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31  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Workshops / Re: Arduino Interest in Toronto or Waterloo, Ontario on: February 08, 2009, 07:24:38 pm
Nigel,

Glad to hear that Creation actually stocks Arduino and accessories.

To be honest, when I stumbled onto their web site about two months ago, I was so disappointed by their site that I didn't bother to check them out with a store visit.

Now that I know better, I will check them out in a couple of weeks when I am back downtown.
32  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Workshops / Re: Arduino Interest in Toronto or Waterloo, Ontario on: February 06, 2009, 04:45:02 pm
Dirigible,

I agree with you on buying locally whenever possible.

To that end, I have been talking up the Arduino to the youngest (probably more like in his 30's than in his 20's) guy at Sayal in Cambridge.

They already supply quite a bit of product into the high schools and Conestoga College. Who knows if enough of us ask for Arduinos they might start to stock them.

However if you can . . . get your butt to Active Surplus on Queen Street . . . I always seem to buy more than I plan, but the stuff is great. One of the best places for gears, wheels and pulleys for robotics; and the only place I know to get silver solder in less than 10lb qty.

 Last time I was there I bought a couple of the little electromagnet pixels that they use on those orange or yellow highway warning signs over the 401. Apply a current in one direction they flip from black to orange . . . apply the current in the other direction and it flips back. They are only $0.25 each, so on my next trip in a couple of weeks I intend to buy about $10 worth . . . right now I am trying to figure out how to run them with the Arduino.

It is not quite as simple as I originally thought as you need to change the polarity of the signal, not just turn it off and on.

PS>The only place I would tend to stay away from is Neutron Electronics in Guelph . . . way too expensive!
33  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Workshops / Re: Arduino Interest in Toronto or Waterloo, Ontario on: February 06, 2009, 03:57:14 pm
Dirigible,

I think most of us still feel like newbie's on these things, but not to worry these things are fairly tolerant of minor wiring mistakes.

As to good sources for components, I don't know who you bought your Arduino from but I bet they might also sell various sensors, servos and shield adapter boards.

Locally the best place to get model airplane servos is Flight Craft hobby store on Victoria Street in Kitchener. Small no-name servos on the front counter are about $11.

Beyond that, KW Surplus has some switches and such, but nowhere near the variety that they had 15 years ago. They do have one bargain though, Velmen bulk packs of resistors, electrolytic capacitors, LED's and transistors. The first three packs are a very good bargain in the $15-25 range each you will be well supplied. Not sure about the pack of transistors (I think about $30), they look like a lot of 2N2222, 2N2229 . . . general purpose PNP and NPN transistors so they are all good for experimentation, but it looks like not much variety . . . for $6 you could get 6-10 pairs of the ones you will most likely need for basic experimentation.

If the bulk packs look a little big . . . try splitting the cost with someone else . . . that's one of the nice things about clubs or groups is the ability to share resources of all types.

For general components (resistors, capacitors, transistors, ICs, switches and such) there is Orion Electronics at 40 Lancaster Street, Kitchener who are not too bad . . . and beat the hell out of Radio Shack or the Source of whatever it is they call themselves these days.

I find Orion a little expensive and customer service is not their forte . . . however they are definitely better than Waterloo Electronics on Hartwood Ave in Waterloo. These guys are really just set up to handle commercial accounts . . . although they are glad to take your money as well and they do have some things that are hard to get elsewhere.

Locally my favourite is Sayal Electronics who are on Fountain Street in Cambridge (directly across the street from the Toyota plant). They have tons of stuff at reasonable prices. Customer service varies . . . if you get the young guy in his 20's things are good . . . if you get one of the older guys it is a little more hit and miss. But they have a good selection and reasonable prices.

Down in Mississauga there is an industrial plaza at 1350 Matheson Blvd. that has three electronic supply stores; Sayal, Active and ??? All in one building so it is a good place to go as well.

Now if you have made the pilgrimage as far as Mississauga you might as well carry on for the full Monte and find your way to downtown Toronto to Active Surplus Electronics at 345 Queen Street West. The place is a little hard to find . . . 2nd floor of a skinny orange building just a few doors away from the Silver Surfer comic book store.

Now here you have hit the jackpot of weird, wonderful and wacky technological wonders of all varieties . . . this is the kind of place that KW Surplus was 15 years ago!


Aside from that, here are a few links to some of my favourite web stores:

http://www.nkcelectronics.com/index.html
REALLY EXCELLENT SERVICE!!! Check out the neat little oscilloscope on the TEST page of NKC; I have one and it works very well with small microcontrollers.

http://www.adafruit.com/
REALLY EXCELLENT SERVICE!!!

http://store.fungizmos.com/

http://www.robotshop.ca/
Canadian but prices are slightly higher . . . EXCELLENT SERVICE!!!

http://www.makershed.com/?Click=19208

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php
34  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Workshops / Re: Arduino Interest in Toronto or Waterloo, Ontario on: February 03, 2009, 11:46:23 am
 Ah ha . . . at last darudude has helped to circle the converstation back around to the true topic at hand, "Arduino Interest in Toronto or Waterloo."

