Member Since: May 29, 2007

Country: United States



Born in California, raised in Minneapolis, moved to CO 13 years ago. Wife Becky, daughter Claire, son Ethan, dog Merlin. Trevor is my brother-in-law, but he may not want anyone to know that…


Director of Engineering


SparkFun Electronics, HID (Assa Abloy), Bearcom, Jon Dressel & Associates, Music tech.

Spoken Languages

English, bad English

Programming Languages

C, bad C


I don ’t associate well.


CU Boulder, Front Range CC, Mpls CC, NEI (in MN, called something else now, I think)


RC planes/sailplanes/cars/helicopters, guitar, astronomy, electronics, scifi, paranormal everything, slot cars, big cars



Why do we collaborate?

Is there more to the collaborative process than just getting a project done?

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Behold: The SparkBowl

In honor of last weekend's Super Bowl, we give you a slightly more techy take on games you can play with a football.

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To honor our 15th anniversary, Pete digs into the electrical properties of crystals.

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The convenience of advancing tech can kill a good nostalgia project...but it's not quite dead...

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How slowly can you clock an ATmega328 and still have any functionality?

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OK, it’s not a thing. But if it were, it might look like this.

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Harris Kenny of Aleph Objects shares some history and philosophy behind the success story that is the Lulzbot line of 3D printers.

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I design and build a headphone amplifier, and go on a journey of self-discovery (and learn some hard lessons).

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Is there a “right” way for an open project to go closed?

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If the spooky messages you’re getting from beyond the grave seem vague and disjointed to you, maybe some blinky lights can help to accent the important parts. #funkydemonspeak

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Find out what happens when Pete takes on Big Bluetooth.

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The Case for Patents

One open source guy's opinion on whether or not we should have these things at all

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There's so much arguing over code on the internet. Let's try to get to the bottom of the debate.

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What has Pete been up to? Playing with flying robots, actually.

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Rules updates, scheduling information, and some questions answered

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A look at what classic AVC competitors will be facing on September 17

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We take a trip to check out a different version of DIY and make some new friends on the way.

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Pete Dokter and Jim Lindblom tour the MIT Media Lab, as well as the greater Boston technological tundra.

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Another AVC Update

We flesh out the AVC prize structure, plus the trials of Pete's first attempt at competing in the AVC.

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AVC 2011!!!

The flood gates are open for AVC 2011.

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Solder of the Ages

Building your latest satellite with old solder? You might want to think it over.

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What to do with an overflowing cup of electronics

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Pete and Ryan's Excellent Sketching in Hardware 2010 Adventure

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Custom stingray covered gaming watch, plus Antimov videos now accepted

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Antimov Competition

Introducing the Antimov competition! Who can build the robot that does the most insignificant task, fail spectacularly, and then self destruct?

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Director of Engineering Pete Dokter plots the data from a rocket launch - and suggests a new method for testing SparkFun products!

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Lumenati Hookup Guide

October 12, 2017

Lumenati is our line of APA102c-based addressable LED boards. We'll show you how to bring the sparkle to your projects!

Series and Parallel Circuits

August 20, 2013

An introduction into series and parallel circuits.
  • I’m not convinced that it’s quite that simple, but I’m sure a person’s degree of “extravertedness” come into play. I take it you fall on the introvert side of the fence?

  • I can totally grok what you’re talking about in your first part. But the bit about the popularity of collaboration, your points evoke many… feelings in me:

    1) I must respectfully disagree that this has anything to do with being a millennial. Single, maybe. Millennial, nope.

    2) Your points are suspiciously consistent with each other and sufficiently off topic as to suggest that you’ve got something else going on here. Again respectfully, please don’t make with the negative waves on our blog, and I hope you find some peace.

  • 1) Because the SAMD21 is a really cool and fast board and I think everybody ought to use it!

    2) I don’t think any changes would be necessary, with the exception of setting the IDE up for a Pro Mini.

    3) Yep, I’d expect it to run lots faster than a Pro Mini.

  • In theory, you are correct. In practice, it’s a wash. Where the logic is concerned, you need to achieve a minimum threshold of 0.7*Vdd, or around 3.5V, and up to Vdd +0.3V for it to read as a high. So pretty big window. A couple of hundred mV difference shouldn’t be an issue.

  • LOL Thank you, sir. “Utter Tom Foolery” is my middle name.

  • That’s a negative. Gridiron glory doesn’t have time for calibration…

  • Yeah, I think that would be a better bet than trying to measure a baseball directly. It will certainly experience less acceleration than a ball, more space in the bat to carve out for gear… and you could determine how accurate any given swing was based on the direction of the force vector (redundant?), provided the batter always held the bat the same way. Train with that for a while and you’ll be hitting home runs all day long.

  • Thanks much!

  • Ooooh… also good. Much higher acceleration would have to be tolerated for when it gets hit by a bat.

  • Thank you so much! Talking to you that day really did make my week.