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What would you like to see?


Question for the day - if you could buy a SparkFun widget off the shelf from your local (hobby) shop, what widget would you want available? We'd like to get a rough idea of products that people would want made more readily available. Please hit us with some feedback (on the right) or a comment or two (below).


New GPS receiver in stock. The MN5010 is 10x10mm with built in voltage regulation, LNA, RTC, and a SiRF III super-sensitive chip set under the hood. Nice.

Here's a device that is hard to locate - a rechargeable coin cell battery! This 3.7V 200mA coin cell is a bit larger than normal (24.5mm diameter and a tall 5.2mm) but they can cut down on the cost and increase the portability of your project.

Speaking of coin cells - we found this battery holder has nice holes on it's SMD pads making it a perfect candidate for sewable power. Use this coin cell holder to power your next LilyPad project.

New FTDI basic breakout board works great with Arduino projects and even has TX and RX LEDs!

The price has dropped significantly on our VLSI MP3 ICs. We now have a breakout for for the VS1011 for only $20!

A couple of breakout boards are now available for the 3.5mm audio jack and RCA jack as well.

Comments 40 comments

  • I’d still love to see an inexpensive WWV receiver with TTL out. Bug your friends in China, you know they’ve got a warehouse full…
    Rotary encoders (even w/o blinky lights). They make the best user interfaces. Maybe like the Panasonic EVQ-WK4001 on a breakout board for easy mounting?
    E-ink displays (heard about next month’s Esquire cover?). A phone-sized E-ink for < $100 w/breakout board would be awesome, and solve NeilJ’s outdoor viewing problems.

  • Tri-color 7-segment LED displays. Red, Green, Reg+Green = Yellow. 0.5 character height. They exist [Staney], but I can’t find a low quantity seller.
    The new Telit GC-864 GSM/GPRS module, and small [as small as possible] breakout/support board.

  • Panel mounted push button switches - things that fit in holes and are secured with metal nuts. Simple, but important, and I couldn’t find any just now on the site.
    Also, the 40 pin Atmega644, which the Sanguino dude has working in the Arduino environment. That’s 64k of Flash and 4k of RAM, among other things. It’s going to strap a rocket on Arduino projects!

  • I am with the other commenters on the gsm module. It is the easiest way to make a project wireless.

  • I would also like to see a no-frills GSM module, as well as a larger selection of imaging sensors.

  • A USB scope! I want one! I’ve actually thought about building one with the Arduino, but obviously that would be rather limited. I’d definitely be interested in that.
    Some cheaper wireless options for networking Arduinos would be great. I don’t know how feasible that is, but $120+ just to replace a cable is kind of expensive.
    A “weather shield” would also be neat that fits on the Arduino and that has the same sensors as the USB Weather Board - would be cheaper and more hackable.

  • I’m a Freeduino user and am interested in:
    - a GPS receiver
    - Wifi
    - SMS module sounds good too
    the use will be a portable device that sends its location along with some measured values. Think of a weather balloon or a robot in the woods.

  • I’d like to see a no-frills GSM module. No GPS, no python, just a module that you send AT-commands to control voice and SMS tansfers.

  • An affordable oscilloscope solution(USB or PCI).
    Surface mount AVR uCs (atmega32 or MLFpackage and socket).

  • I’d love to be able to get things from Maxim from you guys. they have so many cool products. Also cool knobs for potentiometers would be nice. Wow that diprotodon rocks!

  • An affordable bench power supply. Dual/triple output. Digital control a nice bonus.

  • Transflective (or otherwise) daylight-readable color LCD. 7"+.
    Some of us take our projects outside every once and a while ;) Otherwise, no complaints, you guys rock.

  • You already have so much great stuff, but…
    A cheap, simple, low power, well documented WIFI module like used in cellphones would be awesome. They exist, but you have to buy +10,000 to them. I can’t buy that many, but maybe you guys can!
    Thanks again!

  • An inexpensive GSM modules with integrated IP stack, ready to use with TTL serial – such as Simcom SIM300 for $35 each!

  • I don’t know if this would be any fun, but I was thinking of something like this as a kit with a pre-programmed PIC.
    http://members.cox.net/berniekm/super.html
    I’m about halfway through building one.

  • I’d like to see a cheap nixie clock kit

  • How about some cheap sensors for Lego mindstorm?

  • I’d love to see a small DC-DC step up converter board with an ST L6920DB, for battery (1 or 2 AA) applications.
    Also, small project enclosures with a battery compartment for one or two AA/AAA. Say an interior space the length of an AA and 3X the width, with a door and clip for an AA. (And a groove to slide the above step-up converter into! :))

  • Quantum Research Group has a pretty impressive lineup of capacitive touch sensors. Some breakout boards would be nice, but the pipe dream would be one with a flexible + transparent (thinking Tin-Indium-Oxide) type of breakout board that could be used to overlay on displays, glass, the discrete keypad for your shoephone, etc.

