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Jimb0

Member Since: May 8, 2009

Country: United States

Profile

Bio

Grew up in Dillon, CO. Escaped CU-Boulder with a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Built some speakers for a while and eventually landed a sweet gig with SparkFun in ‘09.

Role

SparkFun Engineer/Content Creator

Spoken Languages

English, Espanol

Programming Languages

In order of competency: C/C++, Java, Javascript, Python. Once upon a time: QBASIC, Flash, Matlab, Perl

Universities

Summit High School University of Colorado - Boulder (B.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering 2007)

Expertise

Datasheets and schematics. Eagle PCB Design. SparkFun products!

Interests

Puppies, hiking, baseball, sci-fi,

Websites

http://www.sparkfun.com

Publications

Many SparkFun tutorials! I’ve written some pretty lengthy TS emails too.

How I taught my Amazon Echo to give me hyper-local weather reports

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Check out the new Blynk Board and the tutorials that have sprouted up around it.

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An overview of Espressif's sequel to the ESP8266 - a new WiFi/Bluetooth-enabled system-on-chip, with a massive GPIO count.

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In lieu of any cool, new project, I took on the task of updating documentation and example code for the MLX90614 IR Thermometer Evaluation Board (and shaved some yaks in the process).

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If you want to write code for the Particle Photon, an online, "cloud" IDE isn't your only option. Check out our "Photon Development Guide" to see how you can set up a Photon development environment of your own.

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Exploring sleep modes in two WiFi-connected development boards: the ESP8266 Thing and the Photon.

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Meet our new product line centered around Particle's Photon WiFi development board!

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The release of Arduino 1.6 has really improved my Arduino-programming life thanks to custom platform support, command line utilities and line numbers!

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I've been learning a lot about IoT protocols lately. Come learn the wonders of MQTT and CoAP!

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How will you be developing code for the Edison? Here are a few methods we're exploring!

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How and why I use markdown everyday, for all of my documenting needs.

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We're really excited about the MicroView -- a new Arduino compatible board with an integrated display! Check out why...

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First impressions of the Arduino/Intel-hybrid Galileo board - an x86 Arduino! - a small example project, and our likes and dislikes.

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Visual programming languages are a unique way to introduce tyro programmers to thinking like a programmer. Here are some of the great tools we've discovered that enable visual programming for Arduino.

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Check out what we've been doing in the tutorials section of learn.sparkfun.com.

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Tips and tricks to turn your drab PCB design into a snazzy work of art!

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Ultra-cool ultrasonic sensors are a perfect and simple way to add object or distance sensing to your project!

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Battery Babysitter Hookup Guide

June 23, 2016

An introduction and getting started guide for the Battery Babysitter - a flexible LiPo battery charger and monitor.

PIR Motion Sensor Hookup Guide

May 5, 2016

An overview of passive infrared (PIR) motion detecting sensors, and how to hook them up to an Arduino.

Force Sensitive Resistor Hookup Guide

May 5, 2016

How to hook a force-sensitive resistor up to an Arduino to measure pressure variances.

Sensor Kit Resource Hub

May 5, 2016

An overview of each component in the SparkFun Sensor Kit, plus links to tutorials and other resources you'll need to hook them up.

Flex Sensor Hookup Guide

May 5, 2016

An overview of the flex sensor - a bendable variable resistor. Plus, example circuits and Arduino code to get you started!

Piezo Vibration Sensor Hookup Guide

May 5, 2016

How to combine a piezo sensor, high-value resistor, and an Arduino to create a vibration sensor.

Photocell Hookup Guide

May 5, 2016

Hook a light-sensing photocell up to an Arduino to create an ambient light monitor.

Reed Switch Hookup Guide

May 5, 2016

Magnetically-actuated reed switches are the perfect component for non-contact proximity sensors. This tutorial provides a quick overview and example hook up.

QRD1114 Optical Detector Hookup Guide

May 5, 2016

Use this IR LED/phototransistor fusion to sense objects in close proximity or even the color of a surface!

SoftPot Hookup Guide

May 5, 2016

Equip your Arduino project with a sliding soft potentiometer to monitor position or adding linear control to your project.

Cherry MX Switch Breakout Hookup Guide

April 21, 2016

How to assemble and use the Cherry MX Switch Breakout, allowing you to turn a matrix of mechanical switches into a full-size keyboard!

