Nick Poole

Member Since: March 1, 2011

Country: United States

It's Pride Month and I've interviewed a few of our customers to find out what — if anything — being gay has to do with being a maker.

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Detectives came knocking again, and this time they brought a new toy!

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When SparkFun got a shipment of 1:8 scan rate panels, it fell on me to make them work with the wrong library.

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I just finished writing the first of several EAGLE web utilities, let me introduce you to Buzzard Label Maker!

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They say, "play stupid games, win stupid prizes," but the joke's on them: I love stupid prizes.

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I decided to convert an old inspection light into a rechargeable mobile blacklight, and played with some other types of UV light while I was at it!

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The first two of our Google Calendar-integrated Raspberry Pi meeting room signs are installed by their respective rooms. So how is it working out?

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Print a parts tray with removable dividers for the new SIK case!

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Using a Raspberry Pi and the Google Calendar API to avoid Meeting Room Mayhem.

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Check out a quick wrap-up of our office costume contest!

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Find out what it was like building the Skimmer Scanner app and distributing it through the Google Play store.

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Adding some cyberpunk dystopia style to a costume shop parasol

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Let's look at those tried and true IoT projects that just keep on coming back (with good reason!)

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Here are some tips and tricks for building with the Spectacle platform!

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The good, the bad and the $700 IoT cold-press juice machine.

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Celebrate the 4th, Jedi style, with a "spectacular" lightsaber build!

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Wherein we seek to answer the age old question: What the heck is a VOC?

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In this next-to-last installment of the Digital Pantry project, we do some enclosure fabrication and build our own vacuum molding table!

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Let's build a small smoke machine to harass our friends and colleagues!

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Let's learn about udev and how we can lock down our USB device nodes!

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Do you ever need to make a lot of Pi? This trick will save you some time!

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With 50 billion IoT devices projected to join the web by 2020, whose platform will they be on?

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Easy builds from around the web that even a robot novice can tackle

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Learn how to build beautiful GUIs on your connected Raspberry Pi projects using NWJS (formerly Node-Webkit)

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Can technology help you make better food decisions?

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New year, new you! Let's explore the technology behind e-cigs, vapes and other vapor-based smoking cessation solutions.

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Deck the beards this year with addressable LEDs

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The case for formalizing free exploration opportunities

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How to make faux neon signs with EL wire and rigid aquarium tubing

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Building a set of speakers from goat skin and connecting them to a network media server

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Catching 'Em All can drain your smartphone battery; let's see if we can fix it in style!

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Maker/hackerspaces that are leading the charge to make STEM fields less alienating for LGBTQ+ makers.

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Today we learn about etching PCBs at home, on the cheap and quick! We even get a little fancy with it!

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Experiments in weatherproofing electronic circuits by forcing them through an unmodified document laminator.

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When SparkFun went to DragonCon 2014, I saw an opportunity to become a robot.

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Reverse engineering a $30 MaKey MaKey derivative with good intentions (but no attribution)

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Just in time for Arduino Day, we're bringing you the magic of infographics.

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...in a long line of wonderful and necessary scams.

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RFID is getting under Nick's skin...

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What happens when people do bad things with good tech?

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"What would you say... you do here?"

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How and why we built a tiny Internet of Things apartment at SparkFun HQ.

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Can biometric data help shed light on panic and anxiety?

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In this final installment, we talk about the completed workspace from parts I and II

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LoRaWAN with ProRF and The Things Network

July 3, 2018

Learn how to make a LoRaWAN node for your next long range IoT project and connect it to the internet with The Things Network!

Atto84 Hookup Guide

June 26, 2018

A bare minimum Arduino compatible breakout using a ATtiny84 for integration into your small projects!

Rotary Dial Kit Assembly Guide

June 22, 2018

Put together your Rotary Dial Kit and light it up with our Arduino example code!

Nuclear Battery Assembly Guide

June 8, 2018

How to put together your BYOT (Bring Your Own Tritium) Nuclear Battery Kit!

Wireless Motor Driver Shield Hookup Guide

August 17, 2017

Get started with the SparkFun Wireless Motor Driver Shield!

Reading and Writing Serial EEPROMs

August 11, 2017

EEPROM is a great way to add extra memory to your microcontroller project. Wait 'til you see how easy it is to use!

Getting Started with the GeoFence

August 1, 2017

How to get started using the GeoFence GPS Boundary Widget and GeoFence Software.

Addressable LED Strip Hookup Guide

November 23, 2016

Add blinking lights to any holiday decoration with our Holiday Lights Kit.

ESP8266 Powered Propane Poofer

March 15, 2016

Learn how Nick Poole built a WiFi controlled fire-cannon using the ESP8266 Thing Dev Board!

Making Music with the FreeSoC2

August 14, 2015

Create a synth keyboard with the FreeSoC2 from SparkFun.

