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Make Your Own Printed Circuit Boards with SparkFun!

Making your own Printed Circuit Boards is fun and easy! Follow along as SparkFun creative technologist Nick Poole build a simple, single sided Arduino board using simple materials! Check out the link above for a detailed explanation and step by step instructions. Happy hacking!  

SparkFun Tinker Kit!

The SparkFun Tinker Kit (STK) is a great way to get started with programming and hardware interaction with the Arduino programming language. The STK is our newest version of the former SparkFun Mini Inventor’s Kit, blended with elements of our educator MESA kit. Each SparkFun Tinker Kit includes everything you need to complete 11 circuits that will teach you how to blink an LED, read sensors, drive servos, and more. You don’t need any previous programming or electronics experience to use this kit.   The online STK Experiment Guide (in the Documents section below) contains step-by-step instructions of how to…

Pi-Top Assembly Guide!

In this video, creative engineer Shawn takes you through the unboxing and setup of the green pi-top! The pi-top is a DIY laptop you build yourself that helps you start learning how to code, create awesome devices and take your knowledge to the next level. This Raspberry Pi powered laptop is an excellent resource to any budding hobbyist, student or intrigued user wanting to learn more about the capabilities of the credit card-sized development board. The only thing this kit doesn’t include is a speaker and its own Raspberry Pi; you’ll need to supply that on your own. We purposefully…

Enginursday Teensy Boom Drum Machine

The Teensy Boom is a drum machine built around the Teensy 3.2 microcontroller. The hardware is fairly simple. The heart of it is a Teensy 3.2 with the Audio adapter. The buttons and LEDs are attached to the processor via the SPI bus, using daisy-chained shift registers. Every otherwise unused ADC channel has a potentiometer on it, for a total of sixteen.   The enclosure is a combination of technologies. The control panels are made from laser-cut acrylic, while the wooden ends were milled with a Shapeoko.   The signal processing in TeenyBoom is built out of Teensy Audio modules….

SparkFun Battery Babysitter

The SparkFun Battery Babysitter is an all-in-one single-cell Lithium Polymer (LiPo) battery manager. It’s half battery charger, half battery monitor, and all you’ll ever need to keep your battery-powered project running safely and extensively.   The Battery Babysitter features a pair of Texas Instruments LiPo-management ICs: a BQ24075 battery charger and a BQ27441-G1A fuel gauge. The charger supports adjustable charge rates of up to 1.5A, as well as USB-compliant 100mA and 500mA options. It also features power-path management, guaranteeing power to your project even if the battery has died. The self-calibrating, I2C-based BQ27441-G1A measures your battery’s voltage to estimate its…

Johnny Five Inventor’s Kit!

The Johnny-Five Inventor’s Kit (J5IK) is your go-to source for developing projects using the Tessel 2 and the Johnny-Five programming framework. With the J5IK you will be able to build JavaScript-powered hardware by marrying common software language with powerful hardware. This kit includes everything you need to complete 14 circuits that will teach you how to control and read external sensors and displays, control motors, learn JavaScript, and much more. With the J5IK, you won’t need any previous programming or electronics experience to use this kit though if you do possess such skills they will certainly aid you. After using…

SparkGear 3D Printer Filament Test!

With all the different filaments on the market for consumer grade 3D Printers like the TAZ 6 from Lulzbot, it can be a real challenge choosing the right one for your application. Sure, you could read data sheets all day long, but wouldn’t you like to see some real world testing? Well look no further! Our crack team of “experts” have concocted a test to determine, beyond a shadow of a doubt, which material is truly fit to print!  

SparkFun MyoWare Muscle Sensor Kit

This is the MyoWare Muscle Sensor Development Kit, an Arduino-powered, electromyography (EMG) sensor kit that provides you with a MyoWare Muscle Sensor, each shield developed here at SparkFun, and everything you need to connect them all together.   The MyoWare LED Shield is designed to pair with the MyoWare Muscle Sensor. The blue 10-segment bar graph shows the magnitude of the measured signal. The more muscle activation measured, the higher up the board the lit LEDs will go. With this shield you will be provided with a visual representation of the signals provided by the MyoWare Muscle Sensor and an…

Raspberry Pi Network Stereo System

In this video, Nick takes us through the process of building a Raspberry Pi network stereo entirely from scratch! From stretching goat skins, to making stereo coils, to programming multiple Raspberry Pis to work in unison, this is one build you’ll want to check out!  

