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June 14, 2013
News - Modeling a laser-cut Hall…
This is AMAZING, and absolutely adorable! Thanks so much for sharing. I sometimes forget what can be done with a laser cutter, CAD skills, and some patience. Great job, and happy Halloween!
News - Enginursday: Doing Someth…
about a year ago
Do any of you Funions have type 1 (or insulin-managed type 2) diabetes? :)
As a 16-year old girl with diabetes, it annoys me that I can’t easily wear dresses and still have control over my insulin pump. In addition, I hate it when my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) starts alarming in public, and people ask me what it is (which often turns into a conversation about how type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that is usually diagnosed in kids, and it’s not preventable :P “You’re not fat, how did you get diabetes?” “Aren’t you too young for that?” sigh). What about a device that can control the pump, grab data from the CGM sensors, and interface to a phone so that nobody has to see the pump and CGM?
CGMs and insulin pumps especially are notoriously hackable – see Hacking Medical Devices for Fun and Insulin: Breaking the Human SCADA System – so it seems that one could, without too much trouble (since y'all are smart engineery people), make a module that receives glucose numbers over RF, sends them to your phone over bluetooth, where they are in an app, from which the user can send commands back to the device about how many carbs they are eating and how much insulin they want to bolus, which are in turn relayed to the insulin pump. In addition, the app could ring when blood sugars are too high or low, and the user would just look like he or she was just checking his or her phone!
I started working on a project like this, but I’m heavily limited by time, money, and both hardware and software knowledge. I’d LOVE to see this as a project from you guys! If you open source the hardware and software, I’m sure that there would be a really awesome bridge between the medical community and the open source electronics community that would allow the project to advance, become more useful, and help diabetics everywhere.
This disease can be difficult to manage, and is the leading cause of new cases of blindness. It can also cause kidney, heart, and nerve problems. Unfortunately, teenagers tend to be the ones who refuse to manage their diabetes because it might open them up to teasing and it can carry a kind of weird, misguided stigma (like this, or this, or this, sigh). I have a brother in law who went blind because of type 1, and with all the technology available today, it seems like an app that makes this disease seem a little less weird is a no-brainer.
Good luck with your project! Whatever it is, I know I can expect great things from you guys. Thanks for being awesome! :)
about 2 years ago
I know this is an old comment, but in case anyone else is wondering:
Yes, they are polarized. Mic_N is the negative pin for the microphone, and Mic_P is the positive pin, while Spk_N is the negative pin for the speaker and Spk_P is the positive pin. You’re probably going to want to use electret microphones, which have internal preamps, so they have to be connected a specific way. Most speakers aren’t polarized, so it usually doesn’t matter which way you connect them, but if their pins are labeled positive and negative, it’s a good idea to connect them as indicated. Check pages 14-15 of the SM5100B Datasheet for lots of info on hooking up audio inputs and outputs. :)
News - Enginursday: Bling in the…
about 2 years ago
Thank you guys for being so amazing!
The first time I did anything electronics-y was last May, just after Maker Faire, where I picked up a Getting Started with Arduino Kit. I spent my summer making tv-b-gones, all manner of blinky, loud things, random projects I found online, and a pretty dangerous egg cooker that used big aluminum-housed wirewound resistors as a heating element. I didn’t know what I was doing then, and I still don’t now, but I know that SparkFun is here for me, no matter how crazy I decide to get.
Lately, I’ve been playing with wearable electronics, and my most recent project has been a Tardis hoodie for my boyfriend. It has five little LilyPad buttons on the left shoulder that are connected to a LilyPad protoboard, which can be snapped out when the hoodie is being washed, that I hooked up to a board that was supposed to be in a talking greeting card (reprogramming a greeting card is apparently actually a thing). It now plays Doctor Who sounds. The snaps on the jacket are wired to the buttons with conductive thread. I used a fabrickit ribbon and snaps to hook up the speaker, which is hidden in a pocket behind the “Police Public Call Box” sign. The pockets are heated with some of your 5x15 cm heating pads, and there is a clicky locking button in the right pocket that turns them on and off. A 6600 mAh 3.7v lipo is powering it. Here we are: https://twitter.com/Joey_Hudy/status/416380142575833088/photo/1 :D
Anyway, it is the best thing I’ve made in my entire life, and you guys really empowered me. Without easy access to components – especially sewable components – I probably would have just bought a gift from the store and this great thing would never have come to be. Leah, Dia, and everyone who works at SparkFun are all my heroes. Thank you for sharing your ingenuity with me!
My new project is getting my mom into wearable electronics. She’s been sewing for most of her life, and helps me with designing my wearable projects, but she doesn’t understand any of this electronics stuff yet. I think I’ll get her Sew Electric for her birthday. :)
As a 15-year-old, I’d like to say that more people my age (and all ages, for that matter) need to get into this whole electronics thing – it’s too fun!
about 2 years ago
These might be some of the coolest things I’ve ever bought from SparkFun. I ordered 24 boards and got 24 Arduino Pro boards, 8 Package Tracker boards, 8 Propeller P8X32A Breakout boards, 20 WiFly boards (Arduino-compatible with a built in wifly module…can’t find it on the website!), 48 little AT42QT1012 capacitive touch sensor breakout boards (also not on the website), 5 Spartan 3E breakout and development boards, and 3 through-hole Christmas tree boards.
Most of the boards are actually multiple smaller boards which snap apart, meaning you might get a lot more than you expect. I was originally planning on chopping all of these up and making jewelry, but I think I’m going to try to populate some of these – at least the easy Christmas tree ones, anyway. The capacitive touch sensor boards are so tiny, I can just stick the earring hooks through the VCC holes and have instant earrings anyway! They’re adorable. The Spartan boards will make amazing coasters. Love it!
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