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Have a Cool Project?

If you are working on a project, people (like us!) want to know!

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You might notice this banner floating at the top of the SparkFun website now. If you are one of the people who got Free Day gear, we are very curious about what projects you are planning. Feel free to click on the banner and let us know what you are up to!


Speaking of project calls, Tom's Hardware is writing about the projects that SparkFun customers are creating, and they need your help! If you have a project you're working on that you'd like to be featured on Tom's Hardware, submit it to them! Here are the guidelines (from writer Paul Escallier's forum post):

        1) The project has to be your original idea, or you need permission from the owner of the                 idea.
        2) It has to be a completed project, or a functional work in progress.
        3) It must be well documented (ideally with a dedicated blog page or the like). Photos are a         must.
        4) Try to keep it more recent than 6 months (more of a guideline than a rule). 

To submit a project, send an email to sparkfun at quantumrand.net with "Sparkfun Project" as the subject and the following information:

        1) Name (full name or name you'd like credited)
        2) Project Name
        3) Project Description
        4) Link to your project's page

Last, we have a couple videos. The first is a Free Day recap of what it was like behind the scenes in the SparkFun offices on January 7th.

The second video is a tutorial video guiding you through putting together the Simon Through-Hole Kit. We'd love some feedback about this video, as we plan on doing more of these in the future and want to make them as helpful as possible!

Happy Friday everyone - cheers!

Comments 32 comments

  • Outstanding idea!! The flow and audio of the tutorial are great. The visuals are demonstrative, clear, and concise. I think this is a solid video style to build on.
    I know there has to be a balance between information and simplicity for these tutorials, but I tend to lean towards "the more info the better":) That said, I'd suggest slipping in a little more info when appropriate (like anode and cathode for the LED in addition to the info on polarized) so beginners like myself can learn proper terminology. If there are other skills required to complete the project (i.e. soldering, hacking simon board), you could include links to other tutorials you think do a great job of demonstrating those skills (should you choose not to make a tutorial yourself).
    Will the video tutorials be limited to kits, or will individual components get the same treatment? (fingers crossed:)
    A few tutorials I'd love to see... (combined with Arduino platform)
    Xbee + XBee Explorer Regulated
    ID-12 RFID (with breakout board)
    Force Sensors
    Flex Sensors

    • Thanks, I'll try to add just a little more technical info into the video tutorials and I'll alternate between kits and components. I think what you've listed component wise is a great start. Thanks for the video critique!

  • Wow, that girl with the white vest is hot.

  • I am thinking hundreds of projects for 13 days but since i got nothing shipped yet, all i can do is thinking. Since i am in Turkey and my "loot" haven't shipped yet, there will be at least 15-20 more days to think...

  • Pretty nice video on assembling the simon game board and it was clever that you added some breakout pins so you could use the board for other things. I would maybe add it may be a good idea to socket the microcontroller so you could use it on breadboards, other projects, etc. Also that would make it less likely to damage the main chip for soldering newbies that leave the heat on a pin for too long.

  • If I ever get my free day stuff I can begin to post on what I am going to do... and thank you spark fun...

  • Carbon-rod - it gets me too, it seems some of them same solder and others say sodder/sauder. Strange :)

  • Anyone see wired today? http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2010/01/sparkfun-free-day-aftermath/
    Awesome. Looks liek sparkfun is all grown up. Now you guys have to start acting like adults!!! Which means no more drinking at work and keep the dog at home!! Who's dog is that anyway?
    P.S. I was kidding!

  • Nice tutorial and its amazing to see what went on behind the scenes during free day. very interesting....
    Does it drive anyone else in here nuts when someone says sodder instead of solder? I'm from Australia and I've never heard the term sodder until I got into electronics and started watching videos on youtube...
    No offence btw... I love you guys.....

  • In the video around 1:33, the narrator is talking about the LONG + leg of the LEDs, but the video is showing the short - Leg highlighted.
    This could possibly confuse people.

    • I finished watching the video after a phone call and I like the added graphic animations with the close up photos and I also like how you sped up boring parts to get past them and onto the next section. There are however a few places where some things may have been skipped though a tad bit to fast (like the adding capacitors section), and it would be nice to have the close up photos and graphics for every component on a beginners kit like this.
      Over all, it's great work and I can't wait to see more.
      P.S. I hope you will also continue to make the text and photo based tutorials as well.
      I think videos like this should be in addition to them and not a replacement.

  • I made a remote controlled robot controlled by a ATMega328, BlueSMiRF and TB6612FNG (the motor driver). Almost all parts were bought from SparkFun. But is this really something worth sharing? I could upload a video, but I will not make a website or blog about it...

  • Nate says: "Oh my godness" haha funny :)

  • What if you got things you planned to get on Free Day, but you didn't get the order in. Can we still send in our 'Almost Free Day' projects?

  • Nitpicky grammatical comment: in paragraph 2, "customer's" shouldn't have an apostrophe.

  • About the free day thing is there any kind of a dead line? Because it might be up to three weeks from now before I document anything about my projects I'm doing since I'm still doing research to figure out a few problems.

  • The video tutorial is excellent especially considering how short it was. Not only was it informative but it managed to stay interesting and stick to the point. The addition of music etc help to keep it entertaining. Please stick with this format.
    As a beginner I would also love to see your series of "Beginning Embedded Electronics" made into video tutorials.
    Lastly having something like a wiki (or maybe the forum) to keep these things organized and accessible whilst allowing customer respinse would be good.
    I'm impressed so far and it would be interesting to see how this initiative develops.
    Also watching what was going on from your side of the fence was pretty cool.
    2 thumbs up from me

    • +1 for a wiki, in a way its more organized than a forum (can be anyway)
      If you get a wiki up, I'll help moderate it ^_^

  • Congrats once again on a successful Free Day, and glad that there weren't any fires.
    The the video tutorial/guide on assembling the Simon TH Kit is a great idea, and very well done. Background music fits in well, is very calming, and isn't distracting. The narrator is also very clear and not boring.
    Not to be overly critical, but the transition between scenes feels a bit awkward and rushed. The SparkFun website shows up without any warning right after a short introduction, as well as the transition between the "Included parts" to "What's Required" and "What's Required" to "Here's how" seems lacking.
    I also think it might be a neat idea to have a small overlay of the PCB in the upper right corner showing the location of the current part. There are several scenes dedicated to components that have a specific polarity. While things like resistors are fine either way, it would be nice to know exactly where on the PCB you're putting it. Although, the instruction manual does a very good job of showing the location of all parts.
    Overall, a very well made, informative video.

  • Nice choice of background music, by the way. Sounds appropriate and not too loud. Sounds like a chiptune, what's the title?

  • Nice video. I was a little surprised to see a Grandstream phone though...yuck!

  • Nate, at the beginning of that video you looked nervous as hell :)
    Good job on the vid, what camera was used?

  • Thats a cool video and to see all efforts out there ! It would be good to see the names of the people too on the video !!

  • Wish we were still young enough to work in the dot coms & make through hole circuits. Now if someone made a video of a heroine building a circuit, that would win an Oscar.

  • very professional looking video. good stuff. and you guys have a dog in the office! i'm so jealous!

  • Even though I missed out on freeday (not for lack of trying - made it to final checkout) I'm still totally stoked about you guys! Seriously it was an awesome project and really solidified feelings about the company. Thanks again!

  • Alcohol at work for special occasions, boy I miss those days. The joys of being bought out by a Hugh Jass publicly traded company.....

  • Very nice video. It was cool to see what all of you were up to while I was breaking my F5 key

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