avatar

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

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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

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.

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.
  • Do you have an idea of how much current you were drawing?

    The power dissipated by the regulator is (VIN-3.3V)*Iout; at, say, 100mA, that’s nearly one watt! It has some protection against that but it’s not foolproof.

    On the bright side, I’d be willing to bet the downstream stuff survived, so you could probably provide 3.3V directly to the 3.3V pin and power the board that way, bypassing the dead regulator altogether.

  • Are you using the println() command? That command sends a newline AND a carriage return; the BC127 expects only a newline. To fix it, use print() instead, and to the end of your string that you print, add \n. That will inform the BC127 that you’re done sending WITHOUT causing the error.

  • They’ve promised us an Android app soon; they originally said April, which is of course nearly over. I’ll push them again and see if I can find anything out.

  • I don’t think it is. The Simblee is meant to be a client-only device.

  • That is extremely unusual. Triple check your connections and make sure that you’re not dumping a TX to a TX and causing bus contention, or possibly exceeding your supply voltage rules. If not, contact tech support; maybe a bad batch went out? It’s unlikely, but possible.

  • I don’t think it is. BLE by nature is a host-client model. broadcast tcp/in via wifi might be a solution.

  • I wrote a tool in Python that creates an SCR that draws the shape in question given an SVG file as input. It’s not perfect; it doesn’t flatten the image, so it will draw hidden geometry, and it can’t do negative space (there are easy workarounds for that, though), but the result is usually much better and much, much smaller than the equivalent BMP import.

    I’m not really maintaining it much; it works well enough, most of the time, that I only change it if I discover an edge case in an SVG file that causes it to bomb out. Most of the logos in the Sparkfun EAGLE libraries were created with that tool.

  • Oooooh, I don’t know for sure about that. I’m trying to imagine how that would be hooked up normally.

    I don’t like the fact that you’ve got LEDs in parallel with each other; what happens if one of them has a slightly higher bias voltage than the other? Maybe the H wiring offsets that; I don’t know.

    How is it normally driven? By a constant current driver?

  • yes; it also handles the signal inversion and level shifting needed for true RS232 signals.

  • Pins 3, 5, and 6 can all be used as analog inputs. Reference them as analog 4, 6, and 7 respectively.