New Product Friday: Brightening Up Your Week


So this week we have a lot of little displays, LEDs and other goodies for you. Our docks continue to be flooded with new products every week. You may notice that the images are much bigger this week. No, you haven’t advanced to level 4 on Super Mario 3, I’m just using bigger images for the product posts. Do you like the new bigger images, or should we go back to the smaller ones? First up, let’s check out the video for a better look at some of the new products for this week.


Vimeo version found here.

So there you have it, that’s what the self-blinking LEDs look like. I really like the concept for the large 7-segment displays, but don’t currently have a use for them. Expect them to show up in a future demo. Speaking of demos, next week I plan to have at least one demo for something very cool, so check back next week.

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In our never-ending quest to carry every type of LED, we now have self-blinking RGB LEDs. Plug them in, and they blink without any code. Since they’re RGB, it’s more of a cycle, than a blink, but meh. We have them in two varieties and three sizes. We have 10mm fast and slow blink, 5mm fast and slow, and 3mm fast and slow. Now you don’t need any additional circuitry to blink an LED. Check out the video above to see what these look like when lit up!

Sometimes you don’t need a full LCD display for just numbers. That’s where a 7-segment display comes in handy; they work great for displaying sensor values and such. But what if you want something BIGGER? These 1" tall 7-segment displays should work out for you. They look fantastic in person and are easily readable because of their size. We carry them in whitebluegreenyellow, and red. Check out the video above to see them in action.

The people at Bare Conductive now have their conductive paint in an easy-to-use pen. The Bare Paint Pen is an easy way to just draw conductive traces on paper or other materials to make your own custom circuits on clothing, walls, boxes, or whatever else you can think of.

In addition to the Paint Pen, we also have a couple simple kits from Bare Conductive using their new Paint Pen. The first is their house kit. As shown above, you put together a little paper house complete with LEDs and a photocell. The kit includes all you need to put together what you see above, including a conductive paint pen with enough paint for several other projects.

In addition to the house kit, there’s also a greeting card kit for making our own light-up greeting cards. It includes two pre-printed cards and a blank one that you can make into whatever you want. Using the included coin-cell batteries and LEDs, just about anyone can put this kit together.

In the latest version of the SIK, we decided to take a fresh look at the instructional manual, or the SIK Guide. We’ve redone the examples, code, and pretty much the entire guide based on feedback from our many SIK classes. Since we spent so much time on it, we felt it would be a good idea to offer it for sale outside of the SIK, since many people will already have an Arduino and might want to just work through the examples on their own. If you don’t need the print copy (or don’t feel like buying it), feel free to download the manual and print it yourself! We just wanted to make an easy way to learn Arduino.

We’re seeing the SIK get used in more classrooms and even libraries lately, which is great. However, as more and more people use each kit, certain parts tend to wear out or get lost. The SIK Refill Pack is a simple way to replace the most used (and lost) components so you can keep using the SIK over and over.

We have a lot of products on our site that have quick-disconnect (or spade) connectors on them. Now we have connectors to go with them! We have them in 4 types in bags of 50. We have them in 1/5" male, 1/5" female, ¼" male, and ¼" female. Insert some wire into the end, crimp it, and you have a nice and tidy connection!

Just look at this thing! It’s TINY! For anyone that needs power, but can’t spare much extra weight, we have this 40mAh LiPo battery. It’s a standard 3.7V single cell and isn’t much bigger than the JST connector. If you have serious size or weight restrictions, this might be perfect for you.

The GS407 module gets an update that replaces the not-so-friendly connector with a more universal one. The GS407A now uses a standard 6-pin connector found on other GPS units. Check the related products for pigtail connectors. You no longer need a specialized breakout for this module.

Well, that’s all I have for this week. Hopefully you like LEDs and 7-segment displays. We’ll be back next week of course with more new products if you didn’t see something here that you like. I’ll see you back next week with a video and more new products. See you then.


Comments 38 comments

  • You’re displaying 2501 on all of the 7-segment displays… Ghost in the Shell reference?

  • I miss the old days when there was a demo each Friday, and shenanigans took up more than 50% of SparkFun New Product Fridays!

    Please start doing things like you did in the old days!

    I mean look at this typical example of what happened each Friday! I didn’t start watching SFE every day for a list of what new products your carrying, heck I really don’t care at all what new products you have!

    I just want to see stuff like what was show in the link, whether that means less talking about products, longer videos or not talking about what new thing you have at all!!!

    • I’m trying, I am. But I’m one person and this is only about 5-10% of my job, so I don’t have that much time to devote to it. I do promise something next week though.

