Member Since: August 12, 2013

Country: United States



Engineering Superhero

Programming Languages



  • Virginia Tech (2009-2011)
  • Rose-Hulman (2002-2006)


Embedded systems, board layout, firmware, and mad soldering skillz.


Electronics and gadgets and stuff. Nerd stuff. Outside of that, swing dancing whenever I can.



A quick look at the science behind how batteries work.

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How to make your own seismometer to measure ground activity, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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I have a love/hate relationship with hackathons; maybe my rant can give you some helpful hints next time you compete.

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An overview (and pre-orders!) of the newest Raspberry Pi single board computer.

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We celebrate Edison's 169th birthday and release a kit around Intel's Edison, plus, a sale on Edison products!

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We built a mirror using the Intel Edison, an LCD, and a gesture sensor.

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Reagan talks about making the CubeRinth Maximus for Two Bit Circus.

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We run several SBCs through their paces and compare their performances.

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A call to viewers across the world to join AVC and control one of the robots.

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Let's celebrate Thomas Edison's birthday and talk about our Edison Blocks and some information on how to get started with the Intel Edison.

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I met Reagan at Maker Faire New York, and I ask him some questions about his recent project: an animatronic Jackal helmet from Stargate.

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Guest blog post by Arnoud Buzing of Wolfram Research on using the Edison and SparkFun Blocks to make a pendulum monitor.

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I share my designs for my new electronics workbench and go over some of the design decisions for it. I also cover what makes triangles more stable than squares.

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Overview of the related M2X Learn tutorial, which walks users through the process of connecting an Arduino and CC3000 to AT&T's M2X service.

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In this three-part video series, I show users how to setup their Raspberry Pi with Raspbian, connect a humidity and temperature sensor, and Tweet the results on a regular basis using Python.

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Designs for a custom, DIY electronics workbench, and some lessons I learned in the process.

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Why do we feel a tingle when we lick a 9V battery?

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How to create a Twitter monitor in Python and flash an LED using a Raspberry Pi.

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Why the voltage rating on capacitors matters and why you should derate them.

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Sparcade: Edison as a Web Server for Browser Games

May 19, 2016

Turn the Intel® Edison into an access point that serves a simple browser-based game. High scores from the game are displayed on a character LCD.

Measuring Internal Resistance of Batteries

May 5, 2016

Classroom STEM activity that has students build a battery from a lemon, measure the open and closed circuit voltages, and determine the battery's internal resistance.

What is a Battery?

May 3, 2016

An overview of the inner workings of a battery and how it was invented.

SIK Keyboard Instrument

April 15, 2016

We can use the parts and concepts in the SparkFun Invetor's Kit to make a primitive keyboard instrument.

SparkFun LED Array (8x7) Hookup Guide

March 10, 2016

Getting started with the Charlieplexed 8x7 LED array.

BadgerHack: Gaming Add-On Kit

February 16, 2016

Make a Breakout clone with the BadgerHack Gaming Add-On Kit.

Using an LCD on the Edison

February 8, 2016

How to connect an LCD controlled by an ILI9341 driver to the Intel® Edison.

Interactive Smart Mirror

February 8, 2016

Build a smart mirror that displays weather data using the Intel® Edison.

SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Edison Experiment Guide

December 17, 2015

Learn how to harness the power of the Intel® Edison using JavaScript to post data to the cloud, control electronics from smartphones, and host web pages that interact with circuits.


September 23, 2015

This tutorial shows users how to solder their SparkFun interactive badges as well as put them to use in other projects.

SparkFun Blocks for Intel® Edison - 9 Degrees of Freedom Block

August 19, 2015

A quick overview of the features of the 9 Degrees of Freedom Block.

Single Board Computer Benchmarks

July 31, 2015

How to set up different benchmarking programs on single board computers or computing modules and run them. The results for various generations are shown on the subsequent pages.

SparkFun Blocks for Intel® Edison - Pi Block

July 28, 2015

Tutorial on setting up and using the Pi Block for Intel Edison.

Lockitron Hardware Hookup Guide

July 14, 2015

How to connect the Lockitron to an Arduino Pro Mini and control it with 2 buttons.

ZX Distance and Gesture Sensor Hookup Guide

July 9, 2015

How to connect and use the SparkFun ZX Distance and Gesture Sensor with an Arduino.

Large Digit Driver Hookup Guide

June 25, 2015

Getting started guide for the Large Digit display driver board. This tutorial explains how to solder the module (backpack) onto the back of the large 7-segment LED display and run example code from an Arduino.

Electric Imp Breakout Hookup Guide

June 25, 2015

An electric imp HUG! Provides an overview of the imp card and breakout. Both hardware and firmware subjects are covered.

Experiment Guide for RedBot with Shadow Chassis

May 28, 2015

This Experiment Guide offers nine experiments to get you started with the SparkFun RedBot. This guide is designed for those familiar with our SparkFun Inventors Kit and want to take their robotics knowledge to the next level.

Assembly Guide for RedBot with Shadow Chassis

May 28, 2015

Assembly Guide for the RedBot Kit. This tutorial includes extra parts to follow to go along with the RedBot Inventor's Kit tutorial.

Sound Page Guide

May 22, 2015

How to use the Lilypad MP3 Player and some Bare Conductive Paint to make a fandom silhouette sound trigger page.

How to Solder - Castellated Mounting Holes

May 12, 2015

Tutorial showing how to solder castellated holes (or castellations). This might come in handy if you need to solder a module or PCB to another PCB. These castellations are becoming popular with integrated WiFi and Bluetooth modules.

