Another Box Full of New Products!


It's Friday again, so we have more new products to talk about. It's been a little slow with new products lately, but we do have some pretty cool ones worth talking about. But first, let's take a look at the video.

I have to admit, it's a little intimidating being surrounded by that many red SparkFun boxes. But at the same time, it's feels a little cozy. Here are the products for this week.

For all the robot builders out there, we have some new batteries to go with our new charger! We have 7.4v batteries in  2200mAh, 1000maH, and 500mAh capacities as well as a 11.1v 1300mAh pack as well. Both connect directly to the charger and have more than enough power for most robotic applications.

SMD soldering requires you to handle very small parts. A good pair of tweezers is necessary. Thankfully, we have two new sets of tweezers that should help you out a bit. We have one that's curved (for picking up ICs) and one that's straight. Both are ESD safe and SparkFun red.

The GainSpan WiFi Breakout is an alternative to the WiFly modules and breakouts we've been selling. They support a few new features and are a bit cheaper as well. If you're looking at adding WiFi to your next project, check out either the new GainSpan or the WiFly products.

Need more PWM pins? You might want to take a look at the TLC5940Breakout. It uses the TLC5940 to give you 16 PWM outputs and can also be daisy-chained to get even more. Use this to control your next large-scale LED display.

If you've grown beyond traditional microcontrollers and need something a bit more powerful, maybe you want to use an FPGA. The Altera Cyclone II is a low-cost FPGA can do almost anything you could dream up.

We also have two new PICs. These are very similar to what's used in the IOIO Development Board for Andriod. These ICs have a lot of features and are pretty powerful. We have both the PIC24FJ128DA206 and the PIC24FJ128DA106.

Well, that's all for this week. Hope there's something here you can use and we'll be back next week with more new products. Thanks for reading.


Comments 90 comments

  • I really like the red boxes background! Really makes the colors pop in the videos.

  • Totally unrelated to this post, but…
    I found an easter egg! Entering “foobar'; drop table products; –” into the search box gives you - well, try it yourself. ;-)
    Hehehehehehe. Brilliant, guys.

  • it is paste flux!

    • I’ve recently bought a chineese soldering paste. It was of pure white color, and it was a very good, but aggressive flux.

    • That was my first thought too. Hey there’s always the taste test

    • I am in agreement. It is the same color as the stuff I use.

    • i think it is too because i have got something similar

    • That’s what we’re thinking. In any event, it was supposed to be 50g of soldering paste. It’s neither soldering paste (maybe paste flux IS soldering paste) nor 50g.

      • I’ll give ya a quarter for it.

      • It’s flux, but I don’t know if it can be used to solder electronics. I have something similar from dealextreme. It says it’s PH7 and noncorosive, but when I put a PH indicator strip in it it says PH4. It did not corrode the board I used it on though, but I won’t use it any more.
        Any idea what it is? Chemically?

      • Do you want to know what it is?
        Check this video.
        I bought one of those too, it is called “solder paste”, is used to solder decorative windows.
        :P

      • I’ve noticed there’s a lot of stuff listed as “soldering paste” on sites like DealExtreme that obviously isn’t just from looking at the pictures, and it generally looks quite similar to that. So whatever kind of mislabelling it is, it’s a common one…

      • You should give that stuff away as part of a contest.

      • What happens if you make it hot with a soldering iron? Becomes it liquid? and stiky?
        FOR SCIENCE!

  • Equally fun: search for “vegetablelike ; hydropericarditis”

  • Altera FTW!
    Also Rob, the boxes really limit your wardrobe; no more red Sparkfun shirts for you!

  • A bare Cyclone isn’t much good to me… how about a Cyclone II starter kit like this?
    http://www.buyaltera.com/scripts/partsearch.dll?Detail&name=544-1736-ND

    • We used to sell something similar to that, but it didn’t sell well.

      • Yeah I remember that, plus you’ve still got the Spartan 3E… I think FPGAs are a little beyond what most people are looking for in the hobbyist community. :/

        • Well its not that they are beyond hobbyist. It is just not widely used and there is very little code in the wild when you compare it to Arduino and Propeller platforms. If you can code an Arduino you can learn Verilog and work with FPGAs. FPGAs are too powerful to write off.
          With a little work you can pair a FPGA and a Arduino for the ultimate Dev kit. Arduino does the uC and high level stuff and the FPGA takes care of all your glue logic.

          • I know if there were some good tutorials and guides I could use for self study I’d be tempted to give it a whirl.

            • What would be a good first project? Blink a LED? Then move to a LED matrix?

