Monthly Archives: December 2019

This 3D-printed infinity cube is easy to make, hard to resist

via Arduino Blog

Infinity cubes use six mirrors arranged in such a way that they bounce light inside back and forth, making them appear to stretch on to infinity. While not the first to make such a device, Thomas Jensma created the frame for his as a single 3D-printed piece.

This method meant that the plexiglass mirrors surrounding the build are automatically quite flat, allowing the 144 LEDs inside to reflect beautifully with no adjustment. An external Arduino board controls the lights, producing an infinite number of patterns. A 5V supply is also used in order to power the assembly. 

Instructions for the project can be found here, and with this simplified design, Jensma was able to construct his in a day for just $25 in parts.

Best of 2019: A SparkFun Year of Firsts

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

As a reminder, SparkFun will be closed on Wednesday, Jan/1/2020 in observance of the New Year holiday. We will reopen normal business hours at 9 am MT on Jan/2/2020. Happy New Year from all of us at SparkFun Electronics!

Today is the last day of 2019. We decided to look back at some of what we accomplished this year, and which products you loved most. It's hard to accept that the year is already over (I could barely believe how long ago some 2019 product releases were), because so much happened that made it special.

SparkFun's Best of 2019!

It was a year of firsts for SparkFun! We began 2019 with a month of new Qwiic® Ecosystem products, including the RedBoard Qwiic, Turbo and GPS-RTK2. Even though the SparkFun Qwiic Ecosystem has been around since 2017, we are now just shy of 100 unique boards, kits and components. If you're curious what products are available as of 12/31/19, check out our full Qwiic Ecosystem PDF.

Machine learning also made a huge impact in 2019. We released our first machine learning board supported by TensorFlow with the SparkFun Edge, and our first artificial intelligence robotics kit with the JetBot AI Kit with Jetson Nano.

We also created the world's first open source, FCC-certified BLE module with Artemis! We made an individual, mass-market ready module able to be used from prototype to final product, as well as carrier boards with Arduino Uno R3, Arduino Nano, Arduino Mega and Feather-compatible footprints. Heck, we even released a limited-edition SnowBoard version for the holidays!

In September, we collaborated with CU Boulder and Denver Public Schools to create the gator:science Kit for micro:bit, funded by the National Science Foundation - this was an awesome sensor kit that provides students a launch pad to start learning about electronics and data provided to them by their surrounding environment.

To round out the year, we released our first RISC-V boards with the RED-V RedBoard and RED-V Thing Plus boards, making them one of the most inexpensive and powerful RISC-V boards on the market!

So what did our customers think of our products? These were the top 20 products of 2019, based on quantities purchased.

SparkFun gator:bit v2.0 - micro:bit Carrier Board

SparkFun gator:bit v2.0 - micro:bit Carrier Board

DEV-15162
$19.95
SparkFun Inventor's Kit - v4.1

SparkFun Inventor's Kit - v4.1

KIT-15267
$99.95
2
SparkFun Edge Development Board - Apollo3 Blue

SparkFun Edge Development Board - Apollo3 Blue

DEV-15170
$14.95
11
SparkFun JetBot AI Kit Powered by NVIDIA Jetson Nano

SparkFun JetBot AI Kit Powered by NVIDIA Jetson Nano

KIT-15365
$274.95
3
SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

DEV-15123
$19.95
4
SparkFun RedBoard Artemis Nano

SparkFun RedBoard Artemis Nano

DEV-15443
$14.95
SparkFun RedBoard Artemis

SparkFun RedBoard Artemis

DEV-15444
$19.95
SparkFun Artemis Module - Low Power Machine Learning BLE Cortex-M4F

SparkFun Artemis Module - Low Power Machine Learning BLE Cortex-M4F

WRL-15484
$8.95
SparkFun Inventor's Kit for micro:bit

SparkFun Inventor's Kit for micro:bit

KIT-15228
$49.95
1
SparkFun Qwiic Scale - NAU7802

SparkFun Qwiic Scale - NAU7802

SEN-15242
$14.95
SparkFun Nano Power Timer - TPL5110

SparkFun Nano Power Timer - TPL5110

PRT-15353
$5.95
1
SparkFun Qwiic MP3 Trigger

SparkFun Qwiic MP3 Trigger

DEV-15165
$19.95
4
SparkFun Buck-Boost Converter

SparkFun Buck-Boost Converter

COM-15208
$9.95
SparkFun LiPo Charger Plus

SparkFun LiPo Charger Plus

PRT-15217
$9.95
SparkFun Qwiic OpenLog

SparkFun Qwiic OpenLog

DEV-15164
$16.95
SparkFun GPS Breakout - Chip Antenna, SAM-M8Q (Qwiic)

SparkFun GPS Breakout - Chip Antenna, SAM-M8Q (Qwiic)

GPS-15210
$39.95
2
SparkFun Qwiic Single Relay

SparkFun Qwiic Single Relay

COM-15093
$11.95
1
SparkFun Level Translator Breakout - PCA9306

SparkFun Level Translator Breakout - PCA9306

BOB-15439
$3.95
SparkFun Transparent Graphical OLED Breakout (Qwiic)

SparkFun Transparent Graphical OLED Breakout (Qwiic)

LCD-15173
$39.95
3
SparkFun RedBoard Turbo - SAMD21 Development Board

SparkFun RedBoard Turbo - SAMD21 Development Board

DEV-14812
$24.95
3

Like we said, it has been huge year for us and we didn't even cover all of the prototyped products created in SparkX, the contests and giveaways we held or the partnerships we formed.

