Member Since: July 5, 2011

Country: United States



Electrical engineer

Programming Languages

Python, C/C++


NDSU 1997-2002


Toys, tinkering



Radio Shack is finally declaring bankruptcy, but for many of us, it died a long, long time ago

Continue reading

FTDI's latest driver update appears to be semi-permanently disabling counterfeit FT232 chips.

Continue reading

To compare the Edison and the Raspberry Pi is to do a disservice to both.

Continue reading

In which I buy a cheap truck, planning on using my hacking skills to keep it going, and the universe calls my bluff

Continue reading

When in New York, I found a small group of hackers in as surprising place

Continue reading

Quad Fever!

Quadcopter fever is spreading through SparkFun! Of course we're going to hack them.

Continue reading

How Python makes my life easier every day

Continue reading

Technological befuddlements it took me 10 years and a college degree to understand.

Continue reading

Wake-on-Shake Hookup Guide

March 13, 2015

A basic hookup guide for getting started with the SparkFun Wake-on-Shake.

BC118 BLE Mate 2 Hookup Guide

January 15, 2015

Hooking up and using the BLE Mate 2, which uses the BC118 BLE module from BlueCreations.

Programming the Intel® Edison: Beyond the Arduino IDE

January 7, 2015

Intel's Edison module goes beyond being just another Arduino clone. Check this tutorial for advice on how to get the most out of your Edison by writing code in C++!

RedBot Sensor - Wheel Encoder

December 25, 2014

The RedBot Wheel Encoder allows you to track the number of revolutions each wheel has made. Learn how to assemble and work with the RedBot Wheel Encoder.

FemtoBuck Constant Current LED Driver Hookup Guide

October 16, 2014

The FemtoBuck board is a high-efficiency, single-channel constant-current LED driver.

Sunny Buddy Solar Charger V13 Hookup Guide

October 13, 2014

How to hookup the Sunny Buddy: a solar-powered, MPPT (peak-power tracking), LiPo battery charger.

FTDI SmartBasic Hookup Guide

October 3, 2014

How to use an FTDI SmartBasic Board to program an Arduino and access another serial device over the hardware serial port, without unplugging anything!

RedBot Assembly Guide Rev 02

September 2, 2014

Assembly Guide for the RedBot Kit. This tutorial includes extra parts to follow to go along with the RedBot Inventor's Kit tutorial.

MiniGen Hookup Guide

May 22, 2014

Using the MiniGen, SparkFun's Arduino Pro Mini signal generator shield

Understanding the BC127 Bluetooth Module

January 31, 2014

SparkFun has two boards using the BC127; here's what you need to know to use them.

Digital Logic

October 3, 2013

A primer on digital logic concepts in hardware and software.

MiniMoto DRV8830 Hookup Guide

September 19, 2013

MiniMoto is an I2C-based low-voltage DC motor driver.

Getting Started with the AutoDriver

September 9, 2013

SparkFun's AutoDriver is a powerful tool for controlling stepper motors. Here's how to use it.

PicoBuck Hookup Guide

August 30, 2013

The PicoBuck board is a high-efficiency three-channel constant-current LED driver.

Using GitHub to Share with SparkFun

August 19, 2013

A simple step-by-step tutorial to help you download files from SparkFun's GitHub site, make changes, and share the changes with SparkFun.

Getting Started with the RedBot

August 8, 2013

A simple introduction to SparkFun's RedBot robotics platform.


July 8, 2013

An introduction to I2C, one of the main embedded communications protocols in use today.

Leap Motion Teardown

June 27, 2013

Let's see what's inside the amazing new Leap Motion input device!

Programming the pcDuino

March 12, 2013

With great power comes great complexity. This tutorial will teach you some of the basic concepts needed to get the most out of programming your pcDuino.

pcDuino Hookup Guide

March 8, 2013

pcDuino is SparkFun's single-board hardware-hacker based mini PC. It comes with Linux pre-installed, has all the hardware functionality of an Arduino Uno, and can be programmed almost as easily as an Arduino!