So what of it?

We have the three of us so far . . . I live in Cambridge.

Where do the two of you live and are you interested in meeting in a central spot at sometime in the near future?

I will see if through my nephew (a Conestoga EE student) or my wife (a Conestoga teacher) we can get something posted there to elict some possible interest.

Sounds like from what has been said here, there might not be too much interest in Arduino at UoW.

35  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Workshops / Re: Arduino Interest in Toronto or Waterloo, Ontario on: February 02, 2009, 02:53:02 pm
Arduino is great bang-for-the-buck, compared to BASICStamp. You can get going with nothing more than a $40 Duemilanove and you are ready to go.

For another $12, you can have the proto shield . . . after that most of the components required for experimentation are already gathering dust in your parts-bin waiting for you.

One of the great things about the Arduino is the open source nature of the beast has helped to spawn off a variety of variations (Freeduino, LilyPad, Nano, Mini, Pro, etc) all at competitive price points. More importantly being open source has encourage the development of a wide variety of shields (proto, motor control, stepper motor, XBee Wireless, etc.) and you can even turbo charge it by replacing the atmega168 with the newer atmega328 chip for next to nothing.

Try that with BASICStamp that costs about $100 to get the equivalent of the basic Arduino Duemilanove at $40.

Having said all that it seems like BASICStamp has a better toehold on the educational market.

36  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Workshops / Re: Arduino Interest in Toronto or Waterloo, Ontario on: February 02, 2009, 01:59:30 pm
darudude,

Although I live in Cambridge, and am not a student (I am an old guy) but have been playing around with Arduinos for about a month and would like to find others in the area to share information, do workshops, etc.

Do you know of other UoW students that are working with Arduinos who might be interested in forming a group?

My nephew is a student at Conestoga College and they are using Arduinos for some of their project work.

37  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Workshops / Arduino Interest in Toronto or Waterloo, Ontario on: February 02, 2009, 01:40:52 pm
Does anyone know of any Arduino workshops or meetings in the Toronto or Waterloo areas?

Are there any other Arduino users on the list who live in the Waterloo area?
38  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Workshops / Re: Canada on: December 23, 2010, 10:28:36 am
Arduino02

You need to be a little more specific than "Canada" . . . it's a big country . . . sparsely populated, but big!

I will assume that since you did not respond to the “Arduino Interest in Toronto or Waterloo, Ontario” thread in this “Workshops” forum, that you are not located in South Western Ontario.

Where are you located in Canada?

Are there any hacker or maker club spaces in your area?
39  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Workshops / Re: Arduino group Toronto on: September 19, 2009, 12:39:51 am
Darudude good to hear from you.

No I didn't join the KW Make Group . . . it looked interesting, but there were two things that held me back:

The first was finances as I was laid off for a couple of weeks over the summer and am now only working 3-4 days a week . . . with my job still very much in jeopardy.

The other issue for me was that since I have access to a complete machine shop (though my current tenuous employment) and have a fairly well equipped home shop, the group seemed to offer me primarily a networking opportunity at a fairly heavy cost of about $600/year.

For that much money I could buy a lot of Arduinos (maybe a couple of Megas and a Gator version) or better yet purchase a used lathe or mill for my home.

Unfortunately, the laser that I had access to last year is located at my former division; however, there are rumors of an amalgamation of the two buildings, so if I manage to survive the coming corporate shake out . . . I might just have the use of it once again.

 smiley
40  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Workshops / Re: Arduino group Toronto on: September 17, 2009, 01:22:09 pm
florinc,

if you type "toronto custom laser cutting" into your favourite browser you will find a gazillion hits.

Finding a laser cutter is not hard, they are a dime a dozen . . . finding one you can afford is a completely different matter.

I can assure you that almost every one of those nice laser cut projects you have stumbled upon on sites like Instructables, have most likely been cut via skunk works or black ops methods (i.e. someone works at a place with a laser cutter and they manage to run off a "government job" after hours).

Very few hobbyists' have enough coin to pony up the $100+/hour most shops will charge.

Your best bet is to try and find a hacker space with a laser cutter and join up.
41  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Workshops / Re: Arduino group Toronto on: September 15, 2009, 08:55:06 am
My preference would be for a Sunday
42  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Workshops / Re: Arduino group Toronto on: September 14, 2009, 12:50:44 pm
Nick,

I am interested and I am sure that one or two other people from the Waterloo area might be interested in car pooling with me.
43  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Workshops / Toronto Arduino Meeting on: July 08, 2009, 10:54:56 am
Is there a Toronto Arduino Group meeting this weekend?
44  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Workshops / Re: Arduino group Toronto on: May 15, 2009, 10:37:59 am
nigel_mck, FusiveResonance, Ro-Bot-X, codegirl and torontogeek . . . you guys are loosing steam.

One of you needs to step up set a date and find a meeting location.

Darudude and I (the Arduino Interest Group) are interested in tagging along and sharing but someone at the other end needs to get things actually rolling.
45  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Workshops / Re: Arduino group Toronto on: April 03, 2009, 03:53:06 pm
I am definately interested . . .
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