The Ware for March 2019 is shown below.
Thanks to Akiba for donating this ware from his bin o’ busted gadgets!
The Ware for February 2019 is the old circuit breaker on my flat. It’s a classic, perhaps from the 70’s or earlier; the outer case is so weather-beaten, none of the markings are legible except for the rated capacity (40A). The breaker had been getting progressively more fussy, tripping at random times of the day, so it was time for it to go and get replaced with a new one. It’s definitely annoying to have your power go out at random intervals once every couple weeks. Since it was going into the bin, I figured I’d take it apart and see what I could learn from it. Gratz to phantom deadline for guessing it very quickly (again), email me if you’d like to collect another prize!
With this new RoboClaw case, our selection of RoboClaw products just got even cooler – literally! In addition to protecting the motor controller, this case also has an integrated fan, which will allow an enclosed RoboClaw to deliver higher continuous currents and sustain peak currents longer. The case works with 2x15A, 2x30A, 2x45A, and ST 2x45A RoboClaw motor controllers and features cutouts for accessing the motor outputs and the various control input header pins.
It's an exciting Friday New Product Post – the SparkFun Edge Development Board is officially shipping! We also have a brand new LED Driver board, pre-orders on the new Taz Pro 3D Printer, two brand new and top-of-the-line digital flex sensors, and a few little parts for your next project.
In collaboration with Google and Ambiq, SparkFun's Edge Development Board is based around the newest edge technology, and is perfect for getting your feet wet with voice and gesture recognition, without relying on the distant services of other companies. The magic sauce is in the utilization of Ambiq Micro's latest Apollo3 Blue microcontroller, whose ultra-efficient ARM Cortex-M4F 48MHz (with 96MHz burst mode) processor can run TensorFlow Lite using only 6uA/MHz. Apollo3 Blue sports all the cutting-edge features expected of modern microcontrollers, including six configurable I2C/SPI masters, two UARTs, one I2C/SPI slave, a 15-channel 14-bit ADC and a dedicated Bluetooth processor that supports BLE5. On top of all that, the Apollo3 Blue has 1MB of flash and 384KB of SRAM memory - plenty for the vast majority of applications.
The SparkFun ESP32 DMX to LED Shield is the perfect way to send and receive DMX data. Whether it's coming in via the onboard XLR-3 jack or ArtNet, or outputting over the XLR-3 Jack/ArtNet, this shield has you covered! It's the perfect way to get started developing your own custom DMX fixtures, or even adding ArtNet capabilities to a current fixture. It also holds up to the DMX standard, which requires electrical isolation between the controller and communication side to avoid ground loops.
The TAZ Pro is an industrial desktop 3D printer that provides large, multi-material and soluble support printing with LulzBot's award-winning reliability. Create high-quality, large functional prototypes and parts with easy, professional results.
With a taller print area than the TAZ 6 and two extruder heads, the TAZ Pro is a major upgrade. The two extruder heads allow you to use two different colors or materials with similar melting points to create multicolor or multi-material objects. This configuration allows for clean and solid transitions between the two materials or colors. The upgraded electronics allow for more professional prints that run quieter. A 5-inch touchscreen, which replaces the previous monochrome LCD with wheel-selector, makes moving through the menus and adjusting settings incredibly simple.
The Taz Pro 3D Printer is now available for pre-order, and we hope to start shipping from LulzBot by the end of April.
The Bend Labs Digital Flex Sensors are an innovative solution for measuring motion, providing a unique alternative to existing sensor technologies. They are capable of highly accurate, drift-free angular displacement in a soft form factor, while maintaining extremely low power consumption. Constructed using highly durable, medical-grade silicone elastomers, this is a single axis bidirectional flex sensor, which measures one angle for 2D orientation, and a two axis bidirectional sensor, which measures two angles in orthogonal planes for 3D orientation. Its low-power, integrated analog front end, with I2C interface, provides angular displacement data in degrees and includes on-board calibration and bootloader.
These stackable headers connect the SparkFun ESP32 Thing Plus to a shield with a Feather footprint. This set includes one 12-pin and one 16-pin header; the pins are spaced by 0.1".
This is a 10-pack of wires that are pre-terminated with an alligator clip on one end and a female header on the other. Alligator clips are a staple item for any workbench or makerspace, and with these cables you will be able to easily incorporate those clips into a breadboard, development platform or anything else to which you would normally be able to attach a hookup wire.
We have updated our A-Star 32U4 Prime LV with a new regulator that offers a wider operating voltage range and increased current capabilities. For those of you not already familiar with our A-Star 32U4 Primes, they are a series of ATmega32U4-based, USB-programmable controllers with integrated regulators that offer operating voltage ranges not available on typical Arduino-compatible products; this new “LV” variant features an improved buck-boost converter that enables efficient operation from 2 V to 16 V power supplies (Note: it requires an input voltage of at least 3 V to start, but it can operate down to 2 V after startup). The A-Star Primes are arranged in the common Arduino form factor exemplified by the Uno R3 and the Leonardo, so they are compatible with many Arduino shields, including all of the Arduino shields we carry.
In addition to the increased input voltage range for the new A-Star Prime LV, the new regulator also provides more current. The graph below shows the current available on the new LV (ac03e) in blue compared to the old LV (ac03b) in purple. It is important to note that to use the full current available on the new A-Star Prime LV, you must connect to the VREG pin on the board and not the 5V ouput pin. The 5V output pin is limited to about 1.9 A because of the TPS2113A power multiplexer that makes up the board’s power selection circuit (a feature that sets the A-Star Primes apart from competing products). The power multiplexer decides whether the board’s 5 V supply is sourced from USB or an external supply via the regulator, allowing both sources to be connected at the same time and enabling the A-Star to safely and seamlessly transition between them. The multiplexer is configured to select external power unless the regulator output falls below about 4.5 V. If this happens, it will select the higher of the two sources, which will typically be the USB 5 V bus voltage if the A-Star is connected to USB. More information about the multiplexer can be found in this section of the A-Star 32U4 user’s guide under the Power heading.
The original version of the A-Star Prime LV, which operates from 2.7 V to 11.8 V, is now on clearance for 40% off! If you don’t need the increased output current and wider voltage range the new board offers, the previous version is still a great programmable controller to consider. Both the new and original A-Star Prime LVs come in multiple configurations. The complete selection of both versions can be found in the related products list below.
Not surprisingly, this all started when (perhaps jokingly) a clever colleague questioned, "Why don't you stack 'em up like a sub sandwich?" A merely mundane Monday morning quickly became a maniacal midnight mash-up for yours truly, mad scientist. A little planning and proving the power of this particular display was providential in the proceeding process.
Initially it was imperative to test the inconceivably incredible display's transparency. With only one unit working wonderfully well, nine more non-functioning displays were stacked on top, one by one. When at last the image at the bottom faded from view, the battle was won but the total number was ten.
Another astonishing achievement that empowered this futuristic artifact was the super speed of the SPI bus. Said bus, in coordination with ten tiny chip select lines, was capable of continually captivating the consciousness of the (possibly concerned) crowd in a blistering burst of brilliance.
Nevertheless, such an exceedingly embryonic idea would be irrefutably evanescent could an elegant software solution not be embraced. Since we can spy furthest standing upon the shoulders of cyclops, I silently sought a singular font of pseudocode. Upon applying Bresengham's arcane craft to an additional dimension, one artful enigma appeared.
So what's the take away from this experience? Several things: