I was really trying to figure out a way to tie in this week's product post to Valentine's day, but I couldn't. I'm not sure if you're aware, but electronics have very little to do with romance. So, you will just have to make do with a post devoid of candy hearts, cupids, self-loathing, and cuddly stuffed animals. But, we do have some new products for you. So, here are the products I choo choo choose this week.
Don't worry, Dave got his keys back, eventually. And for the record, Dave's a good sport and
begrudgingly willingly volunteers.
Soldering can be easy. Getting the board to sit in one place while you delicately solder can be the tricky part. Thankfully, the Panavise Jr. can help you out with that problem. With a suction base, multiple points of articulation, and a vise head with grooves to hold boards, this is a must for your workbench.
The FreeM and the CtrlM (seen below) are two new cool products from ThingM. ThingM specializes in I2C controlled LEDs. With the FreeM, you can use an infrared controller to send I2C commands to your BlinkM or other I2C LED. It has an infrared receiver, compatible with 12-bit SICS (Sony) TV remote protocol, and a 9V battery connector.
The CtrlM works with the FreeM to send I2C commands with infrared signals. Hook the CtrlM up to your microcontroller, send it I2C commands, and it will transmit them to the FreeM's infrared receiver. They're small, work great, and are easy to use. What else could you ask for?
We're not exactly sure what projects people will do with these, but we're sure these game triggers will be very useful. They come in packs of two, one left and one right. They each have a 10k potentiometer which is activated by the spring-loaded trigger. Anyone that has played video games in the last few years will be familiar with these as they are in most game controllers.
The Netduino has been a very successful board. It uses the .NET framework and has quite a bit of functionality jammed into one board. The Netduino Plus takes this to the next level by adding Ethernet and an microSD card socket. Also, for a limited time, the first shipment of the boards will include a free USB cable! Get them while supplies last.
The Arduino Uno came out and did away with the FTDI chip in place of the ATmega8U2. After some prototyping, we now have a breakout board for the ATmega8U2. With the base firmware, this will act as a simple USB to serial bridge, just like an FTDI. There's also a 6-pin header for pre-programming. Check out the product page for more information.
It seems that every other week we have some new product related to LEDs. This week is no exception. We are now carrying 10 packs of RGB 'piranha' LEDs. These are RGB LEDs in a square form factor. The square shape makes them a bit easier to fit onto a PCB, and they can even fit onto a breadboard as well.
Why NOT hack one of the most expensive things you own? The OBD-II UART board lets you plug into your car's OBD-II port and transfer data over good old UART. It has a header for an FTDI Basic or a Bluetooth Mate and works directly with our OBD-II to DB9 cable and draws power from your car. Get hacking - warranties beware!
The folks over at MondoMatrix have come out with another product, the XBee Shield. The XBee shield allows MondoMatrix users to take advantage of not one, but two XBee radio controllers. It even allows you to keep stacking on more boards, even with the XBees installed. Clever.
Finally! We've been looking for a battery charger that can charge 9V Li-Ion batteries and we found one. This charger leaves the bells and whistles to the other guys. It's a basic charger that can charge up to two 9V batteries at the same time. And for all of our customer on the other side of the world, it can accept 110-240VAC.
Motors are pretty cool. While these might not be the more powerful motors out there, they are still good for any application where you need high speed and low torque. We got these with bare, solid leads, but you can always take off the leads and solder on your own wires.
A couple week back, we
quietly proudly shamelessly announced our branded pocket protector. Well, we now have it in handsome black as well. Let your geek shine, in two monochromatic colors.
We have one more retail product this week. We've packaged our popular HIH-4030 humidity sensor in glorious retail packaging. That is all.
We had a bit of a mix-up with an order and ended up with these Omron relays. The relay is a SPDT sealed style relay with a 5V coil. It can switch up to 5A @ 250VAC, so these can be used for quite a bit of applications. Get them while we still have some!
Poor Gramps. Ever since we got our new ovens and pick and place machines, he's been sitting in the corner, unused and neglected. It's pretty sad really. Back in '85, he was the cat's pajamas! He was the bee's knees, and the example for all other reflow ovens. But now, 25+ years later, younger and fancier machines have taken his place. Love him as we do, his place at SparkFun is only in our hearts. Please, don't make us send him away. Please, give Gramps a new home.
So, there you have it, another week, another new round of products. I thought that after writing this post, I would be able to come up with some gem of a pun relating this to Valentine's day. But I guess my heart's just not in it. Maybe next week it will come up roses.