              • It all depends on you skill level. Some people are “naturals” at electronics, and go straight to large projects. Others prefer to just buy an Arduino and blink a few LEDs.

                • I think I will just copy how the Arduino introduces people and copy their projects. FPGAs are just so useful and once you grasp how easy Verilog is then there is no limit but you have to overcome the difficulty barrier in thinking in terms of designing hardware instead of designing software to control hardware.
                  Once I get my current project out of the way I will probably start this. Key will be making the hardware platforms inexpensive and competitive to the Arduino mega.
                  I bought this “break out board” on ebay for a Altera Cyclone II http://yfrog.com/h0fxlfuj Ran $50. Make something in the same footprint as the Arduino Mega and you got yourself a winner.

          • I love the idea of the Atmel AT94KAL (FPSLIC) family. It marries a FPGA and an ATmega processor core on a single chip.
            The only downside is that it doesn’t have built-in flash, so you have to use an external serial flash chip to get your code/config data into the device at power-up.
            Also, I tried for a while to sort out the toolchain, but it did not appear to be entry-level friendly.
            Seems like this part with a simplified toolchain would be an awesome hobbyist part.
            Cheers,
            - Dean

            • I will have to look into that! The propeller doesn’t have a built in rom for the program so you have a I2C eeprom.
              I already have a propeller sending serial data to a Cyclone 2 FPGA. Works just like a 74HC595 except its 256 bits long. Could easily get the Uno or Mega talking to it as well. Will have to look into this.

      • But why do you expect that the bare Altera FPGA chip will sell any better?

  • The Chinese on the box literally says soldering “oil” (or grease) so whoever translated it was probably not aware that soldering paste refers to something more specific.
    焊油 appear to be of the same function as flux, if not actually flux… or something you’d use for non-electrical, general metal soldering.

    • You win. Seriously, thanks! The other stuff we got with it was actually solder paste but this was not. Thanks for that!

  • And I thought my collection of boxes was big.

  • Did you put batteries into that robot? Just because something has a solar panel doesn’t mean it’s actually “Solar Powered”.
    Slap a SparkFun logo and a Flame Thrower on that robot and you have a product!

  • thought: offset the wall boxes, then you could pull the one out with new products in it :)

  • Try using a clamp-on light fixture with a 75- or 100-Watt incandescent lamp to power the robot.
    I built some solar-powered car kits for a project at school a few months ago and needed outdoor or incandescent light to make them work.

  • Can I use any of the 7.4V batteries to power my Asus eee pc? The original battery is 7.4V with 4800mAh. I don’t understand what the mAh rating means.

  • Andriod
    ??
    It’s spelled correctly in the page it links to, though.

  • Search for “; table drop” (I think these three items in any order (with or without spaces, and ignoring all other characters) is the match… “;tabledrop” “table;drop” “droptable;”… ) :P

  • So they’ve finally put him in a padded room :P
    Nice new products.

  • i hate u dboy.(jokes) i just wasted like 2 hours of my life reading those cartoons!!!!

  • I know every language and country is different but I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the way Americans pronounce ‘solder’.
    Just sounds too close to other nsfw words.

  • Yes, the stuff in that flat round tin is a form of flux – but it’s not a very good flux. Like SFE, I ordered a range of “Soldering Paste” options from China and ended up with just one (quite good) 50g tub of true solder paste. The real stuff was in a tiny cylindrical container. All the other stuff (in those flatter tins) was a form of flux. Hopefully SFE found the right stuff – it works very well and is very economically priced.

  • If you’re like me, and have no idea what an FPGA is, see, for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field-programmable_gate_array.

  • I think the random tub that says solder paste is flux in a solid form because when going through an old parts box i found something similar that said flux on it

  • ROOM IS AWESOME…I WANT ONE

  • The whole 3 minutes I was expecting someone to bust through the wall of boxes and create a mayhem.

  • Keep the red boxes, what a wicked background

  • Nothing. Stupid me..

  • Some solar panels don’t work with indoor lighting, and actually need sunlight. So give the lil robot a run outside.

  • Sweet lithiums! Decent prices to!

  • holly crap-olla that red!

  • “…we’ve been selling. They support a few new feature and are a bit cheaper as well…”

  • Ah man, I thought the walls meant you would be introducing Red Boxes for sale…
    Also, that mystery stuff? Looks like… tea tree lotion. They could have at LEAST mixed soot and Topricin, that would have looked maybe kinda like solder paste…

  • Is the “solder paste” actually flux?


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