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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

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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
  • Simblee for Mobile app can now be downloaded from the app store on Android phones!

  • I believe that is the case, but I don’t know enough about Android app integration to be able to give you a 100% for certain answer.

  • Yes, it’s always 2.8V. That’s the voltage the MPPT will attempt to keep on that pin, and it’s the scaled voltage of the solar cell’s output. When the cell is at peak efficiency, if you set that pin to 2.8V, the output will servo to attempt to KEEP that value at 2.8V and thus, to keep the cell’s operation at peak efficiency.

  • The schottky stops the load from sourcing current into the battery; as that’s not usually a problem, we’ve omitted it, as it’s not without cost: it reduces by one diode drop (as much as 0.5V) the voltage range across which the battery can source current to the load, and that can represent a substantial portion of the battery’s total charge.

  • Not easily. You’d have to put some kind of diode inline with both supplies (the PV and the USB) to stop the higher voltage of the two backfeeding current into the lower voltage supply, and that would decrease the efficiency of the PV supply. There’s no easy provision for doing that on the board, so you’d have to hack it into the cable or cut traces on the PCB.

  • I doubt it. Modulating the control pin is going to cause the driver to reduce its current output, but I don’t believe it actually modulates the output, just changes the feedback set point.

  • They seem correct to me. The Leonardo may need a different pin to connect to FSYNC, however.

  • This is an interesting way of doing it…I considered this, using a relay to discharge the capacitor into the subject, and decided against it because I didn’t like the idea of the charge being present all the time.

    The upshot is, you can bulk-discharge the thing from a higher voltage in a shorter time. With my method, the longer the error, the longer and stronger the shock- short glitch contacts do nearly nothing.

    I may experiment with a relay for v2.0. If I ever get there….

  • I love the bus bar and knife switch usage! Very well made. Thanks for sharing!

  • Yes! Since it supports PBAP, AVRCP, and SPP protocols, you can connect to it from a phone app. I don’t know about e.g. text messages; I don’t think there’s a protocol that supports transmitting them natively. However, you could have your app grab the message and pump it across the SPP bridge.