New Product Friday: Your Parts Connection


It's yet again the closing of another week and that can mean only one thing - new products. We have a big selection this week, so let's check out the video and see what everything looks like.

Check out the vimeo version here. We are really excited to see the new packaging for the tool kits. They look sharp and it's a welcome change from the previous version. We got rid of a few things that no one was using, made them cheaper, and made the packaging nicer.

Last week we had a lot of different connectors and plugs, and this week we have even more to fill in the gaps. First up is this 1/4" audio jack. It's right angle, had a nut and washer, and you can use it to detect if something's plugged in or not. This version is made to mount to a PCB, but you could easily just solder wires directly to the pins and panel mount it.

If you need a vertical version of the jack above, you're in luck! This jack accepts 1/4" audio plugs an also comes with a washer and nut. It's made to mount vertically from a PCB, but as with the other one, you can use it directly with wires.

Stereo headphone jacks are very common. This 3.5mm (1/8") audio plug has a plastic shroud that unscrews for making a professional cable. With 3 pins (normally ground, left and right audio), you can use it for sensors, switches, or audio of course.

Need an audio jack for that 1/8" plug? This basic 1/8" audio jack accepts stereo audio cables (and jacks) and has easy solder terminals and a mounting nut.

This switch rocks (sorry - I had to)! This DPDT rectangular rocker switch is a great size and works well for an on/off switch or whatever else you can dream up. It's roughly the same size as our other rectangular rocker, but just a bit wider.

Cutting a rectangular hole with a drill is pretty difficult. That's why we have this round rocker switch. If you are mounting the switch and don't feel like hacking a rectangular hole, just a drill bit and a round rocker instead. It's only SPST, but what else do you need for a basic power switch?

Toggle switches are cool, but susceptible to dirt and water. This handy rubber boot screws onto most toggle switches and forms a waterproof barrier for your project.

The product trend this week seems to be panel-mount components. Now that you have a panel mount rocker, panel mount toggle and audio jack, why not have clean panel-mounted LEDs? This 5mm LED holder accepts a standard 5mm LED and allows you to screw it into a panel, making for a nicely finished indicator light.

Need to REALLY indicate something? Like serious mechanical breakdown, wormhole collapse, or mechanical failure in the baby sloth production module? These 10mm LED holders are the same as above, but accommodate bigger (and brighter) 10mm LEDs.

If you don't want to mess with buying an LED, buying a holder, and then putting it all together, this LED indicator light might be perfect for you. It's an LED, holder, and wires all in one. Cut a hole, snap it in, and connect the wires and now you have a red indicator light for a dash, panel, or middle of your wall (why not?).

This week we also have new tool kits! The Intermediate Tool Kit has all the basics you need for electronicing. It includes soldering iron, some cutters, multimeter, and a bunch more. It now comes in a fancy SparkFun box! If you're just getting started and want to make sure you have all you need, check out the Intermediate Tool Kit.

If you want a beefier soldering iron and will be doing a lot of electronics work, you might want to check out the Deluxe Tool Kit. It includes our 50W SparkFun Soldering Iron, all the goodies in the Intermediate Kit, as well as a few extras. Check out the video above for a full explaintion of both kits. On a side note, if you're just starting out and don't want to spend a lot of money, check out the Beginner Tool Kit. It's got the bare bones necessary to get you going.

Last week we got a bunch of new 10mm LEDs. This blue one showed up a little late to the party. It has a blue-tinted plastic body and is big and bright.

The NCP1402 is a great board for taking 1-3 volts and magically (kinda) turning them into a solid 3.3V output. Use it with a single AA to power your next 3.3V Arduino. It's a little smaller than a quarter, which is awesome for embedding.

We have some leftover boxes from when we built the first version of the Littlebits kits. Since they aren't being built by us anymore, we don't have a need for the boxes. They are a good size, have magnetic lid, and a little tray organizer inside. They could be used as a project enclosure or parts organizer.

