New Product Friday: High Five For Wi-Fi

We're back and we have some new products and an energetic guest engineer. Check out the goods for this week.

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Products, products, and more products. That’s what Fridays are all about here at SparkFun. We have a few new things this week. Check out the video and hear our engineer Shawn explain the new CC3000 shield and breakout board.

I’m not kidding here: $50k for the first person to figure out how to harvest Shawn’s energy. I think the secret might be in his bow-tie. More research is necessary.

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The CC300 is a handy little WiFi module from TI. This week, we are selling the bare module and a breakout board, as well as a shield. Pick your flavor. The module allows you to connect your project to a wireless network. It even has a clever little setup routine that enables you to configure the module for your network using your phone. So when you move the project from network to network, you don’t have to go in and reprogram the sketch. Nifty.

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Looking for a bunch of sensors, but don’t want to throw down for the full sensor kit? Check out the new essential sensor kit. This kit includes a lot of our most popular sensors including a flex sensor, tilt sensor, hall effect sensor, force sensitive resistor, photocell, and more! It’s a great deal for beginners or anyone that just wants to start playing around with how microcontrollers interact with hardware.

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We’ve been using double-sided foam tape for years to stick PCBs to enclosures. It works well, but sometimes you need something more, uh, industrial. Check out the foam PCB tape. This stuff is industrial grade foam tape for sticking things to other things. The ‘VHB’ stands for ‘very high bond’ (no, there’s not going to be a new 007 movie filmed in Denver). The tape is 1" wide and you get about a yard in length. Check the video above and you can see how strong it is.

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People have been asking for us to carry the exact transistor that comes with the SIK. Sure. Here you go.

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Lastly, there’s a new Beaglebone Black out this week. This isn’t shipping yet, we only have it for pre-order. This one is the ‘Rev C’ which is identical in every way, but has 4GB of onboard flash memory (instead of 2GB) and is $10 more. Keep in mind that Beaglebone plans to fill backorders on the ‘Rev B’ before the new ‘C’ starts shipping.

That’s it for this week everyone. Thanks for watching, reading, and buying stuff. We’ll be back again next week with more new products, tutorials, and other things you might enjoy. See you then!


Comments 30 comments

  • Noticed a very odd single frame in your video that might explain Shawn’s energy secret: http://i.imgur.com/2maB5a5.jpg

    Promise it is not a rick-roll or sight you cannot un-see.

    • wow. just wow.

      • Can I claim my $50k now? Please no trucks full of pennies. Maybe a truck full of resistors will suffice.

  • I too have spend countless hours pondering how to harvest Shawn’s magnificent glory. After years of research, i have compiled a set of rules to follow when attempting to wield the almighty Shawn’s raw power. I call it “Shawn’s Law”. Of course, i will only be providing a summary of Shawn’s Law, since one cannot explain the awesome energy he stores in one paragraph. If you ARE curious, however, you can find the remainder in my book (that i wrote when i got my PhD in Shawn) “Solving Shawn’s variables”.

    Anyway, this is Shawn’s Law: “As a method of self defense, Shawn stores all his glory in the form of potential energy. In order to to harvest energy (in the form of Calories) from the almighty Shawn, you must convert his potential energy to usable kinetic energy. This can usually done by dropping Shawn from a high altitudes or making him ride a fast rollercoaster. The amount of energy that can be harvested increases the longer Shawn experiences this process. Also, in order to convert the kinetic energy to usable electric power, simply make Shawn hold a 9v battery to his tongue as he falls (or rides a rollercoaster).”

    I hope you enjoy my work. I will write about this in my diary tonight. Also, can I get my $50,000 in the form of time to get to spend with Shawn?

    • ….that was….weird..

    • Perhaps there is a market for bottled energy. I’ll start looking into that…. Although my tongue shakes in fear from the thought of it :)

      • Don’t worry, You can cut the voltage in half if you want… but then you must fall from twice as high to ensure maximum efficiency. I hope you’re not afraid of heights.

  • The tape’s strength could have been a bit more convincing if you’d left the breakout board in the same position throughout the entire video…. even through next friday just for gigs

  • Shawns energy is excreted through his kryptonian skin cells and he harvests it with his green lantern ring. The ring was constructed specially for him in issue 134 because the lantern that recharge the ring was destroyed by bizarro superman. The concept worked and we have the resultant shawn.

  • After months of research (A Doctor Who Marathon), I have confirmed your suspicions surrounding the bow-tie. Reason: “Bow-ties are cool!”

  • I used some of that 3M VHB (The permanent one) to mount a breadboard to the Arduino/Breadboard thing you guys sell. It’s a great replacement to that self stick stuff that comes on those boards!

