New Product Friday: Year in Review


An order of business - SparkFun will be closed on Monday, January 2nd for New Years. We will be back up and running on Tuesday. Also of note is that "According to Pete" will be posted the following Monday, January 9th. Now on to the product post.

2011 was a pretty big year for SparkFun, but don't we say that every year? We've had a year full of new products, and of course the weekly new product posts and videos. Since this is the last product post we're doing this year, I thought I'd do something a little different than usual. It also serves as a ruse to divert your attention away from the fact we don't have many products this week.

For the product video this week, I'd like to take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of my favorite SparkFun moments of 2011.

We don't have many new products this week. Most people are gone on vacation and it's a bit of a ghost town around here. But we do have a few things, so enjoy the last round of new products for the year.

A few weeks back we announced the new R3 version of the Arduino Uno. This week we have the new R3 version of the Arduino Mega 2560. The changes are essentially the same as with the Uno. The R3 adds a few new pins, changes the position of the reset switch, and now uses an ATMega16U2 instead of the 8U2.

We found a lot of stuff in our receiving department that was either incorrect or something we didn't order. We're just now getting around to seeing what's good and what isn't. Here are a few products that are perfectly fine, but they just weren't exactly what we ordered.

These test leads are just like the other ones we carry here, but they have shrouded banana plugs on them. We don't normally order them like this, so we set these aside when they came in. Instead of carrying both, we're selling the shrouded ones a bit cheaper and when they're gone, they're gone.

These cables were made for us to use in the littlebits kit. However, something got messed up with them and they didn't work out. Instead of the wires going straight through, they cross over. So, for the littlebits kit, they didn't work right. We now have a bunch of them sitting around and I'm sure someone can put them to good use.

These heatsinks can handle quite a bit of heat. We carry something very similar and when an order came in we noticed that the spacing was a bit different. The manufacturer sent us a slightly different profile and they didn't work with our audio amplifier kit. The gap where you mount the IC is smaller in these and didn't fit the STA540. It should work well with most other ICs as long as they aren't too wide.

And lastly, we got a shipment of these 5-way selector switches that didn't include the hardware. They usually come with two screws for attaching them to a panel, but these didn't. Also, the legs got bent up a bit so we didn't want to include them with the others. We've discounted them a bit for the missing hardware and bent up legs. Don't worry though, they should work just fine.

We have a new version of the SIK Retail! This new version remains largely the same but uses a different (and better) motor and include the new Arduino Uno R3. Other than that, it's the same kit that we've been carrying. The retail version comes with the carrying case and includes all you need to get started with the Arduino.

We now have the next version of the littlebits kit in stock. This kit is v0.2 and has a few minor tweaks to the actual bits and the connectors. It also includes a branded 9V battery and a little screwdriver for adjusting the trimpots.

The HMC1051Z compass module was an IC that was used on an old assembly and we had a few left over once the assembly was retired. We figured someone might get some use out of them. The HMC1051Z is a single axis magnetic sensor in an 8-pin package.

Well, that's all I have for this week. Thanks for reading and we'll see you next year to welcome some new products for 2012. See you then!


Comments 18 comments

  • Maybe you just have too many for this to be practical, but couldn’t you just lift the tabs on the LittleBits cables to release the pins and reverse the outer two wires?

  • You’re supposed to shower naked??? Why has no-one told me this?!? #tshirt Does anyone at SparkFun know if/ when the Arduino Leonardo and Due are due??

    • I just wanna know where I can get one of those T-shirts! :) Showering naked, what an interesting concept

    • There are a few decent Leonardo per-clones out, been testing a vinciduino reva that works quit well although it’s in the arduino pro form factor. Can’t wait for the due myself!

  • those heat sinks are great for amplifier projects they can dissipate allot of heat!

  • Which one is teh free kittenz?

  • Check out my free day wish list- still going through it.. theres a lot of stuff I want!! http://www.sparkfun.com/wish_lists/29162

  • Great stuff!

    Want a laugh? Try turning on the “Transcribe Audio” captioning option. Google is normally great, but look out for treasures like “Soviet commode”. Have fun!

  • Ha! The last video of the year! Reminds me of Starbucks Christmas blend. Where they take all the bottom of the bins and combine it into one nasty cup of coffee with spice and tag it up to get rid of it!

    Weeeeeeee! Thanks sparkfun! My credit card contributed solid to your bottom line and at the same time I learned a little!

    Happy New Year Everyone!

  • “We don’t have many new products this week.”

    My least favorite phrase when an excited I check on Sparkfun on Friday :( Oh well, thanks for the great year anyways.

  • Congrats on another great year! Been shopping with SF since Feb 2006 and have always enjoyed getting those little red boxes in the mail.

    Wish that a certain DIY expo would come back to Austin so we could see you guys in person again.

  • Small spelling mistake, says “Arduino Unor” instead of “Arduino Uno”. Otherwise great product post as usual

    • Yes, the new Arduino board: “The Unor!!!” It has the same specs as the Arduino Uno R3, just different product title. Don’t be fooled though, the silkscreen does still say “Arduino UNO,” that is due to the fact that the eagle, and other design files have not been fully updated yet. end sarcasm That link should be fixed though…

    • fixed. sheesh, you guys catch everything.


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