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July 14, 2012
News - New Product Friday: Sally…
about 4 months ago
I totally get the value of discrete product descriptions. Especially from a production standpoint.
It wasn’t really the demos that did it for me. They were entertaining, yes, and I enjoyed them. A lot of SFE’s personality and humor came through and that was great. It garnered not just customers, but fans.
What did it for me was in “discoverability”. Everything I needed to know about several new product was covered in a short, single video. The videos could have been half as long, with a quarter of the production value, and they would have been just as valuable. Not only did you announce new products, you also kept us informed about product updates, revisions, and sometimes things that were just back in stock. Links to the product page did the heavy lifting. This is valuable too. I don’t see you producing a video on that new LiPo that comes in a different shape, but I might need those, so how would I know?
Further, the home page is getting really loud, visually. Discrete product videos there exacerbates that and adds to the visual noise. Boxes, asides, banners, tabs, accordions, embeds, and menus (three levels of them!) hide those products rather than highlight them. Over the past two years, we went from one, clear video at the top to needing to scroll and click and view multiple times to get to the same information. Maybe that’s not impacting your conversion rates, but I can’t imagine it’s helping.
It used to be that every Friday, I would grab my morning cup of coffee, sit at my desk, and watch the Sparkfun New Product Friday videos to see all the new widgets they were bringing this week. It was like Christmas. I learned (and wound up purchasing) a lot because of them. They drummed up interest and stirred my creative fires. I’m sad to see them go. I don’t visit SFE regularly anymore, only when I need to pick up something I’ve run out of.
As for the PSOC 5, I have no idea what it is nor why I would want to know from that video. I’m sure it was a fun video to make, but it’s wasn’t informative – unless I’m missing something, which is possible.
about 5 months ago
This is a break-out board for the bluetooth module RN-52, and it does that well. It was so easy to set up and pair to my phone it felt like cheating. If you started adding an mp3 decoder and a card reader, suddenly it wouldn’t be good for other projects.
Luckily, there are a options for the audio source. I’ve had good luck with the Adafruit VS1053 breakout which I think is not comparible to anything SFE has because it has the card reader built in. The closest items SFE has are the MP3 and MIDI Breakout (no card reader) and the Lilypad MP3 (has a card reader but also adds a micro-controller) so in that respect there’s a gap in the product line. Hook the 1053-outs to the RN53-ins, program the RN53’s firmware to master and have it connect on power-up, and you should be golden.
about 9 months ago
Somebody has to ask…. When will you have these that go to 11?
News - Enginursday: These Are No…
I’m consider myself a maker yet I’m all for stronger restrictions.
I live in Hawaii and am all too familiar with the pervasive noise and invasion of privacy the tour helicopter cowboys inflict on us every day. I also had the same thing when I lived in Seattle (where the peeping drone was discovered and another crashed into the Space Needle) with “newchoppers”, the Coast Guard and air ambulances all day and night. Anyone who lives in LA probably has stories as well. There is already too much in the sky. Add to that drones and now you’ve really got a mess.
about 2 years ago
Mine just arrived today. Nice job with the dedicated tutorial page! It might be cool to screen the text in just one direction.
about 2 years ago
(Probably) Final Update: CanaKit’s stock estimates were based on what they thought they could source from SFE.
about 2 years ago
If you’re debating whether or not to branch out from Arduino into a different board, you owe it to yourself to give Teensy a try. It’s an easy transition with a lot of programming space, speed, and inputs/outputs in a, well, teensy package. I’ve had to make nearly no changes to existing Arduino libraries to make this work with my existing code.
Update: Tech Support (thanks Michelle) pointed me to Canakit, which has a finite number of both the breakout and dev boards in stock. Get ‘em while you can.
BEFORE YOU BUY Contrary to the description, SFE carries neither the mating connector nor the eval board. They’ve retired the dev board, the breakout board, and don’t carry the connector.
I’m at my wit’s end with this.
No public wish lists :(
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