Blynk Board Washer/Dryer Alarm

March 31, 2016

How to configure the Blynk Board and app to notify you when your washer or dryer is done shaking.

Blynk Board Arduino Development Guide

March 25, 2016

How to get your computer set up with Arduino and the Blynk Board hardware definitions -- so you can start creating Blynk projects of your own!

Blynk Board Project Guide

March 25, 2016

A series of Blynk projects you can set up on the Blynk Board without ever re-programming it.

Getting Started with the SparkFun Blynk Board

March 25, 2016

How to provision a Blynk Board - get it connected to Wi-Fi and Blynk, so you can start Blynking!

GPS Logger Shield Hookup Guide

February 11, 2016

How to assemble and hookup the SparkFun GPS Logger Shield. Never lose track of your Arduino again!

SAMD21 Mini/Dev Breakout Hookup Guide

November 12, 2015

An introduction to the Atmel ATSAMD21G18 microprocessor and our Mini and Pro R3 breakout boards. Level up your Arduino-skills with the powerful ARM Cortex M0+ processor.

ESP8266 Thing Development Board Hookup Guide

November 5, 2015

An overview of SparkFun's ESP8266 Thing Development Board - a development board for the Internet of...Things. This tutorial explains the circuitry driving the board, and how to get it up and running in an Arduino environment.

Raspberry gPIo

October 29, 2015

How to use either Python or C++ to drive the I/O lines on a Raspberry Pi.

MLX90614 IR Thermometer Hookup Guide

October 29, 2015

How to use the MLX90614 or our SparkFun IR Thermometer Evaluation Board to take temperatures remotely, over short distances.

SX1509 I/O Expander Breakout Hookup Guide

September 24, 2015

Learn how you can use the SX1509 to control 16 LEDs or up to 64 buttons with just two pins.

SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Photon Experiment Guide

September 3, 2015

Dive into the world of the Internet of Things with the SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Photon.

Photon RedBoard Hookup Guide

August 27, 2015

Your guide to commissioning, tinkering, and programming the SparkFun Photon RedBoard.

Photon Development Guide

August 20, 2015

A guide to the online and offline Particle IDE's to help aid you in your Photon development.

LSM9DS1 Breakout Hookup Guide

August 13, 2015

A hookup guide for the LSM9DS1, which features a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, and 3-axis magnetometer. It's an IMU-in-a-chip!

ESP8266 WiFi Shield Hookup Guide

July 16, 2015

Interface your Arduino with an ESP8266 to give it inexpensive access to your WiFi network and the Internet!

Photon Battery Shield Hookup Guide

July 2, 2015

The Photon Battery Shield has everything your Photon needs to run off, charge, and monitor a LiPo battery. Read through this hookup guide to get started using it.

Ardumoto Shield Kit Hookup Guide

July 2, 2015

Learn how to assemble and drive DC motors using the Ardumoto Shield.

Electric Imp Breakout Hookup Guide

June 25, 2015

An electric imp HUG! Provides an overview of the imp card and breakout. Both hardware and firmware subjects are covered.

How to Sell Your Widget on SparkFun

June 10, 2015

Have an awesome electronic widget that you want to get to market? We can help resell, or maybe even manufacture it! Find out how.

ESP8266 Thing Hookup Guide

May 21, 2015

An overview of SparkFun's ESP8266 Thing - a development board for the Internet of...Things. This tutorial explains the circuitry driving the board, and how to get it up and running in an Arduino environment.

MG2639 Cellular Shield Hookup Guide

May 7, 2015

Learn how to equip your Arduino with an MG2639 Cell Shield and use it to send SMS or TCP via GPRS.

MP3 Player Shield Hookup Guide V15

April 6, 2015

How to get your Arduino groovin' using the MP3 Player Shield.

Exploring XBees and XCTU

March 12, 2015

How to set up an XBee using your computer, the X-CTU software, and an XBee Explorer interface board.

SparkFun Blocks for Intel® Edison - OLED Block

February 13, 2015

A quick overview of the features of the OLED Block for the Edison.

Edison Getting Started Guide

December 5, 2014

An introduction to the Intel® Edison. Then a quick walk through on interacting with the console, connecting to WiFi, and doing...stuff.

Micro OLED Breakout Hookup Guide

October 30, 2014

Learn how to hook up the Micro OLED breakout to an Arduino. Then draw pixels, shapes, text and bitmaps all over it!

