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October 17, 2012
News - Where does 9600 bps come …
about 5 days ago
My question isn’t “Why did we end up using 9600 instead of 10,000, or perhaps 8192 (213) bps?”, but “Why do we still use 9600 as a default for modern serial devices like GPS receivers and beginner Arduino demos? Why not a higher ‘standard’ rate like 19.2k, 57.6k, or 115.2k?”
News - Enginursday: This Should …
Another way to skin this cat would be to put a small diode in series with the LED to be able to use the reverse breakdown of the diode instead of the LED. But I think we are probably getting a bit clunky with all the components behind each 5mm LED. His actual solution by using a bridge works well (and allows using his use of a cap to reduce the flickering as was discussed in another comment thread).
News - Meet Feldi!
Oh, also… In your picture at the top of this blog you kinda look like Dr. Kiki. ;-)
Welcome to the SparkFun family, Feldi! :-D
A couple thoughts I had about your PRISMATIME thesis.
I look forward to seeing what ideas you add to the SparkFun library of tutorials and blogs.
News - Enginursday: Levitating L…
about 3 weeks ago
This definitely ranks way up there in the cool factor. Cleaned up and with professional packaging, this is something that I would expect to see in a science museum gift shop.
News - According to Pete: SMD so…
Actually, you can get flux core solder pretty bloody fine. I have two spools of solder, one for THT and one for SMT.
A quick check at Digikey shows 9 spools of 0.015" diameter flux-core solder. Here is a link to my search results. Two different manufacturers, 4 types of flux, both leaded (60/40 and 63/37eutectic) and unleaded. There is also 0.020" but I didn’t look at those offereings. I'l leave that up to the curious.
Looking on Kester’s website I see that they go down to 0.010", but I didn’t find any at DigiKey. If it isn’t a special order size solder that fine may be found at another vendor. At that diameter (and the quantities used in SMT soldering), a 1lb spool might just be a lifetime supply at hobby quantities… ;-)
I have a set of these magnifying visor. Not exactly Haute Couture (in fact expect to be under siege by the fashion police), but a really good example of function over form. I usually have mine angled so it is in the top half of my vision so I can either look through our under it without having to adjust it’s angle. (Sort of opposite of the orientation of reading glasses…) The adjustable LED light on it (it adjusts up, down, left, and right) is really helpful since I don’t have a dedicated workbench with a lamp.
It is really cheap. I have to constantly re-tighten the friction bearings for the angle (maybe I should put some wave washers in there), and the power switch for the light on mine can be intermittent. Even with that, I feel it’s functionality is way more than the $10 it costs.
Watch out if you get these or something similar… If your SO also does fine work (needlepoint, beading, soldering, model building, etc) you may need to buy a second pair so your pair doesn’t constantly get stolen. ;-)
News - On IoT and security
The average customer isn’t going to know what the current state of the art consumer security models are. The average customer thinks the internet is the broswer icon on their desktop. The details are just too confusing and obtuse for Joe/Jane Customer. They just want things to work.
We as more informed consumers (who are usually answering the “what should I get” questions from our friends and family who are Joe/Jane Customer) need to be the ones spear-heading market pressure. While regulations can provide a baseline, the way legalese works any regulation needs to be very specific and will significantly lag behind the threshold of state of the art. (Yes, once upon a time WEP was state of the art in the consumer world.)
But, I’ve started to see a little gleam of light… I recently was setting up the latest Verizon FiOS router for my mother and while I couldn’t change the admin username from “admin”, the default password actually looked like it came out of an algorithmic password generator. Recognizable syllables from english strung together with digits into a nonsense word. Less hard to remember than truly random, but was long enough to appear be fairly secure.
I hate to say it, but implementing a full stack on any IoT device is probably laziness masquerading as efficiency. It’s much simpler to throw a standard stack library at something than to go through and create a custom stack that only has the features needed. In the hobby realm, the person crafting their own IoT device may not know enough of how a stack works, but they want to be able to control the flashing LEDs from their phone. In industry, not many organizations want to pay for someone and/or spend the time to reinvent a caster-wheel when the off-the-shelf skateboard truck will work. (Ok, not a perfect analogy, but hopefully you get the idea.)
I don’t know what (if anything) can be done for the hobbyist besides having educational material available, but industry doesn’t change unless they have a reason (either market pressure or regulation).
Error in your specs above, What you have as “Eight 4-colored LEDs” should be “Four coloured LEDs (red, green, blue, and yellow)”.
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