Member Since: May 20, 2010

Country: United States



Rocket Scientist

Spoken Languages

English, Klingon

Programming Languages

Whatever best gets the job done, usually C. My favorite language was Modula-2 (look it up).


WPI, CU Boulder. Degrees in aerospace engineering and computer science.


Spacecraft systems engineering, embedded systems engineering, low-level firmware, 3D graphics and animation, and troubleshooting (but real trouble shoots back).


Hacking (the good kind), scuba diving, dumpster-diving for obsolete hardware, anything that flies (from bees to the Space Shuttle), birdwatching, sending stuff into orbit and beyond.



A look at what PRS/A+PRS competitors will be facing on September 17

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Sweeping legal changes are afoot that could change the hobbyist airspace for years to come. Your input can make a difference.

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CubeSats will soon be traveling beyond LEO, and are available in a new compact size. We check in with the people pushing the limits.

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On April 5th, teams from around Colorado will try out their miniature Mars rovers in the Great Sand Dunes.

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How to handle the child for whom disassembling their toys is more fun than actually playing with them.

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SparkFun returns to the AIAA Small Satellite Conference with more people, more stuff, and export-controlled sombreros.

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What did you do on your summer vacation? These students are launching experiments on government sounding rockets.

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You've just finished your new project. Before you apply power, here are a few tips to keep the smoke in.

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Mike and Pete take a road trip to an innovative aerospace conference to find out more about the final frontier for amateur spacecraft makers

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Rock-climbing researchers use clever dataloggers to solve a migration mystery and help save a species.

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Your Personal Black Box

Inexpensive sensors and storage are giving us the ability to record our lives, revisit the past, and sometimes solve mysteries.

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Sam Berrada dropped by to show off the sign language to speech system he designed. Did we mention he's in the 8th grade?

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Powering LilyPad LED Projects

December 17, 2016

Learn how to calculate how many LEDs your LilyPad project can power and how long it will last.

Hobby Servo Tutorial

May 26, 2016

Servos are motors that allow you to accurately control the rotation of the output shaft, opening up all kinds of possibilities for robotics and other projects.

RFM69HCW Hookup Guide

April 29, 2016

The RFM69HCW is an inexpensive transceiver that you can use to create all kinds of wireless projects. This tutorial will help you get started.

LilyPad Pixel Board Hookup Guide

September 16, 2015

Add changing colors to your wearable projects using LilyPad Pixel Boards.

Cackling Apple Head Witch

October 30, 2014

Make your own cackling apple head witch to scare all of the trick or treaters this Halloween!

LTC4150 Coulomb Counter Hookup Guide

September 18, 2014

A "Coulomb Counter" is like a gas gauge for your battery. Here's how to use it.

BMP180 Barometric Pressure Sensor Hookup

January 9, 2014

The BMP180 is a barometric pressure sensor, this tutorial tells you how to use it.

TSL2561 Luminosity Sensor Hookup Guide

December 27, 2013

The TSL2561 is an light sensor that's very inexpensive for the accuracy it provides. Here's how to use it.

Getting Started with the LilyPad MP3 Player

May 8, 2013

The LilyPad MP3 Player is an amazing little board that contains almost everything you need to play audio files. You can use it to create all kinds of noisy projects, from MP3 hoodies to talking teddy bears. Your imagination is the only limit! This tutorial will help you get started.

What is a Circuit?

February 6, 2013

Every electrical project starts with a circuit. Don't know what a circuit is? We're here to help.

Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI)

January 14, 2013

SPI is commonly used to connect microcontrollers to peripherals such as sensors, shift registers, and SD cards.
  • You’re right, we should have linked to that. We use these breakaway headers for almost everything: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/116

  • Pay close attention to Nick when he says you can screw up your hard drive if you’re not careful. Just a few days ago I was cloning a Pi card and didn’t pay attention to the drive letter (and warning!) Win32DiskImager gave me. I wrote an 8GB image onto a 1TB external drive, instantly destroying the file system already present. I’m currently running a wide variety of tools to get back what data I can. With great power comes great responsibility…

  • This product uses a large photodiode for the detector, not a Geiger-Mueller tube, so this board does not require a high-voltage supply to operate like SEN-11345 does.

  • Sure! The easiest way would probably be to take a USB cable, cut it in half, and connect the input half to the input of the coulomb counter, and the output half to the output of the coulomb counter. There should be red and black wires in the USB cable for power and ground, but those colors aren’t guaranteed, so use a multimeter and the USB pinout to verify you have the right connections. Good luck!

  • Sorry we didn’t see this earlier. Unfortunately, the LTC4150 is limited to 8.5V maximum, so it won’t work with a 12V supply. We’re looking at other parts that do support higher voltages, so we may have an updated board in the future.

  • From your description, I think you’re using POL incorrectly. POL is an output (it tells you the POLarity of the current draw), so it should be connected to an input on your microcontroller (or left disconnected if you don’t care about the polarity). Connecting it to GND may be disabling the INT output. Try leaving POL disconnected and see if you get pulses from INT. If you don’t, contact our tech support department, they’ll be delighted (really!) to help you troubleshoot further.

  • Stop it, both of you, or I’ll turn this car around.

  • Credit where credit’s due: this board was a complex one for us, and development took longer than we hoped. This usually means that the last stage, production, unfairly shoulders the burden for getting it out on time. But even short-staffed for the holidays and with numerous high-priority builds on their plate, our production team quickly and flawlessly worked it into their flow. They’re the best in the business.

  • Hey Gabe! Very sorry about that, restring is an annoying feature that I’d prefer we didn’t use, but it’s present on many of our designs. It’s a global override for pad sizes; even though the library may have a small pad, if restring is set to a larger value in your design, the pads will grow.

    You can change it in your design in the board editor, in tools/DRC, in the restring tab. Play with the values for pads, if you make those values smaller (even 0), the pad size in the board editor should shrink as well. Hope you’re well, and hope this helps.

  • The difference is in the adhesives. The conductive adhesive is exactly that; if you lay one piece of tape over another, the conductive adhesive will allow the two strips to conduct to each other. The non-conductive adhesive is insulating; if you lay one piece over another, they will not conduct to each other.

    The conductive adhesive tape is great for paper circuits; it lets you easily make circuits from multiple pieces of tape rather than having to carefully bend a single long piece for each connection.