Friday New Product Post

AVC is over, our videographer is back from vacation, and we have a new product post and video.

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Happy Friday loyal SparkFun followers! AVC was last weekend and our videographer is back in town, so we are going back to our regular schedule of product posts, puns, and ridiculous videos. Although, this week's video isn't nearly as ridiculous as our last one.

For this week, we decided to dial it back a bit. It was nice seeing the solenoid in action and I always love testing out mechanical parts. And as you can see, the MakerBeam came in quite handy for making a quick frame. OK, let's see everything for this week.

This solenoid will be great for operating all sorts of levers or other mechanical parts.  It has a 25mm throw and a really heavy-duty frame. Although it's rated at 36v, it operates well below that voltage and can still be quite strong at 9v. Check the video above for a full demonstration.

Zip-ties have hundreds of uses. You can clean up wiring, temporarily (or permanently) attach things together, or use them for realistic cops and robbers. Our zip-tie assortment comes with 6 different types in a plastic carrying case. You're bound to have a use for these so tie them into your next order.

So you're getting into wearable electronics but don't have a good way to control that thing you made. Our wearable keypad might be just what you're looking for. It's black, has a SparkFun logo, and consists of an up, down, left, right and enter button all wrapped in silicone. There's even a red LED inside to make it light up! Check out the product page for example code and check the video above for a demonstration.

These may look like normal break-away headers, but they aren't. Sure, they have normal 0.1" spacing, but they don't require soldering! The ends of these solderless headers have something that looks like the eye of a needle. When you press it into a hole, it snaps in place, allowing you to prototype with headers without permanently soldering them into place.

Electronics are cool, but they can be much cooler when they move! Making Things Move is a great book for everything mechanical. If you've wanted to learn about torque, gear ratios, or just get an overview about basic mechanics, this book is a good way to get your learn on.

The VRbot voice recognition module gets a new name and some new features. Now called the EasyVR, this module allows you to add robust and cost effective speech and voice recognition capabilities to virtually any application. The new version adds some additional languages, updates the interface a bit and gets a name change.

We had an issue with our last VS1033 and VS1053 breakout. As is turns out, some intermittent issues can arise if the TEST pin is left floating. Upon learning this, we have corrected the issue by tying the TEST pin to IOVDD as suggested by VLSI. We fixed the VS1033 last week and now we have the new version of the VS1053 as well. At this moment, we do have some of the old VS1053 boards with a green wire fix on sale (while supplies last!).

We have a breakout for the L3G4200D triple axis gyro. It has a selectable scale and even has a built-in temperature sensor. Everything is conveniently populated on a breakout board with 2 mounting holes and a row of headers for connections. The board has an I2C and SPI interface for all your angular rate sensing needs.

So that's all we have for this week. We are back to our normal schedule, so you can rest-easy this weekend knowing that next week we'll have another round of new products and a video. Thanks for reading and see you next week.

Comments 34 comments

  • Is it me, or is Dave starting to sound like Napoleon Dynamite in this product post? :-D

  • Dave is really rocking that stache!

  • It’s been buggin me for months, what is that slim red multimeter you have on your desk? I want one bad.
    EDIT* I think I found it, is it a Meterman PM55?

  • Wait! Is that a “Hello Kitty” Coffee cup on his desk? With a similar image under the phone?
    … Not that there’s anything wrong with a grown man having a “Hello Kitty” Coffee cup…

    • No, that would be GitHub’s OctoCat. We’re pretty big fans of GitHub here in IT, as we use it heavily in our development and deployment processes.

      • Yay for Octocat! Do I see another one under the door handle? :D
        You guys are awesome.

  • Was that a picture of mr T hanging from the cabinet at the end?

  • Did you guys change your rss feeds mine stopped working and i has to reload them?

  • I have had so many bad experiences with zip-ties, I’m scared to be around them.

  • You should have ended it with a shot of scissors zip-tied together. :] Good stuff. :) Poor Dave. :)

    • Ironically, they were zip-tied together. I was helping Dave get everything cleaned up and we had a ‘duh’ moment when trying to cut the zip-ties off with zip-tied scissors.

  • I’m liking the iMac at the beginning, that’s how an IT department should work :D

  • Your prescience us uncanny! Just had a project land on my desk (well, on the pile of existing projects on my desk) that looks like it’s going to need a solenoid or two with a throw of approx. ½". Is it possible that my iPhone is now tracking my movements AND reading my thoughts?
    Keep up the amazing work!

  • Threat of zip ties are a major reason why one should always carry wire cutters where ever they go (okay, maybe not to the airport).

  • What the heck is that background noise that’s in all the new products videos?
    What, do you film these in the elevator?

  • I like zip ties… Had a problem at work when my pants leg was torn from sharp metal from waste to the cuff… zip ties to the rescue.. hehe
    One of the other members asked this but I was wondering the same. Is there going to be a slot in the solenoid? Will it kill the temper if a channel is cut into it with a grinder or mini die tool like a dremel?

  • Where can I find some of that miniature tslot channel on your solenoid setup? That could come in handy for these projects?

  • hope you have a nice day……. hahahahaha

  • images loading very slowly due to severe slowness from

  • What was the force rating on that resistor? Knowing that the force is directly related to the supply voltage is useful, but it would be interesting to know exactly what forces you were measuring with that test rig.

    • check the datasheet. we didn’t convert the values, because it was just a relative test. you can convert these values to give actual force.

  • Ya I had to refresh chrome to get the video.

  • No images?

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