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March 3, 2012
Completely addicted to physical computing. SparkFun is becoming more and more like my drug dealer than just a parts/kit company, LOL!
about 3 weeks ago
I’ve been eye-ing this for a probably as long as I’ve been shopping at SparkFun. I don’t really need an O-scope, I have two already. But what I do need is a logic analyzer and since I want/need it only for supporting hobby stuff and my own (and my daughter’s) learning I’d especially prefer it to be in kit form. This kit seems pretty close int hat direction, has anyone heard of a modification to this kit to turn it into an 8->16 channel logic analyzer?
SparkFun folks: would it be possible for ya’ll to stock more of these types o'DIY kit’s? Hoenstly, I don’t think they are really DIY since no design, parts sourcing, etc that I associate with DIY anything, but so what! As far as I’m concerned these sorts of kits are the electronic equivalent of a plastic or balsa stick model and I love them! Where or where is Heath kit when I actually have a bit of money and time and the right tools to put together stuff like this!? WEll, in a large sense I imagine ya’ll (and adafruit && the rest) have filled that void and I think ya’ll are doing just amazing things: your tutorials and blogs are some of my favorite thigns to read!!
In anycase, any chance ya’ll might give some thought to adding more kit’s for various types of tools aimed at hobby, self-education level?
Things on my wish list would be:
1. Bench LCR with snazzy display, hackable, no real case (I built a 3d printer from a KIT, so I can print one fer myself, like I did for that super cool function generator kit you’ll sell, that was a fun build:)).
2. 8 or 16 channel logic analyser
3. More board and component kit’s like the joystick && beef cake relay controller (that caused plenty of terror in my home as my daughter learned to use it and has had no end of fun terrorizing my wife with stuff turning on and off randomly - beware crafty teenagers!! They complaion about learnign a bit, but dear lord what they do with the knowledge!!),
4. WIFi ip CAM kit that uses an uno, fyfli care, etc just all bundled together.
5. Bench powersupply with snazzy display. I looked high and low for a kit that was in this area and while I found loads of nice ps kits and even more true DIY projects of all sorts, I wasn’t able to find one that sported a display comparable with even low end commercial ones and ended up buying a “Mastech HY3005F-3Triple Linear DC Power Supply, 30V, 5A” which is great, but I’d have liked a better (read cooler, geek-ee-er display I could maybe modify via software).
In any case, though my wife’ll probly kill me I do think I’m gunna have to have one of these here O'SCope kits.
News - According to Pete: Charge…
about 2 months ago
Yet another really great presentation, Pete! As always your video’s leave me hungry to learn more about various circuits (charge pumps and voltage multipliers this time round) and it’s honestly extremely helpful. I find that I get enough to usually create some sort of test circuit, a high level of theory with a healthy dash of math to make sense of things. Just awesome!
I wondered if it’d be possible for you or one of the other amazing people on this forum to share a simple circuit to drive the charge pump circuit you described via analog only means, maybe based on a 555 timer for a simple clock pulse? Or is it your/forum members preference for folks to have a try and creating a circuit, posting it and asking questions based on that? I don’t wanna be a help vampire or being asking you or anyone else to design my goodies for me, I’m just looking for the most dead simple analog approach to driving a charge pump to learn more about them without hooking up my Arduino to try and drive it as I wouldn’t think that’d really be the best way to go (not being an Electronics Engineer it’s entirely possible that using a Mcu is absolutely the right way for some set of reasons I know nothin' about).
Anyways, I really liked this latest video!!
News - Arduino Announces Partner…
about 4 months ago
Saw a comment from another Microsoftee on here and figured I’d chime in as well.
I’m hopeful, but MSFT is a huge company/corporation and all of the good and bad that can mean. I think it’s definitely true that at the end of the day the company is after dollars and this move strikes me as squarely aimed at both getting a piece of the IoT pie and wooing programmers to (or back to) the windows platform. Whether that is a “good” or “bad” thing I’d guess depends on each of us. I’m hopeful, but probably more inclined towards an operating system that isn’t (or so I think) so closed. Too, I’m not at all thrilled with the new app stores and this you can only distribute your store app if we get a piece of the profits and we approve, etc. That whole concept disgusts me to an extreme and reflects some of the worst sorts of business behavior.
