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



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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Series and Parallel Circuits

August 20, 2013

An introduction into series and parallel circuits.
  • Well, it sorta depends on what you mean by “simpler”. If you mean component count, I’d say that a current mirror might be as good as any (though I could maybe make up an alternate circuit or two that would do the job). Or if you mean “simpler” as least amount of effort on your part, you might consider these: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13716. I use gobs of these for home lighting projects.

  • Eh… I think you’re splitting hairs, sorta. While the tech may change (the physical size of a cap, for example), the rules underlying it (how the cap functions) do not. To take the example further, if I’ve got a power supply and I’m going to draw x amount of current from it and I want less than y amount of ripple, I need a cap of value z, and that doesn’t change.

    But I get your point. I’m specifically looking at hardware design from a very low level where there is little to no abstraction (which I LOVE, cuz I hate abstractions) and comparing it to code design which is necessarily highly abstracted and saying “WTF?” And I don’t think you’re wrong when you say that at a similar level “hardware” people will argue, too. But for the record, I don’t think anyone’s innocent here. I know that hardware people argue. All people do, right up to the last point that a misunderstanding can be perpetrated. I just tend to run into fewer of those sorts of nerd brawls where I hang. Unless it’s Hackaday.

  • https://xkcd.com/927/

    Exactly. That’s why physics is so awesome. You can’t change the rules, you just gotta deal.

  • Lol Oh, man. The comments are definitely taking an interesting turn…

  • I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that there’s no science behind coding. There certainly is and I recognize that. But it’s still different terrain because it’s different science, and opinion-based commentary has an easier time of weaseling into the conversation.

    I like the discouraging of open-ended opinion questions… mostly. I mean, we’re humans, we gotta argue and discuss or life would be unbearably bland. But I like less of that when I need an answer.

  • It’s the XSR: https://www.readymaderc.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=344_346_354_356&products_id=5127

  • Code is posted!


  • 1) I think I’ll be posting the code today, and I’ll leave a comment with a link here in the comments when I do so.

    2) Thanks, but I didn’t have to level-shift the inverted signal. It was already 3.3V.

  • I don’t have a plan in that regard, but it occurs to me that you could already use any number of other RF systems (not necessarily RC) to achieve that framework. Xbee’s, for example. You’re not committed to to using the RC channels or the 2.4G protocols used. I still want the gimbals and switches offered by a standard RC controller, but I wanted more control over what I could do with them. For the system you’re suggesting, I would imagine that an RC controller box like mine would be superfluous, meaning that I don’t think I’d start with that. But you could certainly hack the switches in the box with a uC or SBC…

  • Yes. Yes, you do.