In 2015 we developed the BadgerStick as a fun and interactive way for people to learn about soldering and engage with SparkFun products at the multiple trade shows we appeared at. In 2016 we have refined the BadgerStick into what you see here, the SparkFun RedStick! The RedStick combines some of our favorite features like the Uno’s Optiboot bootloader, the FTDI, small size, and the ability to plug directly into a computer’s USB port (no FTDI board or USB cable required).
The RedStick can be programmed by just plugging the board into your computer using the Arduino IDE: Just plug in the board, select “Arduino UNO” from the board menu and you’re ready to upload code. The RedStick also has the hardware features you are used to: 14 Digital I/O pins with 6 PWM pins, 8 Analog Inputs, UART, SPI, I2C and external interrupts. This is all in a tiny package that can be plugged directly into your computer.
You can power the SparkFun RedStick over the USB plug or through the power input (which supports a JST connector for a single celled Lipo). The onboard boost circuit can regulate anything from 2-6V. While the board does not have a battery charger, it can be powered over a single celled Lipo or even 2 AA batteries. Check out or related products for batteries and battery cases.
This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.
Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Based on 8 ratings:
2 of 2 found this helpful:
The board with all its features are great fun, except if you plan to hook up analog sensors. I was planning to control my cyber-monday robot (which works great with default setup) with sound detection from the microphone (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12758), but the analog inputs are so noisy that it is impossible (detecting 3-4volts peak when silence). The DC/DC boost regulator seems to be the noise spammer.
6 of 6 found this helpful:
This board funtions similarly to the Arduino UNO or SparkFun RedBoard. One major difference, however, is that it can accept an input voltage as low as 2 volts (!!!) and still power its onboard ATmega328p, which is the same chip that is used on the UNO or RedBoard. To exploit this low voltage requirement, however, I recommend buying a JST terminal to solder into the footprint on the board. This allows native connection of LiPo batteries (also sold by SparkFun) and AA/AAA battery packs as long as you solder a JST plug onto them.
7 of 7 found this helpful:
My SparkFun order arrived today and I plugged the RedStick into a USB port on a Raspberry Pi 3 just to see what would happen. Then, from the Pi’s command line, all I had to do was enter:
sudo apt-get install arduino
The Arduino IDE appeared on the Pi’s desktop menu. From the IDE’s Tools pull-down I selected Arduino Uno as the board and the USB port. So far, all my test sketches work as expected.
Time from unboxing to processing < 15 minutes. Fantastic!
Used the RedStick with an LED strip and it worked great!
I am having fun with it controlling LED strip lights. It was trivial to set up (a little soldering). There is great software support for libraries and such for the LED control. In general, everything just worked. I am very impressed. This little guy has pretty much pulled me into a new hobby as I had never tried an Inguino before.
This was perfect for the portable Arduino setup I needed it for. It is thin and light, and it worked with the IDE as an Uno.
It has the processing power and the simplicity of programming and use of an Arduino; It eliminates the need for a stabilized 5V supply; (suggestion: if the input voltage range could be extended to cover at least up to 12V, the unit would be even more useful; most industrial systems run on 12V or even on 24V); It eliminates the obligation to have a USB connector cable; (for fixed units mounted inside an equipment, a simple rugged USB extension cable will do the job) It eliminates the fragile micro-USB connector.
I bought the red stick for a project I made and it worked better than I could have imagined. As it is Arduino compatible it made starting out incredibly easy. I also needed 5V I/O which has. A couple .1" headers later and my project is off and running.