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New Product Roundup – April 29th to May 5th

Our weekly New Product Roundup is back today with a collection of low cost products to get your robotics project moving! We have an easy to use Gearbox Motor, a matching wheel and tire combination, and for the more advanced users, a compatible encoder disk. Robotics aren’t your thing? We also have a smaller Lead-Free solder option, an updated version of our popular 5V 40mm fan, and a new version of the BBC micro:bit Breakout from SparkFun. Let’s go have a closer look at each!






SparkFun micro:bit Breakout (without Headers)

For anyone just getting started with electronics and coding using the BBC micro:bit – the 3 analog/digital input/output rings are probably enough to keep you busy. But, the micro:bit is quite a bit more capable than that – it actually has 21 I/O pins along the bottom edge of the board. This breakout board makes all of these pins available in a solderless breadboard.

The breakout ships without headers and will require some soldering to assemble – this way you can add headers (or wires) of your own choice.

Lead Free Solder Tube – 15g

This tube of solder is just the right size to keep in a toolkit. The solder is lead free 96.5/3/0.5 (96.5% tin, 3.0% silver, 0.5% copper) and features a “no-clean” water soluble rosin core. We recommend this solder for people with experience soldering as the melting point on this solder is quite a bit higher than leaded solder. The tube has 15 grams of solder measuring 0.031″ diameter.

5V Brushless DC Cooling Fan – 40mm

This basic 5V DC fan measure 40 x 40mm and is about 10mm thick. The fan is very quiet and moves approximately 6CFM. As of May 2, 2018 we have updated this fan to have a 2.54mm pitch female connector, making this compatible with the GPIO header on the Raspberry Pi when connected to the correct pins.

3-6VDC Hobby Gearmotor

Using a basic DC motor to drive a wheel on a robot can be a bit tricky. Small DC motors tend to have a very high shaft speed, very low torque, and no easy way to connect to a wheel. These all in one “TT” Gearbox Motors take care of everything!

The DC motor is coupled to a 1:48 reduction gearbox in an easy to mount assembly. On each side of the gearbox there is a 5.5mm flatted output shaft – these can be used to connect wheels and rotary encoders. The “no load” output shaft speed is approximately 120 RPM at 3V and 250 RPM at 6V. An ideal speed for a small roaming robot!

Encoder Disc

Encoder disks are used to make a form of Rotary Encoder – a type of sensor typically used to measure the rotation speed of a shaft or motor. These are ideal when building a wheeled or tracked robot – they can be used to determine distance traveled, correct differences in motor speeds, and when coupled with other sensors, if it is moving or stuck!

Plastic Wheel + Tire

This simple plastic wheel measures 65mm in diameter and features a soft rubber tire. These are designed to fit on our 3-6V Gearbox Motor, and simply pressure fit onto the flatted shaft. The wheel and tire set can also be found in the SparkFun Inventors Kit 4.0 and the SparkFun micro:bot kit.

Upcoming Workshops


With the nice weather out there, our scheduled workshops will be taking a break over the summer! Do you have a group or want to schedule a private session? These are still available for booking, please contact us for more information!

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