The new pi-topCEED, APA102 LED Strips and a 48-Segment LED Bar Graph. DANGER ZONE!
To be honest, the word play was too good to resist on today's product post. Hello, everyone, and welcome to a new Friday Product Post. We have another big week for you today! The new pi-topCEED is now available, as well as two APA102 LED strips and a beefy 48-Segment LED bar graph. Enough dawdling; let's take a look at what we have!
The pi-topCEED is a DIY desktop computer that helps you start learning how to code, create awesome devices and take your knowledge to the next level. This Raspberry Pi-powered computer is an excellent resource to any budding hobbyist, student or intrigued user wanting to learn more about the capabilities of the credit card-sized development board. The only things this kit doesn't include are its own Raspberry Pi, keyboard, mouse and speakers; you'll need to supply those on your own. We purposefully chose the pi-topCEED without its own RPi due to the fact that most of you already own your own board and may not want to use a different or more expensive one.
Green not your color? No worries! If you are looking to get a new pi-topCEED, we also offer it in gray! This Raspberry Pi-powered desktop computer is identical in every way to its sibling above, apart from the color.
Remember neither pi-topCEED comes with a Raspberry Pi. If you need one, be sure to pick one up here!
These are addressable 1-meter-long 5V RGB LED strips that come packed with 60 APA102Cs. APA102 LEDs are very similar to WS2812s with a few caveats: APA102s can be controlled with a standard SPI interface, and they have an extremely high PWM frequency. There is access to each APA102 LED, and each strip length can be easily modified. You will be able to control each LED RGB individually, giving you the ability to create cool lighting effects for your car or perhaps under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen!
Need something a bit longer? These 5-meter-long RGB APA102 strips offer more LEDs, light and options than the 1-meter option. No worries; the length difference won't affect any functionality.
Rounding out the pack today is this 48-Segment LED Bar Graph. This bar graph is perfect for projects requiring display meters with higher accuracy for reading a power charge, volume peak or signal strength. It should be mentioned that this board does not have a very compact footprint, so be sure to prepare to use a bit of space.
That's it for this week, folks. We hope these new products provide you with plenty of great ideas for new projects. We'll be back next week with another big post, so be sure to come on back. See you next Friday!
Suggestion; when assembling something that involves a screen, I would take the protective film off last to minimize scratching until turned on.
Are you going to sell the pi-TopProto as well? I got a piTopCEED for my son, while he is happy with it for Scratch and using a Picoboard, whenever I look at it I wish it had a GPIO breakout to go to a breadboard.
The speaker accessory would also be a good item to carry so customers don't have to go to another site to get all the pieces they want. (Which would probably lose a sale here if the customer has to go elsewhere which has all the pieces they want.)
To those playing at home, the APA102 LED strips are the same thing that AdaFruit sells as DotStars. So if you are building a project with SparkFun parts based on a published DotStar design, you won't have to split your parts order for the LED strips now.
The high PWM frequency of the APA102 makes them much more suitable for persistence of vision (PoV) projects than WS2812 (NeoPixel) based LEDs.
Thanx for the 2nd source, SparkFun! :-D
Also, I'd be tempted to argue if the footprint of that bargraph is compact or not. It is (nearly) as compact as it can be based on the physical size of the display. It doesn't take much more space than the LEDs. But the way the legs are staggered along the length, one can't get away with hanging it off the edge of a board unless one creates a separate carrier board that pulls all the connections down to a single grid of pins at one end. (Hmmm... sounds like a quick project to design and throw up on OSHPark...)