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Adding scary sounds to your haunted house (or front porch) used to be hard. These clever products make it easy. BOO!

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You know them from science fiction, but what will a real space mine look like?

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SparkFun visits a team of highly-professional, amateur pyrotechnicians.

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Our classic electronics surplus stores are disappearing. Can they be saved?

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SpaceX's newest rocket is almost ready for its debut. And it's a monster.

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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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Basic Character LCD Hookup Guide

May 28, 2019

Liquid crystal displays (LCDs) are a great way to output a string of words or sensor data to a display for visual feedback. In this tutorial, we'll learn about LCDs, how to print a strings of words to a 16x2 basic character LCD, create custom characters.

Thumb Joystick Hookup Guide

February 20, 2019

Whether you're blasting aliens, driving a robot, or write your awesome classic Arcade Game for your Arduino, you'll find the analog thumb joystick a very useful addition to your projects!

HX1 APRS Transmitter Hookup Guide

June 7, 2018

The HX1 is a low-power amateur radio transmitter that can be used to send data to the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) network.

PIC-Based Serial Enabled Character LCD Hookup Guide

May 29, 2018

The PIC-based serial enabled character LCD backpack is a simple and cost effective solution for interfacing to character Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) based on the HD44780 controller. The backpack simplifies the number of wires needed and allows your project to display all kinds of text and numbers.

LilyPad ProtoSnap Plus Activity Guide

December 7, 2017

Learn how to program in Arduino with the LilyPad ProtoSnap Plus. This guide includes 10 example activities that use the pre-wired LilyPad boards on the LilyPad ProtoSnap Plus.

LilyPad ProtoSnap Plus Hookup Guide

October 5, 2017

The LilyPad ProtoSnap Plus is a sewable electronics prototyping board that you can use to learn circuits and programming with Arduino, then break apart to make an interactive fabric or wearable project.

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.

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.
  • A lot of people are using Baofeng handhelds for APRS (by connecting computers or other hardware to the audio in/out jack), but I haven't seen any specifically using Ardutrack. Let us know what you find!

  • What you're looking for is a backup battery. If a backup battery is attached to the Venus, it will keep the internal clock running with very little power (a coin cell should last for a year or more). Then when the Venus is powered back up, it will quickly do the calculations to determine which satellites are overhead, rather than just listening for all of them as it has to do when cold starting.

    To hook up a battery to the Venus, first desolder the "BAT" solder jumper (ensure both sides are disconnected from each other), then connect a battery (1.5V to 6V) to the VBAT and GND headers labeled on the back. This could be a coin cell holder, an AA pack, etc. Once there's a backup battery attached, when the Venus is powered down, the clock will stay running, and when it's powered back up it should lock within a few seconds. Hope this helps, feel free to ask more questions.

  • The RFM69HCW uses a lot of power when transmitting. These capacitors create a power reservoir that improves reliability and reduces electrical noise. The large cap handles low-frequency "bulk" noise, the small one helps reduce high-frequency noise (you could think of them like the woofer and tweeter in a speaker.) Science!

  • (Also make sure the power switch is set to "USB" if you don't have an external battery attached to the board. The red LED should be illuminated before programming it.)

  • Sorry to hear that; the only thing I can think of is that there's a switch next to the FTDI port that must be set to "FTDI" to program it. If this isn't it, please let our tech support department know; we may have had a manufacturing issue. In either case they'll get you back up and running!

  • To the best of my knowledge the data sheet doesn't say anything about G-loading, but I know of many people who have successfully used the BMP180 on model rockets. Note that it is light-sensitive, so try to keep it (or more specifically the small port on top of the chip) out of direct sunlight.

  • I'll pop in here to plug the livestream we'll be running; visit avc.sparkfun.com for details.

  • These are paper-thin and very light, which may be useful in mobile applications. I'd personally like to put a bank of these on the wing of a model airplane to see if I can make it solar-electric.

  • Please let us know where your shop is; I and I'm sure many of our readers would love to stop by!

  • It is washable! Like all LilyPads; remove the battery first, hand-wash, and let it thoroughly dry (for at least a few days).