Member Since: September 7, 2007

Country: United States



I’ve always had an uncontrollable urge to take things apart, resulting in my current situation.


EE/Prototype Engineer


SparkFun Electronics

Google ATAP

Programming Languages

assembly, basic, C/C++, Python, Java


University of CO Boulder, Physics and Astrophysics 2005





Simple Solar Power

Light contains energy. When light hits a conductor (or semiconductor) some of the energy is translated into moving electrons, creating current. We can harness the current using solar cells (aka photovoltaic cells). When the sun shines on a solar cell, the current output is mostly constant, which is…

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Python and GPS Tracking Tutorial

If you have ever programmed a microcontroller, you are probably familiar with sending and receiving data over a serial port. A common way to do this is with a serial terminal program (hyperterminal, Arduino serial monitor, etc.). Lets say you want to create your own serial terminal program that…

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Cosm.com aka Pachube

ATTENTION: Due to a complaint about a trademark infringement, we were asked to change all instances of Cosm to Pachube. Cosm and Cosm.com are separate entities, one is a US trademark and one is a domain name. While we don't want to confuse you all, which I am sure we have already, we want everyone…

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Androids Love IOIOs!

We've had high expectations for the IOIO since its inception in April 2011. The ability to easily connect external hardware to your Android device has its allure already, but advances in the IOIO firmware/software (like Bluetooth capability), as well as exceptionally documented projects have…

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Eagle 6 Has Landed

Cadsoft Eagle PCB Design Software has been an important tool for SparkFun and our customer base since 2006. All of those little red boards you receive were designed using Eagle and the Eagle design files we create are freely distributed on our product pages for everyone to use. Needless to say, we…

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Wiring 1.0

A quick order of business - this Friday, November 4th, there will be no orders shipped. We are counting all our stuff (AKA, a full inventory physical count). If you've already arranged a local pick-up for Friday, you should be alright but we will not be processing any new local pick-ups.…

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The New UAV Development Board v4 (UDB4) and Dizzy Gyros

No, this has nothing to do with Tron. This image below is actually a time exposure of the UAV Development Board spinning on a record player. The green LED was used to measure magnetometer latency, similar to the strobe light method of measuring engine timing. More on that later... The UAV…

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The IOIO and Android Based Hardware

In the past few months, there has been some significant action in the Google Android open hardware movement. We are very thankful and excited to take part in all of the fun. This post will talk about the current state of the SparkFun IOIO, but more specifically how it compares and contrasts to the…

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Solar Powered Bird Tracking

Fred and his brother are researchers that study the migration patterns of birds. Recently, Fred wanted to build a small, solar powered, light-weight unit that can report its position at least once a day. In addition, it would need to be under 13 grams and rugged enough to be strapped to a large bird…

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Autonomous Flights with the UAV v2 Development Platform

The UAV Development Platform has been available on SparkFun's website for almost four years now. In that time, much progress has been made. A group of UAV pilots from across the globe have assembled and put their heads together to develop an extremely powerful control platform for RC airplanes…

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The FT232R Revealed!

We all know the popular FT232R from FTDI Chip is a very common solution for embedding USB in your project. The royalty free drivers, built in EEPROM and oscillator already create enough value in the FT232R chip to be used alone for USB to UART communication. But... Did you know the FT232R offers bit…

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The SparkFun Bokode and An IRC Chat

Come join the SparkFun IRC channel this afternoon at 4pm. SparkFun CEO Nathan Seidle will be attending. About a month ago, we posted a project from the MIT Camera Culture group called the Bokode. SparkFun has recently created our very own Bokode that displays a tiny SparkFun flame and even smaller…

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The Holy Grail of New Product Posts!

All sorts of great new stuff came in at the same time! Go grab yourself a drink and stay a while…This is the Trackballer, the breakout board for the Blackberry Trackball. Board comes equipped with four hall-effect sensors, LEDs (RGBW), and the Blackberry Trackball. Check out the video!The…

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Advancements in UAV Land, The Bokode Project, and Some New Stuff

There are some really interesting things happening in the UAV community.The DIYDrones crew and the Ardupilot are featured on last month's Make Magazine. The Ardupilot project is really taking off with new expansion boards, sensors, GPS modules, and more intelligent firmware. Bill Premerlani's UAV…

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All New Products

There are so many, where do I start…Concave buttons in colors black, blue, green, red, white, and yellow. These are similar to what you find on arcade games. They go great with the much similar convex buttons. This is a breakout board for the Telit GE864 Quad cell module. This thing is really…

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Everything Arduino: The Arduino Class, The EL Escudo and El Hexapado

The 5th class in the SparkFun lecture series will be held this Monday, July 27th at the SparkFun headquarters. Topics include the basics of embedded systems and programming using the Arduino platform and IDE. A must for students and hobbyists alike. The EL Escudo (the shield) is an Arduino Shield…

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Really Cool Projects from Home and Abroad

Alright, we’ve got a bunch of really cool stuff to show you all. First off; the AVR based USB Touchscreen Mouse tutorial using our PSP touchscreen.Vimeo seems to be having problems at the moment. Watch the video here if it doesn’t load.We really needed a good tutorial to show you how to…

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Behind-the-Scenes BASE Jump and the Heartbeat Straight Jacket.