Ludus Protoshield Hookup Guide

July 30, 2015

Get started with the SparkFun Ludus Protoshield and Ludus Protoshield Wireless!

FLIR Lepton Hookup Guide

March 26, 2015

See the invisible world of infrared radiation using the FLIR Dev Kit and Raspberry Pi.

Light-Up Father's Day Card

June 9, 2014

Light up your dad's day with this electronic pop-up card!

Teardown: DDC Mobile X900

June 3, 2014

Nate picked up a bricktastic phone in China. Let's take it apart!!!

Interactive Hanging LED Array

April 10, 2014

Learn how we converted 72 lightbulbs into an interactive LED array for our conference room.

Teardown: Misfit Shine Activity Tracker

April 3, 2014

A quick tear down of the popular fitness tracking device, the Misfit Shine.

MYST Linking Book

March 18, 2014

Create your own Linking Book from the classic computer game, MYST

Build an Auduino Step Sequencer

March 6, 2014

Make a Step Sequencer using an Arduino, the Auduino firmware, and a handful of hardware.

Nest Protect Teardown

January 15, 2014

See the inner-workings of the new Nest Protect in this SparkFun Teardown.

Recreating Classic Electronics Kits

January 13, 2014

100-in-1? 500-in-1? It's up to you when you build your own Science Fair style experiment board!

pcDuino Crowdsource Kiosk

January 9, 2014

Getting People to do your job for you (badly) with some chocolate and a pcDuino!

Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

August 12, 2013

Learn the basics about LEDs as well as some more advanced topics to help you calculate requirements for projects containing many LEDs.

The Uncertain 7-Cube

March 8, 2013

The Uncertain 7-Cube is a non-committal, less-than-helpful, but also entirely honest fortune teller. Simply ask it a yes or no question, give it a nudge, and the 7-Cube will dutifully inform you that it doesn’t have all the facts and doesn’t feel comfortable making a guess.
  • If anyone here is thinking of getting their license but are worried about the test, don’t be! It’s pretty easy to get your Technician license and you can take all 3 tests in one session if you finish the first one and feel emboldened! Also, check your smartphone’s app store for study aids, there are some really good ham radio practice test apps out there.


  • Ah, I forgot to include the pin mapping for the Pro RF. I’ve just edited the tutorial to include the following snippet:

    // Pin mapping
    const lmic_pinmap lmic_pins = {
        .nss = A5,
        .rxtx = LMIC_UNUSED_PIN,
        .rst = 4,
        .dio = {7, 10, 11},

    As for losing the usb port, I find that it’s usually necessary to select the port every time that you upload because when the board goes into bootloader mode, it enumerates differently and Arduino tends to ‘remember’ that port number instead of the ‘USB Device’ port number. As long as you have that selected when you hit upload, you shouldn’t need to manually reset the board, although it may take a moment for the board to reset itself. And, of course, double check that you have the 3.3v 8Mhz board selected.

  • This is interesting because the ATtinycore has two pin numbering schemes, clockwise and counter-clockwise. Pins 8 and 2 are complementary pins. I’ll see if I can reproduce the error and fix it in an update to the board profile.

  • Thanks for the excellent answers here, PickledDog. You got to them before I could!

  • I appreciate you commenting, despite being on the “outside,” as you put it.

    Re: LGBT Labels

    I’m not sure I understand what you mean by “LGBT labeling thing,” but if your concern is about people apparently being divided into “LGBT” and “non-LGBT” groups, I think I know where you’re coming from. It’s important to remember that we’re only separating people into these groups in the context of a specific conversation about civil rights, in much the same way you might label people as “drivers” and “pedestrians” in the context of a conversation about, say, traffic.

    Many groups throughout history have found that if they don’t label themselves, they’ll be labeled by other people. While you may not mind if your coworker or hackerspace partner happens to be queer (regardless of labels) my Twitter feed is constantly filled with stories of people in our industry who are excluded, ignored or harassed by otherwise professional folks because of this trait that they’re told is “unrelated” to their profession. You and I may agree that it doesn’t matter whether a man is a “gay engineer” or “straight engineer,” (they even sound like silly distinctions) but both outright bigots and people unaware of their implicit biases make these labels matter when they keep “gay engineers” from doing their jobs all the time. And even when they’re not strictly preventing them from working, they’re making the workplace difficult (see Gaston’s story about sharing his wedding photos and being asked if it was “a political thing”)

    I guess, in short, labels do help our cause for the same reason they help any cause. It turns a ragtag group of people with similar interests into a demographic, and it provides an “in-group” for people who are often expelled from other groups. Labels are a natural extension of people’s urge to identify with a larger group, and while this instinct can be used to disastrous effect, I think the “LGBTQIA++ Community,” such as it is, has had a net positive impact on the lives of both queer and straight people.

