March 2, 2012
News - "Ask Me Anything&quo…
about 4 months ago
I’ll be looking forward to round 2.
I have a question for Nate, and I’m sure Pete may have a funny story to add about something that blew up along the way.
Nate, I have read the story of how Sparkfun got going when you blew up a board and had a hard time finding a good place to buy a replacement online that had good pictures of products, so you purchased $2500 worth of products to sell online and Sparkfun was born. Flash forward to the last few years and it seems a lot of your continuing success is due to becoming a great small run in house electronics manufacturer.
I am curious how you made the transition to manufacturing boards in house, did you just put some of your designs on your site and then man the soldering iron to quickly build them by hand as orders came in until you couldn’t keep up, or did you plunk down cash for external assembly of some designs you bet on to sell. What made you decide to start buying your own assembly equipment and how did you get started? Did you buy used equipment or new?
Also, did Sparkfun just get going by iteratively growing from money you made back from the original $2500 or did you hit a crossroads where you had to bet the house to go to the next level (ie take big loans, use lots of personal savings)?
News - Your November Caption Con…
about 4 months ago
All I could find was my wife’s robe and my son’s wizard hat, but hey, I’ll wear anything for free Beer and Hotdogs!!!
Go ahead, make my day!!
News - Your October Caption Cont…
about 5 months ago
After the new Drone Laws went into effect, the now older and taller Tattoo wondered aloud, what would happen to de Plane boss.
News - The Edison is Not a Raspb…
about 6 months ago
Your comparison says 40 pin connector, but isn’t it a 70 pin?
For me that is the only drawback, I mean I am finally OK soldering SSOP ICs onto my custom PCBs, this new socket seems like it would make it tough to solder the mate for it to your custom PCB.
I just get the feeling this was meant more for small startup businesses to quickly create their custom hardware to mate to the Edison when making new products and not really for experimenters. Or if you want to mate it up to a Sparkfun board or other competitor’s board that meets your needs, but not really design any custom hardware yourself.
Just sayin' I could be totally wrong on this, but I was very enthused about it until I saw that connector.
News - Enginursday: Doing Someth…
about 8 months ago
Autonomous Mission Quad-copter and Charging Station
I don’t have Quad-copter experience, but I am working on a Java control system framework to allow sensors to be coupled with actuators via distributed applications. One of the advanced use cases I have thought of for actuators is a quad-copter that can be given an mission instruction over a network API and it takes off from its charging station, completes the mission and then returns to the base station. Although the copter would be initially an actuator to the control system, it would also supply sensor data from the mission back to the base station which would be accessible via the base station API.
The base station would host network connection, charging (AC with Solar option), and handle the API to allow remote mission dispatch.
Example Mission Use Cases:
Dynamic Security System
- An external sensor network detects motion somewhere on the users property, the external control system issues a “investigate mission to GPS coordinates”. The copter takes off and sends back images from the location.
Security Guard System
- On a periodic basis an external system issues a “reconnaissance mission” to fly over a designated area and send back images or infrared images which the requesting external application can compare against previous images to detect something out of the ordinary.
Those are just a few, but really the use cases are limited only by imagination. Imagine configuring the “just for fun mission” where the copter grabs a beer and brings it over to your neighbors back yard when your first one is empty.
Yes its a stretch goal here, but it seems it could be done somewhat incrementally. The first not so useful step would be to learn the base station GPS location and take off and land back on the station.
The first useful step would be to make it learn the perimeter of an area to fly over then be able to issue a mission to fly the perimeter and return to the base. As I am writing this it seems you could make one way of learning a perimeter be the “follow me” function where the copter would follow someone walking around the flight path. That makes me think this could also have promise as being the next “goFlyPro” that would follow you while motorcycling, ATVing, etc… Anyway, some food for thought.
News - July Caption Contest
about 8 months ago
During today’s session of Tie Dyed Electronics Jamboree, I want to talk about two new Sparkfun Capes.
News - Your June Caption Contest
about 9 months ago
Oh Yeah… we got your Chocolate Chip right here!!!
News - May Caption Contest!
about 10 months ago
This new permanent Bluetooth ear bud is gonna be Sweet !!!
I don’t understand why its so difficult; the Sparkfun document says its simple to solder a through hole header!!!
No public wish lists :(
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