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December 12, 2008
News - My Love/Hate Relationship…
about 5 years ago
5 ohms / ft. eh? I guess you could lay thtings out in such a way that the LEDs always have current limiting resistors at known points. But that is a lot of drop and these walls won’t be “green”, that is for sure. Copper tape is pretty expensive these days, but I think very thin stuff that is also very narrow would be as good as if not better than the paint and you can solder to it and what not. You could always pinstipe with paint over that if copper (or patina) isn’t your color. then i’d use kapton or or some other thin electrically insulating tape to cover the cross-overs. paint won’t stick to kapton, but lightly sanding it might help that. Some copper tape conducts through its adhesive, some is made not to.
about 5 years ago
Hmm, sparkfun needs to start a service where i just tell you what I want a widget to do and you guys design and build it, work out all the bugs and ship the final revision to me. And if it can come in a mylar potato chip bag, no not a real antistat bag, but an honest to goodness potato chip bag for that yummy instant gratification feeling when I open it, than would just be awesome… I guess toss me into the “I hate labview” pile. Lets all buy a crippled version of a very closed source, extremely bloated and crazy expensive “I can read” programming interface that can only be ran on one platform that has to be running the LV runtime engine on it as well. Oh, and if you ever need to do something that your flavor of LV can’t do, you’ll need to purchase the full version and that particular add-on as well and have a subscription to their license service as well if you need it for more than a year or two. But you already have gobs of cash lying around if you can tie up an entire windows machine to run your “whatever” with the arduIdunno. God forbid anyone learn a real programming language that doesn’t tie your hands behind your back. Speaking of that, can I have my potato chip bagged widget hog-tie me as well while we’re at it?
I can think of several programming languages that are FREE that blow LV out of the lab in just about every way you can think of, but you’ll have to learn something other than how to drag virtual wires around. And seeing people program in LV is laughable! You still have to know something about logical program structure. “why won’t this loop?” snicker… I can code half a program faster than most labview monkeys can find and wire up a single function block. Save yourself the hassle and learn at least basic let alone C. LV is probably too much and too little for you at the same time!
News - The Return to Shenzhen - …
about 5 years ago
@ Mysterio, You obviously have never taken any type of training or class on ESD have you? What do those plumb-bobs do about the static that builds up from walking across the floor after you’ve touched them? If you think those are an effective means of anti-static, I’ve got a truck load of “wireless” wrist-straps to sell you. And it still makes me very nervous and weary seeing an american company doing business in china, I realize that this is the way it is done these days, but it still bothers me. I wonder if anyone like nate from spark fun has had any big dollar offers to ship a few restricted export IC’s to “friends” in china? Not a good idea if you enjoy your freedom.
News - The Gameduino
about 5 years ago
Um, as someone who works in tubes (microwave) for a living, I can assure you that they use high voltage as well. Im not quite sure what you can do with a spark gap though, even a triggered sparkgap wouldn’t be a very useful switch for logic. which is maybe why I’ve never heard of a sparkgap computer… transmitters maybe. nitpicking is fun!
News - Business Hat
about 5 years ago
I for the most part like what sfe is doing, I like work places that allow people a little freedom like dogs and a beer or two, as long as everything that needs to get done, gets done. However, I can find most of the items here for sale at a much lower price elsewhere. Its the markup that bothers me. But I know you have to make money somehow. It pains me to see some of the requests that people make here for parts that they can already get much cheaper if they would just use google a little smarter. The major thing that sfe is great for is break out boards. I remember being able to prototype just about anything on a breadboard without any soldering. Everything came in a throughhole package and with a little veroboard, you could build a working device with great ease. Now its a major pain to make anything without etching a board, where one misplaced trace can ruin your day. Or trying to solder things so tiny you can hardly even see them. Or without breaking out the hot plate. Having a board thats premade, and everything already mounted is wonderful, and really where I feel that I’m getting the most for my money.
about 5 years ago
I agree with the folks requesting longer strands, it would be nice. I’d also love to see these in a non-waterproofed version as well! I got a few of the “dinged” ones and (very carefully)peeled the potting material off of them myself (smells curiously like chocolate to me… No i didn’t taste any).
