I admit it: I'm a total geek. I love electronics, programming, 3D art, vintage Apple hardware, and whisky. I'm always juggling half a dozen projects. I also enjoy documenting it all: my successes, my failures, my experiences... and everything geeky along the way.

Seeed Studio Fusion - $9.90 for 10pcs 2 layer 10x10cm boards


 
 
 
 
 

SparkFun Goodies | Kevin Rye.net - Main

Kevin Rye

Geek Extraordinaire. Yeh, I said it.

SparkFun Goodies

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I had some Christmas cash that was burning a hole in my pocket. I decided to hop on SparkFun and see if there were any goodies to be had. I already needed a few things for some upcoming projects, so I figured I'd try and see if I could get my order up to $60 bucks so that I'd qualify for free shipping.

You can never have enough microcontrollers. I really do try to throw one in every order. There's nothing worse than not having one and having to spend an additional $5 in shipping just to get one. That's paying double for something that could have just been thrown in any order.

With that said, I picked up two more 28-pin ATtmega328s. SparkFun has them preloaded with the Optiboot bootloader for $5.50.

I also picked up 3 SMD ATmega328s in a TQFP package. They're only $4.25. That's a $1.25 cheaper and they're about a 1/3 of the size. Granted you'll have to build in ISP and FTDI headers into your project, but they should still save a ton of space.

I just might have to make a new Bare Bones Arduino with an SMD ATmega!

In addition to the 328s, I also picked up a few ATtinys. I grabbed 3 ATtiny84s and another ATtiny85, just to top off my stock.

The ATtiny85 is only $2.84. The ATtiny84 is only $2.95. So for an additional 11 cents, you get twice the I/O pins. They both come with 8K of flash. The ATtiny85 is a great space saver. It's great if you only need a few pins. The ATtiny84 is great when you don't need a ton of code space, but you need a few more pins than the ATtiny85s can provide. The ATtiny84 probably would have been a better choice for my 7490 clock redesign. If I had used an ATtiny84, I wouldn't have needed to multitask one of the pins with a jumper.

So there's enough microcontroller goodness in the house to keep me busy for a while. I might go ahead a make a new programming shield for the ATtinys. I might make something that can bootload 328s, 84s, and 85s.

Since all those microcontrollers were only about $35 bucks, I needed to keep shopping in order to hit that $60 free shipping mark.

As luck would have it, SparkFun started selling a new super-huge breadboard. I was just looking at breadboards last week. Fortunately, I didn't pull the trigger. I really like the size of this one.

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It was only $19.95, and it's a whole row wider than my biggest breadboard.

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Still, I needed to drop a few more bucks to qualify for free shipping, so I looked around at some miscellaneous stuff and happened upon their heat shrink kit. Now, that's something I always find myself needing and never seem to have.

It was only $7.95 for a bag of 95 assorted 10 cm long pieces.

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It doesn't look like a lot in the bag, but once I dumped it out into one of my parts bin drawers, I was very happy with the amount of heat shrink.

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Along with the ATmegas, 5V DC adapters are something that I seem to always need. At $6 bucks a pop, they're one of the more expensive parts of most of my projects. So I like to order them ahead of time and have them on-hand when needed. There's nothing worse than having a completed project, but no power supply for it. I'd probably end up robbing one from something else. The next thing I know, I'd have a ton of projects unfinished and in pieces.

I really like SparkFuns's generic 5V adapters. They seem to power pretty much anything I throw at them. They've never overheated and I've never had a single one die on me. They're pretty small and lightweight. I like how they don't have any logos or branding on them of any kind. Very no-frills. They're perfect for any hombrew-DIY project.

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I had pretty much hit the $60 mark, but I needed to order another DS18B20 temperature sensor for the upcoming Bare Bones Arduino V3 Temperature Shield. I told my Dad I'd make him one, so I'd need another sensor.

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I was very happy with the way that the Tesseract came out, so much so that I really wanted to do something with the leftover LED Display Board that I had. I though something with a mix of red, yellow, and orange would look like fire or something. I have a few red and yellow LEDs that I've pulled from various things over the years, but I figured it would look that much nicer if I just ordered a set of all-new LEDs for it.

With that, I ordered 5 red and 4 yellow LEDs. It should be a quick and easy project. Since I'm only using 2 PWM channels, I could probably get away with putting the Tesseract code on an ATtiny85.

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I'm sure the hardest part will be finding something cool to put it in. It might be time to design a cool enclosure and finally try out Ponoko's 3D printing service. Maybe a Minecraft Red Stone lamp?