iFOB. It just rolls off the tongue, no?iFOB
is a device I built to sense my presence and automatically unlock my car as I walk up to it. The Nike+iPod footpod lives in my pocket, the iPod receiver and my actual key fob live inside the car. Since the footpod broadcasts a unique ID, it’s a bit like active RFID. The iFOB hears the unique ID, identifies me as ‘Nate’, that I’m cool to enter the car, and hits the unlock button. Works pretty well! Checkout the tutorial over in SparkFun Projects
Yay Maker Faire. It’s looking bigger and bigger each passing day.
The SparkFun booth will be located in the main Expo Hall. Check the size of that hall! Wow! Here’s a PDF of the map
in case you need it. If you’ve never been to Maker Faire, you can get a sense of the scale by checking out the grounds map
. It’s going to be a ton of fun!
If anyone would like to join, I will be speaking a couple times at MF as well:Where:
Maker Workshop Stage, B, Fiesta HallWhen:
Saturday, May 30th at 12:00 pm
Title: Electronics Prototyping Process
Description: This talk will help put the entire prototyping process
into context. We will cover all the milestone phases, including: concept
& planning, PCB design & layout, considerations for
manufacturing higher quantities, and more. This is a great discussion
for folks who are interested in getting a big-picture summary of DIY
technology and how to start creating their own electronic widgets.
Where: Make TV Stage
When: Sunday, May 31st at 12:00 pm
Length: 50 min
Title: Open Source Hardware
Description: This should be a sweet mix of people for a panel type talk. I’m not sure who all will show up.
Where: Maker Workshop Stage, B, Fiesta Hall
When: Sunday, May 31st at 4:00 pm
Length: 50 min
Title: Napkin Schematics
Description: We use this method to hash out the beginning thoughts
for SparkFun projects as a pre-cursor to a legitimate schematic. The
goal of this class is to help you sketch out the block diagrams for
your individual project. It will be taught in a round-table format.
It’s an ideal class for those who have an idea for an electronics
‘widget’ but are not quite familiar enough with the beginning stages of
the prototyping process. You will need to bring a project that is on
your mind, some paper or a sketching journal, and we’ll help you fill
in the blanks. Projects can range from medical devices, art, electronic
‘helper’ devices, consumer products, you name it, we’ll try to help!
You are welcome to use any chip, technology, or development board that
you would like. We’ll try to dig up whatever information we need to
answer your questions. We will recommend available technologies,
describe various interface requirements, and show what pitfalls to look
out for - but we also encourage attendees to participate with their own
Are we good? Ok, time for the new goodies:
are here! We created a new category for some of the various kits we make and sell. We’re pretty excited about bringing these to Maker Faire. We should have stock available soon.
Red 7-segments are so retro. Blue 7-segment displays
are the way of the future.
. The guys in production like them so much, they stole 5 pairs before I could even get them posted. These are what we use for placing SMD components. They rock.
We had a customer request an extra wiring harness
for the fabulous USB Logic Analyzer
. We thought it was a great idea so Joe at Saleae
hooked us up. Speaking of, I think Joe will be roaming around Maker Faire so shoot him an email to meet up.
We’ve got two new breakout boards. One breaks out the PSP touch screen
and the other breaks out the Nintendo DS touch screen
. Very handy.
New configuration for the GPS Micro-Mini
. Now with SMA antenna to get great reception with an active GPS antenna
It’s just a little board that does one thing well, take a AA battery and make 3.3V. This is a simple DC to DC step up board
that generates 3.3V off of one or two AA batteries. Neat!
Coridium has released their ARMmite Pro
- an analog to the Arduino Pro
. ARMmite has a bit more punch with 32-bit processesing and an easy to learn BASIC compiler!
Pololu shipped us a bunch of new parts including the popular line-following 3pi robot
and this nifty wheel encoder
This is a TRIAC
. Triacs are this neat device that allows us to control a burly AC source from a logic friendly DC signal. Great for controlling EL wire and other small AC loads.