SparkFun will be closed for Memorial Day (5/30). Orders placed after 2pm MT on Friday (5/27) will process and ship out on Tuesday (5/31).


Member Since: September 25, 2006

Country: United States



carbon based biology

(expect more flippant answers like the one above - the need that some people have to chronicle their lives to complete strangers over the Internet is simply bizarre - get a real life and delete all those TwitSpaceFace accounts, ok? Unless, of course, you just like your potential employer being able to get answers to all those questions which it would be illegal for them to put on an employment application.)


cinnamon with frosting (Sister Schubert’s frozen heat and eat)


rarely, my desk is a mess

Spoken Languages

Curmudgeon, Mumble, Mutter, Curse, Invective, Excoriation, some English

Programming Languages

microcode, mind-machine interface, fat-finger, paper tape


new jersey and bad smells, new york and loud-mouthed nitwits, chocolate and cake, hot solder and intense pain











  • Glad to see the addition of isolation from the frame. Carbide needs to do the same thing on their board that they are shipping with the Shapeoko 3 machines. Instead, they have added an embarrassingly kludgey oversize filter capacitor. I suspect it would have been adequate simply to have not shared the controller’s ground with that of the router motor/spindle, although I admit that I have not tested this hypothesis. Perhaps they did, and I am wrong.

    But there are several things that don’t thrill me about their controller, so I am considering switching to this one. It probably means that I can’t use their software any more, but I think I can live with that.

  • All that aside, and not meaning to criticize you or the Sherline, a Bridgeport Knee Mill and a Sherline column micro-mill have a relationship that is similar to that of a Kenworth and the new Mini Cooper Tiny Truck http://www.chron.com/cars/article/Mini-Cooper-s-new-tiny-truck-is-awesome-5436328.php . Both are kind of neat, and have similar functions, but are in totally different classes. Still, as the owner of various Chinese machine tools, I’m not in a position to be throwing rocks at anybody ; ) . Regards.

  • Chamnit, The Sherline is a knee mill?!? I think you must have Sherline confused with Bridgeport. Sherline does not make anything close to a knee (C frame) mill, which would typically have a mass which is probably 50 times that of the diminutive Sherline bench-top column micro-mill. Knee mills have an X-Y table which can be moved up and down on an adjustable knee, and they are big - about the biggest mill you would expect to see in even a very well equipped home shop.

  • You’ll get a lot more speeding tickets, and the paint will fade if you park it in the sun. : )

  • Hmm, very interesting. If only Sparkfun accepted BTC, Santa Claus' official currency (one area where Adafruit has an edge).

    Questions: What sort of accuracy and repeatability can we expect? I realize that the spindle is involved in that equation, so any specs on the two different routers (DeWalt/Porter) ? Finally, given that this is Sparkfun, what kind of pitch have you been able to reliably obtain milling PCBs ? Do you have a recommended bit for this application?

    Christmas elves want to know ; )

  • I understand the potential value of being able to push updates, and I’m certainly not casting aspersions on this hardware. But I don’t see any elegance in the move to a cloud based dev platform. None of the functionality which you are pointing to requires that the development environment itself be in the cloud, and it is to that largely pointless hobbling I aver an objection.

    While I’m not going to cut off my nose to spite my face when the cloud is the answer, privacy and security concerns make me leery of cloud solutions. In the case of moving the development environment to the cloud, my concerns are somewhat less about privacy and security, and more about adding non-useful layers to my work environment. I spent much of this past Monday without Internet access, but the outage had no impact on my ability to work. That is just the way I like it, so “no thanks” to cloud coding. ; )

    P.S. I very rarely use Arduino of any color board.

  • This is clearly a great program, and I don’t want to throw stones, but a learning opportunity is apparently being missed. Part of being a good engineer or scientist is communicating about your work clearly and effectively. It would be great if they could include a technical writing component so that the kids could overcome the tendency to use statements like, “This was the first year that we done[sic] it.”

    I spent several demanding but delightful (volunteer) years running a technology exploration program at an experiential K through 12 school, and we found that this sort of multi-discipline approach was very effective. Technology is fun for both the teacher and the student. In the midst of that fun you can slip in a fair bit of “boring” subjects like history, math, and grammar without the kids even realizing that they are also enjoying stuff they normally complain about taking. Technology is great, and I have spent a lifetime involved with tech and science, but we owe it to young people to help them become well rounded and fully functional people who can achieve their full potential. Properly applied, technology can be a great means to that end.

    Kudos to Sparkfun and all the others who make technology accessible to those who haven’t got the resources to “roll their own”. You do a lot to make these sorts of activities possible.

  • Let me second Member #679961’s objection to cloud based software development. It simply adds another layer of things to encumber the development process with no discernible benefit. I don’t get the fascination some people seem to have with moving essentially local tasks off of their computer and into the cloud. It is a bit like falling so in love with using wrenches that you start using them to drive nails. /rant mode off

  • Ah, so the end justifies the means? Nice.

    Until a court of law agrees that a product is violative of someone’s IP, it isn’t proven to be violative, and you are limited as to your options (negotiate, complain loudly, petition the courts for redress).

    Until a court of law sanctions a punitive course of action as a remedy for violative conduct, you had best not pursue it, as you are likely to be found liable for any harm that flows from your actions.

    Frustrating though it may be, you just don’t get to decide for yourself that something is violative, and then apply a remedy of your own choosing.

    And this, dear ones, is why Apple and Samsung don’t have ninjas assassinating one another’s senior management, although they may have both considered that option over a late night round of brandy and cigars. ;^)

  • You will find that disclaimer on all sorts of parts from all sorts of manufacturers in spite of the fact that they know their parts are routinely used in such settings. It is CYA boilerplate, and since there is frequently no mechanism to ensure that designers have been informed of it, nor a formal licensing process in place for many users of these parts, there is no sure way to know how any particular jurisdiction will view such a disclaimer. In other words, I wouldn’t rely on it - especially if I were committing an overt and legally dubious act which was intended to cause a failure. Judges and juries tend to take an uncharitable view of such behaviors.

No public wish lists :(