Infrared LEDs are awesome. Along with an IR receiver they can be used for remote control and even basic remote data communication. The only problem is that your Arduino won't drive them to their full potential. The SparkFun Max Power IR LED kit solves this problem by providing you with everything you need to drive a 950nm IR LED properly. Simply solder together this easy through-hole kit and you can switch the LED using a transistor.
Once the kit is assembled, simply provide it with voltage (5V), ground, and connect the CTL pin to a digital pin on your Arduino, and you can drive this kit just like a normal LED. Although the LED won't be visible to your naked eye, you can use a video camera, cell phone camera, or digital camera to see if the LED is working properly.
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: Rookie - The number of pins increases, and you will have to determine polarity of components and some of the components might be a bit trickier or close together. You might need solder wick or flux.
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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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Old age, poor eyesight and improper tools were my downfall. In one fell swoop, I managed to solder all three wires of the transistor with a single mound of solder. Does this come in a 5x7 package? Also, do you carry magnifying glasses the size of the ones seen on "The Santa Clause" movie?
In all honesty, I have no idea how to rate this product since my soldering prevents me from trying it out.