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1  Community / Products and Services / My Radioshack Experience on: December 10, 2012, 02:58:20 pm
I recently went to my local RS for a couple bits and pieces for a project. While there I noticed they started carrying Arduino products and accessories. I ended up buying an Uno, a RS branded JPEG camera "shield", a Seeed TFT LCD, and a Seeed SD shield, intending to gift them this Christmas. The employee at the register said everything was compatible.

The intended result was a JPEG camera that took pictures, stored them on a SD card, and displayed them on the screen. Not wanting to give someone a broken gift, I started putting things together. Here's what I found:

The camera's documentation, hosted on radioshack.com, is sealed in a Windows self-extracting executable. It wasn't an issue for me to install WINE and open it, but the gift's intended recipient would have found this to be an insurmountable task.

The documentation and included example are of pretty low quality. So much so that I never got the camera to communicate with the Uno, or my Mega. I suspect the camera was damaged, but don't have a way to confirm that.

The Seeed LCD being sold at RS is Version 1, which is out of date. Seeed's documentation is much more thorough, and I was able to run almost of the demos. There is a demo for reading a png from a SD card and drawing it on the screen. However, due to pin layout, that's impossible when using Seeed's SD shield. I was recommended to buy a Version 2 shield to have such functionality.

The Seeed SD reader had decent documentation and examples, and I was able to read and write to a SD card.

Conclusion: Had I not tested the shields my relative would have received a very disappointing gift. I've returned everything, and don't plan on buying Arduino accessories at Radioshack again.
2  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: Mega 2560 Solder Bridge on: January 27, 2011, 02:56:46 pm
I'll have no problem removing the bridge, but I will always question whether there are other, less visible, errors with the board. SparkFun said "hope you know how to email or solder  smiley-razz " in IRC.

My main reason for posting here is to let people know about the problem. If it happens to one board, it's undoubtedly happened to others. Losing a $65 piece of hardware because you were so excited to load its first program that you neglected to check for errors is an awfully saddening thing.
3  Development / Other Hardware Development / Mega 2560 Solder Bridge on: January 27, 2011, 02:37:41 pm
I received my Mega today, and was alarmed to see the 5V and 3.3V pins joined with a solder bridge.

Is this common?
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