Update: The prank is over, Tim figured it out. We will get archived footage of what happened online soon.
This is a good week for the New Product Post. We have some cool products, and a special surprise project for this week. Check out the video and the paragraph below for a description of what we're up to today. I've decided to start doing more demos for new products and show everyone some examples of this stuff in action!
So there you have it. If you go to this page, you can not only see a live feed of Tim, but you can also mess with his monitor. For those of you who didn't watch the video, you should. But in summary, we took a PowerSwitch Tail and connected it to an Ethernet Pro. So you can control one of our employee's monitor's via the Internet and watch the hilarity ensue as he tries to figure out what's going on.
We'll see how long we can keep it up, but most likely he'll figure out what's going on soon enough. We'll be recording the webcam feed and replaying it once the prank is over, so just visit the link above either way to see the aftermath or to see it live.
You know you're living in the future when you can measure a temperature across the room with the help of a laser sight. This infrared thermometer has a great pistol grip and trigger, nice backlit display and good accuracy. It's a nice tool to have around and seems to be very well built.
Traditional multimeters are handy but sometimes trying to probe small SMD components can be tricky. These SMD tweezers allow you to measure resistance, capacitance and test diodes with one hand quickly and easily. They have conductive tips and a nice LCD read-out.
The ChipQuick is a kit which allows you to remove SMD components without using a hot-air rework station. All you need is the kit and your soldering iron. The kit includes solder which has a very low melting temperature so you can cover all the pins of the component and it will stay liquid long enough for you to remove the IC. Check the video on the product page for a demonstration. You can use this kit to remove about 8-10 ICs. I removed an ATMega328 and only used about 2 inches of the solder (about 2.5 feet are included in the kit).
Although the picture makes it look like some sort of perpetual motion machine, this is actually the new version of the PowerSwitch Tail. The PowerSwitch Tail II has increased current capacity, now able to handle a full 15A of current. It also has a lower switching current so you can use it with just about any microcontroller. Check the video and link above for an impractical use of the PowerSwitch Tail II.
Chances are your house is full of very useful wiring, but right now all you can do with it is carry electricity for your lights, refrigerator, furnace and boring stuff like that. With the Mamba Shield, you can use your house's wiring to communicate with Arduinos over SPI.
We already carry some battery holders that hold 2 AA batteries and 2 AAA batteries, but this new one holds 3 AAs. It has the same switch, cover and bare leads as the others, it just holds an extra battery. I've used these for enclosures for projects as well as battery holders and it's nice to have one laying around.
If your interest in electronics is more geared towards the mechanical side of things, you might want to check out Robot Builder's Bonanza. It covers a lot of interesting topics such as mechanical construction techniques, working with metal, rapid prototyping, and types of locomotion. I was impressed by the sheer number of topics is covers and I have added it to my shelf as reference. If you're going to be building anything mechanical, this book is well worth it.
We have a new version of the LSM303DLH Breakout Board. This one actually includes the necessary circuitry for proper voltage translation on the SDA and SCL pins. Don't mind the picture above, we haven't gotten around to shooting the new board yet. It looks the same, but has a couple more components to deal with the voltage translation. We'll get an updated picture soon.
So there you have it, another New Product Post. Special thanks to IT for their help in getting the everything setup. You guys rock as always. We have some really cool stuff ready to go for next week, so check back next week for another round of new products. Thanks for reading and watching.