We've got a new GPS buying guide, new MP3 board, serial multiplexer, SparkFun wrist belt, servo extension, iPhone LCD, low-cost DMM, a programmable oscillator, and lots of snow.
Unfortunately the weather people were right, and it snowed.
That’s my grill
. The picture would have been a bit clearer, but I couldn’t get the door open. I am very sad to say it, but we’ll be shut down until Monday. We’ll do our best to catch up, but even if we could get orders packed, FedEx could not pick them up.
Through the magic of the internet, I bring you updates!
Pete and I were talking about writing a guide to our GPS modules. It turned into a GPS tutorial/buying guide
to help those who are brand new to using GPS, and for those who would like to know a little more about why we recommend the modules we do. It’s biased, but it’s our collective knowledge from a few years of actually using these devices.
I’m kind of excited about this multimeter
. It’s cheap, and it’s good. Good feel, loud continuity, comes with 9V and decent probes. If it had auto-power off, I would give it 5 stars.
We found these iPhone LCD
screens in Shenzhen. This is the complete bonded module with full color LCD and capacitive touch enabled front frame.
New breakout for the VS1053
. This chip decodes a lot: Ogg Vorbis, MP3, AAC, WMA, even MIDI! Uh, it kind of sold out before we could get it on the homepage. We promise we’ll build more next week!
is an I2C controlled digital oscillator. It’s a pretty slick little component. With nothing but a decoupling cap, you can get a clock signal from 16.2kHz up to 133MHz! Actually, the DS1077 has two
independent clocks, and retains the clock settings so if/when power is lost, the clocks will come back on with the previous rates. The downside is that the clock single is not as accurate as a crystal: DS1077 is +/-0.5%, a formal crystal with 20ppm is +/- 0.002%.
Very handy servo cable
. Allows connections from a receiver to one of our UAV boards without cutting/soldering in a cable. Also works great as a long female to female jumper.
New power line modem
. This one requires external 12V - perfect for running digital data back and forth to a security camera through the power line for the camera. Sneaky.
A decent 2.4GHz wireless camera
. We like these cheap cams because they fit easily on a rover and allows us to remotely harass older siblings and chase the household pet.
Have you ever had more serial devices (GPS, radio, Bluetooth, SerLCD) than you had UARTs on your micro? This mux will help alleviate some of the hardships. The TS3A5017
is a 4-way mux allowing one UART to be hooked to 4 different serial devices. You’ll still have to be smart about how you poll or listen to the various serial devices (no buffering, no interrupts on the TS3A5017), but it works great!
If Wonder Woman
were a SparkFun customer, she would wear these
. Wrist belts designed and created by Casey (a SparkFun employee).
We got some wires crossed and ordered sort of the wrong cable. This is a USB male to female barrel jack
. Good for cable hacking - the inline female barrel jack is hard to find!