Thought we just used a stock photo for our most recent SparkFun ad? Think again. Behind the scenes of the SparkFun BASE jump ad. If you're curious, the song is "Satellite" by Major Major.What!? Heartbeat straight jacket? Yes, we are already planning our next Burning Man costumes. Here is an…

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Beerware and New Products

It’s Friday, the building is close to being empty, and beer and thermodynamics are on my mind. Wanna know why?This is a fun project involving a thermoelectric fermentation chiller for beer wort using SparkFun parts and BatchPCB. Thermodynamics, electronics, and beer, what a great combination.…

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Really Neat Projects and New Products

This is a modular style robot that uses the ATMega168 as a base processor. Along with an accelerometer, Logomatic, and MP3 decoder, this one can playback speech or MP3s when an event occurs, like hitting a wall or being picked up. Great project, thanks Jose!Here is a project that uses a Lassen iQ…

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New stuff, with a pile of new stuff on top.

Very sorry for the site downtime early this morning. Thanks to our excellent IT staff, everything is back up and in working order now!Did you know SparkFun was one of top 110 finalists to be named a Colorado Companies To Watch? Are we being watched for good or for bad? We’re not sure at this…

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Back to the Grindstone: A Bunch of New Stuff

Our friends down at Club Workshop in Denver are hosting a Make Meetup this Thursday.  Come meet other Makers, see their projects, and discuss your project ideas. Engineer Pete wrote a nice tutorial on how to use the Ardubot PCB with an Arduino USB board. In the tutorial, check out the…

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MAKE: Japan and Some New Products

MAKE Magazine has made its way to Japan! Complete with Arduinos and everything MAKE! Piezo vibration sensors are a great way to measure physical movements (flex, touch, vibration and shock).   This is an extremely simple to use barcode scanner. Plug it into USB and it enumerates as a HID, like…

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A little bit of everything.

Here at SparkFun, we like the idea of reducing our energy consumption; not only to lower our carbon footprint, but also to save money on energy costs. Currently, we are participating in a local program called 10 For Change. Our goal is to reduce our energy consumption by 10% within one year. We are…

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Welcome Back New Products!

It has been awhile since we have posted new products, needless to say we have a ton of new stuff. The new long range XBee 900 XCS and XBee 900 modules are freakin awesome. The 900 XCS modules can reach up to 15 miles (!!) line of sight with a 9.6kbps Max data rate and the 900 modules can reach up to…

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Arduino Projects from the Community

Here at Spark Fun we get many individuals emailing us to show off there projects using Spark Fun products, especially Arduino. It's amazing to see what people have come up with. Feel free to send us your unique projects and we can show them off to the Spark Fun community!   The Critical Corset…

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Eagle PCB Layout Class and New Motor Boards.

We're broadcasting (or attempting to broadcast) our Stenciling Class! It begins at... 5PM MST (which is in 7 minutes so I have to run!). Checkout our Ustream.tv page to catch all the feeds. I think we're even trying to use lapel mics tonight. Wild!   Eagle PCB Layout Class - March 11th…

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IR Communication

February 7th, 2013

This tutorial explains how common IR communications works, as well as shows you how to set up a simple IR transmitter and receiver.
  • News - Why You Should De-Rate Ca… | about 7 months ago

    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.

  • News - Simple Solar Power | last year

    ??? E=hv

  • News - Simple Solar Power | last year

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

  • News - Simple Solar Power | last year

    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?

  • Product PRT-09241 | last year

    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).

  • Product SEN-11084 | last year

    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. aaron@sparkfun.com

  • Product SEN-11084 | last year


    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.

  • Product SEN-11084 | last year

    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.

  • Product PRT-10255 | last year

    That would be the inductor, part# CDRH2D18/HPNP-4R7NC.

  • Product SEN-11084 | last year

    So it looks like this is a problem with the beta version of the Arduino IDE supporting the Due, not the breakout board. There is some talk in the Arduino forums about i2c not being fully implemented on the Due. I can successfully test the MPL breakout on other platforms, but the Due fails. Bottom-line, the Arduino software you are using for the Due is in beta, so you can’t assume everything will work.

    EDIT: There might be a way to get it working by modifying the sketch (although I am not sure exactly what the problem is). Also, since the sketch works with all of the other Arduino boards, I assume this bug for the Due will be fixed in Due time.

No public wish lists :(