Monthly Archives: July 2016

Friday Product Post: Nine Two Five Zero

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

Hello, and welcome to another Friday Product Post! We have a very short list this week thanks to the midsummer slowdown, as well as half of us out on vacations or work retreats. Never fear, though; we are currently working on quite a few new projects to help you get ready for the new school year! Without further ado, let’s jump in and find out what we have for you this week.

It has been awhile since we have come out with a new 9 Degrees of Freedom (9DoF) board, but we really think this one is special!

SparkFun IMU Breakout - MPU-9250

$ 14.95

This new MPU-9250 Breakout features lower power consumption, smaller size and better value than its predecessor. This breakout has been designed to be smaller than some of our other offerings to fit in smaller projects. However, if you plan to use a breadboard, or to secure the IMU board to a project with something like epoxy, the mounting holes can be easily snapped off.

The MPU-9250 replaces the popular EOL MPU-9150 and decreases power consumption by 44 percent. According to InvenSense, “Gyro noise performance is 3x better, and compass full-scale range is over 4x better than competitive offerings.” The MPU-9250 uses 16-bit Analog-to-Digital Converters (ADCs) for digitizing all nine axes, making it a very stable 9DOF board.

Make Sure to Check Out the MPU-9250 Breakout Guide!

Alright, folks, that’s it for this week – just a tiny IMU breakout with a lot of power! Be sure to come back next Friday to see what we have been diligently working on bringing you. See you then!

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Uploading the New and Improved ClockTHREE Jr. Code

via WyoLum Blog

Hello! My last blog was about updating the ClockTHREE Jr. software, however, today I will be writing about the process of uploading the code all the way from the Arduino IDE to the master GitHub repository. Once I got the hang of it, the process was as easy as printing “Hello World” with Python.

  1. First, I downloaded Git on my Ubuntu Linux computer using the command “sudo apt get update” and then “sudo apt-get install git.” However, you can also just install it from the URL listed here:
  2. The, I logged into my own GitHub account and opened up the Wyloum repository. From there, I clicked the ClockTHREE Jr. tab.
  3. Once there, I forked the repository by pressing the (Well what do you know?) “Fork” button in the top right corner. This created a branch of the master Wyolum ClockTHREEJr repository in my own account. I did this so I can freely modify the code without affecting the master repository.

Screenshot from 2016-07-24 15-59-47

4. After clicking the Fork button, I went back to my personal account and I had the forked repository as rohanius/ClockTHREEjr. Next I cloned this repository to my hard drive. I did this by copying the git link by pressing the green button labeled “Clone or Download” (Make sure that when you push the button, the words “Clone with HTTPS” appear, not “Clone with SSH”).

Screenshot from 2016-07-24 16-37-52

5. I then opened a terminal and made sure that it was currently pointing to my “projects” folder (make sure next to the original line it says /projects). After that, type in “git clone”. This cloned the repository to my hard drive and created a folder in my “projects” folder and named it the same name as the repository – ClockTHREEjr

Screenshot from 2016-07-24 16-08-31

6. I was then able to edit the code as I pleased in my local repository.

7. After accordingly editing the code (which I explained in my previous blog), After compiling and testing that my code changes worked, I opened the terminal once again and changed the current directory to be /home/rohan/projects/ClockTHREEjr

8. In that directory, I typed “git commit -a -m “Updated code for Arduino 1.6.9”. This command committed all my local changes to the local git repository that I had cloned.

Screenshot from 2016-07-24 16-17-42

“-a” means “all the files in that directory that have been modified” and “-m” just allowed me to type a small message once I committed the code.

9. After committing the code, I simply pushed it to my GitHub repository using the command “git push”

Screenshot from 2016-07-24 16-19-54

10. Finally, I went back to my GitHub repository (rohanius/ClockTHREEJr.) and clicked the pull request tab. From there, I made a new pull request for the original owner of the ClockTHREE Jr. repository. Mr. Shaw was then able to pull all my changed and merge them to the master ClockTHREE Jr. repository.

