Please see all COVID-19 updates here as some shipments may be delayed due to CDC safety and staffing guidelines. If you have an order or shipping question please refer to our Customer Support page. For technical questions please check out our Forums. Thank you for your continued support.


Member Since: March 24, 2010

Country: United States

  • I wouldn't have immediately gone to "Fluke" when I saw that--missing the hardened/shockproof exterior and supple leads. The grey background just makes sense from a human-interface design, as that generates a nice contrast to the symbols in many lighting conditions. Still, protecting brand-recognition is very important (see "Kleenex") as has to be vigorously pursued to back later, more serious claims.

    Fluke's response seems balanced, frankly. Vigorously defend the brand, but don't "smash the little guy". They seems to have generated a win-win: maybe good PR for them, protected the brand where they can, provided in-kind compensation to SparkFun. Quite a hassle to re-export the Sparkfun meters, but they could still generate revenue extra-US.

    More costly is the redesign of the Sparkfun meter. Can I suggest a nice "Sparkfun red" exterior, with a grippy rubberized casing? Inset the "spark" logo in the rubber, and you add friction (meters need to stay in place) and brand to the device.

  • am3thyst:

    I'm prototyping for a larger installation, so I want to power El Escudo from the Arduino for prototyping purposes, but I'm not sure how to do that.
    Would I need to connect the El Driver pinholes to the Arduino's power pins?
    I am using the Duemilanove and the 3V inverter sold by SparkFun (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10201).
    I think you also pinged me on YouTube!
    1) Get a stackable header kit and that will take care of powering the shield.
    2) The inverter plugs into the shield in two places, and they're keyed to make sure you don't get that wrong.
    I should warn you that this shield has a hard limit of having two lines on at the same time. If you want something more than that, you're going to need a different shield.

  • Ryan,
    I've still got phantom firings, lines that remain on, etc. I wonder if the issue revolves around isolating vs. non-isolating AC inverters? Without a common GND/HVGND connection, the triacs won't turn off once triggered?

  • Noting some random behavior even after installing a EL driver that can power 100 ft; the "driver isn't sufficient to power more than 2 wires at a time" argument isn't valid. Does the current EL.off() have a very vague "off" state. Could that produce the odd behaviors I've seen?
    Current library:
    void EL_EscudoClass::off(char channel)
    pinMode(channel, INPUT);
    // LOW state inherited from previous disables internal pull-up.
    // with no pullup, capacitive coupling could allow the triac state to get wishy-washy?
    I wonder if the fix is to place a 1K ohm resister from the triac gate to GND and drive the "off" state as:
    void EL_EscudoClass::off(char channel)
    pinMode(channel, OUTPUT);
    digitalWrite(channel, HIGH);
    // Vout = 1K/(1K+1K)*5VDC = 2.5VDC at the gate. Gate voltage trigger is 1.3VDC.
    An easier fix might be to direct the chip to use the built-in pull up:
    void EL_EscudoClass::off(char channel)
    pinMode(channel, INPUT);
    digitalWrite(pin, HIGH);
    // turn on pullup resistors
    Any of these strategies have merit?

No public wish lists :(