New Product Friday: Switching to 2012


Hello loyal NPP (that's New Product Post) readers and welcome to the year 2012! We have a couple of products to talk about, so let's just start right in and see what we have for this week.

I always get excited for really practical products. I like things that almost anyone can find useful and have many uses. I can't seem to have enough alligator clips sitting around. The tweezers also make life a lot easier when measuring something one-handed or small.

More and more we are becoming a society on-the-go. Why keep your Arduino tethered to a power source? Use the LiPower Shield instead. It combines a 5V boost converter, fuel gauge, and charging circuit in one easy-to-use shield. You can charge your lipo battery, boost it's output to 5V for your Arduino, and even measure your batterie's power level through your program.

Jumper wires are nice, but what if you just want to clip on to an existing wire? Meet your new best friend, alligator test leads. They come in packs of 10 and are just under 2 feet long, which gives you plenty of room to make a hideous rat's nest out of them all over your desk.

Let's say you already have a meter and don't necessarily want a pair of our smart tweezers, but still want (or need) to measure small components. Check out these multimeter tweezer probes. Products don't get much simpler than these. They are plastic tweezers with metal probe tips and a pair of banana cables coming out the end. Plug them into your meter and you can easily measure small SMD components while drinking a beer.

Toggle switch covers are not only neat looking, but they serve a good purpose as well. Also called missile switch covers, they are designed so the switch cannot be engaged while the cover is closed, and shutting the cover also disengages the switch. We carry these covers in both red and brand new (simulated) carbon fiber.

We also have a new version of the geiger counter this week. The new version changes around some of the footprints, uses a new and better switch, and supports Arduino's reset feature. We've been having troubles sourcing the geiger tubes ever since the Japanese tsunami/earthquake. Our suppliers are still very limited and we're doing our best to keep them in stock.

What better way to flaunt your street geek cred than with the Hackerspace Passport. The Hackerspace Passport was a concept that sprung up as a way for hackers to show off their membership and credentials when visiting other hackerspaces. It's also a way to record visits to other spaces and encourages hackers to intermingle and spread ideas. Use it at upcoming SparkFun events as well as hackerspaces all over the globe!

Well, that's all I have for this week. Thanks for reading and we'll see you again next week with even more new products.


Comments 25 comments

  • “.. and the are exactly.. that long.. pretty nice.” I laughed out loud when I saw that, Robert you’re awesome. I’m not complaining one bit, just thought that was funny. And no I do not need to know the exact length of the alligator lead. Why not? Because it’s an alligator lead!!!

    • meh, the length is on the product page. it’s a video, why not just show people how long it is rather than tell them a number? then people would complain that I said it in inches, not centimeters, etc ;-)

  • There you have it, they are about that long.

  • Glad to see that SparkFun has come out with a new Arduino shield that integrates support for a rechargeable Li-Polymer battery. I’d love to see a product that supports other types of rechargeable battery, e.g. Li-Ion, Li-Fe-Po4.

    As for Robert’s shirt it is just fine IMHO. Robert is here to showcase the new products, not to audition for “America’s Next Top Model” – though if you want to do that Robert…follow your dream. ;-). As a photo-enthusiast I’d add that the green shirt contrasts well with the bright red background so it works for me.

  • “batterie’s”…nice. I had to look at that a few times but it made me laugh.

  • BAM! It’s about that long!

  • Great start to the year! If I’m honest, this is probably the first New Product Friday in which every single item presented is something I need or want. I mean that as a compliment, and I hope that this comes across as such.

    It’s too bad the Geiger counter sold out so fast, but not unexpected; the damn tubes are the hardest part to source. Which is slightly crazy, because they’re not really that difficult to manufacture, relatively speaking. Sure it’s nothing you can just crank out with a CNC mill, but the chemicals, materials, & processes aren’t exotic. Of course, I’m looking at it from a hacker’s DIY point of view, and as someone with fabrication experience, so I can say with certainty that any Geiger-Müller tube I create would be orders of magnitude lower in quality. Maybe I’ll try to make one anyway.

  • OMG! That Hackerspace Passport is the bomb. I must have it. Waves hand slowly: You will sell that to me.

    Huh! That worked! It went right into my cart! It’s almost like you WANT to sell me stuff. Throw one of those LiPo cards in there as well. I use a lot of those batteries, and I can make a really nice charger / monitor with that.

  • Tweezers and missile covers FTW!! hopefully they will make it past free day…

  • Is the sparkfun logo at the end is moving in a different direction than in 2011, or is it just me?

  • SHROUDED BANANA PLUGS D_;

  • Every Friday, I excitedly check Spark Fun to see if they offer the MPU-6050 (or even better, the MPU-6000) on a breakout board yet. Please please please do this! I’m growing impatient! It’d be nice if it had a magnetometer, but honestly, I can do without.

  • “And it’s abooooout that long.”

  • tweezers look pretty useful.

  • that might be the most boring shirt I’ve seen yet!

    • jeez, do I have to wear an exciting shirt every week? ;-)

      • I maintain that everyone should. Employers generally don’t seem to agree :-/

      • You don’t HAVE to, no. But it would probably go a long way towards shutting us up about it!

        Two suggestions:

        A white shirt that says “Exciting shirt”

        A red shirt that says “Don’t shoot!”


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