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SFUptownMaker

Member Since: July 5, 2011

Country: United States

Profile

Role

Electrical engineer

Programming Languages

Python, C/C++

Universities

NDSU 1997-2002

Interests

Toys, tinkering

Websites

uptownmaker.blogspot.com

Sometimes, when testing power supplies, it's handy to be able to load them consistently. This gizmo will help you do that.

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Fence-a-Mole: A real-world "fencing training" game made using XBee and the ADXL345

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Amazon has released an example allowing you to create an Alexa endpoint on a Raspberry Pi 3 (or 2B). It's free and open source, so you can tear it apart, see how it works and modify it as you see fit!

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Revisiting the venerable HaterMatic project, with a Valentine's Day twist!

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I started with a PiRetrocade kit and kept adding until I had a major appliance on my hands: my very own full-size arcade cabinet!

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We've made a "Stranger Things"-inspired message wall for your viewing (and tweeting!) pleasure.

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The long SparkFun tradition of mild sadism in the name of comedy continues!

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For decades, the 555 timer has been a mainstay of hobbyist electronics. Is it time to retire this venerable little workhorse?

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Some notes (and examples) to help you understand a bit more about the world of digital imaging.

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The FreeSoC2 board is a great way to start using the incredibly powerful PSoC5LP processor line from Cypress Semiconductor.

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As an engineer at SparkFun, I make a lot of temporary projects. The Magic Lunchbox helps me take them home to work on without damaging them.

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Ever wonder how the Arduino IDE translates your code into instructions for the processor?

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

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

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

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

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

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Quad Fever!

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

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How Python makes my life easier every day

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

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New!

ESP32 Environment Sensor Shield Hookup Guide

July 6, 2017

SparkFun's ESP32 Environment Sensor Shield provides sensors and hookups for monitoring environmental conditions. This tutorial will show you how to connect your sensor suite to the Internet and post weather data online.

Spectacle User's Guide

May 4, 2017

The Spectacle system is designed to help those without electronics or programming experience integrate electronics into projects.

Spectacle Button Board Hookup Guide

May 4, 2017

All the information you need to use the Spectacle Button Board in one place.

Spectacle Light and Sound Kit Hookup Guide

May 4, 2017

All the information you need to use the Spectacle Light and Sound Kit in one place.

Spectacle Sound Kit Hookup Guide

May 4, 2017

All the information you need to use the Spectacle Sound Kit in one place.

Spectacle Example: Super Mario Bros. Diorama

May 4, 2017

A study in building an animated diorama (with sound!) using Spectacle electronics.

Spectacle Inertia Board Hookup Guide

May 4, 2017

Everything you need to know about using the Spectacle Inertia Board in one place.

Spectacle Audio Board Hookup Guide

May 4, 2017

All the information you need to use the Spectacle Audio Board in one place.

Spectacle Light Kit Hookup Guide

May 4, 2017

All the information you need to use the Spectacle Light Kit in one place.

Spectacle Motion Board Hookup Guide

May 4, 2017

All the information you need to use the Spectacle Motion Kit in one place.

Spectacle Light Board Hookup Guide

May 4, 2017

All the information you need to use the Spectacle Light Board in one place.

Spectacle Motion Kit Hookup Guide

May 4, 2017

All the information you need to use the Spectacle Motion Kit in one place.

OpenPIR Hookup Guide

April 27, 2017

How to use and customize the SparkFun OpenPIR motion sensor.

SparkFun USB UART Breakout (CY7C65213) Hookup Guide

February 2, 2017

How to use SparkFun's advanced USB UART breakout, based on the Cypress CY7C65213.

Getting Started with the AutoDriver - v13

September 15, 2016

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

PicoBuck Hookup Guide V12

February 18, 2016

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

Simblee Breakout Board Hookup Guide

February 4, 2016

This guide will help you understand your SparkFun Simblee Breakout Board.

Simblee Concepts

February 4, 2016

The Simblee module is a powerful but easy to use Bluetooth 4.0 device which allows you to create a GUI from directly within your Arduino code!

Simblee LilyPad Hookup Guide

February 4, 2016

The Simblee LilyPad lets you easily integrate Bluetooth Low Energy and mobile apps into your e-textiles projects.

FemtoBuck Constant Current LED Driver Hookup Guide V12

December 10, 2015

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

SparkFun Blocks for Intel® Edison - 9 Degrees of Freedom Block

August 19, 2015

A quick overview of the features of the 9 Degrees of Freedom Block.

SparkFun Blocks for Intel® Edison - Dual H-Bridge

July 17, 2015

A quick overview of the features of the Dual H-bridge Block.

SparkFun Blocks for Intel® Edison - PWM

June 22, 2015

A quick overview of the features of the PWM Block.

Assembly Guide for RedBot with Shadow Chassis

May 28, 2015

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

Experiment Guide for RedBot with Shadow Chassis

May 28, 2015

This Experiment Guide offers nine experiments to get you started with the SparkFun RedBot. This guide is designed for those familiar with our SparkFun Inventors Kit and want to take their robotics knowledge to the next level.

FreeSoC2 Introduction

May 14, 2015

The FreeSoC2 is an Arduino-compatible PSoC5LP-based development board, produced by SparkFun in collaboration with Jon Moeller (developer of the original FreeSoC) and Cypress Semiconductor.

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++!

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!

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.

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.

I2C

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!

Light

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.
  • Sitting on my desk taking readings it’s pulling down about 170mA. It’s connected to WiFi with a pretty decent connection strength. It takes a very short time to transmit data to wunderground, but it looks like it peaks out at around 190mA during that period (which is about 1 second long).

  • I’ll look into this. You’re right, those aren’t the correct datasheets. I’m not sure what happened, exactly, but we’ll fix it.

  • For any voltage other than 3.3V or 5V, solder jumper JP2 must be cleared and the desired voltage must be applied to the VCC pin on the six pin header. That means that the board can only source voltage to 3.3V and 5V systems; systems at other voltages must supply their own voltage.

  • Yes.

  • It’s going to behave as a small resistance (<1ohm) when turned on. You could use an analog voltage at the switching terminal to make it less switch-like, or PWM the input, but honestly, modeling it as a switch is close enough for most purposes.

  • You might want to make sure there are buffered characters available using Serial.available() before you try to read. You can also use Serial.readUntil() to read until a line break occurs.

  • I can neither confirm nor deny that. ;-) I don’t have an iOS device to hand nor the expertise to test it.

  • I don’t think this uses the BC127-A. That would have been a part change notification and I’ve had no such notification come across my desk.

  • It’s an IRF7509.

  • 1.0 doesn’t have IoT capability. That’s something we looked at but for various reasons discarded. It’s definitely on the radar for a 2.0 version, assuming Spectacle does well enough to warrant a 2.0 version!