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What I would buy/bought with $100 at SparkFun Electronics

What I would buy/bought with $100 at SparkFun Electronics

Since SparkFun Electronics announced Free Day on January 7, 2010, I figured I’d start looking at what exactly I could get for $100. (I’ll only link the big items for risk of being called Spam by Googlebot.) This list is a work in progress, I’ll add more as I search.

To anyone new to electronics, I would suggest the Arduino (See for more information).

Idea 1: Oscilloscope kit and soldering supplies (Probably better to get the Oscilloscope Kit at Seeed Studios for $33)

  • Digital Oscilloscope Kit $45.95
  • BNC probe kit $12.95
  • 9V DC/350mA power supply $5.95
  • Soldering Iron Stand $5.95
  • Brass Sponge $2.95
  • Diagonal Cutters $1.95
  • Total: Not quite done yet!

Idea 2: Reflow toaster controller kit and swag

  • Reflow Toaster Controller $89.95
  • SparkFun Pint Glass ($9.95) OR (SFE Iron-on patch ($4.95) and SparkFun Coffee Mug ($4.95)) OR Sparkfun Projects Case (Clear) ($11.95)
  • Total: $99.85 or $99.90 or $101.90

Idea 3: 3pi Robot (Probably better to get the 3pi at the Maker Shed, since their 3pi bundle is on sale for the same price, and use the free $100 to get other stuff)

  • 3pi Robot $99.95
  • Total: $99.95

Idea 4: Eee PC Hacking (NO. These modules’ antennae are too big for the Eee. A separate GPS with panel-mount SMA would be better.)

  • 20-Channel GS405 (SiRF Star III chipset) or 50-Channel GS407 (u-Blox 5H chipset) Helical GPS Receiver. Either is $89.95.
    (People have been having problems getting GPS to work right when put inside the EEE 700/701/702, but they’ve been trying to use a ceramic antenna instead of a helical one. Maybe helical is the answer?)
  • Surface-mount connector to fit the above. For GS405, $0.95. For GS407, $1.25
  • Total: $89.95+ (or maybe more Eee hacking stuff)

Idea 5: Uber Eee PC Hacking

  • UFl to RP-SMA Connector for external wifi antenna, $4.95 (Plus antenna, $7.95-$9.95) (Sold out for now, i’ll leave it alone)
  • Arduino Pro Mini 328, $18.95 (3.3V version or 5V version) OR Breakout Board for PIC24HJ64 – Mini Bully, $19.95 (3.3V) (Though neither have the serial to usb converter onboard… They would require something like the FTDI Basic Breakout, $13.95)… Maybe I should just make my own from a USB-capable PIC SOIC board?)
  •    OR… Just use an FT2232 chip to do all the controlling! (I’ll custom-build a circuit board based on FT2232 and a latch to control the innards of the Eee… Power switching to various devices, spi expander for sensors, etc)
  • FM Receiver Breakout Board – AR1010, $14.95 (Hmm, not RDS-capable…)
  • Triple Axis SPI Accelerometer Breakout – SCA3000, $44.95 (Temperature compensating, voltage regulated, input 3.35V-10V) OR Triple Axis Analog Accelerometer Breakout – ADXL335, $24.95
  • Total: $?+

Idea 6: Soldering Station

  • Soldering Station Variable Temperature 70W – Digital, $99.95
  • And maybe a smaller tip (each $14.99)
  • Total: $99.95+

Subtotal: GPS (Idea 4) + Uber Eee PC Hacking (Idea 5)