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SparkFun will be closed for Labor Day (9/7/2015). Orders will resume shipping out on Sept 8th. Have a great weekend!

Retrosparktive Part II - Longbow Drive

SparkFun moves up to a "real building" - business ensues

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Last week we took a look back at the early days of SparkFun. We stopped just before we moved into our current (and soon to be former) building at 6175 Longbow Drive. Today, we’re going to hear from some long-tenured SparkFun employees about the adventures here at Longbow. But first - let’s talk deals!

We’ve got some solid discounts on a great selection of products this week. These items will be on sale from 12:01 a.m. MT on 8/11/14 until 11:59 p.m. MT on 8/17/14. We are also continuing to offer $10 off orders over $40 with the promo code RETROSPARK - so don’t forget to enter that at checkout! Here are this weeks sale items:

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1000 mAh Polymer Lithium Ion Battery

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GP-2106 GPS Receiver

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850 mAh Polymer Lithium Ion Battery

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LS20031 GPS Receiver

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RF Link Transmitter

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RF Link Receiver

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2.4GHz Duck Antenna

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Netduino Plus 2

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XBee Module Breakout Board_

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2mm 10-pin XBee Socket

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Arduino WiFi Shield

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Mini Push Button

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6-foot USB A to B Cable

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Giant Breadboard

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100g Leaded Solder

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9V 650 mA Wall Adapter Power Supply

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5V FTDI Cable

Still with me? Good! Now onto the Retrosparktive! We asked some long-time SparkFun employees about some of their fondest (and funniest) memories from the early days in the building at Longbow. Here’s what they had to say:

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The climbing wall in what became affectionately known as the “Gun Factory.”

Via Lara Boudreaux, Marcomm Project Manager: When I first started, I use to shoot ALL the product photos in AnnDrea’s (former Director of Marcomm) office, by the window, with only natural light! It was VERY hard and I remember a couple of cloudy weeks when I thought I would never get a good shot. Then we bought a light!

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The pits at our very first Autonomous Vehicle Competition

Via Chris Clark, Director of IT: We used to be small enough that the CEO had time to set up an elaborate waffle bar on Tuesday mornings and man the waffle iron himself. [Editor’s Note: Nate recently brought this back!]

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Celebrating Mustache Day in the Longbow breakroom.

Via Sallie Lodewyck, HR Manager: We hired a Canadian that got his job with SFE by solving some sort of contest Nate put on the website. It was a serious hassle to get him here and legally working from Canada.

When we moved into the Longbow building, that was a huge milestone. At first, we only occupied a part of the building, but in time we took over more and more space. We were truly a “real” company! We had an elevator! And loading docks! We also went from using the hot-plate reflow method to buying our very own reflow oven! Longbow has been very good to us.

Next week we’ll talk more about how things changed during our time at Longbow - and how it led to our upcoming move! Enjoy the sales and we’ll see you next week for more Retrosparktive!


Comments 2 comments

  • It’s worth noting that our original reflow oven - “Gramps” we called it - appeared shortly before we moved into the current building. It was just big enough to not fit in the elevator, and Production was originally on the second floor (in what is now the classroom) so we had to haul it up the stairs by hand. It took twelve people.

  • It looks so much like the guy in that old AVC photo is actually a puppet suspended from the ceiling (by the black wires) standing on top of that unused tripod. :D