So what's in store for 2020? We plan to create even more dedicated pages to the topics that interest you most, like the Engineering Essentials, All About LEDs, Building GPS Systems, Distance Sensing and Python pages released this year. We will continue to expand our ever growing Qwiic Ecosystem. Most of all, we plan to continue to innovate new and exciting products for you. Trust us, we have a lot more planned that we can't share just yet, but we expect it to be a monumentally impactful year for us, and for our customers and community.

Let us know what your highlights of the year were. What products, posts and tutorials did you love? What was your favorite Rob video? Ours was his Top Gun tribute! We'll see you next year, and thank you for your ongoing support!

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Friday Product Post: See Ya, 2019!

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Good tidings to you and yours! This week we have a lot of new products, so let's dive in and check them out.

Do you see what I see?

RPLIDAR S1 360° TOF Laser Range Scanner

RPLIDAR S1 360° TOF Laser Range Scanner

SEN-15872
$649.95

The RPLIDAR S1 is the next generation, low cost, 360-degree 2D laser scanner (LIDAR) solution developed by SLAMTEC. It can take up to 9200 samples of laser ranging per second with high rotation speed. Equipped with SLAMTEC-patented OPTMAG technology, it goes above and beyond the lifespan limitations of traditional LIDAR systems.


FLIR Radiometric Lepton Dev Kit V2

FLIR Radiometric Lepton Dev Kit V2

KIT-15948
$239.95

With the FLIR Radiometric Lepton® Dev Kit V2, you will be able to bring FLIR's thermal imaging reliability and power to your Arduino, Raspberry Pi or any ARM-based development tool, all in an easy-to-access, breadboard-friendly package. This kit includes a breakout as well as the Lepton® 2.5 longwave infrared (LWIR) imager. All you need to do to get this kit set up is attach the Lepton® imager module to the provided breakout, connect the headers, and you will be seeing in full darkness in no time!


Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Red

Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Red

PRT-15893
$16.95
Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Purple

Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Purple

PRT-15894
$16.95
Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Green

Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Green

PRT-15895
$16.95
Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Blue

Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Blue

PRT-15896
$16.95

Why use a heatsink and a case when you can use a heatsink case?! These red, purple, green and blue anodised aluminium cases for the Raspberry Pi 4 will give you 10-15°C of passive cooling under a full CPU load. These cases are great for situations where you want completely silent cooling, like home media centers. Make sure to check out all of our aluminum heatsink case color options!


Zio Qwiic OLED Display (1.5inch, 128x128)

Zio Qwiic OLED Display (1.5inch, 128x128)

LCD-15890
$19.95
Zio Qwiic Loudness Sensor

Zio Qwiic Loudness Sensor

SEN-15892
$9.95

Last up this week, we have two new Qwiic boards from our friends over at Zio! The first is a 128x128 Qwiic OLED board and the second is a Qwiic sound detector! Make sure to check them both out if you are adding to your Qwiic project!


That's it for this week! As always, we can't wait to see what you make! Shoot us a tweet @sparkfun, or let us know on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see what projects you’ve made!

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Enginursday: ESP32 Relay Web Server, Part One

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Hello dear customers and Happy Holidays! I have a short post for you today, and an update to my ongoing tutorial that I've been working on. This is officially the third post that refers to this project, the other two can be found here and here.

This image shows a picture of SparkFun's ESP32 thing Plus and Quad Relay connected together with a Qwiic connector, each being powered through a wall wart.

This project-turned-tutorial demonstrates how to start with an ESP32 Thing Plus and load the appropriate files, libraries and tools to turn the ESP32 into a web server that controls relays.

The tutorial does not just show you how to piece the hardware and software together, it explains how each individual component works. For example, the latest installment focuses on HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Javacript (JS), and the Bootstrap toolkit. Within the tutorial are explanations of how these markup and programming languages interact to make a website and what Bootstrap provides as a toolkit.

Additionally, with regards to the ESP32, it also explains which pre-built Bootstrap CSS and JS files represent the smallest memory impact option. There is only 16MB of Flash Memory (eye roll) to store all the necessary files for an entire web server on an ESP32 after all!

As a final note this project is ongoing, which means it's not complete. I used my best judgment when deciding which topics were too distracting from the project, but if you feel an urge to leave a comment about what you'd like to see, then capitalize on that impulse, dear reader! Lastly, I've included a timeline under the section title What next? that outlines what needs to be added and what has been added. Here's the outline as it stands right now.