Loading Debian (Ubilinux) on the Edison

December 5, 2014

How to load a Debian distribution (specifically Ubilinux) onto the Edison.

mbed Starter Kit Experiment Guide

November 27, 2014

This Experiment Guide will get you started with the wonderful world of mbed microcontrollers. Need to find that next step after mastering the Arduino? This a great place to take those skills to the next level.

APDS-9960 RGB and Gesture Sensor Hookup Guide

November 6, 2014

Getting started guide for the Avago APDS-9960 color, proximity, and gesture sensor.

Using AT&T's M2X With the CC3000

September 2, 2014

A set of tutorials and examples to show how to connect an Arduino and CC3000 to AT&T's M2X data streams. We show how to post, fetch, and delete data. The final lesson is controlling an LED from an M2X stream.

CC3000 Hookup Guide

April 3, 2014

Getting started guide for the CC3000 shield and breakout board.

Getting Started with the BrickPi

February 20, 2014

How to connect Lego Mindstorms to the Raspberry Pi using the BrickPi.

USB Type A Female Breakout Hookup Guide

February 13, 2014

An above-and-beyond example using the USB Type A Female Breakout board.

AT42QT1010 Capacitive Touch Breakout Hookup Guide

December 12, 2013

Learn how to use the simple AT24QT1010 Capacitive Touch Breakout.

INA169 Breakout Board Hookup Guide

November 20, 2013

How to interface with the INA169 Breakout Board to measure current.

Raspberry Pi Twitter Monitor

November 19, 2013

How to use a Raspberry Pi to monitor Twitter for hashtags and blink an LED.
  • Thanks for the feedback! We’ll definitely consider multiple colors for possible revisions.

  • Sounds like a fun project :) I’ll see if I can help you out.

    First, regenerate your Access Token and Token Secret on apps.twitter.com. This seemed to help me, as I had a old code from months/years ago.

    Next, create a new Python file and enter this:

    from twython import TwythonStreamer
    TERMS = 'lol'
    class MyStreamer(TwythonStreamer):
            def on_success(self, data):
                    if 'text' in data:
                            print data['text'].encode('utf-8')
            def on_error(self, err, data):
                    print err, data

    Run it, and you should see tons of Tweets fly past (‘lol’ is pretty common). I just tried this on my laptop and it worked.

  • The latest image files can be found here: https://software.intel.com/en-us/iot/hardware/edison/downloads

  • There’s a good chance that the Twitter API has changed in the last year, and I have not revisited this project in a long time. That being said, it should pick up any hashtag. What hashtag are you trying? I’ve had issues with the Pi not being fast enough to pick up an obscure hashtag within a few minutes when Twitter is particularly busy. Try a common hashtag, like #lol, and see if you can blink or print it to the console.

  • Thanks! Looks like bulk is the way to go if I need some :)

  • I’ve seen AAAA before - where can you find them? Sadly, our 9V batteries aren’t made of them. I tore one apart for a video, and found it was 6 custom cells stacked on top of each other (a still from the video can be found here).

  • From what I can tell, the Arduino command Wire.endTransmission() actually causes the hang, and the APDS-9960 library is based on the Arduino Wire library. You could re-write the I2C portions of the APDS-9960 library to use a different I2C library, if you wanted to add a timeout.

    Why do you need to disconnect the APDS-9960 from the circuit? The rotary encoder and APDS-9960 should be able to be connected at the same time.

    EDIT: Alternatively, you could not call apds.init() unless you are sure the APDS-9960 is present.

  • I did my best to clarify the conventional vs electron flow, but I know that it always causes confusion. Don’t worry, I got the SLA from Nick. Not sure where he got it from, though :)

  • You can take a look at the GitHub repository for the library to see how it was done in C++. Additionally, elijahparker in the comments has ported it to work for the Raspberry Pi, if that helps.

  • So long as the Blynk app is running, they should work in the background.

BAC Lager

ShawnHymel 13 items

Parts used in the BAC Sensor video.


ShawnHymel 8 items

Make a simple HUD for your car. Reads and displays speed in...

Raspberry Pi 3 Accessories

ShawnHymel 4 items

Recommended products for the Raspberry Pi 3.

TEI '15 Workshop

ShawnHymel 15 items

List of parts to get you started with logging...

Getting Started with Edison - Ep. 6

ShawnHymel 8 items

Getting Started with Edison Part 6: Temperature Sensor video

M2X Tutorial - Controlling a Device

ShawnHymel 7 items

Parts needed for connecting an Arduino and CC3000 to AT&T’s...

M2X Tutorial - Temperature Data Logging

ShawnHymel 7 items

Parts needed for connecting an Arduino and CC3000 to AT&T’s...

M2X Tutorial - Fetching Data

ShawnHymel 3 items

Parts needed for connecting an Arduino and CC3000 to AT&T’s...

Getting Started With Raspberry Pi - Ep. 3

ShawnHymel 11 items

Components needed to get started with the Raspberry Pi, as...

Getting Started With Raspberry Pi - Ep. 1

ShawnHymel 10 items

Components needed to get started with the Raspberry Pi, as...

Getting Started With Raspberry Pi - Ep. 2

ShawnHymel 7 items

Components needed to get started with the Raspberry Pi, as...

Party Button

ShawnHymel 18 items

This is the wishlist for the Party Button that we’ll be...

Sound Page Kit

ShawnHymel 8 items

Parts needed for the Sound Page Kit.

Getting Started with Edison - Ep. 7

ShawnHymel 10 items

Parts used in the Getting Started with Intel Edison episode...