Welcome back to another Friday at SparkFun. It’s like Christmas every week! This week we have some books o' knowledge and some electricity boards. Check ‘em out.
The Internet has a wealth of information, but sometimes a book is a great resource too. Structured learning (like working through specific projects) can be a fantastic way to give you a solid foundation.
The SIK guide is at the heart of the SparkFun Inventor’s Kit. The guide starts you off by explaining what an Arduino is, why you care, and how to get started. It moves you through 15 progressively more complex circuits to give you a familiarity with Arduino and programming. It’s a great place to start out. If you don’t want to purchase the entire SIK, you can purchase the guide separately and scrounge up your own parts. Or, we offer the guide as a PDF if you just want a digital copy.
As I said above in the video, sometimes you might want a more comprehensive resource for Arduino. We carry MANY books on Arduino, and we carry each one for a reason. The Arduino Workshop is our newest book and it approaches Arduino through numerous examples and projects. If you learn better by actually DOING a project rather than reading about it, this is a good book for you.
We have another servo motor this week. This one is a standard-sized servo motor. If you’re looking for a basic servo for testing, these are really nice. They have a decent amount of power, come with a good selection of accessories, and are relatively inexpensive. Sometimes you just need a basic motor to test out your design.
You’re not always starting from scratch; sometimes you need to interface with existing hardware. I tend to hack on existing stuff quite a bit, and you never know what you’ll run into. If you run into either an RS232 or RS485 system that you need to mess with, check out either of these two new shields from LinkSprite. They come in two different versions, the RS232 shield and the RS485 shield which communicate with their respective namesakes. They just tap into the TX and RX line of the Arduino and translate it into their respective protocols.
Who said you can’t have fun with an FPGA? Well, a lot of people probably. The RetroCade MegaWing turns your Papilio Pro into a cool MIDI device. It has MIDI inputs, outputs and a passthrough. It also has a microSD card slot, joystick, 16x2 LCD, and more.
Lastly, we have a new version of the RFID Starter Kit. The ID-20 was discontinued and replaced with the ID-20LA, so the kit got an update. The kit includes the ID-20LA, RFID USB reader, and a couple RFID cards.
That’s all I have for this week. Next week we have a cool new robotic product, so be sure to check back if that’s your thing. Thanks for reading and see you next week!