Member Since: March 28, 2015

Country: United States

  • The boards from the original crowdfunding campaign were black. The full production boards are green to distinguish them from the crowdfunded ones. Same design, just without the early adopter cachet.

  • The WLC100 in the current kit seems like a step backwards. It's a variable power iron but does not have closed loop temperature control, the feature that really takes soldering to the next level.

  • 3.3V (clearly marked!) means that it won't be a great add-on for the majority of Arduino projects; the user would have to inconveniently add level shifters. But it's a great fit for a Raspberry Pi, or for the newer ARM-based Arduino boards that run at 3.3V.

  • 144.390 MHz is only used for APRS in North America, and in Colombia and Indonesia. Other frequencies are used in other parts of the world, so this module will not be suitable for use elsewhere. Sparkfun only sells the North American version, but Radiometrix (the manufacturer of the module) has other versions for Europe, Africa, and Australia.

    You can find more info about APRS at http://www.aprs.org/

  • Our surplus stores in the Boston area are all victims of changing times, diminishing availability of things to sell (partly because of the decline of electronics manufacturing in the area), and rising real estate values. Eli Heffron and Sons in Cambridge and Meshna in Lynn are among the late and lamented. Electronic Surplus Services in Manchester NH, an hour's drive away, is still surviving: http://www.esssurplus.com/

  • That's true if you're creating standard SD cards that can be read on any system. But SD cards used with Linux, including on the Pi, often contain file systems other than the ones that are part of the SD standard (which are FAT, FAT32, and exFAT). You can't create those non-FAT file systems with the official formatting software from the SD Association.

    The fact that exFAT is used for cards larger than 32GB is the reason that many systems don't officially support SDXC cards. The licensing for SDXC is costly... but not because the SDXC license itself is costly, but because support of exFAT is mandatory and requires a non-free license from Microsoft. The license for SD (any format) is $1,000 per year, or free if you only implement SPI mode. (The SD readers on Arduino shields are SPI-only and thus avoid the cost of the license.) The hardware in the Pi (at least from the B+ on, I haven't tried the original version) actually works just fine with large SDXC cards, but it can't claim SDXC support because of the lack of an exFAT license.

    If you HAVE created multiple partitions on your SD card that include non-FAT file systems, you can't reformat the card back to its full capacity with the official formatter. Sometimes the only way I've been able to do it is to use DD to write zeroes to the card (or at least the beginning of it) to wipe out the partition table. After that, you can use any software (including the official formatter) to create partitions on it normally.

  • I want one where the choices are Red Lobster, Long John Silver, Captain D's, and Legal Sea Foods. (Actually I'd localize my choices for Boston but I want you folks elsewhere to get it.) Weird Al fans will understand.

  • The newsletter blurb for this says "be bolder with your solder". Must have been written by a Brit (they say SOUL-durr); the rhyme doesn't work in American English (where we say "SOD-durr").

    Aside from that, great video. And +1 for ChipQuik; the stuff isn't cheap but it's a life-saver for removing difficult components.

  • I'm not surprised at the strong showing for software people. People who spend all their work time in the abstract space of software often enjoy doing something a bit more concrete in their spare time. And with the widespread use of microcontrollers there really isn't such a thing as a pure hardware or pure software project in the maker space any more, and the software can be where the majority of the development time and effort go.

  • Nope. An MCU doesn't include dual 100 MHz DACs and ADCs. Those parts aren't cheap.

    Perhaps the most directly comparable competitor is Red Pitaya. But it doesn't have the overvoltage-tolerant I/O pins that this does - it would need an accessory board to make it suitable for use as a general purpose logic analyzer.

No public wish lists :(