      • I’m really sad to here that then… If that means things are not going to go towards being focused on fun, I’ll have to find a new day of the week to look forwards to each week. I’ll try Monday I guess… :/

        • no no no, my job is product manager and I’m essentially in charge of all 2k products, it’s a big job at times :-)

          I can do my best to devote more time (or plan more ahead) to make the videos more demo-heavy. We still have all the fun ideas, lately it’s just been hard to find time to put them into action.

    • KittehBox builder here, Man, I wish we had more time to do this kind of stuff. Whenever I can, I definitely try to. Believe me, it’s my favorite part of my job.

      There’s a balance to be struck between so many new products every week that we don’t have time to build a demo (I have to write all of those descriptions, after all) and so few products that there’s nothing to demo.

      I’m working on something as we speak :)

  • I appreciate the larger photos, especially since they are high-res. Even something as simple as an LED deserves a huge photo, so that designers and engineers know exactly what they’re getting.

  • Is there any plan for a serial backpack for the 7-segs like the smaller ones???? I don’t care if you have to put four SMD Darlingtons on it to handle the current/voltage issues….I buy the serial ones all the time, and they aren’t near big enough, these are!

  • Big pictures look great on here, but I usually see this article on google reader, and none of the pictures show up there anymore, just a big bunch of text for some reason.

    • Sorry ‘bout that. We switched things to Markdown for authoring purposes the other day, and neglected to update the feed generator to push things through our parser. A fix will be deployed a bit later this morning.

    • Yep; I’ve got the same issue. Even the usual line breaks are gone now.

  • Larger Pics == Good! Thanks!

  • I like the large pictures on my laptop with the big display. Any chances of coming up with a mobile version? Quite often I read the news at work using my smartphone.

  • Hmm, I wonder what “Smelly D’s” are ;-) @3:47. Anyhooo, for my real feedback, I like the bigger pics :-)

  • Are you going to include the new 10mm LEDs in the LED grab bag? Maybe once the current stock is gone?

    • good question, we’ll see how well these sell on their own and decide to include them if they are popular.

      • I think if people understand what they are, then they will sell well. A few months ago I looked for these types of LEDs, and I don’t think even Mouser had them.

  • I would’ve been more interested in the other products (tiny LiPo, tiny GPS, etc) than such a long demonstration of the blinking LEDs

    • the problem with that is it’s hard to show anything with that in a video. The lipo battery is cool, but beyond holding it to show size, it doesn’t inherently ‘do’ anything in a video. it looks the same charged, discharged, and while charging.

      similarly for the GPS, it doesn’t physically look any different while being used. And it’s GPS, so it pulls down the same (generally speaking) satellite information that any other GPS would do and spits it out as serial data.

      For the LEDs, the only way to really show how they act is to show a video. No amount of words can appropriately describe how they will look when blinking.

      • “No amount of words can appropriately describe how they will look when blinking.” That should have been the product description.

        • We could collaborate on a novella describing in GREAT detail how they look while blinking.

  • The picture size should be relative to the complexity of the product. The LED and pen are WAY too big, the spade connectors are just right for their complexity. A micro board though, give us a bigger picture due to the complexity and small size of the parts.

  • Am I seeing things or are you using an actual “proof” quarter in the 7-segment display pic? It looks proof because of the frosted head and mirrored background.

    • You’re on to us. Our photographer uses quarters so often for photo shoots they tend to get scuffed quickly. We had trouble finding a local source of quarters in town that had no blemishes, so we ordered some proof sets from the US Mint. They’re blemish free and help make photo editing much quicker.

    • not sure if its a proof, but it’s uncirculated, directly from the mint.

  • Thanks for including a video of the RGB autochange LEDs. Most retailers don’t and the pattern graphs in datasheets (if available at all) can be confusing, incomplete, or just plain wrong. Video is much better :)

    • Yeah, videos are perfect for showing stuff like that. We’ll get the video linked up to all the LED product pages later today. Maybe an animated GIF if time allows.

  • How does the Bare Paint pen work on fabric?

    • Great! Not sure what else to say other than that, but it’s very thick, so it’s like fabric paint. That being said, I’m not a craft kinda guy, so maybe Dia will weigh in here…

      • It is cheap enough and there is broad enough range of fabric types that the answer should come from buying some and trying. Thanks!

        • The consistency is comparable to puff paint, but it’s a little more brittle when it dries. If you’ve got a thick, low-resistance trace in a place where it’s going to flex a lot, it’s liable to crack, so there’s a resistance/fragility balance to be struck. :)


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