Member Since: January 6, 2010

Country: United States


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  • Since the frequency that these radio modules use is also inside of the Amateur “900mhz” and “440mhz” bands, they can be used by anyone in the US with an Amateur Technician or higher class license on any of the modes allowed by their license. Adding an external power amplifier to increase the range (Mini Circuit Labs sells some modules that would work) would also be legal for hams.

  • If you snail mail your order to DIgi-Key with a check enclosed for payment the shipping is FREE! (Their choice of method). Guess that’s their reward for not having to pay credit card transaction fees. (Hey Sparkfun….HINT!!!)

  • If those Cherry switches have as nice a feel to them as the old IBM model “M” keyboard did, then I have a challenge for you guys. How about designing a PC board to hold 102 of those bad boys for a computer keyboard project? The key caps would be 3D printed of course, so someone would need to design those and have the STL’s available for download. With the bulk discount on the switches (you’ll have to have more in stock to meet the demand) it could be a reasonable project given what a good model M goes for these days!

  • There is a very popular ham radio construction project that has been around since the early 2000’s. (The Pic-a-Star DSP transceiver). The Analog Devices DSP processor is almost EOL (AD still lists it as “active” though it does NOT appear in their parameterized search, but can be found via a direct part number search. The part doesn’t seem to be stocked by anyone in the package used by the author of the project, but IS available in a similar package). The Codec chip IS beyond EOL and only available from shady part vendors that hang out on ebay. A few years ago I managed to find the processor from a US supplier on ebay (cheaper than I could have gotten it from DIgikey who had stock back then). I lucked out finding two of the Codec chips (which had gone EOL before I had found out about the project) from a supplier in China with 100% good ebay feedback, and the parts were genuine AD. Interest in Picastar is still high, but at some point someone is going to have to substitute a different code compatible AD processor with a different pinout (and re-layout the boards), and write a driver to use a currently available Codec …. if the project is to continue to be built.

  • I’ve seen youtube demos of how difficult it is to get a battery to self destruct in flames, and others showing it happen. I worked at a company designing a remote control device that would use a ‘flat pack’ Li battery similar to the kinds that sparkfun sells. A fully charged battery was accidentally dropped from a table, and thanks to Murphy it landed corner first onto a concrete floor. It burst into flames instantly leaving a black scorch mark on the floor along with a huge stench that set off some smoke alarms. The only thing that caught fire however was the battery, and the mess didn’t take long to clean up.

  • I figured that you might be only looking a MIPS. I don’t remember what the clock speed was on the old VAX11-780 was, but it was considered a supermini computer at the time. With the ability to address megabytes of 32 bit wide memory comparing it to an ATmega328 is a bit lame. The atmega might be able to sprint by the VAX in a few well placed subroutines, but it would lose the race in total work done. OTOH a $35 RPI might give the old VAX some cause for embarrassment, especially if you hooked up a “small” disk drive to it via a USB-SATA adapter!

  • A better way to stack the Teensy audio boards might be to make use of those long pin Arduion stackable connectors on the top board so you can just stack the two of them together, and then put the Teensy on top. In fact, that’s how it’s done on the Teensy web site.

  • The 555 is one of those parts that will probably live forever. I wouldn’t use one if I already had designed in a micro, but there are still plenty of strictly analog projects where a micro makes no sense. Other parts that have been around forever, and will continue to be even though there are better versions of them art the 741 opamp, and the 2n3055, mj2955 and 2n2222 transistors. They may even outlive the type 80 vacuum tube! (Introduced in the late 1920’s the type 280 full wave rectifier lived on as the type 5Y3G, and 5Y3GT until the late 1980’s. Same tube inside, just different bases and shape bulbs)

  • Great bit of artwork. Someone also took the name of a band and added the likeness of these two men. http://vandalsbucket.s3-sa-east-1.amazonaws.com/spree/products/39094/product/ACDC.jpg?1429746339

  • I think the best of both worlds would be to sell the boards without the header pins soldered in, BUT to include the header pin strips with the board. The best way to attach the pins is to plug them into the breadboard and then set the PC board onto the pins and then quickly solder the pins onto the board (quickly so you don’t melt the bread board!). This way they get attached nice and straight!

    Note that some of your boards have extra pads to access IC pins that are NOT brought out to the breadboard pins, IE: the Arduino pro mini allows access to the SPI pins and two extra Analog inputs that are NOT at the board edges.

    The Teensy 3.2 is even worse, there are almost as many I/O pins on the bottom as on the edges! (Someone does make a special adapter to get to all of them that DOUBLES the number of breadboard pins! Wish you carried it!)

No public wish lists :(