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July 5, 2006
News - Caption Contest: The AVC …
about 4 months ago
Sharknado 5 - Sharks' learn to drive
News - Nate the Engineer part II…
about 6 months ago
Can’t wait to see the future direction of Sparkfun. I have been a long time customer and plan on being one for many years to come. Word of advise on laser cutting. Calculate how much the beam removes from the material or all your holes will be over sized =).
News - Enginursday: Even a child…
about 7 months ago
Thank you for my laughs today. I went to their website and looked up circuit repair alone and couldn’t stop laughing. My favorite is either the woman holding the soldering iron in the hot zone or the Test lead from a DMM being used to solder with.
News - T³: Etching your own cir…
about 8 months ago
This is actually how i used to make transparent circuit boards. i glue thin copper to cell cast acrylic and then etch. Then you get a transparent board. Sometimes I even over achieve and plate the copper with silver or nickel. These days I cheat though and use my LPFK protomat.
News - Enginursday: A new and im…
about 10 months ago
What ULP are you using in EAGLE CAD for the Vector graphics. I run into the same problem using the BMP importer.
News - Engineering as depicted i…
about 11 months ago
Not all engineers are given that freedom. I work for a smaller engineering company where only a few of us are engineers and the bean counters make the decisions including the dress code!
News - March Caption Contest
about 11 months ago
OK, Flip the breaker!
News - Enginursday: On the 555 T…
about 11 months ago
One thing your over looking is that a 555 timer is a CMOS component and has a wide input operating range. you can get 555 times that work from 1.5VDC on up. I’ve use them all the way to 16VDC in applications. You can not do that without lots of extra circuity and a higher cost in all three of your examples above. I agree there are many niche applications for a 555 timer but that aside it is a very powerful chip to know how to use and shouldn’t be removed from your bag of tricks if you ever live outside the TTL range. The time taken to do the math calculations to use a 555 timer can be far shorter then the time to code and program an ATtiny as well.
News - Headers or No Headers?
In short, it’s a value add service to me. In an increasingly growing market of competition setting yourself above or in line with your competitors is key. If the headers come with the product its less hassle and less work to track them down. It also feels like an incomplete dev kit to me if I have to purchase parts to make it work separately. I understand soldering them on is a secondary process in manufacturing and I DFM(design for manufacturing) for my day job every day so I see the appeal to leave them off as a company. I really think throwing them in the bag is a huge value add and in the quantities bought are usually dirt cheap. If I don’t have to go looking for header pins in my lab or spend an extra buck or 2 on them I feel that is a huge value add and time savings for me. A perfect example of this is an Arduino shield. I rarely double stack shields and if I buy a shield I’m going to be attaching it to an Arduino. Why would I want to find header pins just to use it.
I think of most stuff sparkfun sells as a dev kit. I rarely if ever embedded a BOB, dev board, etc into a final project. I produce my own boards for all final products. With that said I prefer the header pins on the board. I can quickly de-solder them when they are in my way but I really like a breadboard footprint with headers for all my dev boards and breakout boards. Bare minimum throw the headers in a bag. I find too many time I’m short 1-2 pins in my stash of headers laying around in my lab to complete a board when i really need it. It is a convenience of not having to look around the lab to find pins or scavenge them from something. When I open the bag if they aren’t on the board and aren’t in the bag the dev kit might sit unused for a long time. Soldering a bunch of wires on to prove in something just isn’t why i buy a dev kit or breakout board.
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