Member Since: July 5, 2011

Country: United States



Electrical engineer

Programming Languages

Python, C/C++


NDSU 1997-2002


Toys, tinkering



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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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++!

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!

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.


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.
  • I don’t think it’ll do what you want. Yes, it can trigger with a momentary switch, but it’ll shut off as soon as the button is release.

    You’ve got options; we have some really cool latching buttons and some equally cool illuminated toggle switches with “missile switch” covers. Or, there’s a fancier solution that turns a momentary pushbutton into a power toggle.

  • You’ll need to connect via the 6-pin serial header (the one that says “FTDI->PC”); as far as I know, BlueCreation hasn’t yet added support for that USB port to the device. The D+/D- lines are run, in case they do, and that port can be used to charge a LiPo battery connected to the board, but it’s not currently active as a USB port.

  • No. This is a full kit for both wheels.

    Do note, however, that this kit is for the old RedBot, with the red Magician chassis. If you have a newer model with the black chassis, this won’t work.

  • My gut says it wouldn’t matter, at least on the output, and that the output current is going to remain at the set point even if the output is shorted. Let’s find out!

    <pretend some time is elapsing here>

    Seems okay to me. Driving 4 LEDs from an 18V supply, I measured 330mA with the LEDs in, and 300mA when I shorted across the output. Even if you do short the output, you shouldn’t see current exceeding the nominal, so even if a shorted output IS bad for the IC, there’s no way to use a fuse to protect the IC.

  • It falls under the “Subassembly” category, similar to things like the [RFM12BSP(https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12770)] device. Since it’s not pre-programmed and has effectively no use until someone makes something out of it, the burden of testing falls on the person who ultimately integrates it into a system. For most of our customers, that’s going to fall under the hobbyist exemption of five devices or less.

  • 22pf is acceptable. [This part(http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/C1608C0G1H220J080AA/445-1273-1-ND/567670)] from Digi-Key will be adequate.

    Future versions of the board will have through-hole pads for those parts.

  • I’m not sure what’s wrong, either. That response indicates that the device is waking up, responding, and going back to sleep. Do you have external power connected to the board? If you don’t, it’s trying to power it via the TX pin on the FTDI and that’s definitely not okay.

    Power is not connected to the FTDI header because that would bypass the power switching mechanism if you were to connect the load device to that header, as well as possibly contend with the onboard regulator.

  • Well, that depends. You can use it to send a phone number, so if your handset can generate a number somehow, you can certainly capture it and send the command to the phone. No guarantee that older phones will respond to that datastream, however.

  • I’ll suggest it.

  • I prefer them unconnected; it’s easier to make connections than to break them in my experience.

    I do use a lot of wire wrapping with this, and solder blob tracing.

    I had considered some buses on this, but the V-score actually makes that impossible. It will break any copper it crosses and it must go the whole width of the board.


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…