Author Archives: Chris McCarty

Friday Product Post: gator:boards for micro:bit

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another new product Friday! This week we have four brand new boards designed specifically to expand the capabilities of your micro:bit via a SparkFun gator:bit. These four unique boards include the gator: environment, gator:particle, gator:microphone and the gator:soil. Each is different in their own way, so let's take a closer look!

Expand your micro:bit's capabilities!

SparkFun gator:environment - micro:bit Accessory Board

SparkFun gator:environment - micro:bit Accessory Board

SEN-15269
$19.95

The SparkFun gator:environment micro:bit Accessory Board utilizes the popular CCS811 and BME280 ICs to take care of all of your atmospheric quality readings. This sensor board can provide a variety of environmental data, including barometric pressure, humidity, temperature, TVOCs and equivalent CO2 (or eCO2) levels. The gator:environment connects to the SparkFun gator:bit via alligator-clip cables, allowing for easy access to the micro:bit's I2C pins.


SparkFun gator:particle - micro:bit Accessory Board

SparkFun gator:particle - micro:bit Accessory Board

SEN-15271
$10.95

The SparkFun gator:particle micro:bit Accessory Board incorporates the powerful MAX30102 sensor, enabling sensing of pulse oximetry (SpO2), heart rate (HR) monitoring and particle (PM) detection. The idea is to pulse the different LEDs and detect what shines back. Based on the reflected signature, it's possible to detect different types of particles or materials (such as oxygenated blood, or smoke from a fire).


SparkFun gator:microphone - micro:bit Accessory Board

SparkFun gator:microphone - micro:bit Accessory Board

SEN-15289
$6.95

The SparkFun gator:microphone is an accessory board that integrates an electret microphone into SparkFun's gator:bit, enabling it to be easily interfaced with the micro:bit or other microcontrollers. It provides not only an audio output, but also a binary indication of the presence of sound, and an analog representation of its amplitude.


SparkFun gator:soil - micro:bit Accessory Board

SparkFun gator:soil - micro:bit Accessory Board

SEN-15272
$5.95

If your plants could talk, would they call out, "water me, Seymour?" Unfortunately (or fortunately, perhaps) plants have yet to develop the ability to speak. But thanks to the SparkFun gator:soil micro:bit Accessory Board, you can now measure the moisture level in soil without any vocal clamoring from your leafy lads.


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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Friday Product Post: Power to the People

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another new product Friday! This week we have the SparkFun Nano Power Timer with an example project from Rob; a beefy 5V, 4A power supply ideal for your Jetson Nano; and four different wall adapters. Let's take a closer look!

There's an Emperor Palpatine joke in here somewhere...

SparkFun Nano Power Timer - TPL5110

SparkFun Nano Power Timer - TPL5110

PRT-15353
$5.95

The SparkFun Nano Power Timer will run while only consuming minimal power (approximately 35nA) and turn your project on after a set amount of time. When you are done polling your sensors, posting data to the web, writing to your logger or planning world domination, your microcontroller can tell the Nano Power Timer to turn off the power. No more running your microcontroller all day when you only want to read the ambient temperature once per hour.


Power Supply - 5V, 4A

Power Supply - 5V, 4A

TOL-15352
$12.95

This is a high-quality power supply, manufactured specifically for SparkFun, that packs a punch: 20W at 5V and 4000mA! This power supply helps squeeze every drop of performance out of a board like the Jetson Nano, but can also work to power addressable LED strips and projects that require higher power requirements.


Wall Adapter Power Supply - 5VDC, 2A (USB Micro-B)

Wall Adapter Power Supply - 5VDC, 2A (USB Micro-B)

TOL-15311
$5.95
Wall Adapter Power Supply - 5VDC, 2A (Barrel Jack)

Wall Adapter Power Supply - 5VDC, 2A (Barrel Jack)

TOL-15312
$5.95
Wall Adapter Power Supply - 12VDC, 600mA (Barrel Jack)

Wall Adapter Power Supply - 12VDC, 600mA (Barrel Jack)

TOL-15313
$5.95
Wall Adapter Power Supply - 9VDC, 650mA (Barrel Jack)

Wall Adapter Power Supply - 9VDC, 650mA (Barrel Jack)

TOL-15314
$5.95

We've picked up four new wall adapters that have been designed specifically to help power your project in a more efficient way. These new "wall warts" include a 5VDC, 2A micro USB; a 5VDC, 2A barrel jack; a 12VDC, 600mA barrel jack; and a 9VDC, 650mA barrel jack.


