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January 31, 2011
News - Enginursday: Doing Someth…
about 9 months ago
… like Google Summer of Code, but in-house and for hardware?
Good idea SparkFun, regardless of what projects you decide to take on.
The “Helping an educational institution with their research” option certainly appeals to me. Any tools developed with the assistance of SparkFun engineers would be available as open source to the broader research community. I imagine if word got out that SparkFun engineers were willing to apply their talents to one or two larger projects, you’d have researchers bombarding you with good ideas. Sparkfun could cherry-pick the most interesting, most worthy, most technically challenging, most fun, most creative - whatever criteria you choose. Declare open season and solicit proposals beyond this comment box. Me? I’d probably propose getting help from SparkFun’s engineers to fabricate heat pulse sap flow sensors used to measure transpiration in trees. Making these things by hand takes up hours and hours of time and I’m pretty sure there are steps that could improve quality of these sensors - how bout a little winding machine to fabricate the micro-heater coils?
about 10 months ago
Neat. Super neat. A pressure transducer that can properly work with liquids.
This USGS publication has some pretty good ideas on how to apply it in a water resources context:
A cheap (i.e. non-reliable over the long term) transducer is described here:
But this Sparkfun breakout board looks way more robust in water than the Motorola (now Freescale) sensor, plus the output is digital.
about a year ago
… just ordered one of these and am interested in tinkering with it.
I would think that something like presence/absence of water would be something that could be handled as digital input and not analog, so I was surprised to see the firmware relies on the analog signal into the ADC to detect water. I guess since water doesn’t have a well defined conductance (depends things like salt content), there is no guarantee that the water’s short circuit will result in a signal that conforms to the MCU logic levels?
Has anyone implemented something like this in the digital domain? Perhaps the presence/absence of water could throw an external interrupt and eliminate the need the periodic wake/sample routine. The device could remain in low power until the external interrupt fires and possibly extend deployment times further. hmmm…
I see a “citizen-scientist” water quality monitoring application for this H2OhNo kit. http://www.epa.gov/eerd/methods/HISSmanual_full.pdf#page=51
News - Fritzler Farms Haunted Ho…
about a year ago
My favorite thing about Fritzler is that their Peyton Manning corn maze from last year is visible from Google Earth!
40.2995 N / 104.7603 W
Tutorial - Using GitHub
about 2 years ago
… good tutorial once I was freed up from distractions and spent the time. I like how the writing style wasn’t too filled with jargon, the author kept it crisp, and how the author struck a nice balance of not only how Git Hub works on a basic level, but also why the reader should care (or, more subtly, “this is why we at Sparkfun think this is important”), and included helpful tips about commit frequencies. In short, I learned.
I took the time to provide Feedback, because this was my first experience with Sparkfun’s re-tooled tutorial page and was impressed. Sparkfun’s previous GitHub tutorial wasn’t as good (at least as I remember it) - however it might have been because the previous tools available weren’t as user-friendly compared to GitHub’s windows GUI.
about 3 years ago
This is so exciting! I am really happy to learn about these tools. Thanks SparkFun!
How cool would it be if citizen water quality monitoring got the sort of traction that all those DIY Geiger-counters got after Fukushima! Brine from oil and gas production getting into your water well? Measure it directly - put a number on it! Salinity in the creek too high for cut-throat trout? Put a number on it!
about 3 years ago
… thanks for the tip on using SPI mode 3.
… just now able to set the time and date on this thing using an Arduino Uno and V1.01 of the IDE. The example sketch provided by Sparkfun on the product page was helpful, but don’t believe everything you read. The sketch has a comment indicating that it will work in either SPI mode 1 or mode 3. This same idea appears in the datasheet for the device. I was only able to set the time/date by changing the example code’s setDataMode command to “SPI.setDataMode(SPI_MODE3);”. Using SPI_MODE1 resulted in seemingly nonsense numbers going to the serial monitor.
No public wish lists :(
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