Phew, that was a long one. Thanks for reading (or skimming) and we'll see you again next week with another video, another post, and more new products.


Comments 39 comments

  • 2 weeks too late sparkfun, really wanted the switching ¼ stereo jack to make a new guitar amp, but I settled for some radioshack non-switching stupid-idiot connector. DAMN YOU RADIOSHACK. DAMMNNN YOUUUU

    • So should the last two statements be delivered doubled-over on your knees, like in the original Planet of the Apes; or standing with your fist and head raised to the sky like in Star Trek II?:)

    • Eww, ordering from Radio Shack? That’s as bad as it gets. At least get it from Digikey or Mouser, long with other bulk parts you might need to make the shipping worth it.

    • I know, I just bought a bunch of non switchers from Parts Express this week. A switched one would have been great since I already ordered other parts for my project from SF.

  • I would highly recommend that you cap the 9volt battery in your kits. Once it slides up against the metal solder stand, or the reversible screw driver, or the barrel of the sold iron, etc etc, you have a shorted battery. At the very least a dead battery, worst case a fire.

  • What is “Sodder”? What would I use a “Soddering iron” for? If I want to sodomize something I just do it the old-fashioned way. Seriously guys it is S.O.L.D.E.R. Soul-Der, Sold-Er, rhymes with Boulder or holder. */end rant.

    • I totally agree, for everybody else in the world these is like running your fingernails across a chalkboard! It sounds like something you would be arrested for!!! “Robert C, you are hereby charged with ‘Sodering’, how do you plead?” As for a “Sodering iron” - I don’t even want to think what that might be used for!
      Lookup dictionary.com for ‘Soder’ and what do you get? - Soder Sod"er\, n. & v. t. See Solder.

    • /ˈsɒdər/ is the generally recognized form in the USA. But “Soul-Der, Sold-Er” isn’t wrong either :)

      • We pronounce it like that up here in Canada too, didn’t even know other people pronounce the ‘L’.

        • Let’s all remember one important thing, That a HOT soldering iron looks exactly like a COLD soldering iron, so pick up the cold one the same way you would pick up the hot one.

          • “The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. But he won’t sit upon a cold stove lid, either.” -Mark Twain

    • It’s not half as bad as coloUr without the u, sulPHur, etc. en-gb all the way. :-P

    • I think it’s a case of “you say tuh-may-toe, I say tuh-mah-toe” or “you say puh-tay-toe, I say kar-toff-el”

    • Scone or Scone? The great debate.

    • When you’ve made your own European Sparkfun and you can pronounce your “solder” wrong–er however you want.

      • European! Please. I am an ex-British colonist just like you.

        • I’ll amend that then:

          When you’ve made your own British-English Sparkfun and you can pronounce your “solder” wrong—er however you want.

  • You should totally get a beautiful box made up for a cheap, boring component and send some out in them as jokes. Maybe for the next batch of good dings and dents?

  • for as long as i have been alive those have been called needle nose pliers.

  • Suggestion - for all your panel mount components; jacks, switches, LED holders, etc, you could have a “mock panel” (ie. a sheet of aluminum with all the relevant holes predrilled) to show off what they look like installed in the video.

  • yes! i just foung a proxy for youtube, that means i can watch your videos.

  • How about some 3.5mm TRRS plugs and jacks? Stereo plus microphone. USB. Imagine the possibilities.

  • Any chance of the 4-conductor 1/8" jacks/plugs like iphones and other smartphones are starting to use?

  • Those new boxes are beautiful. And the boxes at the end of the post will definitely come in handy.

  • When you say cutting a rectangular hole with a drill is difficult, it’s not if you have the right attachment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz3pDMP7IsE

    • well, yeah, with a drill press and a specialized tool…. that’s still more difficult than a $20 drill and a cheap bit.

  • Sweet!!! :) finally parts I can use ;)

  • Hey, it didn’t fall over :-)

  • When is SparkDay? The day devoted to SparkFun.


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