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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Friday Product Post: Electric Slide

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another new product Friday! This week we have three new products, starting with a capacitive touch board. The SparkFun Capacitive Touch Slider brings a new way to physically interact with your next project! We also have the new SparkFun LiPo Charger Plus to help recharge all of your batteries.

You've got to groove, groove, groove!

SparkFun Capacitive Touch Slider - CAP1203 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Capacitive Touch Slider - CAP1203 (Qwiic)

SEN-15344
$5.95

Do you want to replace a slider or button on your art project or science experiment with a more interesting interface? This Capacitive Touch Slider is a "Qwiic" and easy way to add capacitive touch to your next project. With the board's built-in touch pads, you can immediately start playing with the touch capabilities as three unique touch inputs or as a slider. You can also enable a touch input to act as a power button, customize the sensitivity for your own touch pads, and play with the interrupt alert LED. Utilizing our Qwiic system, no soldering is required to connect it to the rest of your system. However, we have broken out 0.1"-spaced pins in case you prefer to use a breadboard or create your own touch pads.


SparkFun LiPo Charger Plus

SparkFun LiPo Charger Plus

PRT-15217
$9.95

The SparkFun LiPo Charger Plus is the souped-up power option in the SparkFun line of single-cell lithium polymer (LiPo) battery chargers. With this iteration, we've changed the input charge connector to USB-C, and provided charge rate selection as well as optional thermal protection. "Charge," "power" and "done" LEDs clearly indicate the status of your charging process. This board can be used for any of the 2-pin JST connector single cell LiPo batteries we carry.

Unfortunately, Rob had a jury duty selection this week and didn't have time to film a video of this charger in action. Expect one next week!


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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Friday Product Post: On the Plus Side

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another Friday Product Post! We have a pretty big week with nine new products to showcase! We kick it all off with the new SAMD51 Thing Plus, a new development board that blows all the others out of the water! Following that, we also have two new Qwiic-enabled boards: a 12-bit ADC board and a pHAT. Programmers should be excited for today too, because we have three new Segger options for you. We have a few more little products as well, but we'll get to those below.

That Thing certainly is a plus!

SparkFun Thing Plus - SAMD51

SparkFun Thing Plus - SAMD51

DEV-14713
$19.95

Is it power you seek? With a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F MCU, the SparkFun SAMD51 Thing Plus is one of our most powerful microcontroller boards yet! The SAMD51 Thing Plus provides you with an economical and easy-to-use development platform if you need more power with minimal working space. This Thing even comes flashed with the same convenient UF2 bootloader as the RedBoard Turbo. To make the Thing Plus even easier to use, we've moved a few pins around to make the board Feather-compatible, and it utilizes our handy Qwiic Connect System, which means no soldering or shields are required to connect it to the rest of your system!


An easier way to get Qwiic on your RPi!

SparkFun Qwiic pHAT for Raspberry Pi

SparkFun Qwiic pHAT for Raspberry Pi

DEV-15351
$5.95

The SparkFun Qwiic pHAT for Raspberry Pi (based on the original Qwiic Hat) provides you with the quickest and easiest way to enter into SparkFun’s Qwiic ecosystem while still using that Raspberry Pi that you’ve come to know and love. The Qwiic pHAT connects the I2C bus (GND, 3.3V, SDA and SCL) on your Raspberry Pi to an array of Qwiic connectors on the HAT. Since the Qwiic system allows for daisy chaining boards with different addresses, you can stack as many sensors as you’d like to create a tower of sensing power!


SparkFun Qwiic 12 Bit ADC - 4 Channel (ADS1015)

SparkFun Qwiic 12 Bit ADC - 4 Channel (ADS1015)

DEV-15334
$9.95

Sometimes you just need to add more analog inputs to solve a problem. It happens. The SparkFun Qwiic 12 Bit ADC can provide four channels of I2C-controlled ADC input to your Qwiic-enabled project. These channels can be used as single-ended inputs or in pairs for differential inputs. What makes this even more powerful is that it has a programmable gain amplifier that lets you "zoom in" on a very small change in analog voltage (but will still effect your input range and resolution). Utilizing our handy Qwiic system, no soldering is required to connect it to the rest of your system. However, we still have broken out 0.1"-spaced pins in case you prefer to use a breadboard.


Tenergy 5-in-1 Intelligent Battery Cell Meter

Tenergy 5-in-1 Intelligent Battery Cell Meter

TOL-15348
$15.95

Do you yearn for complete and total mastery of your battery pack situation? Like a mystical amulet in a fantasy film, the Tenergy 5-in-1 Intelligent Cell Meter takes you one step closer to becoming an all-seeing and all-powerful battery wizard. In addition to allowing you to check the voltage of your batteries and view the capacity and internal resistance of each individual cell in lithium-based packs, this product functions as both a battery discharger and a battery balancer.