Installing a Bootloader on the MicroView

August 22, 2014

Fix your bootloader-less MicroView! This tutorial covers how to: disassemble the MicroView, wire it up to an assortment of programmers, program the bootloader, and test it out.

Digital Sandbox Experiment Guide

July 31, 2014

Your guide to the Digital Sandbox! 16+ experiments that, using a graphical programming language, teach you to blink LEDs, monitor microphones, read temperature, and much more.

Digital Sandbox Arduino Companion

July 31, 2014

Let's take the same examples from the ArduBlock-based Digital Sandbox guide, and implement them using Arduino code.

Alternative Arduino Interfaces

July 29, 2014

We admit the Arduino IDE isn't for everyone. Here are some other options for programming your Arduino boards, including web interfaces and graphical programming languages.

Pushing Data to Data.SparkFun.com

July 8, 2014

A grab bag of examples to show off the variety of routes your data can take on its way to a Data.SparkFun.com stream.

Pocket AVR Programmer Hookup Guide

July 7, 2014

Skip the bootloader and load your program directly onto an AVR with the AVR Pocket Programmer.

Transistors

July 1, 2014

A crash course in bi-polar junction transistors. Learn how transistors work and in which circuits we use them.

Internet Datalogging With Arduino and XBee WiFi

June 19, 2014

How to combine an Arduino, XBee WiFi module, and handful of sensors to create a live stream of "Office Conditions". Storing light, temperature, carbon-monoxide, and methane (for science!) readings on the Internet.

MMA8452Q Accelerometer Breakout Hookup Guide

June 11, 2014

How to get started using the MMA8452Q 3-axis accelerometer -- a solid, digital, easy-to-use acceleration sensor.

XBee Shield Hookup Guide

June 5, 2014

How to get started with an XBee Shield and Explorer. Create a remote-control Arduino!

LiPo USB Charger Hookup Guide

May 1, 2014

How to charge your LiPo batteries with the USB LiPo charger. Plus how to modify your charger to set the charge current.

Arduino Wireless Communication via the Electric Imp

April 8, 2014

How to communicate between an Electric Imp and Arduino using serial.

LogicBlocks & Digital Logic Introduction

March 31, 2014

Introducing fundamental digital logic concepts and LogicBlocks

LogicBlocks Experiment Guide

March 31, 2014

Experiments guide for the LogicBlocks kit. Build oscillators, latches, multiplexers and more with the LogicBlocks.

Hexadecimal

March 20, 2014

How to interpret hex numbers, and how to convert them to/from decimal and binary.

LSM9DS0 Hookup Guide

February 27, 2014

How to assemble, connect to, and use the LSM9DS0 -- an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer all-in-one.

How to Use an Oscilloscope

February 25, 2014

How to work the dials and buttons on an oscilloscope, and a glossary of the o-scope lexicon.

MaKey MaKey Quickstart Guide

February 6, 2014

Be stoked! The world is your construction kit. How to turn everyday objects into computer inputs with the MaKey MaKey.

MaKey MaKey Advanced Guide

February 6, 2014

Use Arduino to remap keys and program the MaKey MaKey.

Galileo Unread Email Counter

January 30, 2014

How to create a simple unread-email checker with the Intel/Arduino Galileo.

Galileo Getting Started Guide

January 23, 2014

An introduction to the Arduino/Intel Galileo, and how to begin using the nifty x86, 400MHz Arduino.

Dot/Bar Display Driver Hookup Guide

January 16, 2014

How to hook up the LM3914 or LM3916 to drive a 10-LED display with a lone analog signal.

RedBoard Hookup Guide

January 7, 2014

How to get your RedBoard up-and-blinking!

Setting up Raspbian (and DOOM!)

December 19, 2013

How to load a Raspberry Pi up with Raspbian -- the most popular Pi Linux distribution. Then download, compile, install and run the classic: Doom.

RGB Panel Hookup Guide

December 12, 2013

Make bright, colorful displays using the 32x32 and 32x16 RGB LED panels. This hookup guide shows how to hook up these panels and control them with an Arduino.

XBee WiFi Hookup Guide

November 21, 2013

An overview of Digi's WiFi XBees, and a quick how-to on getting them connected and interfacing with the cloud.

Graphic LCD Hookup Guide

November 18, 2013

How to add some flashy graphics to your project with a 84x48 monochrome graphic LCD.

Arduino Comparison Guide

November 11, 2013

Examining the diverse world of Arduino boards.

