Official SparkFun IRC Channel

We're hanging out in #sparkfun on Stop in and say hello! And new products.

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As you may have noticed, we had a couple hours of downtime last week. While we were fighting with network issues at the data center, it occurred to us that it would be cool to have a place for people to hang out in the meanwhile, so I joined #sparkfun on and we put up a quick-and-dirty notice next to our downtime message. We had 20 or 30 people in the channel in a hurry, and it didn't take long to decide that we might as well make it permanent.


has been around in one incarnation or another for ages - if you've done much work with free software over the last decade, there's a good chance you've gone there for technical help. SparkFun is a for-profit entity, obviously, but we're also full-time users of Free Software, we release quite a bit of code, and we've got a lot of customers & friends in the open source & open hardware world. It seems like a good fit.

We'd love it if you could join us. If you're new to IRC, Freenode has a good page on using the network, and there's always For the time being, we don't have the resources to promise that tech support staff will be on hand, but there will usually be a few SparkFun folks around during business hours, and we're hoping that this will be another venue for our customers to get together and help each other out.

Some new products:

All of our Arduinos have now migrated to the ATMega328; the Pro, the Pro Mini, and ATMega328 with Arduino Bootloader.

Our Marketing department did a wonderful job on our Autonomous Vehicle Competition poster. After many requests, we are now selling the rest of the posters that were not plastered around Boulder.

At less than 1" square, this is the smallest LiPo battery we sell with over voltage and minimum voltage protection. Rated at 20mAh.

Check out these lessons learned from a really cool rocket launch using an Arduino Pro Mini and a LilyPad Accelerometer

Comments 37 comments

  • Ummm; how exactly is Freechat cool? It seems to be a lot of like AOL's chat, except that it's much harder to install and use, and it's not really free (not Windows client, at least).

    • I don't see any reference to a "freechat"; is the IRC server system that the #sparkfun channel lives on. There are many free IRC clients for all platforms, I use Pidgin (the same client I use for IM) to connect to it. mIRC is a classic for Windows. IRC is what everyone used before IM was around, and is still very good for serving groups of people as opposed to individuals communicating directly. See the linked pages for more information/help.

    • XChat is easy to use and works on linux and windows

    • And as long as we're recommending Windows and Linux IRC clients, my preferred Mac IRC client is Colloquy:

      • Nice. Have you ever used ircle? I think it may have been the first IRC client I ever actually tried. I'm surprised to discover that there's (relatively) recent development on it.

        • Yeah, I think I tried Ircle sometime in the 90's, but it's been so long I couldn't tell you much about it anymore. Brennen, does you using Ircle mean that some time in the distant past you were a Mac user?

          • You know it. I didn't own one until long after I'd started using x86 Linux full-time, but they were the dominant machine at my highschool, and I cut my programming teeth in part on HyperCard (a good modern equivalent for which is still lacking, in many ways). My first exposure to the Internet was NCSA Telnet and a newsreader I can't quite remember a name for.

    • Another free, lightweight Windows client is DMDIRC. It requires the Java Runtime Environment but is otherwise very easy to install and configure.

      • For Windows, I'm a pretty big fan of mIRC. It's one of the few places I'm willing to bend on the whole Free Software issue for personal use.

        Pidgin runs on Windows, is a pretty good general-purpose IM client, is free-as-in-speech+beer, and does IRC. Might work for some folks.

        I used to know some people who swore by ViRC.

        I don't run Windows at all these days, and mIRC under Wine can be a bit flaky. I've been meaning to give WeeChat a bit more of a go under Linux. xchat is functional but far from great.

  • Hi guys, do you know any physical store that sells sparkfun / Arduino stuff near by Miami/Florida ????

  • Major lag for free day!

  • Can anyone help explain this response and what actions I need to take?:
    [09:45] == #sparkfun Cannot join channel (+r) - you need to be identified with services

  • sparkfun on

    THis doesn't work for me.

  • I haven't used FREENODE before and am having some trouble logging in. I get a message saying I have to register to join? Does that mean here (which I am) or in the MIRC client or node?
    And I get the message "Cannot join channel (+r) - you need to be identified with services"
    Man, could this be harder?

    • is easy to use, I find.
      varocketry, I had the same problem. You need to register with Freenode. That means once you've logged onto Freenode (and get the error you describe) register your nick using the following command at the IRC prompt:
      /msg nickserv register password e-mail
      Where password and e-mail are replaced by your desired p/w and e-mail address.
      Then follow the instructions in the e-mail. You can also hide your e-mail from being shown by doing
      /msg nickserv set hidemail on
      Once you've registered, you can now join sparkfun by typing:
      /join #sparkfun
      Good luck!

  • KVirc, hands down as a GUI client. All platforms, nice interface, at least as configurable as mirc with a good set of scripts, lots of pleasant features. Even thought it's QT, it didn't need a ton of KDE libraries on my Ubuntu Maverick.

  • Dear Nate,
    I'm having confusion on how to wire your recorder you sell. I could use some help as to playback and record.
    Thanking you in advance,

  • No need to install or download anything, just click the link, select a Username and access IRC through Mibbit's AJAX client.

  • /joined

  • Any plans or timeframe for putting the ATMega328 into the FIO you folks build?

    I missed the free procurement class. :-(

    What happened to broadcasting the Procurement class? I would have paid and showed up in person, but it wasn't as easy as watching on the computer. So both my friend and I waited for almost two hours (on a friday night, what a bunch of nerds...) hoping it would start. Did it get recorded? Will it be archived somewhere?

  • whoudnt be a good idea to use de arduino on the rocket to launch second charge wen asceleration is goin down automaticly?

  • I asked Brennen about this, but it would be great if you guys did a monthly moderated Q&A session or a Monday Night Chat like Seattle Robotics does. The latter may be too much for you busy guys but the Q&A session would be very beneficial to both Sparkfun and customers.

    I missed the free procurement class. :-(

  • Not a lot of active users on the channel right now. Is that the Acer Aspire One or the Dell mini in the last photo?

    • Hi Matthew!
      That's Jon Oxer's photograph--click on that picture and you'll get a lot more of them. Looking at some of the others, you can easily tell that the laptop is an HP.

  • brennen: My first exposure to the Internet was NCSA Telnet and a newsreader I can't quite remember a name for.
    Probably Newswatcher or MT-Newswatcher.

    • Newswatcher is somewhat plausible, based on a quick Google image search. Did it have a kind of two-pane view, with one pane showing message titles and the other showing the body of a message?
      (Given that this would have been somewhere between '93 and '95, I don't think my memory of the experience is all that reliable...)

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