J-Link EDU Mini Programmer

J-Link EDU Mini Programmer

PGM-15345
$18.00
J-Link EDU Base Programmer

J-Link EDU Base Programmer

PGM-15346
$60.00
J-Link BASE Compact Programmer

J-Link BASE Compact Programmer

PGM-15347
$378.00

The J-Link line of JTAG programmers from Segger is well known for their top-of-the-line debuggers. We have three options for you today, which include the EDU Mini Programmer, the EDU Base Programmer and the BASE Compact Programmer. Each is unique in its own way so make sure to check them out. Regardless, J-Link is a great option for those of you getting started with JTAG/SWD programming and debugging!


Header - 2x5 Pin (Male, 1.27mm)

Header - 2x5 Pin (Male, 1.27mm)

PRT-15362
$1.50

This is a super small, 2x5 pin male PTH header. This header is in the common configuration for JTAG applications. Each pin has a spacing of 1.27mm and can be cut down to smaller increments if need be.


Alligator Clip with Spade Connector (10 Pack)

Alligator Clip with Spade Connector (10 Pack)

CAB-15268
$6.95

This is a 10-pack of wires that are pre-terminated with an alligator clip on one end and a female spade connector on the other. Alligator clips are a staple item for any workbench or makerspace, and with these cables you will be able to easily connect to things like microswitches.


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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Gearing Up for Summer

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

Although it is snowing in Colorado as we speak, most schools are getting out this week (if they aren't already) and with summer just around the corner, we're here to help kickstart your calendar for the season with some of our finest summer-appropriate projects, tutorials and products. You may love to get outdoors, but you can still find a project to accompany you. Maybe it's a stormy day and you need an activity to pass the time. Perhaps it is way too hot outside to be comfortable, which makes for the perfect excuse to stay inside and cool. Whatever you reason may be, check out all the parts and projects below to get a better idea of what to get started on!

Weather

Summer is the best time to get outside, which also makes it perfect for getting accurate temperature, humidity and barometric readings. We have multiple options to get you started, including an incredibly handy kit utilizing micro:bit!

SparkFun micro:climate kit for micro:bit

SparkFun micro:climate kit for micro:bit

KIT-15301
$117.95
SparkFun Weather Shield

SparkFun Weather Shield

DEV-13956
$39.95
3
SparkFun Photon Weather Shield

SparkFun Photon Weather Shield

DEV-13674
$34.95
SparkFun ESP32 Thing Environment Sensor Shield

SparkFun ESP32 Thing Environment Sensor Shield

DEV-14153
$60.95
SparkFun Lightning Detector - AS3935 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Lightning Detector - AS3935 (Qwiic)

SEN-15276
$24.95
SparkFun Soil Moisture Sensor (with Screw Terminals)

SparkFun Soil Moisture Sensor (with Screw Terminals)

SEN-13637
$6.95
2
SparkFun Environmental Combo Breakout - CCS811/BME280 (Qwiic)

SparkFun Environmental Combo Breakout - CCS811/BME280 (Qwiic)

SEN-14348
$35.95
12
Weather Meters

Weather Meters

SEN-08942
$76.95
26

Health

What better time of year focus on fitness? We offer a multitude of different options to find your heart rate, electromyography (EMG) and oxygen readings, all from very simple set-ups!

MyoWare Muscle Sensor Development Kit

MyoWare Muscle Sensor Development Kit

KIT-14409
$82.95
1
BITalino (r)evolution Board Kit

BITalino (r)evolution Board Kit

DEV-14022
$209.95
SparkFun Single Lead Heart Rate Monitor - AD8232

SparkFun Single Lead Heart Rate Monitor - AD8232

SEN-12650
$19.95
16
Pulse Sensor

Pulse Sensor

SEN-11574
$24.95
12

Music

Be the life of the party when you bring your very own, custom audio player to your next BBQ, party or impromptu get-together! People will be sure to ask how you made it, but be warned, they'll also probably hit you up in the future when one of their electronics breaks down (if they don't already)!

SparkFun SparkPunk Sound Kit

SparkFun SparkPunk Sound Kit

KIT-11177
$37.95
6
SparkFun SparkPunk Sequencer Kit

SparkFun SparkPunk Sequencer Kit

KIT-12707
$62.95
3
WAV Trigger

WAV Trigger

WIG-13660
$51.95
27
MP3 Trigger

MP3 Trigger

WIG-13720
$49.95
12
Tsunami Super WAV Trigger

Tsunami Super WAV Trigger

WIG-13810
$79.95
8
SparkFun Qwiic MP3 Trigger

SparkFun Qwiic MP3 Trigger

DEV-15165
$19.95
2
SparkFun Papa Soundie Audio Player

SparkFun Papa Soundie Audio Player

DEV-14554
$26.95
SparkFun Little Soundie Audio Player

SparkFun Little Soundie Audio Player

DEV-14006
$14.95

Project Ideas

To round out the post, here are a few random projects we've created that can be put to good use in the warmer months! If you don't see one you like, we have hundreds more over on our Learn Site.