    Re: Responsible Gun Ownership

    As for gun ownership, I think I understand why you brought it up, but it’s… a departure.

    That said, while opinions on gun laws and ownership vary here at SFE (like anywhere) I think you’ll find a hefty handful of proud responsible gun owners here at SparkFun. We’re lucky to be jam packed with public shooting ranges here in Colorado and it’s not unusual for a few ‘funions to go out plinking together every now and then. I don’t personally own a firearm (shooting is expensive!), but I’ve been trained in firearm safety and, well, I grew up in the Blue Ridge so I did plenty of shooting growing up.

    These are very different issues

    If we find a cool firearms related project, like a DIY chrono or a fancy biometric safety, I think I’m right in saying that we won’t shy away from sharing it. That said, SparkFun will likely never have an official “position” on guns or gun ownership. It simply has nothing to do with us, even though there are several gun owners in the building. In contrast, LGBT rights affect several of us directly in our jobs and in the maker community, and it therefore it affects our industry, if abstractly. I want to be clear that our support of LGBT rights is not a political posture that SparkFun is taking, it’s a direct response to what we perceive as a practical, ethical problem. While I personally have a lot of warm fuzzy “lefty” feelings about gay rights, SparkFun (being a corporation, not a person) can only be concerned about whether we’re getting the most talented and fun to work with people in the field and whether they’ll be allowed to do their jobs effectively both inside and outside our walls and as long as any kind of bigotry continues to threaten personal liberty, that isn’t happening. Pride month just happens to be a good excuse to call out this particular kind of bigotry.

    Thanks again for your comment, sorry for the long read.

  • The hardware I2C pins for the 32u4 are broken out to the Qwiic Connector, so if we make a Qwiic breakout for your sensor, you can attach it without soldering. Anything else you can connect using something like the Qwiic Breadboard Jumper Cable

    You could also run “Software I2C” on some other pins.

  • I 👏 Love 👏 This 👏 Post 👏

  • I’m happy to report that the GPIO are all on 100mil centers! Arduino made a lot of design choices that I’ll never wrap my head around.

    Also, the standoff holes are spaced at 3.75" between centers the long way and 1.25" the short way in a good old fashioned rectangle.

  • SparkX used KiCad for a while, and this design is from that period. We really liked it, but the rest of SparkFun still has a lot of production/ordering/inspection/QA processes that are currently built around EAGLE, so we found that the hand-off from SparkX to SparkFun took longer than we would have liked and incurred a lot of errors (from converting library components and transferring layouts) so we’re using EAGLE 9 currently.

    I really like some of the new features in EAGLE 9 but restricting the use of negative coordinates for cheap licenses is frustrating in a lot of cases. KiCad is great, too. If we could get the whole company on it, we’d probably do it, but right now that would be a lot of retraining and adaptation. That’s time better spent making boards.

    Meanwhile, if you’re a KiCad addict and you haven’t been keeping up with Shawn’s Intro to KiCad video series with DigiKey, you should check it out!

  • It seems to be working now

Tool Kit - Intermediate (Old)

Nick Poole 13 items

This is the list of items included in the Intermediate Tool...

Tool Kit - Deluxe (Old)

Nick Poole 19 items

This is the list of items included in the Deluxe Tool Kit...

Tool Kit - Deluxe

Nick Poole 17 items

This is the list of items included in the Deluxe Tool Kit...

Tool Kit - Intermediate

Nick Poole 11 items

This is the list of items included in the Intermediate Tool...


Nick Poole 12 items

DEV-10915 and DEV-11113 are your microcontrollers. WRL-10532...

SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Arduino

Nick Poole 28 items

This wishlist contains all the items that you need to build...

ProtoShield Kit

Nick Poole 14 items

This Wishlist contains all of the parts that are included in...

McMurdo RC

Nick Poole 13 items

Bare Minimum for Remote Control. You’ll need some wire and...

Button Kit

Nick Poole 14 items

This is the parts list for the Retail Button Kit (RTL-11439)

HUB-ee Buggy

Nick Poole 11 items

Everything I used in the HUB-ee Buggy robot build for the...

AVC Sales Booth

Nick Poole 15 items

Most of these are items that I think people may need day-of...

Space-Age Science Fun

Nick Poole 14 items

A wishlist for the tutorial “Recreating Classic Electronics...


Nick Poole 9 items

Here’s the wishlist for the OptoTheremin Noise Box that...

Captain America Shield

Nick Poole 8 items

Elastolite parts from the glowing Captain America shield build.

Chameleon Box

Nick Poole 8 items

Everything you need to build the Chameleon Phreak...

Claw Machine

Nick Poole 80 items

These are the essential components for the Actobotics Claw...


Nick Poole 6 items

LIDAR-Lite Obstacle Avoidance Glasses Nick Poole @ SparkFun...

WiFi Poofer

Nick Poole 6 items

Parts for the Thing-powered propane...