New Product Friday: Food for Thought


Hello everyone and welcome to another Friday New Product Post from SparkFun Electronics! Not only do we have a ridiculous product demonstration this week, but we’ve also got a new website feature to talk about. Let’s start with the product video.

I’m just going to say one thing. Unrolling that meat-filled tool bag was maybe one of the more shame-inducing moments I’ve had here at SparkFun. Additionally, the smell was pretty strong. I don’t really recommend concealing preserved meat in a roll-up nylon bag, but that’s just me.

That being said, we’d like to announce a new website feature that might make product selection easier. Introducing, the SparkFun Core Skills.

The Core Skills project is one we’ve been working on for some time and I hope many of you find it helpful. It’s been live on the site for the past week or so, and we’re still working out some minor bugs, but you should see skills listed on nearly every product (when applicable) on our site. This should give beginners a good idea when a product might be beyond their current abilities, and give you an idea of what skills you might need to tackle your next project. We will be rolling out new features associated with the core skills over the next few months.

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There are many different way to store tools. You can use a tool box, shoe box, rolling tool chest, or one of our new roll-up tool bags. It has numerous pockets inside, rolls up neatly, and is secured by two elastic straps. As you can see from the video above, it’s pretty durable; even Nic’s internal rage is no match.

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We also have the Big Easy Driver back in stock. So if you need to drive some bigger stepper motors, check it out. It can handle 2A per phase and this revision fixes the reversed silkscreen. The pictures still reflect the old one, but we will have those updated early next week.

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And last, we have a few new strips of SMD LEDs. These are 1206 LEDs, which are a bit bigger than the 0603s we’ve carried previously. They might be a bit more manageable for you if you are new to SMD soldering. We have them in green, white, blue, and red, all in strips of 25.

That’s all I have for this week. Hope you enjoyed the video and hopefully you find the Core Skills useful in your endeavors. Thanks for watching and reading. See you next week.


Comments 28 comments

  • I like the core skills portion. Maybe user profiles could have a similar option, that way while browsing products there could be a warning that a some aspect of a particular product is beyond an individual’s self determined skill set or a commenter could qualify there background on a topic.

  • Do you sell the roll-up tool bag pre-filled with bacon?

  • Does a reanimated Steve Jobs work at Sparkfun now?

  • Nice tool bag. Just need to make sure that you remember to let the soldering iron cool off before putting it back in the roll! (Unless it’s fire proof).

  • What kinda bacon ya got there? I’m in the market, as it were.

  • As I noticed them earlier last week and asked in one product thread, are the older products going to be updated to include core skills, or just popular/new products?

    • EVERYTHING in the catalog should be marked. We have a query that runs to see if we missed any, but we have the vast majority marked as I type this.

  • Great Info. Thanks for the your effort. Appreciate it.

  • Did you eat that raw? Or is this Canadian bacon I’m seeing…?

  • Being large with a tool bag full of food is an asset for men.

  • Unrolling that meat-filled tool bag was maybe one of the more shame-inducing moments I’ve had here at SparkFun.

    What??? That was a tool bag filled with bacon!!! Not shame inducing at all. That’s a bag full of awesome! In fact, you should just advertise “Use it to hold your bacon and weiners.” Oh uh. maybe not with that phrasing. [and damn I probably can’t use that in the captions contest anymore].

    Tool bag looks awesome. I just wish there was some way to have a soldering iron base (Such as your variable temp soldering iron, though I use a trusty WES51).

  • I like the core skills feature. Note that “Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping” has a typo or character encoding issue with the term “that?s”. Also, it would be cool to be able to search for products by core skills (which ones need “expert” level?).

  • How come the green SMT LED’s cost more than the blue? Or did you get the prices bass-ackwards?

  • Dat blow torch

  • Whew, almost confused me for a moment there when the Friday New Product Post cut straight to Robert without the opening title roll. But thats ok, I can plainly see you just wanted to get to the bacon faster.

    As we all know, everything goes better with bacon. ;)

    • No time for opening titles when there’s bacon to be eaten. Also we have some fancy new intros coming soon!

  • “He ate bacon for EVERY MEAL… you just can’t do that.”

  • I’m literally crying laughing right now.. I HATE those dang T.P.S. reports, but I do love me some lunch meat roll.. You took one for the team in the name of fun Robert, good for you. I saw you breathing and then trying to keep a straight face. :D


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