Interactive Smart Mirror

February 8, 2016

Build a smart mirror that displays weather data using the Intel® Edison.

DIY Light-Up Shoes

September 28, 2017

This tutorial provides everything you need to know to make your own light up high top sneakers!

Wireless Audio Bluetooth Adapter w/ BC127

December 14, 2017

Build a custom wireless audio Bluetooth adapter using BlueCreation's BC127 and add it to your old speaker system!

Raspberry Pi Zero Helmet Impact Force Monitor

March 8, 2018

How much impact can the human body handle? This tutorial will teach you how to build your very own impact force monitor using a helmet, Raspberry Pi Zero, and accelerometer!

LED Crystal Goddess Crown

September 27, 2017

Follow this tutorial to make your own Crystal Goddess Crown with LEDs!

Building an Autonomous Vehicle: The Batmobile

December 6, 2016

Documenting a six-month project to race autonomous Power Wheels at the SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition (AVC) in 2016.

Light Up Pennant with E-Textiles

September 17, 2015

Show your school spirit, geek pride, or fandom with a light up pennant using the LilyTwinkle or LilyPad Arduino.

Sunrise Machine with the Tessel 2

October 13, 2016

Are you to sleepy to enjoy a sunrise on a brisk morning? Yeah...us too! No worries, with a Webcam, a Tessel 2 and a bit of code you can sleep in and catch the sunrise at your leisure with the Sunrise Machine.

These are just a few ideas to get you started this summer. Maybe you want to build a drone or robot? How about tackling machine learning and artificial intelligence? You can even stay in and read a book! Regardless, let us know what you are making this summer!

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Friday Product Post: Go Nuts and Bolts for JetBot!

via SparkFun: Commerce Blog

How's it going, everyone? This week we are excited to introduce you to a full-fledged JetBot kit for the Jetson Nano. That's right – it's not just a parts kit, we include everything you need to start using the AI robotics kit right away! We also have a new version of the LoRa Raspberry Pi Gateway, a right-angle jig for a 5mm LED, and a 0.5W super thin speaker.

SparkFun JetBot AI Kit Powered by NVIDIA Jetson Nano

SparkFun JetBot AI Kit Powered by NVIDIA Jetson Nano

KIT-15365
$274.95

The JetBot is an open source robot platform based on the Jetson Nano Developer Kit by NVIDIA. JetBot is a great launchpad for creating entirely new AI projects for makers, students and enthusiasts who are interested in learning AI and building fun applications. It’s straightforward to set up and use, and is compatible with many popular accessories. Several interactive tutorials show you how to harness the power of AI to teach JetBot to follow objects, avoid collisions and more. Jetson Nano Developer Kit offers useful tools like the Jetson GPIO Python library, and is compatible with common sensors and peripherals, including an expanding Python compatibility with the SparkFun Qwiic ecosystem.


Open the gates!

LoRa Raspberry Pi Gateway with Enclosure

LoRa Raspberry Pi Gateway with Enclosure

WRL-15336
$199.95

The LoRa Raspberry Pi Gateway is a professional grade gateway with the hacker in mind. While other low-cost gateways are a single channel, the LoRa Raspberry Pi Gateway comes with a fully heat-sinked concentrator capable of multi-channel, multi-node communication all running in a friendly, hackable Raspberry Pi environment.


Thin Speaker - 0.5W

Thin Speaker - 0.5W

COM-15350
$0.95

If you want to get some sound out of your project but have a tight space budget, this is a good way to do it. This 0.5W, 8Ohm speaker is only 40mm in diameter and just over 4mm thick, the same kind you might find in one of those talking greeting cards.


Right Angle LED Jig - 5mm

Right Angle LED Jig - 5mm

PRT-15315
$0.75

Have you ever wanted to mount 5mm LEDs to the side of your board? We got these right-angle LED jigs for our RedBoard Edge and loved them. They are really just small pieces of plastic to hold your LEDs while bending the legs over. You'll notice that there is a small amount of room between the LED and the housing. Most LEDs come with a small lip around the base, so we needed to make the hole a bit larger to get that lip to fit, but they should work with any standard 5mm LED (with two legs).


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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