New Product Friday: Hot New Products!


Hello everyone, and welcome again to another round of new products. We've got a few things and a demonstration, so let's check out the video first.


Vimeo link here!

It is a bit unnerving trying to short out the heating pads. But ultimately, we wanted to see what happened when you applied too much power. Thankfully, they seem pretty tolerant of over-voltage.

If you want to play around with the Wolfson WM8731 IC, the Codec Shield is just what you need. It stacks on an Arduino or Maple and has libraries to get you going.  It's even got input and output jacks, potentiometers for modulating code, and stereo 24-bit DACs.

Generally speaking, heat is the enemy of electronics. But sometimes you actually want to generate heat, and these heating pads are perfect for that. Use these to incubate a solution to encourage bacteria growth, heat up the electronics in a high-altitude balloon project, or make self-warming mittens. They come in two sizes: 5x15cm or 5x10cm. Each can run on 3.3-5V, and draws around 0.7A. You can power them with more, but you might want to watch the video above for our findings.

If you want to embed audio in your next project, the Audio-Sound Breakout  will be a simple way to do it. Encode your files, toss them on a microSD card and send the unit commands; it's that easy.

The WeevilEye is a beginner level soldering kit. It only uses a few components and doesn't require programming, so it's great for people just starting out with soldering. Once put together, it reacts to light by flashing its red LED eyes.

Remember a couple weeks back when we talked about the LilyPad SimpleSnap and the matching ProtoBoard? Well, we now have packs of snaps that work with both of these boards. They come in bags of 30 (15 male, 15 female) and can easily be sewn into fabric.

We have a lot of new retail products this week. We've been trying to fill out the retail category with some useful parts that should be helpful in most projects. First up, we have the tactile button assortment. This set of 12 buttons has interchangeable caps and comes in pairs of six different colors. They are the same footprint as the standard 12mm momentary push buttons.

Additionally, we've added jumper wires to the retail packaging lineup since we can't seem to have enough on hand for our own projects. We always seem to need more. This is the same 30 pack that comes in the SparkFun Inventor's Kit.

We also have the popular IOIO board for Android ready to hit retail shelves. If you're a tinkerer and have an Android phone, this board might be worth checking out.

Another thing that we can't seem to have enough of is headers. This simple header kit contains a couple 40-pin straight headers, a couple 40-pin right angle headers and four female 40-pin strips. Get some of these kits for all the breakouts you have!

Lastly, we have the 2000mAh LiPo battery packaged up retail-style. It's a popular size and is a good choice if you want to power an Arduino or other board.

Well, that's it for this week. Thanks for reading and watching and we'll of course be back again next week with more goodies.


Comments 31 comments

  • C'mon guys. You give the dimensions of the heating pad in centimetres (good) but then you babble on about temperatures in some archaic nonsense temperature scale that the rest of the world abandoned years ago. Like it or not, you’re a global company now.

  • Nice Friday post , but that chair-spin Robert/Nick thing was .. just .. creepy. Like a bad Star Trek TOS episode. And on Star Trek, you could tell the evil Spock because he had a beard, with you guys, not so much. Please have Nick spin clockwise back into Robert, so as not to break the timespace continuum!

  • Technically something on the heating pads would not be insulating them, but acting as a heat sink.

    • Yeah, I was about to make a comment to that. He definitely means heatsink, an insulator would allow the pad to get hotter, not cool it down, lol

  • “Lastly, we have the 200mah LiPo battery packaged”

    I think you meant 2000 not 200.

  • I have a feeling you forgot the LSM303DLMTR in this post…

  • Are you guys going to do a variety pack of premium jumpers (different lengths and colors)? I have the “standard jumpers” and I’ve already destroyed a few of them :(.

  • For the codec shield, I would have preferred to see it demonstrated with a cleaner source signal. I find it difficult to hear the actual effect when you’re starting from chiptunes. It’s sorta like running an instrument through a distortion pedal before running it through the codec shield.

  • One thing you guys should try to do with the new website layout is to try to find a way to hide the new products on the home page until the friday new product post. I personally like seeing them for the first time in the actual post, but while browsing thursday night, I saw all the new products and then the friday new product post was just so boring because I knew what was coming already.

    Its like peeking at your christmas gifts before christmas.

    • So what you’re saying, to a retail establishment, is to either sit on new products that are otherwise ready to go, or not promote them as soon as they’re available to the public? ;)

      • Hmmm, I see your point.

        Are the products added throughout the week or just on thursday night? I can restrain myself for not going on sparkfun all thursday so I don’t spoil it.

        • I see yours as well. ;) Most of our new products do go live on Thursday night, since that’s our push in conjunction with Friday’s video and shenanigans. But occasionally something is ready to go earlier (often because it wasn’t quite ready the previous Friday), so we’ll make it live when it’s ready.

          I’m imagining a Greasemonkey script that hides all new products until Friday morning…

    • well… think of it this way: you can purchase them as soon as you see them… and maybe get first bid on an item that will fly off the shelves on friday.

      I had the same idea a few months back… i understand your point.

  • It would be interesting to note how much voltage/power these heaters could withstand if very well heatsunk. Say for instance what would happen if you immersed the pad in water and turned up the power. I suspect it could handel quite a bit of power.

    Just a reminder, you can find the watt output of the heater by multiplying the voltage by the current.

    • i think, as long as the heatsink is rated for the wattage going in, you wont have the temp increasing

      so if you get a 100watt ratted heatsink meant for audio hardware for example, you could probly put 100watts into the heating element

      (not counting losses due to poor contact)

  • There is no way that the office in the video is the office of Robert. It is WAY too clean to be his actual office!

    • That’s totally my office. That’s the workbench side of it anyways. My main desk tends to be a bit messier.

  • I expect the heating pads would work well under bar grips on motorcycles or scooters. I elaborated a bit on the product page.

  • Robert, get some wrist braces! You drive me nuts waggling products on video! Also I think I saw a box of Pi on Nick’s desk. Hmmmm?

  • Need to get some 90º female headers in that kit! You also need to get some besides ust the 6-pin one you have. Separating those cleanly isn’t much fun :)

  • “Use these to incubate a solution to encourage bacteria growth, heat up the electronics in a high-altitude balloon project, or make self-warming mittens.”

    I won the Internets…

  • Please tell me that desk is covered with something….. 250+ degrees on wood with a RC LIPO nearby is not good. Sweet products though!

    • If you are worried about it catching on fire you would have to get much hotter, 275 °C (525 °F). Though it could mess up the finish.

      • Though it only would take 451 °F (233 °C) for a book to catch fire. Three guesses on how I know that.;)

        • All “fireman” and guys named Ray know that’s the autoignition point of book paper. ;-)

          What do I win? And is there a bonus for getting it in one guess.

          Oh and wood takes more heat than paper.


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