Closed Monday Sept 5, New Product

Labour Day. Do be honest, I don’t even know what the big deal is. I mean, most of society does it (labourizing) for a living. What’s the big deal? Apparently we need to celebrate it. That’s right, rejoice about that thing that we do practically every day. And the way we celebrate it, go figure, is to spend a day not doing the thing we’re so excited about. Actually, to quote a source that’s more knowledgeable than yours truly (ie, Wikipedia), Labour Day is “an annual holiday to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers.” You know, for establishing things like 8 hour working days. So Solarbotics and HVW Tech will be closed on Monday, September the 5th while we work a full 0 hour day. We’ll be slaving away over such things as not work, so that when we reopen on Tuesday the 6th we can resume shipping orders and answering all the correspondence you can throw at us.

In other news, do you remember Matt’s Pummer Flower video from last week? If you thought it was as cool as we did and want to build your own, he has now finished his Instructables project. If you’re looking for a project to tackle over the long weekend, we suggest you go check it out.

Netduino PlusIn other news, we have a brief announcement from Yana, a wonderful coworker that handles a huge chunk of the content management and graphic design. She determined that the best way to get across some Netduino news was via an archeological-themed post. This is what she proposed we say:

“Rare as petrified sauropod vertebrae and beautiful as an aquatic salamander, the NetduinoPlus is back (in stock), as powerful and versatile as ever! Even fortune-telling using ground-up archaeological marvels will not tell us why these microcontroller artifacts are so rare, but it doesn’t change the fact that here they are. Catch one (or two) while you can.”

Now, unfortunately for Yana, at the age where most children were smitten with dinosaurs and critters and exploring for ancient ruins, I was smitten with a rather alarming fixation on Star Wars and its expanded universe. Still, I’ll do the best I can to introduce this week’s set of new items in an archeological approach.

/Clears throat

Hey man, did you hear about all those new items we got in from SparkFun? They’re as awesome as all those bones they found. You know, the ones that were in the ground. Covered in old dirt and stuff.  Unlike new items which are shiny and awesome, those old bones were… old. Like, really old. And they used to belong to some dinosaurs or prehistoric people. You know, like some homo erectus. They died a long time ago. From boredom, because they didn’t have this SparkFun stuff to help them make their primitive tools used for hunting… Cantaloupe Antelope. And… Mammoth Bison Velociraptors. They probably hunted in packs and traveled single file. You know, to hide their numbers. But they weren’t very precise with their blaster fire. As compared to, say, Imperial Stormtroopers.


Wait, I can salvage this. Tuskan Raiders were framed by Imperial Stormtroopers, who commuted all the way from the Death Star, which fired lasers. And what do we have this week from SparkFun? Laser modules.


Laser Module Mount Laser Module - Red with TTL ControlXBee Explorer Dongle
SparkFun VoiceBox ShieldLaser Card Module - RedSparkFunLiquid Level Sensor

  • Laser Module Mount – Everybody needs somebody to love, and every laser needs a holder!
  • Laser Module – Red with TTL Control – This is the basic laser card module with circuitry built in so that it can be turned on/off with a TTL signal.
  • XBee Explorer Dongle – With the Xbee Explorer dongle you can now plug the unit directly into your USB port. No cables needed!
  • SparkFun VoiceBox Shield – The SparkFun VoiceBox Shield adds all the capabilities of the SpeakJet voice and sound synthesizer to your Arduino Project via serial commands.
  • Laser Card Module – Red – Don’t be fooled by the 0.8mW rating. This little module is powered with 3V and projects a very clear, bright, red dot pretty much wherever you point it. If only it had that ‘Beware of Laser Radiation’ sticker on it…
  • MP3 Player Shield – This new revision of the MP3 player shield retains the awesome MP3 decoding abilities of the last version but adds the storage functionality of the SD card shield.
  • SparkFunLiquid Level Sensor – Need to measure fluid levels? This eTape sensor is a solid state, continuous fluid level sensor ideal for non-nasty environments (but including water).

So there we go. A brief exploration of Labour Day, an Instructables project, the Netduino back in stock via an archeological approach, and a failed (and rescued) analogy that lead into SparkFun goodies. What more could you want? What’s that, a weekend? Fine, but just this once though.