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  • Two gripes.
    1: The SMT versions of the atmega328 have 8 analog inputs, but only 5 of them are used on the arduino. In a new design why not bring these pins out someplace, extend the Arduno footprint a bit. 2: Atmel now has a pin compatible upgrade, the atmega328B with TWO usarts, TWO spi interfaces, and TWO I2C interfaces. Plus the usarts can be used in SPI mode (so you have FOUR of them). True some pins are used in multiple ways so you can’t use all of these things at the same time. Why not use this part in new designs?

  • For the benefit of those that are using KiCad, it would be nice if Sparkfun would also make their libraries available in that format.

  • There is also the limitation of how fast the RS232 interface can operate. While this depends on the length of the cable, 115300 is pushing it except for short distances, so most systems max out about there. RS422 can go faster, and I do recall an experimental fiber optic terminal interface back in the 70’s at Digital that pushed something like 1 mega baud. That used a highly modified VT100 terminal BTW.

  • Your repair looks good! One thing I hope doesn’t bite you, the DC voltage now available on the lamp power rails will be a bit higher than the RMS AC voltage was because of the filter caps charging up to the PP voltage. While you will get a 1.2 volt drop across the bridge rectifier, that will be more than made up for by the lower voltage drop in the transformer windings due to the lower current of the LED bulbs. Bottom line is that those ‘fuse’ based bulbs could see a bit more voltage than they were designed for depending on the design voltage output of that transformer winding. At least those are easy to replace. As for the soldered in LED’s, I found that it’s a bad idea to run LED’s anywhere near their max rated current, especially if they came from China. My experience with that was a VERY short life time as the LED’s got dim within a few weeks of operation (this was in an outdoor lighting application where the LED’s ran about 6-8 hours a night, every night). Cutting the current in half made a huge difference in the aging rate of the LED’s. I hope you sized the series resistors accordingly.

  • I went to the product page for the new IMU, and the link to the schematic pdf is dead.

  • I’ve managed to solder 0.5 mm QFTP parts with an iron. I actually use one of those thin tips, and I’ve never had them bend or break, in fact I’ve never even needed to replace them in years. Granted, I’m using a Weller, not a Chinese designed soldering station. I usually try to NOT make solder bridges, but I have no problems removing them with solder wick. A good magnifier is critical, especially for us older guys. I have a pair of close up glasses that my father used to use, their lenses look like coke bottle bottoms and they have a working distance of under a foot. I can see pimples on a fly with those!

    A hot air station is on my want list, and there is Chinese one available on ebay for about $35 that got good reviews on the EEV Blog. I’ve seen videos showing soldering with paste and hot air that make it look easy. We’ll see about that.

  • I wonder if the RPi Zero would work with this camera? A wifi dongle could be added (as the Pi0 doesn’t have wifi). The combo might fit inside of some of the ‘pinhole’ camera bodies I’ve found on thingiverse, and be 3D printed.

  • I’m confused. According to the schematic the ONLY thing the 3/5 volt jumper changes is the level converter output for the reset/DTR signal. The tx, rx, cts, and other signals remain at 3.3 volts. Why?

  • This reminds of the prize raffle at some ham radio ham fests I’ve been too. Some well to do dude wins a brand new transceiver, and a luck less guy like me wins a 1 ohm 100w resistor. I KNOW which “prize” I’ll probably get (if anything at all), the stupid spool of conductive thread (which for me will be as useless as that 1 ohm 100w resistor).

  • If you include the cost of the RP, then this “laptop” would cost me more than what I paid for my used Thinkpad T400. If the PiTop were a bit more friendly as a RP development setup, then maybe it would be worth the price, but if the keyboard is as bad as reported it’s a fail out of the gate.

    It DOES look like a well thought out bit of kit though, I can see why Sparkfun is carrying it, I just don’t see you having it in stock very long.

No public wish lists :(