Screenshot from 2016-07-24 16-23-37

Pololu relay module used in custom ESP8266-based plant watering system

via Pololu Blog

Forum user LuisLabMO posted about his WiFi-controlled plant watering and monitoring system. The system uses SparkFun’s Blynk ESP8266 board to read various sensors that monitor sunlight, moisture content of the soil, and detect the level of water remaining in the watering reservoir. The Blynk signals our 5V relay module to activate the system’s water pump, which irrigates the plants through a drip system. You can read more about LuisLabMO’s watering system in his post, which also has a link to his project page and GitHub repository.

New version of our USB Micro-B breakout

via Pololu Blog

We’ve updated our USB Micro-B Connector Breakout Board with some minor improvements that should make it a little nicer to work with.

On the original version, the mounting cutouts didn’t work as well as we wanted: they were shallow, and the board was often prone to slipping out of place between two screws. The new version is wider and its cutouts are deeper to allow for more secure mounting, and it is slightly shorter in the other direction (0.4″ × 0.6″ with the connector).

For more information, see the board’s product page.

New 12 V micro metal gearmotors

via Pololu Blog

Our micro metal gearmotors are now available in 12 V versions! These high-power motors have long-life carbon brushes (HPCB) and offer the same performance as the 6 V HPCB motors at their respective nominal voltages; the only difference is that the 12 V motor draws half the current at twice the voltage.

The new 12 V gearmotors are available across our usual range of 11 gear ratios and in single- and dual-shaft versions. Along with our existing selection of micro metal gearmotors, this brings the total number of unique options available to 107:

Motor Type Stall
@ Rated Voltage
@ Rated Voltage
Stall Torque
@ Rated Voltage

(Gearbox Only)

(Gearbox & Motor)
12 V high-power,
carbon brushes
800 mA 6000 RPM 2 oz-in 5:1 HPCB 12V 5:1 HPCB 12V dual-shaft
3000 RPM 4 oz-in 10:1 HPCB 12V 10:1 HPCB 12V dual-shaft
1000 RPM 9 oz-in 30:1 HPCB 12V 30:1 HPCB 12V dual-shaft
625 RPM 15 oz-in 50:1 HPCB 12V 50:1 HPCB 12V dual-shaft
400 RPM 22 oz-in 75:1 HPCB 12V 75:1 HPCB 12V dual-shaft
320 RPM 30 oz-in 100:1 HPCB 12V 100:1 HPCB 12V dual-shaft
200 RPM 40 oz-in 150:1 HPCB 12V 150:1 HPCB 12V dual-shaft
140 RPM 50 oz-in 210:1 HPCB 12V 210:1 HPCB 12V dual-shaft
120 RPM 60 oz-in 250:1 HPCB 12V 250:1 HPCB 12V dual-shaft
100 RPM 70 oz-in 298:1 HPCB 12V 298:1 HPCB 12V dual-shaft
32 RPM 125 oz-in 1000:1 HPCB 12V 1000:1 HPCB 12V dual-shaft
6 V high-power,
carbon brushes
1600 mA 6000 RPM 2 oz-in 5:1 HPCB 6V 5:1 HPCB 6V dual-shaft
3000 RPM 4 oz-in 10:1 HPCB 6V 10:1 HPCB 6V dual-shaft
1000 RPM 9 oz-in 30:1 HPCB 6V 30:1 HPCB 6V dual-shaft
625 RPM 15 oz-in 50:1 HPCB 6V 50:1 HPCB 6V dual-shaft
400 RPM 22 oz-in 75:1 HPCB 6V 75:1 HPCB 6V dual-shaft
320 RPM 30 oz-in 100:1 HPCB 6V 100:1 HPCB 6V dual-shaft
200 RPM 40 oz-in 150:1 HPCB 6V 150:1 HPCB 6V dual-shaft
140 RPM 50 oz-in 210:1 HPCB 6V 210:1 HPCB 6V dual-shaft
120 RPM 60 oz-in 250:1 HPCB 6V 250:1 HPCB 6V dual-shaft
100 RPM 70 oz-in 298:1 HPCB 6V 298:1 HPCB 6V dual-shaft
32 RPM 125 oz-in 1000:1 HPCB 6V 1000:1 HPCB 6V dual-shaft
6 V high-power

