Member Since: May 19, 2014

Country: United States

  • It would make sense to me to have a potentiometer that the user can adjust to set the stopping distances.

    Also on that note, you can get a finer idea of placement by having two (or more) lights lit sometimes. For instance, you can have the transition pattern be something similar to the table below. (Distances can be set by hard-coded values or by potentiometers)

    Green Yellow Red Status
    X X X Not Detected
    X Detected
    X X 'a' feet to go
    X 'b' feet to go
    X X 'c' feet to go
    X All Stop!
  • You can happily go your own way and buy direct from China. I know that all of us do it on occasion, despite buying from SparkFun and loving them.

    However, you should seriously consider the other resources that SparkFun brings to the table. They not only sell a product but do a lot of other things. Consider:

    • They write tutorials and learning guides.

    • They write libraries and code snippets.

    • They take returns in a reasonable amount of time and for a reasonable cost.

    • They winnow out most, if not all, the bad products and suppliers from China. (I worked for a similar company, and I can't tell you how many times we'd order LEDs or resistors or similar and end up with a box of shoes, or women's dresses, etc. because some supplier in China was way more focused on getting a pallet on a ship instead of getting the right product to a customer)

    • They have forums and comment sections, like this one, and allow civil conversations and networking with similar people.

    • They provide products not available anywhere else.

    • They provide competitions and exhibitions where makers can come together and have fun and learn.

    • They teach classes and provide teachers with learning and teaching materials, thereby fostering a new generation to learn and grow.

    I'm sure others can add many other items to this list. I should also note that most of this is free. As in, they don't require that you buy their products to compete, use their code, etc.

    I challenge you to find a Chinese company that has all of these things (many for free) that SparkFun does/has for the maker/hacker/educational communities. If you can find that, then maybe I will join you and no longer purchase from SparkFun. Until then, I'm more than happy to pay a couple extra cents, or dollars, for most of my electronics to support good Americans trying to make the communities they love a better place.

  • What gauge wire is inside this?

  • I came here to ask the exact same question. I'd love to see the results of pointing two of these LIDAR modules directly at one another and trying to measure the distance.

    Seeing as I don't have $300+ to spend to do this test, maybe SparkFun could do a quick one. =)

  • How many of the instruments (fluke, scope, power supply, etc.) did you bring with you to the job, and how many of them did SparkFun provide?

    I ask because I find I tend to bring my tools to work a lot. If others like them, we tend to re-buy them for work. Sounds like your workbench is very similar.

  • The table with the prices is very wonky. The top line of prices always displays in two lines, making it nearly impossible to tell what prices are associated with which products. Just FYI

  • I've been working on something similar to this actually. Everyone knows about BB-8, right? Well, one of the big problems with reconstructions is that the head is heavy and almost always pretty dumb. Using magnetism and wireless power transfer, you can add a camera and some image processing to the head unit without adding a battery or lots of weight.

    I've proved you can power a Raspberry Pi Zero ( from a very basic wireless power module, and am currently working on making my own module to tailor the range to my actual robot. Coupled with a "floating head" I hope to have BB-8 run autonomously.

  • I only saw you doing tests at 90 degrees. Did you do any tests at oblique angles? How well do the tests perform at oblique angles compared to an interior wall? In many cases, the sensors are not going to have that perfect 90 degree angle on the hay bales, so knowing what the valid range (as in the valid angle) for the sensor is is very important. Otherwise, you might as well just use bump sensors and GPS waypoints.

  • Very very cool write up!

    I wonder if you could use a laser cutter to cut out sections of the plastic and then laminate your unsoldered, un-masked, PCB and try and use it as a solder mask. With such a low temperature resistance, I'm not sure how that would hold up.

    I should also mention that I've seen this method for covering capacitive touch boards before.

  • That is what I was thinking would be the case, but I had to ask. I wonder if anyone from SparkFun would be willing to stick the modules to a breadboard and use both a rubber duck antenna and a whip antenna and post a video talking about what the respective outputs look like on a spectrum analyzer compared to a module without an antenna. Granted, it would be tons better if the product were on it's own pcb instead of a breadboard, but that isn't going to happen.

No public wish lists :(