New Product Friday: Pull, Stomp, Rocker, Race


We're back after last week's 'demonstration', with more products and a more tame demonstration. Check out the video, and then the products below.

For those of you who can't view the video on YouTube, here's a link for it on Vimeo.

The car can be really difficult to drive, especially if you're just trying to drive it randomly for a camera. But with a proper controller, it works great. It's a good platform to work from and most of the hard work has been done for you.

If you want to build a robot or an RC vehicle, the hardest part might be making it move. You can spend a lot of time getting the thing to ambulate and then you have to work on the sensors and everything else. With the i-racer, much of the heavy-lifting has been done for you and you can start working on sensors and everything else. With the included Android app or simple Bluetooth commands, you can have it driving right away.

Round rocker switches are ideal for on/off switches. With a circular mounting hole and simple operation, they are just easy to use. But if that wasn't enough, this rocker switch even has a blue LED indicator light. Hook the switch up as normal and power the LED with 5-12V DC. You'll get a nice visual indicator that the switch is on. Neat.

Need a robust switch? These stomp switches are made for heavy use (guitar effects pedals). They are DPDT and can be panel mounted in a 1/2" diameter hole.

We're all probably familiar with pull-chain switches. They're commonly used on light fixtures. This pull-chain switch has a 10" chain connected to a SPST switch with 6" bare wire leads.

This pressure sensor is very similar to the other Flexiforce pressure sensors we have, but has a much larger sensor area. This sensor has a 1" area for detecting up to 25 pounds worth of pressure. They work just like a resistor, varying their resistance in relation to the amount of pressure being applied. The bigger surface area should open up a few new possibilities.

A potentiometer that's operated with just your thumb?  WANT! Thumwheel pots are nice because they can sit relatively flush on a board and just stick out a bit, allowing adjustment just like the volume on your old Sony Walkman. This thumbwheel pot is 10k with a linear taper, so it's good for all sorts of applications.

We have the ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Board back in stock! This new version makes some changes to make it easier to make and fixes a few minor issues. The package comes with the main development board, a LilyPad FTDI, battery, conductive thread, and some needles. It's a great intro to LilyPad and has pretty much everything you'll need to get started.

We've been carrying Sugru for awhile now and it's been pretty popular. In the course of receiving, stocking, and shipping Sugru, we've ended up with some that has expired. We don't always go through our stock in time, or it's already close to expiring when we get it. We're not the types to throw stuff out, so we're offering the 'expired' Sugru at a discount. I'd like to add that many of our projects in the weekly product posts have used Sugru and we're still using the original sample we got before we even carried it. Its LONG expired and still works fine. Keep it sealed, and it should last just fine.

Well, that's all folks. This has been yet another week at SparkFun, and another week of new products. Thanks for reading (and watching) and I'll be back next week with more goodies. See you then.


Comments 31 comments

  • Rob’s favorite pick-up line.. “So.. let’s go into my office and play with this.”

  • DOG.

  • thumwheel pots? ;)

    I am a grammer-bot. The cake is a lie.

  • Kudos to the dog with common sense - one look at Robert’s driving, and he was out of there!

    • That’s my dog, and I love her to death, but if there’s one thing she doesn’t have it’s common sense. haha.

      Although, I do think Rob’s Automotive Interpretive Dance could scare just about anyone off the road (or… floor, as the case may be)

      • I would also question sandals foot wear when Robert’s driving (I mean Automotive Interpretive Dance) that car around. Or are those Sandals OSHA approved?

        I would suggest steel toe tennis shoes, shin guards and other PPE. And maybe some OSHA approved odor eaters too.

  • Is that a potato cannon on a robot in the background?

  • You guys sure are lucky with the sugru - I had one expired pack that wouldn’t cure at all, and another that had already completely set before it was even opened. :P

    • huh, odd. ours has been fine, and we had a few expired packs go out on accident and haven’t had any issues.

  • It seems to me that using a 9 DoF board to control two axises is a serious waste of money compared to just using a 3 axis accelerometer. Do you actually use more than 2 of those degrees of freedom? If you want to try to sell me something expensive, I’d rather it be me a compatible Bluetooth module. :)

    Cool platform though, especially for $30.

    • yes and no. if you look very closely, you can see it has a green wire fix. this one was a return/repair that we had sitting around. we just had it on hand. we used it instead of taking something new out of stock.

      so, yes, it’s overkill, but we were trying to recycle something we already had on hand.

  • It is not correct to say 25 pounds of “pressure”. The “pressure” sensors actually measure up to 25 pounds of “force”. If you apply 25 pounds of force to a small part of the sensor, you will get the same response as if you spread that force over the entire sensor area. In the first case, you will have a higher pressure in the (smaller) area over which the force is applied to the sensor.

    Think of it this way: If a mouse stands on the sensor, the sensor’s resistance will indicate the mouse’s weight (in pounds), regardless of whether he is standing on one foot or two feet. When he is standing on one foot, the pressure under his foot is twice as high (in pounds per square inch) as when he stands on both feet.

    Yes, I am definitely being picky. But SparkFun now has an educational staff writing curricula for school students. When those students browse the website, they should be getting accurate impressions about physical quantities such as force and pressure.

  • in the background of video of the RC car, what was that six wheeled thing with what looked to be a pneumatic cannon attached?

  • Is the LED on the switch isolated from the switched terminals? I’d like a lighted switch about that size that can be used to switch 120vac. I don’t think this one would be suitable.

    • The documentation indicates it is not isolated, and relies on the switched voltage being +12V to work. Not only would the LED not work, but the switch probably isn’t suitable for 120vac either; that said, there is no provided datasheet to look up specifics.

  • “… thing to ambulate and theN you have to..” (missing a character there)

  • Great selection on the stomp switch. Those are really hard parts to source for stompbox designs, I usually have to source them from somewhere like small bear electronics. That’s a great store, but now I can get them with my somewhat-regular Sparkfun orders!

    I’m not sure how easy it is to source, but 3PDT switches are also popular with stompbox builders and would be another nice addition to your stock list.

  • Video blocked by DoD web filters. VIMEO!

  • Someone woke up early today! I don’t usually see new pages posted until around 9:00 MST.


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