I found them to be much, much lighter without all the clear goo on them. They aren’t waterproof anymore of course, but I wasn’t planning on using them to bling out my boat in the first place. On the current draw issue, I would question the math on that, I think full current draw would mean having every LED in white mode. i.e. all 3 R-G-B leds x 32 on full blast. Since these are pulsed or PWM’d vs. CW, I’d assume the current to be much less most of the time. And if you have a fast controller, you could probably drop all the LED’s out for some period (faster than the eye can see of course) and get it even lower depending on how bright or dim you choose to make them. Since each color has a range of 255 steps, it would probably be pretty easy to crank them down anyway.
Hahaha, Yuck, yuck, yuck. I seeing all of you giving yourselves away to a communist nation of thieves . Warms me to the depths of my little heart. Can’t beat ‘em so join ‘em right? Can’t take a prototype into that place without coming back a year later to find it being sold everywhere un-licensed. China is a great place to pick up all kinds of counterfeit parts of all flavors. You at spark fun have even been burned yourselves right? Take JPL’s class on counterfeit parts sometime and see what it means to national defense (AMERICA’s) when you have to worry about mal-ware coming preinstalled on your widget or your system actually working because you thought you had a real working IC… but I’m sure all those delicious cheap parts are all opensource and aren’t hurting anyone right? Being someone that actually works the REAL electronics industry (vs. hobby, so in that you are excused to some extent) I am appalled at the glee you people take in thinking bottom line over the injustice and harm that heap is causing the rest of the world, its own people and the environment. You’ve already convinced yourselves you can’t get this stuff anywhere else, not for the money anyway. Re-label it made in America and it rights all wrongs. Even when you sell it at a huge mark-up over any of the rest of the distributors. Amazing.
Search - “The electronic wasteland” and watch the 6 minute video if you don’t see this as a problem.
The chinese government only let you see what they want you too, remember that when you see the clean factories.
News - E-Textiles Galore
about 6 years ago
Don’t read me wrong, its not the e-textiles I don’t like. Its the people pushing them. No, I can’t really say that because I don’t know the people behind them. I just don’t like the method of how they go about it and the weak mission statements being made. And I disagree, The little box does way more than entertainment, and it started off with a real purpose and then became something more fun. Not the other way around. Early computers were not just blinky boxes, they were built out of a deeper need for something, like lets decode the enemies messages and then evolved to the point you take them for granted. Do you really think the engineers at the early semicon companies were looking to build an blinky box just to be “cool”? pssh! But yeah, they led to atari and nintendo didn’t they? And yes, while you are at it, Stay off my damn lawn! early 30’s is so old!
I was an earlier doubter of the blinky aspect of the e-textile fans. I still am. I see it as pretty pointless for the common every day clothes to blink, or do much else besides keep me covered. I know when I’m hot, cold, wet, dry etc etc… My central air system knows too. Now if I had heart issue, high blood sugar or disease that could be diagnosed (and the simple wrist watch could/has solve/d that). Bring on the e-textiles. But why don’t you blikey kids take step back or two and think about what you need first. Washable / dryable electronics. You seem more focused on the fashion part (hey look at me, my shirt shows when im aroused! aren’t I cool?) than on the engineering part (and velcro attachment stuff is lame!). Thats what bugs me about the idea. You just want to be known for having something to do with the field in the future rather than really solving any of the major issues. And as far as that goes NASA has your asses beat by about 50 years. Outside of the raves and clubs this is useless junk. However, we’ll be seeing it in the kids section of wally-world next to the blinky shoes soon I’m sure.
News - Another Introduction to A…
about 6 years ago
Okay. Getting to hang out with like minded folks and play with electronics is cool. getting (sorta)free stuff, yeah thats nice too. I think there are a lot of electronics clubs across the states if not the world that would be a great place to go if you want to connect and learn some things and are not in the area of SparkFun. But a class on arduino? If you really can’t figure it out on your own, maybe you should first focus on learning which end of the soldering iron to pick up… jk. But i’m sure out of those same clubs you could find some help with one of the simplest micro’s to learn yet. Surely. And flying out to CO? for this class? really?
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