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Gadgetcat founder’s group wins NYC NASA SpaceApps competition

Gadgetcat founder Brooks Zurn traveled to New York City to take part in the NASA SpaceApps competition. She was a member of team Senti8 , which developed a wearable scent-emitting bracelet to help astronauts feel more connected with friends and family on Earth. Senti8 won “Best Use of Hardware” for the New York City mainstage event, and have submitted their entry for the International competition. Check out their page at http://www.senti8.com and give them some support by liking their Facebook page, twitter account, etc.

Many of the components used in the Senti8 band are available in the Gadgetcat store.

Senti8 in the news – Adafruit blog post, FamiLAB blog post

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New Product – NeoCandy

Gadgetcat has reimagined the ever-popular NeoPixel in a new, tasty form factor!  Like its cousin the NeoPixel, the NeoCandy comes in a variety of appealing colors and a convenient size.

NeoCandy goes well with Maker Fuel –  Bawls or Cherry Bawls is recommended.

Notes: While the NeoCandy is much tastier than NeoPixels, the brightness depends on ambient lighting, and color of each is constant. However, apply enough power and you can make just about anything light up.

 

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NeoCandy

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Gadgetcat heart :)

We love gadgets. And cats. So for Valentine’s day we combined them. Thanks to the facilities at Sunshine Labs (our new business home!) we custom-designed and made a heart with the Gadget Cat in the middle.

Gadgetcat 3D Heart AutoAwesome

  1. First it started with a post-it note drawing.
  2. Then the design was made in Autodesk, the vector for the Cat logo was imported from a vector Adobe Illustrator file. When done, file was saved as an .STL file
  3. The .STL file was imported into MakerWare, which computed the slices for the 3D printer. MakerWare generated the gcode.
  4. The gcode was saved onto an SD card, and put into the MakerBot 2x dual extruder and printed it.
  5. When it was completed, we inserted a battery-powered RGB LED flasher that we made in less than a minute.  Instructions for that are below.

To make the tiny RGB LED flasher,

  1. We used two flashing RGB leds 
  2. We coiled the ends of the LEDs to pinch a CR1220 battery. We chose the CR1220 because it is a 3V battery which has small enough current that it is safe to connect directly to LEDs. No additional resistors or components needed.  
  3. Then the LEDs and battery were placed inside the hidden compartment.

Voila! a flashing red and white heart for lovers of Gadgets, Cats, and Gadgetcat alike!

 

Gadgetcat Valentine Sketch

 

 

 

Gadgetcat Valentine 3D Print

 

Gadgetcat 3D Support Removal

 

Gadgetcat 3D Heart Sketch

 

Gadgetcat LEDs

 

Gadgetcat Two Color Heart

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How to get the PiTFT screen to work for your Raspberry Pi

The Adafruit PiTFT screen is a handy touchscreen that plugs directly into your Raspberry Pi.  With a case that holds the screen, and a wireless keyboard, you can turn the Raspberry Pi into a tiny touchscreen computer!

We wanted to make it as easy as Pi to get started 🙂  The easiest way is to just use SD card with Linux and the screen drivers pre-configured. Plug in the card, and it just runs. Like a laptop.

So, we made a downloadable image file that you can copy onto your own SD card. Or, skip the download and get an SD card with the files pre-installed.

Step 1: Get an SD card that has 4GB or more of memory (note: all old files on this card will be erased)

Step 2: Download the SD card image file

Step 3: Install the image file on your SD card.

Step 4: Remove the SD card and place it in your Raspberry Pi with PiTFT screen

Now you’re ready to go!

 

 

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New – we designed a PiTFT case!

We got a bunch of the new PiTFT screens, and attached one to our Raspberry Pi B… and the screen fell over.  One even cracked 🙁  It really needs a case. So… we made one!  https://www.gadgetcat.com/product/modified-raspberry-pi-box-for-pitft-touchscreen/ This is a great little enclosure. It is based on the Adafruit open-source case, and has an opening for the screen. It covers just the edge, and holds the screen securely in place without sliding, or touching other parts of the Pi internally which could potentially cause shorts. We hope it’s as helpful for you as it’s been for us!

Screen Image 2Case Shot 1Case Shot 2Screen Image 4

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Free gift for new customers!

We got some acrylic colors in and are now trying them out! So let’s put them in orders for new customers. Made on-site. Here’s a pic of the latest version.

If you’re an existing customer, and want one, email us at info@gadgetcat.com and we’ll get one to you!

colored acrylic gadgetcat key chain

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Improving website (slowly! )

You may have noticed we started adding some product to the website. Thanks to some help from our friends at FamiLAB and the Orlando area, we did a thorough inventory of what’s in stock. Also figured out how to have special pricing on the website. Soon people will be able to find out what we have in stock, and their pricing, without having to email us personally.

So far it’s working well, people are already successfully placing orders through the web interface. This will help us to streamline the ordering process for you.