New Product Friday: Form Follows Function


Hey everyone, Rob's out for the week so I'll be supplying the new product news this week. Hopefully there's something in this batch that will catch your interest!


Vimeo version found here.

That was the unhappiest Arduino... I hope I didn't make up that stuff about using a function generator as a debug tool, I'm no expert and sometimes those studio lights make you say crazy things. Also, I said millisecond resolution in respect to the servo test mode but that would obviously be pretty bad: it's micro-second resolution.

MiniDDS

This is an awesome kit, though. Not only is it fun and easy to put together, since all of the surface mount soldering has already been done, but when you have it put-together it's a really useful tool for your workbench. This function generator can create 7 different types of continuous waveform: Sine, Square, Triangle, Step (up and down) and Ramp (up and down). Not only that, but it can generate servo control and test signals as well. The 15VDC power supply allows the generator to throw waveforms with a maximum peak-to-peak amplitude of 10 Volts with an offset from -5 to +5 Volts. Whether you're shopping for an entry-level function generator or just looking to build your tool collection, definitely check out this kit.

encl

We have yet another new enclosure this week, adding to our growing collection. Too bad we didn't get to run this one over with a truck. It's tough though! This flanged plastic enclosure has a rubber gasket built in to seal against dust and moisture and it's 3mm thick so it's not a push-over for wear and tear. Also, it's SparkFun Red, which we all know improves performance.*

*probably doesn't improve performance... but red sports cars do seem to go pretty fast...

ESD

Electrostatic discharge is the invisible enemy of all electronic devices. Keep your parts and pieces safe from ESD by storing them in these static shielding bags! These 4" x 6" bags are spacious enough that you could probably fit a couple of Arduinos (Arduini?) in there if you had to. Also they're heat-sealable, so if you have access to a heat-sealing machine then go for it.

Stickers

What can I say, our designers here at SparkFun have definitely put in some work making great graphics for everything from the website to the videos and even the t-shirts! It was about time we updated the sticker sheets with some of our cool new artwork. The new sticker sheet includes the According to Pete logo, the flaming F5 key and the OSHW logo, as well as old favorites like "RTFM". And don't forget, this is yet another chance to put Pete's face on something you own!

LilyLED

We've added another color to our line-up of LilyPad LED boards, this time it's purple! I personally find it ironic that it's taken so long to get a purple LED when every board in the line is purple. Oh well, things are just funny that way. Just like any other LilyPad LED, you can sew these into your shirt, hat, couch, tent... whatever, to add that much needed 'flash' of Tyrian hue.

MixedLED

Moar LEDs! Life can be a mixed bag, but sometimes that's okay: The 10mm LED mixed bag is a great way to sample each of our 10mm LED colors, including the RGB and the super brights! It's also a good deal on 10mm LEDs if you're building something that just needs "blinky stuff" of every color. It can be hard (read: impossible) to tell the super bright LEDs apart without lighting them up so we've also included a 20mm coin cell battery for your convenience.

MOARPOWR

The Power Cell is an awesome board for getting Li-Po batteries into your 5V projects and now it comes in spiffy retail packaging for our distributors who need it. So that's pretty cool.

Well there you have it, another batch of great stuff added to our ever-growing catalog. This is getting out of hand! Rob will be back next week so be sure to check back for even more new products.


Comments 28 comments

  • I would love to see Nick pop in as the Friday New Product leader every now and then to mix things up a bit!

    Not that I’m tired of rob at all….

    Who else thinks this is a good idea?

    • Make them fight to the death.

    • i don’t want to diss on rob either, but i like the more technical explanations and potential uses for the more complicated stuff (like the function generator). also, the demo was great, i thought, because it wasn’t like the other demos which get a little heavy on the silly. you never know when you may need a variable oscillator… probably before i’ll need to make a box with a horn in it. just sayin'.

    • Nick does a great job but seems a little long winded at times. Maybe a competition between Rob and Nick each week of making the coolest project out of the new products?

      • I do have to admit that unfortunately brevity was never my forte. (unshortwiseful duckspeaker)

        • I honestly think you should consider doing this sort of thing a lot more. I’m sure much of the SparkFun community would agree…

          • I’m flattered, guys. Keep an eye out for my Engineering Roundtable videos!

            • I think it would be great to see you more often. Seeing as how you have the engineering roundtable and robert has the friday thing, you should take like one friday of each month and do this too. That’d be boss!

        • NEWSPEAK!

        • I didn’t really mind the length to be honest. I think you did a better job of explaining things then Rob does.

      • Good idea!

  • Next up, According to Pete shirts! I love AtP, but watching Pete squirm under all this attention is just way too much fun. (Sorry Pete.)

    • ATP!!!!

      The two meanings!!! It’s so intense!!!!

    • At least we shouldn’t need to worry about Pete getting too wrapped-up in a cult of personality like the late Steve Jobs. No disrespect intended for Mr. Jobs’s many significant accomplishments, but some people’s admiration for the man got rather extreme…

    • No!!! Rob Tee’s all the way!!!

  • Are you EVER going to fix that box?!?!?!

  • Excellent job on the post. Robert may have to watch his back now!

  • I use those bags at work. I’ve had good luck running my iron across them to make a heat seal.

  • I just love in the function generator instructions, tools required:

    “Thin raisin-core solder of ideally 0.8mm diameter”

    Now that’s flux that’s good for you!

  • At 4 minutes: “ … a servo test signal, with millisecond precision…” I guess that should be microsecond. Such a pulse would be between 1 and 2 millisecond in length already.

    • I just corrected the post, hah, sorry about that. Millisecond resolution wouldn’t do much good would it?

  • Great job Nick, great example of a use for a square wave. :)

  • For the function genereator kit, why do you have the surface mount already done? It would be cool to have a surface mount version. I actually enjoy practicing my surface mount soldering skills (I would even be willing to pay a bit more for the privilege & for a few extra spares of the small parts).

    • i would like that at well.

      with the prevalence of smd components, i think it is only the ‘next frontier’ so to speak for hobby-ists to migrate to smd components. i already do a lot of simple smd work using leds, resistors, and voltage regulators, so doing a full kit of various-sized smd components could be a good way to grow my skills.

    • That’s the way it comes from our supplier. If I had to speculate, I’d say it was a decision to compromise between selling a product and a kit. I also suspect that a kit with that many SMT parts would have a fairly low customer success rate, making it a Tech Support nightmare, lol. I’m with you, though, I enjoy surface mount soldering!


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