Member Since: July 23, 2007

Country: United States




Programming Languages



Creator of the Colorganic Spectralizer and Colorganic Spectralizer Kit (Sparkfun product KIT-10446).





  • ESD safe to protect sensitive components

    Weller, why you have to be so bad?

    Anyway, when we used these for field repairs on live railroad equipment it actually was an advantage to have a soldering iron that isn’t grounded. But calling these ESD safe and suitable for “sensitive components” is a joke.

  • Needs a built in camera for juice selfies posted instantly to Facebook.

  • Great article, but you missed the chance to talk about active terminators for I2C. Active terminators can clean up those slow I2C signals a lot and make a marginal I2C bus rock solid. Even better would be to introduce a new Sparkfun breakout board containing just an I2C active terminator.

  • One MAX7219 per display will make 7 colors and have overall intensity control (16 levels) at a 1:6 multiplex rate, and the chip will fit behind the LED on a PCB.

    However IMHO it’s too much trouble for too few colors. I’ll wait for a version that incorporates full color addressable LEDs.

  • Sparkfun support of their products is great, no doubt. But this is not a Sparkfun product. There’s no schematic and the datasheet is from an eBay version of the HC-SR04. I’m guessing this is not a Sparkfun engineered or manufactured product, rather it’s a cheap Chinese import with a beefy markup by Sparkfun. Like maybe this one? https://korean.alibaba.com/product-detail/ultrasonic-transmitter-and-receiver-sensor-hc-sr04-40khz-ultrasonic-sensor-60126024326.html

  • Funny, I didn’t notice Adafruit making hackers into an LGBT issue. What I did notice is that Adafruit has had a lot more interesting new products than SF in the last few months.

  • There’s nothing really wrong with the TAZ5 or TAZ6. TAZ6 seems to be primarily a marketing upgrade. Performance is on par with the TAZ5 and in their haste to get it out Lulzbot has missed several improvements that could have been made in the TAZ6. The LCD panel encoder issue has been a nuisance for a long time - it works lousy but it works (the problem is the knob turn doesn’t match the cursor movement). Lulzbot is aware of the new belt rubbing issue in the TAZ6, and although it’s really just a cosmetic issue it’s being addressed with updated parts. But they still need to fix the TAZ6 front fan duct because it obstructs the view of the print head. And the TAZ6 still doesn’t have a proper filament tube holder at the extruder. Still, TAZ is an excellent printer and Aleph is a great company to work with.


  • Include the headers but don’t solder them into place. Sometimes I want to use a different style of header, or none, so they have to be removed anyway. Plus boards usually survive shipping better without the headers attached.

  • The Tx pin is wired, not Rx, and it’ll send out a default information stream by itself. The Rx pin is needed to send it commands, but the skimpy documentation leaves us guessing at what commands will work.