SparkFun Open Scale

The SparkFun OpenScale is a simple-to-use, open source solution for measuring weight and temperature. It has the ability to read multiple types of load cells and offers a simple-to-use serial menu to configure calibration value, sample rate, time stamp and units of precision.  

SparkFun MPU-9250

The SparkFun MPU-9250 IMU Breakout features the latest 9-axis MEMS sensor from InvenSense. Each of these 9DoF breakouts feature an MPU-9250 with a System in Package (SiP) that combines two chips: the MPU-6500, which contains a 3-axis gyroscope as well as a 3-axis accelerometer, and the AK8963, which features a 3-axis magnetometer. 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 secure the IMU board to a project with something like epoxy, the mounting holes can be easily snapped off.  …

Digilent Analog Discovery 2 from SparkFun!

The Digilent Analog Discovery 2 is a USB oscilloscope and multi-function instrument that allows users to measure, visualize, generate, record, and control mixed-signal circuits of all kinds. Developed in conjunction with Analog Devices and supported by Xilinx University Program, Analog Discovery 2 is small enough to fit in your pocket, but powerful enough to replace a stack of lab equipment, providing engineering students, hobbyists, and electronics enthusiasts the freedom to work with analog and digital circuits in virtually any environment, in or out of the lab.   The analog and digital inputs and outputs can be connected to a circuit…

Using LEDs as Light Sensors

Using an LED as a light detector is nothing new. However, it seemed like a cool trick that deserved some more love, as it can be done with an Arduino and a single LED. I’ll briefly go over the science involved, and then give a couple of example projects.  

SparkFun 3D Printed Tattoo Machine

Today on Tech Talk Tuesday, we’re gonna talk about tattoo machines! If you’ve seen me on the site before, you’ve probably noticed that I have a few tattoos and I’m not the only one. In fact, almost half of all adults between 26 and 40 have at least one tattoo. Turns out they’re not just for sailors anymore! That being said, most people aren’t aware that the modern tattoo machine was essentially invented by our old friend (or nemesis?) Thomas Edison.   You see, in 1876, Edison patented a device which he called a Stencil-Pen. While the first iteration of…

SparkFun 9DoF Sensor Stick

The SparkFun 9DoF Sensor Stick is an easy-to-use 9 Degrees of Freedom IMU. The Sensor Stick deftly utilizes the LSM9DS1 motion-sensing system-in-a-chip, the same IC used in the SparkFun 9DoF IMU Breakout. It houses a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, and 3-axis magnetometer – nine degrees of freedom (9DoF) in a single IC!   The LSM9DS1 is equipped with a digital interface, but even that is flexible. The biggest difference between the two boards, besides the slimmed down 0.9″x0.4″ footprint, is the number of broken-out pins, with the Sensor Stick featuring only four for quick setup and ease of use.  …

Teensy Prop Shield from SparkFun!

We show off the new Prop Shield and Prop Shield LC from PJRC. As the board is tilted front to back (pitch), the LED brightness and audio volume changes, and as it is tilted from side to side (roll), the LED color and audio frequency changes.  

Lidar Lite V3 from SparkFun!

It’s back! This is the LIDAR-Lite v3, a compact, high-performance optical distance measurement sensor from Garmin™. When space and weight requirements are tight, the LIDAR-Lite v3 soars. The LIDAR-Lite v3 is the ideal solution for drone, robot or unmanned vehicle applications.   This easy-to-use 40-meter laser-based optical ranging sensor has all the core features that made the LIDAR-Lite v2 so popular. Small in form and light in weight with low power consumption of less than 130mA during an acquisition. And it’s user-configurable so you can adjust between accuracy, operating range and measurement time.   Each LIDAR-Lite v3 features an edge-emitting,…

SparkFun Proto Pedal!

The SparkFun Proto Pedal is an easy-to-assemble kit that makes building guitar effect pedals easier. Let’s face it, most guitar pedals start with all-too-similar circuitry – you need the input and output jacks, the bypass switch, and a barrel jack for power input. In some pedals, there may be as much wiring involved in the jacks and switch as there is in the effect itself. The SparkFun Proto Pedal takes care of the hard part and provides you with a simple infrastructure; all you need to do is decide what simple circuit to make to gain your desired effect, and…

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