SparkFun will be closed Nov 26th and 27th for the Thanksgiving holiday. Orders placed after 2:00pm MT on the 25th will ship out Monday the 30th.


Member Since: October 8, 2013

Country: United States

  • If you check the schematic and datasheet, you’ll note that the 32.768 kHz crystal is connected to the XOSC32 pins. This is a secondary input specifically for 32kHz oscillators, as the name implies. Ideally an external crystal for the primary clock would be connected to the XOSC inputs. However, I’m pretty sure they couldn’t do that for compatibility reasons with the Arduino Zero. The Zero uses these pins as D2 and D5. So it’s Arduino’s fault, not Sparkfun’s. Assuming you think it’s a problem. Is it a problem? Meh. The FLL/PLL on the Atmel SAM chips isn’t very good anyway in my experience.

  • Yup. This is a really nice board, and it absolutely has a place in the market. A low-cost alternative to the Arduino Zero that is a great introduction to the ARM world. But you guys/gals missed the boat on how to sell it. Atmel’s ARM chips are not the next versions of AVRs. ARM is a completely different world, but one that advanced hobbyists really need to be moving toward. Also, by selling it without headers, you just made it a breakout. That limits the audience that will consider it. Why not take your awesome board, put headers on it, populate the DC jack, think of a good name, figure out how to describe it correctly, and really make an impact in the hobbyist ARM world?

  • Good article, thanks for your work and research.

    This seems like overkill for an 8-bit AVR though. Going down the road of more and more libraries and layers of abstraction, you eventually end up with something that is more complicated than the original starting point. Configuring a timer and ISR in Atmel Studio is no more complicated-looking than the code shown above, and actually teaches the programmer what the AVR is doing behind the scenes. It’s the difference between having control over the device, and relying on someone else’s abstraction to gain the appearance of control.

    You might also considering doing one of these articles on ARM devices and showing off the SysTick timer.

  • I was expecting some comic relief at the end, but jeez that was kinda sad.

    Thanks Rob! Best of luck with your future plans!

  • The new format is probably as good as the old format, but it’s a change. And you know how people don’t like change. It was also bad timing in that it came at the start of a very slow period for new products. Seems like it’s been months now. It’s not just you guys, I haven’t placed a big order with any of my favorite online vendors in a quite a while. RPi and wearables seems so popular right know, but I just have zero interest in those. I don’t need 10 different RPi cases, a hundred different ways to light up an RGB led, or yet another microcontroller breakout. (cough Adafruit) I used to look forward to you guys having new sensor breakouts, interesting kits, or other little electronics bits that I could build projects around. But that just hasn’t been happening lately, so I’ve moved on to other things.

    As for the cellular board, did it take longer than expected (like a year longer?) to get this one finished up and released? I’m not really sure where a $70 2G cellular shield fits into the market right now. I’m sure it works very well and it looks ok, but yeeeeah………

  • The PCF85263A is only 99 cents in one-off from Digikey? Dang I’m sold. Too bad they only have the DFN package in stock right now. I never really liked the DS1307, I hope this proves to be a good alternative.

  • Freeze! Give me all your AA batteries and no one gets hertz!

  • It’s been slow for new products the past couple months. Not just at Sparkfun, but at my other favorite vendors as well. I hope you guys have some exciting stuff coming up soon!

  • Ahhhhh, classic Nick.

  • I just noticed that a dead short through the box is possible if all switches are in the zero position. I could see this being an issue if someone hookups it up and turns on the power intending to set the value afterward, and has no other current limiting resistors in the circuit. User error for sure, but you still might want to make a note in the hookup guide.

    By the way, critiques aside, thanks to the designer for making this. I’m looking forward to receiving mine. I think with some tweaks it will present very good value and functionality at the price point. And the red PCB with the rotary switches is almost too cool to hide in a box. I will be modifying mine with SMD resistors, I’ll “report back” if it works out well.

No public wish lists :(