Cool Projects, a New Class, and a Smattering of New Products

An awesome LED project by SparkFun customer Nick Hall and a handful of new products ranging from an extra "clicky" push-button to a tiny serial enabled GPS.

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We're closed for gobble day next week! SparkFun will be shut down Thursday the 27th and Friday the 28th. We'll be back open on Monday December 1st. Happy Thanksgiving!


This is a great project by SparkFun customer Nick Hall. Nick used 4 LED Matrices and an Arduino board to create a very cool project that displays time, temperature, weather, and some pixel arts patterns. Check out the YouTube video!


If you have a great project idea, but aren't sure how to execute it, the new Napkin Schematics class might be just what you're looking for. In this class, we will teach you how to do a "Napkin Schematic" and help you come up with a feasible way of accomplishing your project idea.

We want to take a second to draw your attention to the 'comments' section of our site. If you haven't been taking advantage of this, please do! We love to see users helping each other with useful links or information. If you see a comment that seems particularly helpful or insightful, give the smiley face a click. If something really bugs you, feel free to click the frowny face. The more positive ratings a user gets, the higher their rank will be. If you have any more questions, check out our new information page for a complete explanation of the comment rating system.

USB 3.0 spec
has been released! Varying reports, but it looks like USB 3.0 will have 10x higher data rates (4.8Gb/s vs 480Mb/s), higher current (900mA vs 500mA), and a new interrupt driven protocol. Who feels a PCB rev coming? Luckily, we've got until 2010. Download all 482 wonderful pages here (3MB)!

Here is another great project by C.A. Church. He has waded through the TSL230R datasheet and created a nice tutorial on how to use this light to frequency IC with an Arduino.


The new LilyPad XBee breakout board works with the popular XBee modules. This one is specifically designed to work with theLilyPad system.


We now have three new Mini Button Pad Sets: white, black, and Spark Fun red. Great to mount into your next Spark Fun project enclosure.


Don't forget the Mini Button Pad Breakout PCB!


An even smaller GPS module! The Micro-miniature GPS is based on the MN5010 GPS Receiver and has the smallest footprint of any GPS that Spark Fun carries. Includes a simple serial 3.3V TTL interface and works great with the FT232RL USB to Serial board.


We now have a breakout board for the FM Receiver Module based on the AR1000. Simple to use I2C or SPI interface will allow you to digitally tune in to a FM radio station.


A simple Mini Push Button Switch. This little guy has a high tactile force (300gf) so pushing it gives a solid *click*. Very satisfying indeed.


The BlinkM RGB Blaster is a cousin of the BlinkM MaxM. This board features three ultrabright LEDs and is very bright.


We've added a bunch of "nuts-and-bolts", such as this swage stand-off and this flat head screw. Check out the hardware category to see all the new parts.


Hey all you Coloradans out there, there is a great open access workshop in Denver called, Club Workshop. They feature equipment, facilities and training for a wide variety of personal projects and interests; from automotive to electronics, inventing to prototyping, woodworking to metalworking. Oh what I wouldn't give for a shop like this to play in!

Comments 6 comments

  • North Alabama PC / about 14 years ago / 2

    Guys, check your dates "We're closed for gobble day next week! SparkFun will be shut down Thursday the 27th and Friday the 28th. We'll be back open on Monday the 24th. Happy Thanksgiving!" Monday the 24th? may be you mean Nov 1st.

  • ThreeBean / about 14 years ago / 1

    I would LOVE to make one of those LED Matrix displays! Alas, I have no skills? Any chance you guys would make a tutorial on how to make a project like that?!?! I would need to buy parts if i knew how to make it. wink wink

  • Nixie madness / about 14 years ago / 1

    Great lecture (10)on Eagle-Creating a new part! Really helps sort it out as the manual is very difficult to follow. It's still a bit tricky but a lot easier. Thanks!

  • I've heard a lot about workshops like Club Workshop, has someone made a list of where you can find places like this?

    • PolyTekPatrick / about 14 years ago / 1

      I've heard of a similar company with a community workshop in Menlo Park, CA that is planning to open more shops in CA and in 5 other states: OR, NC, WA, TX, FL
      Planned locations/dates can be found at:
      I'm not aware of a single list of these kind of workshops, but it sounds like something that Sparkfun or Make Magazine should start!

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