Member Since: January 6, 2010

Country: United States


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  • 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.

  • Too bad the Pi-Top doesn’t have a built in Li-Ion battery. Then it could be a true portable laptop.

  • BdBdBdBdBD….I’m freezing my ball bearings off!

  • Robbie the robot from “Forbidden Planet” (he appeared in a ton of other places including the Addams Family), Huey, Dewey, and Louie from “silent running”, Hymie the robot from ‘Get Smart’, Bender from ‘Futurama’ and of course the one that sticks the most in my psyche is the one depicted in my avatar, Astro Boy aka Tetsuwan Atomu.

  • 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.

No public wish lists :(