ctdahle

Member Since: March 7, 2010

Country: United States

  • News - Fluke Responds to Tradema… | last month

    I also have a Velleman DVM850BL in yellow and gray trade dress and agree that it appears to be more “Flukey” than the SparkFun meter at issue here. I notice however that Velleman has changed to a green boot and I wonder when they did that, and why.

    But really, I write to agree with your larger point, I too wish that Fluke would sell a meter more directed to the electronics hobbyist, something in the $40-60 range that would handle the general low voltage chores, transistor testing and so on that the hobbyist needs.

  • Product KIT-12001 | about 3 months ago

    I got started with Arduino before there was much in the way of “kits” available. I pretty rapidly (within a couple of weeks) reached the point of doing projects comparable to the more advanced projects in the SIK book, but in absence of kits like this one, bought a very basic “Arduino Starter Kit” and ended up spending at least $200 on parts, and quite a bit more on S&H from Jameco, Mouser, and Digikey, and on books to get there.

    I bought a classroom pack of SIKs last year and I think SparkFun has really hit the sweet spot at the intersection of cost, value, learning potential, and flexibility.

    I’d say that this really IS the budget inventor’s kit, in that it gives you a sufficient variety of components to allow you not only complete the learning projects in the guidebook, but also remix the components to extend your learning on your own.

    I agree with Kamiquasi. The 101 experiment kits just won’t take you where you need to go, and the Arduino+DangerShield route will leave you just doing basic experiments rather than creating and building real projects. While I realize that $100 bucks still seems like a lot of money, the SIK package can keep you busily learning for a LONG time with parts you will use over and over again.

    Had the SIK been available in 2010 when I was starting out as a complete and total novice, I think I would have gotten much further, much faster, and I KNOW I would have spent a lot less money.

  • News - You have been randomly se… | about 3 months ago

    But isn’t there an ISO standard for creativity, and a rubric, and a fill-in-the-blank official form?

  • Product KIT-12634 | about 4 months ago

    Exactly right, and boy does it save a lot of trouble when you have a classroom full of 12 year-olds soldering these up!

  • Product KIT-10547 | about 4 months ago

    Really an outstanding “first” electronics project. I had been planning to offer this kit to my after-school STEAM club, but due to the cost of the kit, I was holding off until the kids have more experience. I figured that the cost indicated extra complexity. But that was not based on actually building one.

    I bought a sample to build and finally put it together over the weekend. This kit is so well designed that in the future it will be the project I offer in the fall to students who have never soldered before. Not only is it nearly impossible to screw this one up, SparkFun has designed the circuit board so that the teacher can quickly fix the project if a student happens to make the only serious mistake possible…putting in the LEDs backward.

    With other kits, I have always had some kid who ignores the instructions and puts in the chip backwards. Pulling an improperly installed 28 pin chip is extremely difficult. SparkFun has rendered this error extremely unlikely by clipping pin 14 and only drilling 13 holes on that side of the chip layout. You simply cannot install the chip if you try to put it in backwards.

    My older students will be looking to hack the code and my younger ones will be able to assemble Simon with no trouble at all.

    Extremely well done SparkFun!

  • Product WRL-12571 | about 5 months ago

    I appreciate the detailed information you have compiled about these, and admit I have not read everything in detail yet, so I apologize if this is in the documentation, but I am wondering if these ONLY communicate via a wi-fi router, or if they can also talk to each other in the same way as “regular” x-Bees.

  • Product TOL-11101 | about 6 months ago

    When you are first learning, (and I bet you’ve already figured this out) a “dab” of solder on the tip of your iron helps improve the heat transfer to the lead/wire/pcb trace. I’ve got six of these irons and have found that they work really well for 11-13 year-olds once they learn proper technique, even with the lead free solder. I plug all six irons into a power strip which I don’t plug in until about five minutes before the “book learning” part of my little “learn to solder” class is done. They heat up to working temperature in about 8 minutes.

  • News - Enginesday: Last-Minute H… | about 6 months ago

    The ghost seems to keep leading me to the Check Out Now button…

  • Product COM-11594 | about 7 months ago

    YIKES! the price of this stuff! Must be made of platinum! And yet, the only other vendor I could find wants 120 bucks for a similarly sized piece.

  • Product DEV-11114 | about 7 months ago

    Thanks. Sounds like a relatively trivial problem to solve, so these boards will be ideal.

No public wish lists :(