To Do

1. Add section on Bootstrap fies: bootstrap.min.CSS and bootstrap.min.JS. What are they and what do they do?
2. Add section on the ESP32 File Structure and where files live.
3. Add section on JSON files and Arduino JSON to store data related to WiFi settings and the state of each individual relay.
4. Add section on AJAX requests and Websockets in place of straight GET requests.
5. Add relay control function to our requests.
6. Add Hardware Section for ESP32 and Relay.
7. Add troubleshooting section to tutorial.
8. Update tutorial with the Infrared tripwires Arduino Sketch and fill in details on the hardware hookup.

As I've already mentioned if there is something you'd like to see that isn't already covered in the tutorial and isn't on this list, please leave a comment down below. Ah, and of course, a link for the tutorial:

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How to set up and use your brand-new Raspberry Pi

via Raspberry Pi

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you bagged yourself a brand-new Raspberry Pi for Christmas, and you’re wondering what you should do next.

Well, look no further, for we’re here to show you the ropes. So, sit back, pull on a pair of those nice, warm socks that you found in your stocking, top up your eggnog, and let’s get started.

Do I need an operating system?

Unless your Raspberry Pi came in a kit with a preloaded SD card, you’ll need to download an operating system. Find a microSD card (you may have one lurking in an old phone) and click here to download the latest version of Raspbian, our dedicated Raspberry Pi operating system.

To get Raspbian onto the microSD card, use free online software such as Etcher. Here’s a video from The MagPi magazine to show you how to do it.

Use Etcher to install operating systems onto an SD card

Lucy Hattersley shows you how to install Raspberry Pi operating systems such as Raspbian onto an SD card, using the excellent Etcher. For more tutorials, check out The MagPi at http://magpi.cc ! Don’t want to miss an issue? Subscribe, and get every issue delivered straight to your door.

Turn it on!

Here, this video should help:

How to set up your Raspberry Pi || Getting started with #RaspberryPi

Learn #howto set up your Raspberry Pi for the first time, from plugging in peripherals to setting up #Raspbian.

Insert your microSD card into your Raspberry Pi. The microSD card slot should be fairly easy to find, and you need to make sure that you insert it with the contact side facing the board. If you feel like you’re having to force it in, you have it the wrong way round.

Next, plug your HDMI cable into the Raspberry Pi and your chosen HDMI display. This could be a computer monitor or your home television.

If you’re using a Raspberry Pi Zero or Raspberry Pi Zero W, you’ll need a mini HDMI to HDMI cable or adapter.

If you’re using a Raspberry Pi 4, you’ll need a micro HDMI to HDMI cable or adapter.

Raspberry Pi official keyboard

Next, plug in any peripherals that you want to use, such as a mouse or keyboard.

Lastly, plug your power cable into your Raspberry Pi. This is any standard micro USB cable (if you have an Android phone, check your phone charger!), or a USB-C power cable if you’re using the Raspberry Pi 4.

Most kits will come with all of the cables and adapters that you need, so look in the box first before you start rummaging around your home for spare cables.

Once the power cable is connected, your Raspberry Pi will turn on. If it doesn’t, check that your SD card is inserted correctly and your cables are pushed in fully.

Still in doubt? Here’s Sally Le Page with more:

How to use a Raspberry Pi ft. Dr Sally Le Page

What is a Raspberry Pi and what do you need to get started? Our ‘How to use a Raspberry Pi’ explainer will take you through the basics of your #RaspberryPi, and how you can get hands-on with Raspbian and #coding language tools such as Scratch and Mu, with our host, Dr Sally Le Page.

Once on, the Raspberry Pi will direct you through a setup process that allows you to change your password and connect to your local wireless network.

And then, you’re good to go!

Now what?

Now what? Well, that depends on what you want to do with your Raspberry Pi.

Many people use their Raspberry Pi to learn how to code. If you’re new to coding, we suggest trying out a few of our easy online projects to help you understand the basics of Scratch — the drag-and-drop coding platform from MIT — and Python — a popular general-purpose programming language and the reason for the “Pi” in Raspberry Pi’s name.

The components of a virtual analogue Raspberry Pu synthesiser

Maybe you want to use your Raspberry Pi to set up control of smart devices in your home, or build a media centre for all your favourite photos and home movies. Perhaps you want to play games on your Raspberry Pi, or try out various HATs and add-ons to create fun digital making projects.

Sally Le Page

Whatever you want to do with your Raspberry Pi, the internet is full of brilliant tutorials from the Raspberry Pi Foundation and online creators.

Some places to start

Get involved with the Raspberry Pi Foundation

From community events and magazines to online learning and space exploration – there are so many ways to get involved with the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

The Raspberry Pi community is huge, and spreads across the entire globe, bringing people together to share their love of coding, digital making, and computer education. However you use your Raspberry Pi, know that, by owning it, you’ve helped the non-profit Raspberry Pi Foundation to grow, bringing more opportunities to kids and teachers all over the world. So, from the bottom of our hearts this festive season, thank you.

We can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!

 

The post How to set up and use your brand-new Raspberry Pi appeared first on Raspberry Pi.