There’s reason to be hopeful, though. MSFT, like most anything else, has it’s good points and bad points. It’s an awesome place to work, I think. There are some crazy smart folks here and for a nitwit like me that’s great news cause it means I’m able to tap into their experience and abilities and learn from them. These Arduino announcements make that an even more exciting prospect :)
I’m also actually thrilled that at least for the moment Microsoft has started to embrace non-MSFT OS’s like Linux and especially Android. How that’ll play out in the long term I wouldn’t want to make a prediction about, we’ll have to wait and see, but for now I’m hopeful:) Hopefully they’ll finally create an MSBUILD platform that enables much fuller use of Visual Studio (in Native c/c++) with Arduino boards and Atmega chips in general: That’d be the bee’s knees, I think:) Heck might even provide an opportunity for me to change teams and be able to focus ever more on playing with stuff I enjoy as opposed to stuff that has become, over time, less than exciting for me:)
bought one of these quite a while ago and finally got around to soldering it together and playing with it a bit.
My thoughts over all were that it was fun to put together and combined with the schematic && other info && forum posts this is a great little kit to start getting a sense of how to you a transistor to control a relay via Micro-controller or some other controlling source. Nice one!
News - What to do when you screw…
about a year ago
As Always, I’m really impressed with how SparkFun handles it when things go wrong. I think it’s actually pretty rare for a company to be upfront and diligent in acknowledging when something unexpected happens. This is one of the key reasons SparkFun continues to be the First place I go to look for information, products, components, etc. You folks so way Rock!!
News - Fluke Responds to Tradema…
about a year ago
I’ve always heard Fluke were top quality instruments and it was certainly decent of them to action on making some recompense, which it seems like SparkFun is likewise doing a super decent thing with those meters.
I think the real problem is the trademark, copywhatever, and patent laws. I can understand wanting to prevent blatant attempts to masquerade as some brand name or whatever, but what happened here (at least what I’ve read thus far) strikes me as just plain stupid.
Also, I’m not fond of the claiming “it’s for your protection”. Seems to me that’s an over used PR claim used to justify draconian policies and actions (such as this). Doesn’t, in my opinion, have a lot of substance.
This incident wasn’t a Fluke, in terms of doing something like this :) To my mind, MSFT Windows 8’s new drivers have to be certified BS would be another example of doing something outrageously heavy handed, claiming it was to protect customers from evil drivers. Like iOs/Apple doing everything possible to prevent developers from distributing an app outside of apples app page (which MSFT is eager to do as well for the new RT && Phone style apps).
I must be getting old or something, this stuff ends up winding me up like an 8 day clock and seems to be getting pretty bad over all.
News - According to Pete: Curren…
about 2 years ago
This bit got me a little confused. If you have a current mirror setup to supply some known current, for a string of LED’s say, and you aren’t certain of the number of LED’s, how does that effect the overall voltage drop across the transistor MOSFET? Do you more or less pick a supply Voltage that can accommodate the Max number of LED’s the circuit should allow? If the number of LED’s is less than that Max, is it reasonable to assume that voltage across the transistor (say it’s a BJT) will be Vs - (n*VLed)?
I’m gunna have to wire one up to find out for myself, but just thought I’d ask.
Usefulness of Current Mirrors:
1. For me at least, it’s another example of how transistors behave. I’m trying to understand them better, so practical application isn’t necessarily top o'my list.
2. It seemed to me that might be the current mirror is useful if you were wanting to measure a current without necessarily changing it. Don’t know, it was just one thought that came to mind.
I tend to see electronic circuits a bit like tinker toys or leggo’s. The more you are aware of and can use to some extent, the easier it is to do things (though maybe not always in the “best” way).
K, I don’t wanna sound like a Pete group-ee, but IMHO your missing the value of Pete’s byte sized tutorial/lecture/educational mmm video thing-ee’s. Happily, your also validating one of their key values.
As a total noob/non-degree’d I just wanna learn kind of guy Pete’s short segments on the core basics of various types of electronics that include just enough math to get into trouble with (or in some cases more than enough for the job) are just a start, I think. A very basic primer that might (and for me at least, does) give a person a bit of really useful, often practical information about designing and using transistors.
I took a look at the site you mentioned: I’d never seen it before and might never have encountered it, unless you’d commented on Pete’s excellent video. I’ll definitely be chewing my way through the content there and the Labs(They looked like awesome learning opportunities).
Point being, for nitwits like me, content like Pete’s video’s are a god send, as are the many helpful comments that get posted by folks. I don’t ever hear Pete claiming to be the final authority on anything, but I think he provides excellent insights into some rather difficult subjects that have, in my case at least, been a huge help in refining my understanding of electronics.
News - Christmas Candy Giveaway …
about 2 years ago
December is like the month o'SparkFun for me this year. Gunna put one of those fly Cam’s in one of my home made rocket’s and get some cool footage from a rocket’s point of view:) Thanks for the treat!
No public wish lists :(
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