The folks over at Sparkfun do wonderful things for the open source hardware community, and their tutorials on designing circuit boards using Eagle CAD and surface mount soldering using toaster ovens helped me a great deal when developing the first Tricorder. I had to write them a thank you letter, and the next morning I woke up to a great letter from Nathan and some of the other folks at Sparkfun.
Sparkfun has very generously offered to contribute a Sparkfun Inventor’s Kit for Arduino into the prize pool. The kit was specially designed by the folks at Sparkfun as a great introduction to electronics and microcontrollers, and includes projects for temperature, light, and flex sensors for budding Tricorder enthusiasts:
This kit has it all. It includes the Arduino Uno, the fabled baseplate, and all the sensors you can shake a stick at. The SparkFun Inventor’s Kit for Arduino is a box of goodies to get the very beginner started with programmable electronics. It includes all the bits you need to build 12 basic circuits, no soldering required! On top of that, we’ve joined forces with Oomlout to offer a small booklet to get you started. The SIK comes with everything pictured and a 36 page color printed ‘starter’ guide. The guide will take a complete novice and get them:
Controlling a toy motor
Controlling a servo
Making (bad) music
Responding to buttons
Twisting a volume knob
Detecting ambient light
Controlling big devices
Mixing LED colors
We believe these to be the building blocks of any electronics project. Once these concepts are mastered, very impressive projects are possible using simple recombinations.
Very awesome! If you haven’t already, check out what is probably the nerdiest contest you will ever enter for a set of unpopulated Tricorder boards from the first run. Thanks Sparkfun!