New Product Friday: A Basic Product Post


It's Friday, so that means we have more new products to talk about. Last week's instructional video was a success so I will be doing more like that in the future for sure. I can't do one every week, but when something comes along that I feel needs a little extra explaining, I'll do my best to put something together.

The smallness of the new GPS unit can really only be realized when you see someone picking it up. It really is amazingly tiny. It was a little hard to see in the video (check the pictures), but the pH kit is a really well put-together kit that certainly IS a true scientific instrument. I love hobby-grade stuff, but the pH kit is not hobby grade.

So, as you saw in the video, this GPS module is tiny! The GP-2106 GPS module features an antenna and the new SiRF IV architecture in a package that's only about 6x6x21mm! It also has a hibernate mode to bring power consumption down to around 30uA. I know I'm going to using this in something pretty soon. We are making a breakout board and have the ribbon cables on order.

Remember a few weeks back when we got a rotary encoder and thought it was a quadrature encoder? We remember it well. You commented heavily how wrong we were and how it only had a single output, which does not make it a quadrature encoder. Well, this IS a quadrature encoder. This model features and A and a B output so you can not only tell how fast something is rotating, but in what direction. These seem very nicely made and would make a great addition to a stepper motor or a DC motor for feedback.

We carry a lot of sensors. You can sense direction, acceleration, rotation, flex, force, light, current, etc. Remember back in school when you had science class and they gave you those little strips of paper that changed color based on pH and you ran around like you finally understood the inner working of the universe and decided to test every possible liquid for it's pH level? I do. This kit is sorta like that, but more scientific. The pH Sensor Kit includes a pH probe, BNC connector, a board for reading values into a microcontroller, and all the calibration solution you can shake a stick at. It's a great kit for all your pH sensing needs.

I'm not sure why, but whenever I get to write A instead of mA, I feel like the product is slightly cooler. I mean, mA is cool, but when you get to measure something in full amps, you know the project is just that much more dangerous and awesome. Really, you should try and find an excuse to run into the 20A limit of this relay. You can use them to switch on and off lights, blenders, toasters, or anything up to 20 amps worth of current.

This looks pretty familiar. A week or so ago we had a revision to the Breadboard Power Supply Stick. This is yet another version and it's a bit different. Sometimes you need lower voltage, like 1.8V for the new GPS module above. This new Breadboard Power Supply Stick allows you to switch between 1.8V and 3.3V.

That's all I have for this week. There will be more next week, so check back next Friday for even more new products and happy Halloween!


Comments 43 comments

  • I just had a Revelation, for a new Sparkfun Product:
    Sparkfun should make/buy lil red candies(cinnamon or cherry)and put them into Tin’s that have a logo written on them. (like Altoids, only with more Sparkfun!). there are thousands of projects that people make with Altoids tins.
    It’s just an idea, but I think it would be great for the Holidays!

  • Whoa! Props on the total site overhaul! It looks great!

    • Yeah! +1 … actually I am taking a class in CSS and HTML.. really makes you appreciate (and understand) how much work goes into it :)

  • Aah! a new search box position!

  • Did Robert just drink the storage solution?

  • So Robert how long are you going to be in storage? How did it taste? I like 10 myself it has a lot better kick! :)

  • I almost have enough red boxes to build my own red back drop. Been stacking them up in the corner for a while now. Happy Halloween everyone :)

  • Well, this IS a quadrature encoder
    Guys, please please get some breakout boards for AustrianMicroSystems or RLS magnetic rotary encoder chips, along with the round magnets !
    See this thread http://forum.sparkfun.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=20813

    • Spark-Star++ for magnetic rotary position sensor/breakout. I had great success with a MLX90316, a generic 8-pin SOIC to DIP breakout board, and a couple of components along with the Arduino library here: http://interface.khm.de/index.php/lab/experiments/rotary-positionsensor-mlx90316/
      The library and write up made this relatively easy to work with. The sensor is incredibly accurate.

      • I know, it would still be very useful to have the magnets, the chips and the board all in one kit.
        I’m probably getting a few of AMS, RLS and Melexis chips to play with anyway, but all of these are SMD which i don’t do well.
        At some point it would be very useful to have low-backlash gearmotors with magnets already placed on the shaft and a bracket for holding the encoder pcb. Should be a bit cheaper than the ones with optical encoders.

  • Hey Rob, Whats your Ph?
    Ph storage solution:The breakfast of Champions!

    • according to the MSDS, the solution is mostly water (~98%). i think i’ll be fine ;-)

      • you will be fine as long as your not hydrophobic.
        freshly bottled spring water is more dangerous than the solution.
        the storage solution is designed to keep the membrane from drying out, the other compounds prevent ions from being “sucked” out of the sensor. the ingredients are just above and below a ph of 7.

  • Can’t…contain…myself….they’re called LITMUS STRIPS! I LOVED those things!! We grew to hate them once the ladies started peeing on them and when they changed color, it was bad.

  • I saw the moved search bar, got really excited and started looking for other website updates. m.sparkfun.com, Where art thou?

  • Found a site glitch. Over on the left, for the products and categories, if you click on a square without a right-facing triangle, it makes a down-facing one. Clicking on the down-facing one (when there wasn’t one at all) doesn’t do anything.

  • New comments very cool. seeing as SparkFun loves open source so much, surely you want to share your code with us…

  • Was hoping for a Halloween edition. Oh well. Anyway- nice and short.

    • I actually completely forgot about Halloween. We shoot them early and I forgot that it’s Monday. Bummer. I’ll do something for Thaknsgiving and Xmas for sure.

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