Magbot Pendulum, New SparkFun Items

Dave Hrynkiw
September 15, 2011

Psst. Hey, you. We're about to show you Something Cool, and then we're going to show you some New Stuff. But, as it turns out, we're running rather low on Something Cools. This is where you come in - send us your projects! Seriously, we absolutely love to see what everyone uses our parts for or how they put a unique spin on some of our project ideas. If you're working on something and want to expose it to everyone that visits Solarbotics, drop us a line to let us know what you're building or have completed.

What kind of stuff should you send in? Something like what Arno showed to us this week - his interpretation of our classic SunSwinger:

Although the SunSwinger has been long discontinued, it's been reincarnated in the form of the Zendulum. It's nice to see that some are still keeping the circuit alive for use in a pendulum, though. And, we have to say, the wooden theme looks absolutely gorgeous. Wish you could make one for yourself, or to just see how it was done? You're in luck, there's a handy-dandy Instructables article for it right here. Thanks for sending it in Arno, we're super-impressed by the quality of  your work.And now onto the New Stuffs of the Week. It seems to be a bit of a recurring theme around these parts, but... WE HAVE MORE SPARKFUN ITEMS! Sorry, but we just can't help ourselves. Those guys have a way of getting their hands on stuff that's simply too cool to pass up, and we got it into our hands so that we can get it into your hands. Feel the love. And the hands. All over everything.
Transceiver nRF2401A Module Trace Antenna WiFly ShieldVacuum Pump - 12V
7-Segment Serial Display - BlueLaser Module - GreenKeypad - 12 Button

  • Transceiver nRF2401A Module Trace Antenna - This is a miniature RF (MiRF) 2.4GHz transceiver module with built in antenna designed around the Nordic Semiconductor nRF2401A with high sensitivity and good range.
  • WiFly Shield - This new version breaks out the PI09, FORCE WAKE, and the hardware reset lines. It also has a different crystal and uses the RN-131C.
  • XBee Shield - This new revision fixes some minor spacing and labeling issues, but functionality remains the same.The XBee Shield simplifies the task of interfacing an XBee with your Arduino.
  • 7-Segment Serial Display - Blue - These medium boxes are 76mm wide, 64mm long and 22mm tall on the outside and are ideal for small parts, components, or beads (or really anything!).
  • Laser Module - Green - A very powerful 5mW green laser. Fun, but don't point in anyone's eyes.
  • Keypad - 12 Button - The buttons are setup in a matrix format. This allows a microcontroller to 'scan' the 7 output pins to see which of the 12 buttons is being pressed.
  • Gas Sensor Breakout Board - Simple breakout board for the SparkFun MQ-3, MQ-4, MQ-6 and MQ-7 gas sensors.
  • Flex Sensor (2.2") - Patented technology by Spectra Symbol - they claim these sensors were used in the original Nintendo Power Glove. I love the Nintendo Power Glove. It's so bad!
  • Force Sensitive Resistor (0.5") - These sensors are simple to set up and great for sensing pressure, but they aren't incredibly accurate. Use them to sense if it's being squeezed, but you may not want to use it as a scale.
  • Coin Cell Battery - 12mm - CR1225 12mm 47mAh coin cell batteries. Perfect small battery for miniature sensor node applications.
  • LilyPad LED Micro - Green (5pcs) - Need a smaller way to add some 'twinkle' to your LilyPad project? Then you need some LilyPad Micros! A LilyPad Micro is like a smaller version of the LilyPad LED board.
  • Vacuum Pump - 12V - This air pump really blows! This pump operates at 12V and has enough power for most small projects.

I have to say that out of the entire selection, I'm most excited for the Vacuum pump, and I don't even know why. Sure, the randomness of it all helps (shield, display, sensor, resistor, VACUUM) I can't wait to see what kind of weird projects you people come up with. Well, that pretty much wraps things up. You can now do one of two things: Send us your projects or have a good weekend. Or you could do both. Okay, that's three things.


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