Member Since: September 7, 2007

Country: United States

Collecting power from the sun is not difficult, but budgeting the total power consumption for your system will lead to many design choices.

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Check out my intro to Python tutorial and GPS tracking program.

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Connect your Arduino Ethernet to the Pachube API to display and log data on the web.

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The IOIO has found it's home with many Android devices. This blog post compiles all of the most recent IOIO projects and documentation into one place, in addition we are introducing a IOIO class.

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Eagle 6 Has Landed

The PCB layout tool we use called Eagle has undergone some helpful changes in v6.

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Wiring 1.0

Wiring 1.0 has been released! Wiring has opened up prototyping with electronics to wider audiences by defining an extensible architecture for future hardware and software.

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The new UDB4 is smaller and more powerful than before. See how the developers refined the system using very interesting testing techniques.

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The current state of the IOIO and other Android related hardware.

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A small solar powered bird tracker that weighs only 11 grams!

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The UAV v2 Development Platform project demonstrates its ability to successfully navigate autonomously, through takeoff and landing.

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The ever-popular FT232R can do much more than just enable USB in your project.

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An IRC Chat this afternoon and the SparkFun Bokode.

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I think this is the most we have posted, ever? 25 new products!

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Advancements in our UAVs, a new optical tag system called the Bokode, and new products.

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All New Products

Like the title says: All New Products

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EL Escudo new shield for Arduino. A new class for Monday and a few new user submitted projects.

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We've got a little bit of everything on this post. A USB Touchscreen Mouse, the Citizen Engineer comic book, cool customer projects, the 4th SparkFun summer school class, and of course, a few new products.

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A look behind-the-scenes of a SparkFun photoshoot, along with a new tutorial and a smattering of products.

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A neat little project on beer fermentation control along with new gyros, upgraded LilyPad, a motor driver shield for Arduino, and some new development boards.

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A stackable robot and a high altitude balloon, along with some new products.

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SparkFun: One of the top Colorado Companies to Watch! And new stuff with more new stuff.

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A Make Meetup in Denver, Ardubot and Annoyatron face off, and a bunch of new products.

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MAKE Magazine hits Japan, pogo pins and PCB hardware, and a easy to use barcode scanner.

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One tutorial, some case mods, one new product, and a customer's interesting take on recycling SparkFun shipping boxes.

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New. Lots. XBee, linear pots, encoder, USB ANT Stick, a little LilyPad proto board, some AA batteries, and a new Rotary Phone using Bluetooth!

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Check out what Spark Fun customers are doing with their Arduinos.

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LS20031 5Hz (66 Channel) GPS Receiver Hookup Guide

December 13, 2018

In this tutorial, we will solder headers to the surface mount pads of the LS20031 GPS receiver and read the output using an Arduino!

IR Communication

February 7, 2013

This tutorial explains how common infrared (IR) communication works, as well as shows you how to set up a simple IR transmitter and receiver with an Arduino.

Pull-up Resistors

February 1, 2013

A quick introduction to pull-up resistors - whey they're important, and how/when to use them.


February 1, 2013

Gyroscopes measure the speed of rotation around an axis and are an essential part in determines ones orientation in space.

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.

GPS Basics

December 14, 2012

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is an engineering marvel that we all have access to for a relatively low cost and no subscription fee. With the correct hardware and minimal effort, you can determine your position and time almost anywhere on the globe.
  • We could even go back as far as Bayes.

  • I like to use liquid tin at the end as well. It really helps with oxidation and is fun to watch just dipping your board and it instantly turning silver. Another thing I like to do is scrub the board with a scotch brite pad before soldering or plating.

    I've also been extremely spoiled by the LPKF protomat and U3, haha.

  • Nice write-up! Although, I think it's the manganese dioxide cathode in the tantalum cap that is the truly evil part (polymer tantalums aren't as bad).

    Also, not only does over voltage affect the breakdown, mechanical stress like heating during reflow can create weakness in the dielectric contributing to a breakdown. Proofing the capacitor is sometimes suggested (by applying voltage and limiting current) and can be done to "heal" the cap after reflow, but who wants to do that.

  • ??? E=hv

  • Ah, I see where I goofed it. Thanks for the catch. Fixed.

  • Very good point, I definitely should have mentioned something about balancing series caps.

    Although, FWIW, in this configuration, the highest voltage the series caps will ever see is 5V (barring any failure). The peak surge voltage is also 3V per cap. What would a failure look like in this configuration?

  • After 3 years of thinking about it, I think I have arrived at an answer.

    Does this work in a vacuum?

    Yes. PV uses energy from photons (aka light). Light does not need air to impart energy (see photoelectric/photovoltaic effect).

  • Only if you make an attempt to debug as well. :) Send me an email with what you tried and we can work together on it.

  • waiting

    I have no idea.

    Don't give up too quick. You might want to review some of the forum posts and do some debug work to see if you can figure it out. The fix might just be a few lines of code. I'll try to take a look at it if I get a chance early next week.

  • I would love to help you out and want you to succeed, but I as well have deadlines for other projects that probably take precedent over a problem like this (considering this is a bug with a beta version of the Arduino IDE and has nothing to do with the MPL BOB).

    I would suggest either waiting for the IDE to come out of beta, attempt to fix the issue yourself and submit your results to Arduino, or move to another platform. Bottom-line, don't use beta programs for mission/time critical projects.

No public wish lists :(