Member Since: January 9, 2006

Country: United States

  • I went Friday by myself and had fun building one up and playing find-the-blinky-space-pod, so I brought my kids on Sunday so my 7 year old son could try his hand at soldering. The line was too long for his younger sister’s patience, so we bought a Simon PTH kit and he built it up at home instead (also a lot of fun, and with 100% more Bee-Gees). That’s not to say the booth was too small, it was by far the busiest one there.

    Mine is still hanging by my desk, waiting to be repurposed.

    I’m curious: why the FTDI UART? I’m not asking out of lingering FTDI-gate rage, but because it seems a 32U4 would be a cheaper alternative for a cost-sensitive gimme like this.

    Also, the matrix is really nifty on its own, and the right angle header makes it easily breadboarded.

    Thanks for the freebies!

  • Got everything working except the 2 Edison blocks with misplaced mezzanine connectors, which are near impossible to hand rework.

  • I managed to get this to work on the mini breakout, but I had to desolder the headers for the battery and thermistor, and desolder the power button. The application I’m using it in needs the battery, so I soldered a JST on the other side of the board and shorted the thermistor pads (for 190mA charge rate). The ground pads on both of these aren’t thermals, so I had to bring it to work to hit it with a meatier iron than my station at home to get these out cleanly. I also wound up having to buy 4mm M2 screws since the ones included in the SF hardware kit are too short to fit through the breakout.

    I also took the opportunity to solder this DC barrel jack to the pads at the other end of the board, which works fine for the pile of 2A 12V adapters I have in my junk box.

  • I’m using one for a direct-drive 1.75mm extruder. It works great with a little cooling at 1.4A@19.5V off of a Smoothieboard. Retracts are consistent with no skipping or stalling at 4mm @ 50mm/s. Because of the smaller step angle than typical 3D printer steppers, it’s not a good choice for geared extruders. This would also be a great motor for axis drive on a delta or XY gantry printer.

  • The JPEG trigger board with the microSD slot seems to work, or at least blinks the LED different colors when I apply power. The gnarlier one’s FTDI works, but I haven’t powered the micro yet. It looks like the DTR reset cap is missing along with a couple other discretes so not sure how much I care to debug it. I don’t have the matching camera so it’s just a spare Arduino for… things.

  • When I used to work as an apps engineer, I’d hide in the lab and repair eval kits from the bone pile. Desoldering and replacing a bad 208 TQFP is surprisingly relaxing once you’ve moved beyond being intimidated by SMT. It was a good way to unwind after dealing with difficult customers and office drama.

  • Got it yesterday, was not disappointed.

    Pics here

    Thanks SF!

  • Like others said, apples to apples.

    But if you want to talk BTLE, it’s getting very cheap. You can get an FCC certified BTLE module from Fujitsu in qty1 for ~$15. It’s based on a Nordic nRF51822 SoC with Cortex-M0+, bunch of usual peripherals and memories, on-chip radio that needs only a matching network and antenna, on-chip power supplies, and free and mostly open source development tools through mBed.

    It only clocks at 16MHz, but will crank out periodic sensor reports for a couple of years off of a single CR2025, something you could never do with an Intel SoC. And while it still needs SMT skills to solder the castellated hole mount module, it’s nowhere near as difficult as the Edison.

    I’d love to see Sparkfun carry one of these. Seeed and some others have boards in the pipe based on the nRF51822, but I’d like a US source for a cheap board other than the gimpy RFDuino.

  • That last picture is oddly satisfying…

  • The problem is that the big telcos are taking advantage as if they are utilities through right-of-way (rights to public and private property access for infrastructure) and taxpayer funded improvement projects. But they also want control over the content going over their infrastructure. That’s like your water utility offering potable water only if cities pay for filtration, or your electric utility charging less for power consumed by Samsung TVs.

    Lobbying aside, the big telcos are (literally) entrenched throughout the US which makes it impossible for an upstart to compete. There is no free market.

No public wish lists :(