New Product Friday: A Good Day to Pi

A new UV sensor, breadboard PCB, and a way to test your binary prowess.

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Hello loyal SparkFunions! We’re back for another round of “what’s new at Sparkfun.” This week we have a few SparkFun products, so let’s see what we’ve got.

If anyone’s wondering, that was custard topped with raspberries. That’s the closest thing we could find to a raspberry pie. For anyone still wondering why I had a pie in the video, check the date today.

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Binary Blaster is a game designed to help teach what binary numbers are and how to convert from decimal (and hexadecimal) to binary quickly. The game displays a value on the dual 7-segment displays, and the player is challenged to press the buttons in a way that represents the binary equivalent. The kit comes pre-programmed, you just need to solder everything together. Check out the assembly guide for instructions.

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Need to detect ultraviolet light? The ML8511 breakout makes this easy. Give it 3.3V and simply read the analog output. You can use it to figure out the best day to get a tan, the UV index outside, or for other applications where you want to measure the limited UV spectrum, not just how much light there is.

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We have a third and final (for now) solder-able breadboard. This mini size works well with our modular mini breadboards. If you want to preserve a prototype, put this PCB over the breadboard, and lift it up and solder the components in place when you’re done. It has the same layout and connections as a normal breadboard, but you can solder everything together when you’re ready. You might want to also check out the standard size and the large size as well.

That’s all I’ve got for this week. Thanks for reading and watching. We’ll be back with more new goodies next week.

Comments 23 comments

  • Pi day is my birthday.

  • As is quite plain from the photo and as my father long insisted, Pi are not square. Pi are round.

  • One of my favorite t-shirts:

    There are 10 kinds of people in this world: those who get binary and those who don’t.

  • No raspberry pi giveaway on pi day? :(

  • “A good day to Pi” - is that a Flatliners reference? If so, You Are Old. And so am I, unfortunately…

  • Robert, your S.H.O.V.E.L. was defective. It had no nice parachute cord wrapped around it. Please return it to customer service for a replacement. ;)

  • Mmmm pie.

  • chartle / last year * / 1

    Just wondering, is it PI day in Europe?

    Over there is 14.3.14. Now that I look at it I guess it is. Kind of Palindrome PI day.

  • I’m surprised there are no comments about programming in ∏-thon.

    • I’d try ∏-thon, but the thing with a transcendental number of spaces for delineating blocks just seems so wrongheaded.

  • Did you eat the entire pie?

    Also - converting from Hex to binary is much easier that from Decimal to binary. each Hex digit is exactly 4 binary digits - can’t same anything similar for Decimal.

    • As someone who’s been doing those conversions for more than 0x28 years, I find it more difficult to go back and forth between hex and decimal than between binary and and decimal. (Anybody else remember octal?)

      BTW, if you need just “rough estimates”, 1000 (decimal) is roughly 1000000000 binary (or we can say 103 ~= 210). (To be exact, 210 = 1024, but when you need approximations, that’s within 2.5% of 1000.) Hex approximations are left as an exercise for the reader…

  • Great Spork!

  • I’m still waiting for Robert to pie some one.

  • I cannot believe that I did not get it was pi day. Even as I’m watching Robert eat this pie!

  • Are you still doing the robotics 101 videos?

    • Yes we are! There will be 2 more videos in the series over the next 2 weeks. We took a little break for SXSW Interactive, but we will be back in full force next week.

  • The true Pi Day will be next year: 3.14.15! Got any 3.14% discounts today?

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