The raspberry pi’s are back in stock!!!

  • Would love to see you guys do more work with the WoW Museum!

    • I would personally like to do more with them and possibly build something as a permanent demo. Do you have any connection with them?

  • Hah, that spinny thing reminded me of how I used to play when I was a kid. I used a tiny electric motor from some toy, I cut a small paper disk and skewered it onto the axle. I then used pens in different colours to draw patterns :) Man that must’ve been 20-25 years ago now.

  • The device you demoed reminded me of my project for Orlando Mini Makerfaire 2012. It spun a piece of paper (using a continuous rotation servo) and drew spiral lines on it with a marker using the motorized pot you sell. It was controlled (speed and location) with 2 sharp infrared sensors–so hands off control, a bit like a therimin. There was an arduino and 6v battery in the base. It was a massive hit at the faire. It allowed everyone to quickly make something and take it home with them without costing me much in supplies. A picture of the device is here: http://bill.ballpaul.net/temp/mf2012.jpg. Next year I am bringing something more boring so I can actually go see some of the other exhibits :)


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