Member #-99e99

Member Since: September 19, 2008

Country: United States



  • My go-to method was to print off one of these and then use it to find the optimal hole size (with no drilling or tapping needed) for whatever screws I happen to already have on hand. Machine screws have been working quite well for me.

    Pay special attention to how the .scad file produces holes of a given size.

  • Absolutely, you're paying for a unique experience that exists nowhere else. It's clear that a lot of effort went into producing an experience tailored specifically to the sort of person who enjoys hardware/electronics hacking.

    Answering your question as vaguely as possible to avoid giving anything away, yes, the device is still useful after figuring out the puzzles.

  • Saw this in the store and purchased out of an abundance of curiosity. Later found the SparkX blog entry announcing it, probably worth having a link to it here.

    I completed the game on my own in a couple nights worth of effort, although I am not sure if this is typical or not. Trying to keep this spoiler free, I'll just say this was an impressive and very imaginative set of puzzles. Kudos to the folks who put this together!

    Hoping this is a first effort in a long series, as I enjoyed the experience thoroughly and am already looking forward to the next one. I'm thinking the game could be made a little meatier (possibly an optional hard mode) with puzzles requiring more advanced skills and more effort to solve.

  • Suggestion for the next batch: an extra ground pin next to Vin would simplify connections.

  • It sounds like the preliminary step to filing a UDRP dispute, particularly the bit about transferring the domain name to them.
    My guess is they were sending out a C&D to every domain with the word 'SPARC' in it, including the domain squatted "", which lead them to the "" site, and they happily added that to the list.
    Fortunately, you have a registered trademark for SparkFun, which should hopefully protect against domain name seizure by arbitration. (Note that the UDRP arbitrators are effectively paid via the filing fees. Perhaps not coincidentally, there seems to be a historical bias towards the party filing the dispute.)
    Good luck, and may sanity prevail!

  • neilp, you should be able to use any standard AVR programmer that supports the ATmega168, e.g:
    AVR Development Tools
    You might need a 10-pin to 6-pin adapter, e.g. one of these two items:
    AVR Programming Adapter
    AVR - ICSP Adapter
    I was able to reprogram it using an AVR Dragon board, using avrdude. However, using the default avrdude settings gives me a "Yikes! invalid device signature" error. I found that adding '-B 20' to the avrdude command line allowed it to program correctly.
    One note, the board I have from Maker Faire is dated 6-25-08, and the source code example here doesn't work on this board without changes, as the LED outputs are on different pins. This page has an example that seems to work for the 6-25-08 board:
    Lecture 7 - SMD Soldering

  • This is a great kit for practicing SMT soldering. I was fortunate enough to be able to assemble one of these at this year's Maker Faire. This is the first time I've ever soldered something with this many SMT components, and all went well.
    Much thanks goes to SparkFun for hosting the classes at the Faire and graciously donating the boards (proceeds went to charity!) Thanks also to the infinitely patient SparkFun staff for their soldering knowledge and moral support!

  • Great article! I've seen this trick used before, for example you can see it visibly on the Digilent CMOD board which uses this technique for the CPLD JTAG connector. They've set the spacing so that you can pressure fit the programming header and not have to solder it permanently:
    Not sure how many insertion cycles it would survive, but it seems like it would work well enough for a short time. Always wished they had posted their spacing, seemed a waste to have a board made just to figure out the optimum offset. I think this SparkFun article fills in all the details! Thanks again!

No public wish lists :(