Member Since: November 1, 2007

Country: United States

  • This is ridiculous! If accepting white, black and gray as colors, the world is still limited to 45 test equipment vendors if others follow suit with broad two-color trademarks. And if they lock up individual colors like those shoe people tried...

    At my day job, our electronics lab has several Fluke meters, some yellow/gray and some just gray, so in a decade of EE I never associated this with being "Fluke Colored" (as others have mentioned, the yellow part of a Fluke meter is a removable, and presumably optional, rubber cover - several of ours don't include one.)

    Side story: At said day-job we recently developed a measurement instrument for aviation, whose primary customer is the US Navy. At some point the subject of color preference came up - it turns out they have standards! Bright orange (suggested as it happens to be used in the company's logo/branding) was very well-received - apparently a standard color for removable test equipment, followed by yellow or yellow+gray or yellow+black. Incidentally, black with a yellow border is the standard colorcode for "special calibration" equipment as shown on calibration labeling. We were discouraged from red, as this is used to mark equipment NFFA (Not-For-Flight Asset, often damaged or past-service-life parts) and black + red border is the colorcoding to label rejected instruments. Anything that appears silver/metallic is also a no-go as exposed metal casing on equipment not nailed down is a FOD / shorting hazard. So there might be a strong case for genericity, particularly if they're not the only ones who consider "safety yellow" to be a standard equipment coloration rather than indication of being a Fluke product. Likewise, the existence of effectively forbidden colorations in some markets should (won't, but should) be taken into account by the USPTO when deciding to award basic colors from a limited pool for exclusive use by a single company.

  • That is exactly what it is :-) You can download it from http://code.google.com/p/mosquino/ . Beware, this is still a work in progress! Right now there is a mainboard, a selection of power shields for various power sources (Peltier, piezo, solar) and a few I/O shields, but not all of the I/O / peripherals have software support written yet. (It's not at all obvious on the source page, but use the 'Repository:' dropdown on the source page to switch between the code and PCB repositories.)

  • Thirding the recommendation of Python + matplotlib + NumPy (if data analysis is needed). Matplotlib is historically focused on 2D plotting, but in recent versions there is some support for 3D (surface / mesh) graph types as well.<br />
    <br />
    BTW, much of matplotlib's published docs/examples assume operation from a Matlab-like interactive shell. If anyone is interested in code examples for embedding matplotlib in a stand-alone GUI, I / my employer recently released an open-source python GUI for basic vibration data analyses (time, FFT, STFT / spectrograms). It's written with our USB vibration recorder stick in mind, but will also take any .CSV file of (timestep, x, y, z) from your own favorite source, and may make a helpful starting point for writing your own grapher.

  • I've been playing with this chip and Mide Volture energy harvesters ( http://www.mide.com/products/volture/volture_catalog.php#raw ) for my Mosquino project. Most of these parts are now on Digi-key as well. (Disclaimer: I work at Mide for my day-job, so of course I am a little biased ;-)<br />
    <br />
    The "brass disk" style piezo transducers you find in e.g. singing greeting cards use the same active material (PZT) and can also be used to generate electricity. The performance is not the same, but they are much cheaper!<br />
    <br />
    PVDF sensors (sold as 'Piezo Vibration Sensor' on Sparkfun) will produce something too, just not on the same level as good ole PZT. This is a much less stiff material though, so it may be a good choice to harvest energy from something with a large range of motion or tight bending radius, e.g. the sole of a sneaker.<br />
    <br />
    Designed-for-purpose piezo energy harvesters are typically a cantilevered beam, similar to a diving board (clamped at one end and allowed to vibrate freely at the other). To get the most out of it, mass is added to the free end to tune the beam's natural frequency to match the vibration source. If you use the brass discs for vibration, use an enclosure/ring that holds it by its outside edge and add the mass at the center.<br />

  • PS. Be aware that in the latter case, the company actually sued another (commercial) malware research site under similar grounds; not only did they lose, but the company was ordered to pay all of the defendant's legal fees.
    PPS. 1,250 characters is not enough! :-)
    Tim / Drmn4ea

  • Absolutely ridiculous, and I support you 100%. Keep in mind that in the US, TM law requires a mark owner to prove that they are actively protecting their mark, or else face its loss, so occasionally (as in often), specious form-letters such as this are sent. Even if the trademark claim completely fails the laugh test, TM attorneys will blast out such letters in order to document that they are working to actively protect the mark, even if they have no desire/intention to follow up on it. As the (distant past life ;-) administrator of a well-known spyware research website of back in the day, we would receive trademark infringement/dilution C&D letters at a rate of a couple per month. While I am not a lawyer (just electronics engineer!), the claim that "Sparkfun" infringes "SPARC" is extremely weak, and I doubt very much that they would pursue it beyond the initial to-prove-we-sent-a-letter letter. Telling them why they can p*ss off (in your choice of short form or long form), as you have done, works pretty well.

No public wish lists :(