Member Since: August 25, 2009

Country: United States

  • Having problems with this board? There’s a great writeup here…
    …explaining many of the problems people have and how to fix them. No idea if SparkFun is going to address the problems on the boards they have in stock or simply wait until they sell the current inventory, but I’m guessing the latter. Of course, they might never address the problems, so check out the webpage so you can do the work yourself.

  • Sparkfun PCB Designers,
    While I appreciate having mounting holes on a PCB, they are of no value if there isn’t room for the screw head. Try putting a screw or bolt through the hole that is big enough to not fall through, and you’ll find that it contacts the headers at the end. If that bolt is grounded and hits the Vin pin, very bad things happen.
    I recommend that SparkFun take a look at every PCB they make and update the mounting holes. I suggest a 1/8" hole surrounded by a ¼" clearance area for the screw head. Only then will the mounting holes be useful and safe.
    Also, how about having having the legends for the header pins all be readable from the same orientation? Having to turn the board 180 degrees to read the legends on the opposite side of the board is a huge pain. I honestly can’t imagine the designer who thought that having the legends flipped 180 degrees vertically was a good idea. If it looks bad on the PC screen while you’re designing it, then it won’t get any better when put into production.
    Finally, I’d suggest putting the product ID on the board so that users can determine what it is at a glance. For example, all the MP3 breakout boards look similar. I wouldn’t have to grab the the magnifier headgear to check out the part number if it was silkscreened on the PCB somewhere.

  • The proper pinout from top to bottom should read:
    * GND (Ground)
    * RNG (Ring)
    * RSH (Ring Shunt)
    * TIP (Tip)
    * TSH (Tip Shunt)
    Basically, the only label they got right is ground.
    Hey, Sparkfun, how about posting an errata here on the site and including one with your order if you buy the part? Is it really necessary to make everyone do the work of breaking out the continuity checker to determine that the board is pretty much completely mislabeled?

  • How exactly does enabling some I/O lines on a USB chip turn it into “a rudimentary microcontroller” ? Can you program the chip to run standalone programs out of memory?
    Then it’s not a microcontroller. It’s a USB based I/O expander.

  • The Marketplace sounds like a good idea in theory, but in practice you get guys like “Brad Ackerman”. He put his “Clock face 8-digit I2C” up for sale with this description:
    I have not yet verified this board in real life. If you have one made up and it sucks, that’s life.
    Gee, Brad, thanks for that. You not only can’t be bothered to test the design, but you tell me tough luck if it turns out you suck at electronic design. Wow. Great. You go little Mr. Entrepreneur.
    Yeah, I know I don’t have to buy this dope’s board. That’s not the point. The point is that you’re going to have to wade through lots of useless crap like this to find anything that might be useful. Marketplace sounds kind of half baked as a concept. Looking for version 2.0 in the future.

No public wish lists :(