Author Archives: Bobby Chan

Basic LED Animations With Arduino

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Still wondering what to do with LEDs after finishing the SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.1 for Arduino? Try checking out the Basic LED Animations for Beginners tutorial for more examples! We'll explore LEDs using the SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic to blink, fade and sequence several LEDs for different projects.

Basic LED Animations for Beginners (Arduino)

December 3, 2019

Let's have some fun with LEDs! We'll explore LEDs once again with the SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic, making cool effects, and putting those effects to work using a sensor.

Looking for more tutorials related to LEDs? Check out our tutorials tagged with LEDs to add more glow to your projects!

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Sphero RVR Add-On Kit Tutorials

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

We recently released the add-on kits for the Sphero RVR into the wild. If you ordered a Sphero RVR and one of the add-on kits, make sure to check out the assembly guides to attach your hardware to the chassis.

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Basic Autonomous Kit for Sphero RVR Assembly Guide

December 12, 2019

Get your Basic Autonomous Kit for Sphero RVR all hooked up with this guide!
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Advanced Autonomous Kit for Sphero RVR Assembly Guide

December 12, 2019

Get your Advanced Autonomous Kit for the Sphero RVR built up with this hookup guide!

Don't forget to check out our guide to start programming your robot with the additional hardware in Python! Explore your environment by streaming video from the RVR's point of view using Raspberry Pi Zero W's WiFi and the pan-tilt servo motors. Then start streaming data remotely using the GPS receiver and ToF distance sensor [1].

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Getting Started with the Autonomous Kit for the Sphero RVR

December 13, 2019

Want to get started in robotics? Look no further than the SparkFun autonomous kit for the Sphero RVR! Whether you purchased the Basic or Advanced kit, this tutorial will get you rolling...

Looking for more tutorials related to robots? Check out our tutorials tagged with robotics to see how other robots are built, used and controlled in other programming languages!


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Enginursday: Building a Wireless EL Wire Dance Suit, Part 3

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

As with any project, you will want to start small and work on the project in parts. In this case, my initial goal was to built one suit for Mark IV before making six more for each student. This has been an ambitious goal of mine since making the first version for my students back in 2014.

Mark 1: EL Dance Shirts on Bboys and BGirls

Once I created the EL suits for each student, I decided to move forward to the next goal and control two channels wirelessly. Satisfied with a wireless blink test on a breadboard between a controller and one sequencer, I tested the setup remotely with a wireless glove and three sequencers. After a few successful tests, off I went to modify the EL Sequencers, hacking the EL inverters, making custom EL wire extension cables, cutting out enclosures, and connecting the hardware for each dancer. This was tedious but not as time consuming as sewing the EL wire along each suit's arms and legs. I had enough time so I decided to go the extra mile to sequence the suits to the beat of the music three times in the piece.

Cardboard Enclosure with Electronics Cardboard Enclosure Closed

How did the performance go? Overall, it went well. However, I found it difficult to dance and control the suits simultaneously. One of the sections that I decided to sync the animation with had a lot going on. The music was fast music and there was lot of movement. This was not ideal as the controller had to be in the correct mode before I was able to hit the send button. What I could have done differently with this setup would have been to not to have as much movement when hitting the send button.

Mark IV: EL Wire Dance Suit on BBoys and BGirls

Mark IV: EL Wire Dance Suit in 2017

How Do You Build Such a Thing? Part 3

Check out the tutorial below for details on how to complete this project.

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Wireless Controlled Wearable EL Wire Dance Suit

October 31, 2019

In this tutorial, we will build an EL wire dance suit that can be controlled by a wireless glove controller!

Have you built an EL Wire Suit before? If you have, did you use an XBee or a different wireless module? Let us know your thoughts below in the comments. Otherwise, tune in some time in the future for Mark V for some additional upgrades and improvements! ;D

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To Infinity and Beyond…the SIK Programmed with Arduino (Part 3)

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Today we're continuing our feature on all the tutorials and documentation you can use to take the SparkFun SIK and Arduino Uno SIK beyond the guidebook. Here are some additional resources and videos to help you along in learning more about the world of electronics with Arduino.

Installing an Arduino Library

How do I install a custom Arduino library? It's easy! This tutorial will go over how to install an Arduino library using the Arduino Library Manager. For libraries not linked with the Arduino IDE, we will also go over manually installing an Arduino library.

How to Power a Project

A tutorial to help figure out the power requirements of your project.

Arduino Shields

All things Arduino Shields. What they are and how to assemble them.

Choosing an Arduino for Your Project

Examining the diverse world of Arduino boards and understanding the differences between them before choosing one for a project.


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To Infinity and Beyond…the SIK Programmed with Arduino (Part 2)

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

The SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.1 opens a world of possibilities with five different projects. Are you hungry for more? Maybe you want to explore the world of I2C? Have no fear! These tutorials will get you started playing with SparkFun's Qwiic ecosystem. We specifically included the RedBoard Qwiic with the new SIK to make expanding into this ecosystem easier. The best part is that Qwiic offerings are expanding every week, both inside the four walls of SparkFun, and from outside, thanks to other open source hardware contributions!

Adding Qwiic Functionality

With the RedBoard Qwiic included in v4.1, you can also connect to several I2C sensors and boards with our Qwiic system!

Qwiic Accelerometer (MMA8452Q) Hookup Guide

Freescale’s MMA8452Q is a smart, low-power, three-axis, capacitive micro-machined accelerometer with 12-bits of resolution. It’s perfect for any project that needs to sense orientation or motion. We’ve taken that accelerometer and stuck it on a Qwiic-Enabled breakout board to make interfacing with the tiny, QFN package a bit easier.

Qwiic Proximity Sensor (VCNL4040) Hookup Guide

The SparkFun Qwiic Proximity Sensor is a great, qualitative proximity (up to 20 cm) and light sensor. This hookup guide covers a few examples to retrieve basic sensor readings.

SparkFun GPS Breakout (ZOE-M8Q and SAM-M8Q) Hookup Guide

The SparkFun ZOE-M8Q and SAM-M8Q are two similarly powerful GPS units but with different project applications. We'll compare both chips before getting each up and running.

Qwiic Scale Hookup Guide

Create your own digital scale quickly and easily using the Qwiic Scale!

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To Infinity and Beyond…the SIK programmed with Arduino

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

The SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.1 opens a world of possibilities with five different projects in the guide. Are you hungry for more? Have no fear - there are tons of sensors and shields you can hook up with your SparkFun RedBoard programmed with Arduino that will help take your projects to the next level. For more inspiration and ideas, check out these tutorials.

SIK Keyboard Instrument

We can use the parts and concepts in the SparkFun Invetor's Kit to make a primitive keyboard instrument.

Sensor Kit Resource Hub

An overview of each component in the SparkFun Sensor Kit, plus links to tutorials and other resources you'll need to hook them up.

Measuring Internal Resistance of Batteries

Classroom STEM activity that has students build a battery from a lemon, measure the open and closed circuit voltages, and determine the battery's internal resistance.

Light-Seeking Robot

We use parts from the SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.0 to create a light-seeking robot that mimics the behavior of single-celled organisms.

Clap On Lamp

Modify a simple desk lamp to respond to a double clap (or other sharp noise) using parts from the SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.0.

Endless Runner Game

We make a simple side-scrolling endless runner game using parts from the SparkFun Inventor's Kit v4.0.

Or check out these blog posts for ideas.

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