(same specs as
6V HPCB above)
1600 mA 6000 RPM 2 oz-in 5:1 HP 6V 5:1 HP 6V dual-shaft
3000 RPM 4 oz-in 10:1 HP 6V 10:1 HP 6V dual-shaft
1000 RPM 9 oz-in 30:1 HP 6V 30:1 HP 6V dual-shaft
625 RPM 15 oz-in 50:1 HP 6V 50:1 HP 6V dual-shaft
400 RPM 22 oz-in 75:1 HP 6V 75:1 HP 6V dual-shaft
320 RPM 30 oz-in 100:1 HP 6V 100:1 HP 6V dual-shaft
200 RPM 40 oz-in 150:1 HP 6V 150:1 HP 6V dual-shaft
140 RPM 50 oz-in 210:1 HP 6V 210:1 HP 6V dual-shaft
120 RPM 60 oz-in 250:1 HP 6V 250:1 HP 6V dual-shaft
100 RPM 70 oz-in 298:1 HP 6V 298:1 HP 6V dual-shaft
32 RPM 125 oz-in 1000:1 HP 6V 1000:1 HP 6V dual-shaft
6 V medium-power
700 mA 4400 RPM 1.5 oz-in 5:1 MP 6V dual-shaft
2200 RPM 3 oz-in 10:1 MP 6V 10:1 MP 6V dual-shaft
730 RPM 8 oz-in 30:1 MP 6V 30:1 MP 6V dual-shaft
420 RPM 12 oz-in 50:1 MP 6V 50:1 MP 6V dual-shaft
290 RPM 17 oz-in 75:1 MP 6V 75:1 MP 6V dual-shaft
220 RPM 21 oz-in 100:1 MP 6V 100:1 MP 6V dual-shaft
150 RPM 28 oz-in 150:1 MP 6V 150:1 MP 6V dual-shaft
100 RPM 36 oz-in 210:1 MP 6V dual-shaft
90 RPM 41 oz-in 250:1 MP 6V dual-shaft
75 RPM 46 oz-in 298:1 MP 6V 298:1 MP 6V dual-shaft
22 RPM 80 oz-in 1000:1 MP 6V 1000:1 MP 6V dual-shaft
6 V low-power
360 mA 2500 RPM 1 oz-in 5:1 LP 6V 5:1 LP 6V dual-shaft
1300 RPM 2 oz-in 10:1 LP 6V 10:1 LP 6V dual-shaft
440 RPM 4 oz-in 30:1 LP 6V 30:1 LP 6V dual-shaft
250 RPM 7 oz-in 50:1 LP 6V 50:1 LP 6V dual-shaft
170 RPM 9 oz-in 75:1 LP 6V 75:1 LP 6V dual-shaft
120 RPM 12 oz-in 100:1 LP 6V 100:1 LP 6V dual-shaft
85 RPM 17 oz-in 150:1 LP 6V 150:1 LP 6V dual-shaft
60 RPM 27 oz-in 210:1 LP 6V 210:1 LP 6V dual-shaft
50 RPM 32 oz-in 250:1 LP 6V 250:1 LP 6V dual-shaft
45 RPM 40 oz-in 298:1 LP 6V 298:1 LP 6V dual-shaft
14 RPM 70 oz-in 1000:1 LP 6V 1000:1 LP 6V dual-shaft

Get your DDR on with an Arduino dance pad

via Arduino Blog

Alex of the YouTube channel “Super Make Something” is a huge fan of Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), and still has to play the game whenever he steps foot into an arcade. However, with the number of arcades slowly declining, the Maker has decided to bring that experience into his living room with a USB DDR dance pad.

And yes, you could always buy a metal dance pad but rather than spend $300, why not build your own? That is exactly what Alex has done using some easy-to-find materials: a 35″ x 35” slab of plywood for the base, four 1” x 35” pieces of wood for the border, five 11” x 11” pieces of MDF for the stationary panels, four 9″ x 9” pieces of cardboard for the riser panels, 12 metal button contacts out of aluminum, four 11” x 11” MDF button pads, acrylic sheets for the dance surface, and plenty of paint and graphics for the finishing touch.

The dance pad itself is based on pull-up resistors and an Arduino Leonardo, which is housed inside a 3D-printed enclosure. The Arduino includes an ATmega32U4 chip that can be programmed to act as a USB input device. The working principle here is that the MCU sends out a keystroke every time a button panel is stepped on. Alex provides a more in-depth breakdown of how it works in the video below! Meanwhile, the Arduino code can be downloaded here.