  • Chipcon (TI) wireless modules - 315/433/868/915/2.4, choose your RF band.
    SMD atmega’s and pic’s.
    SMD passive components in general. Why not!?

  • I’ll third the request for a WWVB antenna/receiver module. These devices show up in cheap clocks, so they can’t cost much. Most seem to use the Galleon EM2S modules, but they don’t sell them in small quantities.

  • I like the IIC interface, as it’s standard on lots. It’s also easy to add things. You already have a lot of IIC stuff, which I think is great!
    Your SCP1000 Barometric Pressure sensor is only available with an SPI interface, yet I know they manufacture an IIC version too. Also, you don’t have a temperature sensor for the IIC interface.
    Other things to see: Optical Incremental Quadrature Encoders, Limit Switches, Water Sensor - detect when it rains or sprinklers are on.

  • I would like to see some small add-on interface boards about the size of some of the wireless modules that break out the 16bit A/D’s with SPI/I2C and other specialised IC’s from their very small size to something useable for those of us who are creating prototypes and small runs.

  • Logomatic V2.

  • I’d like to echo the request for a WWV solution. So many projects need some means to achieve approximate synchronization and WWV would be a simple solution in many situations.
    I’d also like to see a breakout for one of the WireLine/HomePlug chips.
    SparkFun rocks!

  • Take look at the new Cortex M3 based ARM’s … Very nice, similar to ARM7, but more features and much improved architecture. Luminary and ST, and perhaps others have ‘em. This is where you should be going with small ARMS
    http://www.arm.com/products/CPUs/ARM_Cortex-M3.html

  • For brick and mortar: SFE’s protoboards, jumper wires, and 0.1" headers/connectors. Why doesn’t RadioShack carry 0.1" headers?
    For SFE online: more breakout boards for analog devices (i.e. rail-to-rail opamps, instrumentation opamps, ADCs/DACs). The more general purpose/configurable the better.
    I always come to SFE for the unique breakout boards and the hard-to-find components. For general purpose components, I can always source them elsewhere.

  • How about some 3 cell AA battery holders with leads or with 9V battery terminals.
    I’m working on a PicAxe project and I’ve run out of them and I don’t see them on the site.

  • fpga4fun.com in conjunction with knjn.com offer an FPGA based DIY oscilloscope with some instructions on how to make it.
    I for one would like to play around with one of Bitwave’s software defined transceivers. Oh! and I’m not quite sure what capacitive touch sensor is in the iPhone but i’d love to get my hands on one (just wishful thinking)

  • Hobby Servo Motors, and other moving parts

  • Mechanical encoders are cheap and pretty stable for general work, and there’s Arduino code available for interfacing.
    318-ENC160F-24P from Alpha is pretty good and a fine 24 pulses per rotation.
    Bourns makes a couple - if you were going to carry two, carry one with the ‘bump switch’:
    PEC11-4220F-N0012 - just an encoder / 2-bit Gray Code
    PEC11-4220F-S0012 - same, with an additional bump-switch
    Mike Y
    Dallas, Texas

  • I’d like to see a service offered similar to Batchpcb but for prototype bezels.

  • I’d like to see Analog Devices Direct Digital Synthesiser chips and some of their various opamps.

  • I tried to find a iC WiFi module to use with Arduino but they all seem very expensive and all come with a webserver on it to configure it via http.
    Ain’t there no such thing similar to the ENC28J60?
    Would be nice to see something like this :)

  • I also would like to see a simple GSM module and/or a module with HSDPA/UMTS

  • Infared/thermal sensors would be nice oh and Geiger counter type device

  • +1 for the “no-frills” GSM module.

  • Shoe Phone… heck yeah.
    and..
    - WIFI 802.11 modules
    - Smaller cellular antennas
    - 1 inch Touchscreens for OLED modules

  • The e-ink cover sounds cool : http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/21/business/media/21esquire.html
    E-ink - we tried hard to bring these in. We’ll try again.
    Bench power supply - we’re working on it.
    O-scope - good idea. We’ll find a good one.
    WWV (time) receiver - interesting. I’ll ask around.
    kitscuzz: ya, I was really asking about what would be good to have in a brick and mortar store, but new items are always good. DTFM should be doable.

  • If you’re asking what stuff I’d like to see come from sparkfun to my local hobby store:
    I’d like to see a lot of the breakout boards. Those things help a lot in prototyping, and they also tend to have the most accessible stuff.
    If you’re asking what I’d like to see in sparkfun:
    I agree that oscilliscopes would be a really useful addition if you could find affordable ones; as would power supplies. I would also really like to see DTMF Receiver/Transmitter/Transceivers.


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