Pro Micro & Fio V3 Hookup Guide

November 8, 2013

An overview of the Pro Micro, how to install it, and how to use it with Arduino.

Tiny AVR Programmer Hookup Guide

October 28, 2013

A how-to on the Tiny AVR Programmer. How to install drivers, hook it up, and program your favorite Tiny AVRs using AVRDUDE!

Bi-Directional Logic Level Converter Hookup Guide

October 25, 2013

An overview of the Bi-Directional Logic Level Converter, and some example circuits to show how it works.

IR Control Kit Hookup Guide

October 2, 2013

How to get the most out of the IR receivers and transmitters included in the IR Control Kit.

LED Light Bar Hookup

September 24, 2013

A quick overview of SparkFun's LED light bars, and some examples to show how to hook them up.

Using the BlueSMiRF

September 16, 2013

How to get started using the BlueSMiRF and Bluetooth Mate Silvers.

Serial Terminal Basics

September 9, 2013

This tutorial will show you how to communicate with your serial devices using a variety of terminal emulator applications.

How to Install and Setup EAGLE

September 5, 2013

Not just how to download and install EAGLE, but how to install the SparkFun EAGLE Libraries and scripts.

Using the Arduino Pro Mini 3.3V

September 5, 2013

This tutorial is your guide to all things Arduino Pro Mini. It explains what it is, what it's not, and how to get started using it.

Using EAGLE: Schematic

September 5, 2013

How to design a PCB in EAGLE using through-hole parts.

Using EAGLE: Board Layout

September 5, 2013

Part 2 of the Using Eagle tutorials, this one covers how to lay out a board after designing a schematic.

Using the Logic Level Converter

September 5, 2013

What the Logic Level Converter is, how it works, and how to use it!

ProtoSnap LilyPad Development Simple Hookup Guide

September 5, 2013

Interested in getting into LilyPad? Or maybe it's Arduino that tickles your fancy? Just want to add a little white-blinky-LED zest to your vest? All of the above? The ProtoSnap LilyPad Simple is a great tool to explore any of these subjects.

Bluetooth Basics

August 26, 2013

An overview of the Bluetooth wireless technology.

MetaWatch Teardown and Arduino Hookup

August 13, 2013

Tearing down the nifty bluetooth-enabled MetaWatch. Then building an Arduino sketch to control it.

Using the Serial 7-Segment Display

August 13, 2013

How to quickly and easily set up the Serial 7-Segment Display and the Serial 7-Segment Display Shield.

ATmega128RFA1 Dev Board Hookup Guide

August 8, 2013

A hookup example guide for SparkFun's ATmega128RFA1 Development Board. Includes a schematic/board overview and explanation, and example code.

RedBoard vs. Uno

August 6, 2013

In this tutorial we discuss the differences and similarities between the RedBoard and the Arduino Uno (SMD and PTH). The development platforms

Arduino Shields

August 6, 2013

All things Arduino Shields. What they are and how to assemble them.

WS2812 Breakout Hookup Guide

July 24, 2013

How to create a pixel string with the WS2812!

Analog vs. Digital

July 18, 2013

This tutorial covers the concept of analog and digital signals, as they relate to electronics.

Integrated Circuits

July 15, 2013

An introduction to integrated circuits (ICs). Electronics' ubiquitous black chips. Includes a focus on the variety of IC packages.

How to Read a Schematic

July 12, 2013

An overview of component circuit symbols, and tips and tricks for better schematic reading. Click here, and become schematic-literate today!

Electric Power

June 26, 2013

An overview of electric power, the rate of energy transfer. We'll talk definition of power, watts, equations, and power ratings. 1.21 gigawatts of tutorial fun!

Capacitors

June 19, 2013

Learn about all things capacitors. How they're made. How they work. How they look. Types of capacitors. Series/parallel capacitors. Capacitor applications.

Polarity

June 14, 2013

An introduction to polarity in electronic components. Discover what polarity is, which parts have it, and how to identify it.

What is Electricity?

June 13, 2013

We can see electricity in action on our computers, lighting our houses, as lighting strikes in thunderstorms, but what is it? This is not an easy question, but in this tutorial we will shed some light on what is electricity!

Si4707 Hookup Guide

May 29, 2013

Instructions on hooking up to and communicating with the Si4707 Weather Band Radio Breakout using an Arduino.

Where Do I Start?

May 23, 2013

New to the world of electronics? Start here! Find the best tutorials that teach the basics and check out the very best kits and projects for beginners.

