Adafruit’s Top Ten Best Selling Products of the Decade #AdafruitTopTen #DecadeofAdafruit
Welcome to the roaring ’20s!! Not only are we rolling over a new year, but we are also looking back at an entire decade! It’s great to see all the growth and soak up some nostalgia. During the last decade, Ladyada has designed more than 300 Adafruit products, many of which were suggested by you, our community members.
For the next couple of weeks we will be listing off some of the favorite posts, tweets, products and more from the 10s. Follow along and check back!
Cheers to another ten years!
We carry a few different GPS modules here in the Adafruit shop, but none that satisfied our every desire – that’s why we designed this little GPS breakout board. We believe this is the Ultimate GPS module, so we named it that. It’s got everything you want and more:
- -165 dBm sensitivity, 10 Hz updates, 66 channels
- 5V friendly design and only 20mA current draw
- Breadboard friendly + two mounting holes
- RTC battery-compatible
- Built-in datalogging
- PPS output on fix
- Internal patch antenna + u.FL connector for external active antenna
- Fix status LED
- New! Version 3 comes with the latest module which has external antenna support and Pulse-Per-Second output
…all for under $40!
The original Adafruit Motorshield kit is one of our most beloved kits, which is why we decided to make something even better. We have upgraded the shield kit to make the bestest, easiest way to drive DC and Stepper motors. This shield will make quick work of your next robotics project! We kept the ability to drive up to 4 DC motors or 2 stepper motors.
Add Internet to your next project with an adorable, bite-sized WiFi microcontroller, at a price you like! The ESP8266 processor from Espressif is an 80 MHz microcontroller with a full WiFi front-end (both as client and access point) and TCP/IP stack with DNS support as well. While this chip has been very popular, its also been very difficult to use. Most of the low cost modules are not breadboard friendly, don’t have an onboard 500mA 3.3V regulator or level shifting, and aren’t CE or FCC emitter certified….UNTIL NOW!
Wide range, low power temperature sensor outputs an analog voltage that is proportional to the ambient temperature. To use, connect pin 1 (left) to power (between 2.7 and 5.5V), pin 3 (right) to ground, and pin 2 to analog in on your microcontroller. The voltage out is 0V at -50°C and 1.75V at 125°C. You can easily calculate the temperature from the voltage in millivolts: Temp °C = 100*(reading in V) – 50
If you didn’t think that the Raspberry Pi Zero could possibly get any better, then boy do we have a pleasant surprise for you! The new Raspberry Pi Zero W offers all the benefits of the Pi Zero v1.3, but with one big difference – built-in WiFi!
Trinket may be small, but do not be fooled by its size! It’s a tiny microcontroller board, built around the Atmel ATtiny85, a little chip with a lot of power. We wanted to design a microcontroller board that was small enough to fit into any project, and low cost enough to use without hesitation. Perfect for when you don’t want to give up your expensive dev-board and you aren’t willing to take apart the project you worked so hard to design.
Deprecation Warning: The Trinket bit-bang USB technique it uses doesn’t work as well as it did in 2014, many modern computers won’t work well. So while we still carry the Trinket so that people can maintain some older projects, we no longer recommend it. Please check out the Trinket M0. It has built-in USB, more capabilities, and is comparable in price!
*BZZZZZZZZZZ* Feel that? That’s your little buzzing motor, and for any haptic feedback project you’ll want to pick up a few of them. These vibe motors are tiny discs, completely sealed up so they’re easy to use and embed.
Two wires are used to control/power the vibe. Simply provide power from a battery or microcontroller pin (red is positive, blue is negative) and it will buzz away. Works from 2V up to 5V, higher voltages result in more current draw but also a stronger vibration.
We sure love the ATmega328 here at Adafruit, and we use them a lot for our own projects. The processor has plenty of GPIO, Analog inputs, hardware UART SPI and I2C, timers and PWM galore – just enough for most simple projects. When we need to go small, we use a Metro Mini or a Trinket M0, but when size isn’t as much of a concern, we reach for an Adafruit METRO.
METRO is the culmination of years of playing with AVRs: we wanted to make a development board that is easy to use and is hacker friendly. At the heart is an ATmega328P, with 32KB of flash and 2KB of RAM, running at 16 MHz. It comes with the Optiboot bootloader already installed, and is Arduino IDE compatible.
This proto-board is the PCB you always wish you had, but never realized it! We took the basic layout of a half-sized breadboard and turned that into a beautiful PCB. The top side has a white silkscreen, and the same markings you’re familiar with, to make transferring components easy. The bottom has the 5-hole pad design that matches a classic breadboard, with 4 power bus lines on the sides, and no mask so you can easily cut traces when necessary. We used 1.2mm diameter drill holes so even parts with big leads will fit. All holes are thru-plated for strength – these won’t peel off with rework. The finish is a gold plate – you won’t get oxidation like with bare copper perf! There are also two mounting holes so you can attach the PCB to your project box.
Circuit Playground Express is the next step towards a perfect introduction to electronics and programming. We’ve taken the original Circuit Playground Classic and made it even better! Not only did we pack even more sensors in, we also made it even easier to program.
Because you can program the same board in 3 different ways – the Express has great value and re-usability. From beginners to experts, Circuit Playground Express has something for everyone.