  • How to harvest Shawn’s energy huh? How about a pedal bike with a generator attached to the rear wheel. That way you can literally harvest Shawn’s energy :) Then the only problem is getting that power into you Robert…

  • Zio / last year / 1

    Clearly, the secret to Shawn’s energy is the purple shirt. I bet if you hook up a few Pelletier thermal pads in between his body and the shirt, you would generate a small amount of current. That won’t be too efficient thought.. I suppose you could douse him in a lead lined tub of water and use the steam generated to turn a turbine to generate electricity. All of these ideas are legit! I will accept $50k in sparkfun credit or direct access to Shawn’s energy for my tesla coil.

  • What the first person should have said was, “I accept your offer and suggest a peddle powered generator” :)

  • obviously controlling his energy has been the main hurdle in your harvesting efforts. I’ll assume the smooth jazz you start piping into the room when he enters is your current best effort in preventing him from hulking out and tearing Mr Cowan’s beard off. Smooth jazz is a great start, but just like a nuclear reactor you need to keep redundant fail-safes at the ready. You should also have on hand: chamomile tea; moving sparkfun’s color from red to teal, episodes of ‘2 broke girls’, and tofu.

  • Rev C of the BBB with 4gb Flash? Crap. Just bought a Rev B from your female neighbor a week ago, and then saw a rumor posted that a 4g version was in the works. Oh, well. Guess I’ll wind up with another “spare” once I order a 4gb version! (never can have too many of these HIGHLY useful devices)

    • female neighbor as in Adafruit? WE HAVE A TRAITOR OVER HERE.

      EDIT: sorry, i was joking

      • Lighten up, Francis.

      • I agree with brennen – lighten up! Adafruit has some nifty things that Spark Fun doesn’t, and Spark Fun has some nifty things that Adafruit doesn’t. Adafruit carries some Spark Fun products, and Spark Fun carries some Adafruit products. Each company has a unique engineering approach, as well as a unique business approach, and both are a HUGE asset to our community of Makers as well as professionals. I think that as customers, we’re very fortunate to have such good companies (along with DigiKey) with FANTASTIC customer support. I say good on you, every one!

  • Clearly you need to wire him up to his bowtie … and park him in front of one of these: https://www.google.com/search?q=wind+turbine+farm&client=firefox-a&hs=YfB&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=sb&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=rQo_U53IGszKsQSN24GQBg&ved=0CCcQsAQ&biw=1572&bih=915. The wind from the spinning bowtie could probably power all of them.

  • I’m not sure the extra 2GB of RAM is worth the $10 upcharge on the BBB. Considering it is built to take Micro SD cards of varying size, it seems…unnecessary?

    • The upcharge also includes a bit of markup–the reg B boards were sold with zero profit, so there was trouble ramping up the supply chain (hence the thousands of backordered boards). Adding some profit in should allow them to scale to meet demand.

      • Ethan! Man I used your picobuck design in a device and it works so well! Many, many thanks!

    • Two reasons I’d love to have this, and think $10 is well worth it (especially if it helps keep Beagle in business): I’d like to see the man pages actually on the BBB (IIRC, they’re in the ballpark of 100MB), and hopefully Xemacs wouldn’t constantly generate “out of disk space” errors when running on a BBB.

      Even with the upcharge, IMHO, the BBB is still by far the most “bang for the buck” for machines in this class.

      • Yeah, I switched from doing prototyping on a RPi to a BBB and I am never going back!

        …well maybe not never. But probably.

        • I’ve had to switch one project from BBB to RPi due to the availability of the latter. :-( (It’s likely going to have an Arduino ProMini [ordered last Saturday! Yay!] to handle talking to the NeoPixels and maybe some other things, so the scarce GPIO shouldn’t be as much of a problem.)

      • and hopefully Xemacs wouldn’t constantly generate “out of disk space” errors when running on a BBB.

        This is totally a derail, but is XEmacs a going concern these days? I had the vague impression that development in the Emacs scene had largely re-concentrated on GNU Emacs in recent years, but it’s been a long time since I was at all in the loop.

  • Nice WiFi design. What made the decision to use the CC3000 and not another chip from TI that utilizes more powerful wireless connectivity like the WiLink chipset? I know there is a market in home automation to let users connect via Bluetooth OR WiFi (especially if WiFi is down in a home).

    • The WiLink is definitely cool. The CC3000 hits a different niche, though. From what I can tell, the WiLink uses UART and SDIO for comms, which is better suited for beefier ARM chips (embedded Linux?). The CC3000 uses SPI, which gets you decent speeds on a microcontroller.