Diodes

May 9, 2013

A diode primer! Diode properties, types of diodes, and diode applications.

Switch Basics

May 7, 2013

A tutorial on electronics most over-looked and under-appreciated component. The switch! Explaining the difference between momentary and maintained switches. And what all those acronyms (NO, NC, SPDT, SPST, ...) stand for.

Resistors

April 1, 2013

A tutorial on all things resistors. What is a resistor, how do they behave in parallel/series, decoding the resistor color codes, and resistor applications.

Voltage Dividers

February 8, 2013

Turn a large voltage into a smaller one with voltage dividers.

Binary

February 7, 2013

Binary is the numeral system of electronics, and widely used in programming...so it must be important to learn. But, what is binary? How does it translate to other numeral systems like the decimal we're used to?

Serial Communication

December 18, 2012

Asynchronous serial communication concepts: packets, signal levels, baud rates, UARTs and more!
  • You need ground on one pin and a pull-up resistor on the other (in the most common hookup, at least.) As an example: ground pin 2 and put a pull-up resistor on pin 1. Then monitor pin 1 – if it’s low, the switch is activated, otherwise it’ll be high.

    • They Babysitter’s charge rate is ultimately limited by what your supply can deliver. So in your example, the battery would charge at a max of 500mA.
    • The BQ24075’s max output current is 5A, which the board should be able to handle. It should be able to pull the ~2A from the battery and deliver it to the V<sub>OUT</sub> pin for your GSM module.
    • I haven’t fully measured the sleep mode current, but looking at the quiescent currents for both chips is a good place to start. The BQ27441 will consume anywhere between <1 to ~100µA, depending on the mode. And the BQ24075 will pull <10µA. You could also disable the power indicator LED by cutting SJ5 to save a big chunk of power.
  • Yes, both chips support Li-Ion batteries. As long as they’re single cell batteries, with a voltage max around 4.2V, they should work just find with the board.

  • It should be well-protected against a lower-than-specced input voltages. If the input voltage is below the battery voltage, the BQ24075 will essentially disconnect the input supply from the battery-charging and output sections. There’s also an an undervoltage lock-out feature, which shuts the chip off if the input voltage dips below ~3.3V. (More on that in section 9.3.1-2 of the BQ24075 datasheet.)

    The Sunny Buddy might be up your alley, if you’re looking for a more solar cell-specific LiPo charger.

  • It could work…if you isolate both chargers from each other. You’d need separate USB/VIN supplies for each charger - they couldn’t share a ground. That’d mean the fuel gauges wouldn’t share a ground either, though, so you’d need separate controllers to read from each monitor (assuming you need those for your application).

  • It can definitely charge one of those 6Ah batteries. It won’t be able to reach the max charge current (6A), but the 1.5A charge rate would still work its magic a lot faster than our USB chargers.

    The ICs on this board only work with single-cell LiPo’s (with voltage ranging from ~3.6-4.2V), so you won’t be able to use it to charge a pair of LiPo’s in series.

  • I estimated those values using the graphs in the FSR integration guide (figure’s 3 and 4) - trying to linear-ize those curves. Those equations could use a lot of fine-tuning, but they at least produce usable data.

  • Yup, it’s just a few-line change here in Variants.h.

  • Glad you got it all working!

    The Blynk Arduino library includes a few examples which might help you get started developing your own code. Check out the ESP8266_Standalone sketch under the File > Examples > Blynk > BoardsAndShields menu. That’s a great skeleton - the bare minimum you’d need to start your own Blynk project. The hardware pins (0, 5, ADC, etc.) will work out of the box with that sketch, then you can start mixing in NeoPixels, virtual variables, and other sensors.

  • The board’s WS2812 is powered at 3.3V as well - cuts it close on the blue LED forward voltage, but eliminates any undervoltage potential on the DIN line. The datasheet’s I’ve seen for the WS2812 recommend a minimum of 0.7VDD for a high, so 3.3V might be a little dicey going into a 5V-powered LED.

    I had the board driving a 1m LED Strip (60 LEDs). Current was lower than I’d expect (~890mA) when all LEDs were set to max, so I suspect the regulator was dragging it down. I wouldn’t recommend that many LEDs (or more) without cutting the “WS2812 VCC” jumper and supplying the LED power externally - and, in that case, supplying the LEDs with a LiPo or something a bit less than 5V would probably be safest.