February 7, 2013

Light is a useful tool for the electrical engineer. Understanding how light relates to electronics is a fundamental skill for many projects.

Connector Basics

January 18, 2013

Connectors are a major source of confusion for people just beginning electronics. The number of different options, terms, and names of connectors can make selecting one, or finding the one you need, daunting. This article will help you get a jump on the world of connectors.
  • Neither the panels nor the Sunny Buddies share a ground. Connect the solar panels independently of one another to the sunny buddies, then tie the ground of one Sunny Buddy to the V+ output of the other. That connected node then gets tied to the connected node between the two batteries, and the unconnected ground of the low side sunny buddy gets connected to the black discharge wire. The red discharge wire should be connected to the V+ on the high side sunny buddy.

    Given that you have a 2S battery, I’m not sure that the “center” wire on the balance connector is, in fact, just connected to the middle of the battery stack. If there’s something else in there, this isn’t going to work. A far better way is to get two individual LiPo cells and connect them up.

  • Contact tech support @ techsupport@sparkfun.com. They’ll help you out.

  • Thanks for the feedback. I’ll investigate these; we’ve got a new revision of this board coming out (no functional changes, just cosmetic) and I’ll see if I can figure out the problems as I test the new rev.

    Some of these things may be limitations of the chip, rather than the library; I’ll see if I can iron out which ones are which. I know for sure that #3 is a chip limitation; the register that tracks position is only a 22-bit register (seems awfully arbitrary to me).

    4 is almost certainly a library bug. 1 and 2 may be chip limitations that the library should protect against.

  • This may be true; we have no visibility into that.

    However, when we sell a Pro, Pro Mini, LilyPad, LilyPad USB, LilyPad Simple, LilyPad Simple Snap, or Fio, we pay royalties on the sale directly to Arduino LLC, since we manufacture those boards, under license. They are “official” boards, meaning the IDE ships with support and they are listed on the Arduino.cc product page.

    If you look at the Arduino.org product page you’ll note that all of those products are conspicuously missing. That’s because SRL doesn’t make them and never has and so they have no interest in promoting them or even acknowledging their existence.

  • It’s a frequent problem with similar acronyms. The one I always find most humorous is when people mix up the automobile diagnostic bus with the deceased rap artist.

  • We do have a Mega RedBoard…mostly.

    The 5V Mega Pro has the same Atmega2560 as a Mega does, but it lacks the headers and the on-board usb-to-serial adapter. Solder your own headers on and add an FTDI Basic and you’ve got a board that’s compatible in software and hardware with the Mega.

  • For a bike light I’m going to use a two-part epoxy and just kind of slather it on. I’m using the strap from a defunct bike light as the base.

    Normally I use hot glue for a lot of these sorts of things, but I don’t trust it not to get brittle in the cold or soft in the sun.

  • “Can be” not “must be to use”. Of course you can reprogram it. That’s true of every module on the market.

    I’m not sure why this particular product has pulled all the rules lawyers this morning, nor why everyone feels compelled to argue with the guy who spent several weeks working with this product about what needs to be done to work with it, but it’s pretty plainly spelled out in the datasheet, as linked above.

  • Yes, you can control it via AT commands. If you want to write your own firmware for it, you may need the IAR compiler (I haven’t dug into that, as that’s outside of our intended use case), but for general purpose use with an Arduino or other embedded system, you can control it via serial commands.

    It is definitely not only usable by large companies with large budgets.

  • Not true. These devices come pre-programmed with an serial command set that allows you to access them like most other Bluetooth modules we stock.

    In fact, that’s the very first bullet point on the datasheet, linked above.


SFUptownMaker 15 items

Wish list for the March 2014 SparkFun Live project: the HaterMat…

AutoDriver Hookup Guide

SFUptownMaker 38 items

This wishlist contains everything you'll need to follow along wi…