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Member Since: August 26, 2011

Country: United States

  • Hmm, wow. I was thinking about using one of these in a small outside project with a small solar cell for charging but I just read the datasheet and it appears the operating temperature while charging is 0 to 45c. So I can't charge it if it's below freezing or over 113 degrees f... kind of ruins that plan then. It gets below freezing where I live frequently in the winter, and in the summer 113 inside of a sealed container in direct sunlight is very possible....

  • I'm really curious how these supplies fry disk drives? Is the voltage regulator in them letting more than 12v of power through?

    I've got the same exact brick that I bought off newegg with a HDD to USB adapter kit and I've used it on many disks without ever having a problem. I'm now needing 12v ~1A for a project I'm working on and the 5V rail is convenient cause another part of my project needs 5v / 3.3v mixed. So I was thinking about using the brick that I got from newegg for it, but I've never used it for extended periods to see the downsides and would rather not see my entire project go up in smoke once I have it in place permanently.

    If it's just a matter of voltage regulation I'll just be sure to put some extra voltage regulators in my project and maybe some fuses as well to protect from surges.

  • These reed switches are horrible. I highly recommend anyone looking for one to stay far far away from these. First problem, the tube is very very brittle. If you don't bend the pins very carefully it will break rendering the switch useless. Second problem, I don't know how or why but the switch itself is for some reason is holding a charge after the magnet is removed. Simple test with arduino, have an led set to turn on when a digital pin is low, feed power through the reed switch to that pin. Add a magnet the led turns off immediately, remove the magnet there is a 15 or 20 second delay before the led turns back on. Remove the reed switch and just touch the power wire to the pin wire together and led turns off and on immediately. I even tried just putting power to the leg of the switch on the same side as the arduino pin to make sure the switch wasn't getting stuck closed and it still had the delay when the power was removed. You can add a pull down resistor on the pin side to correct this, but it's annoying having to use up another component for it. These things aren't worth 15 cent each, must less the 1.50 price.

  • Interesting article. I can definitely understand the need for such a place. I'm an amateur hobbyist when it comes to gadget tinkering, but I have had an idea rolling around in the back of my head for a project that I know could make work, and think it would have a fairly descent market, but haven't really put much effort into it because I don't want to get stuck in the pit of despair with it :)

    That said, main reason I'm commenting, I do have the technical know how to create a web site like this, but I don't know what all features would need to be on it for something like this. The scope of the project also sounds like it'd be close to throwing the developer of such a website into a pit of despair themselves lol. Large scale websites aren't exactly cheap, there are hosting / server fees and a lot of man hours involved in the coding. I'm sure this would require a lot of custom coding, so just slapping a template together wouldn't exactly work. A site like this would be potential high traffic, so you are probably going to want at least one descent sized dedicated server to begin with, and if it gets really popular you may have to get multiple servers to handle the load. You might could get started on a small virtual server, but then it is likely to suffer growing pains as popularity gains (outages and such).

    I know you mentioned a place owned by no one, but realistically whoever would be running and managing such a web presence would need some sort of income on it to make it reasonable. Once it's up and running it could probably be maintained in spare time, but the hosting costs are recurring perpetually, plus server upgrades / maintenance, etc.

    All that said, I might would be interested in taking (or working with people) on such a project, but I would need people working with me that have a good idea on what all features it would need, and what some of the regulatory hurdles would be, pretty much anything that doesn't deal with the actual coding :)

  • Is the Arduino Library and Example Code outdated for this? When trying it all I get is a bunch of compile errors (using Arduino IDE 1.0.1) for VirtualWire.h and then it saying one of the vw_ functions isn't declared. Kind of annoying to have libraries and example code that doesn't work :(

    In answer to my own question yep, Sparkfun needs to update their Library links.

    v1.9 works here: http://www.open.com.au/mikem/arduino/

  • I'm confused by the holding torque on this stepper. The data sheet says .23N.M, but the description says 2.3kgcm. Just using google to convert 2.3kgcm is ~207 oz.in, but .23N.M is only ~32 oz.in Unless I'm mistaken about how to do the conversions. I'm guessing it's the latter (~32 oz.in) though because at only .33A per phase I doubt it's capable of much more than that.

  • Looking at the images, I don't think this is really a compass. I could be wrong, but the title is very misleading. If you look at the images in the 3rd image you can read "Module on this side". So that leads me to believe that this is the breakout board only, no compass module on it, thus the low price.

No public wish lists :(