Arduino Forum

Topics => Education and Teaching => Topic started by: TerryKing on Mar 26, 2011, 10:11 pm

Title: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: TerryKing on Mar 26, 2011, 10:11 pm
Hi,
I have several Starter Sets now available that I developed for Arduino Workshops and classes I am doing.  My scrounging for low-cost parts got out of control and now my Chinese friend Peng and I have put this online store together.

There is an Electronic Brick starter set with 12 different pluggable input and output devices, including various temperature, light, sound and Motion sensors. One version includes an open source copy of an Arduino Duemilanove. Comes with a Sensor Shield V4, cables, and compartmented carrying box.  I have found these to be a big advantage in a class situation where you can be sure things are connected right instead of debugging several different breadboards during a class. 

I also have several Starter Sets with a selection of Input and Output devices, breadboards, and many components. Some come with an open source copy of Duemilanove or Mega.  I also have some selection of electronics components in sets of resistors, capacitors, transistors and diodes.

Online Educational Materials are in development; some are useable; all will be getting better over the next several weeks.  See http://yourduino.com (http://yourduino.com)

You can see the Starter Sets here: http://arduino-direct.com/sunshop/index.php?l=product_list&c=6 (http://arduino-direct.com/sunshop/index.php?l=product_list&c=6)

An example of the developing Electronic Bricks manual is here: http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/BrickStarterSet (http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/BrickStarterSet) and here: http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/ElectronicBricks-1 (http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/ElectronicBricks-1)

I think you will find the prices very attractive, and we have 2 or 3 shipping options to most areas of the world. Recently added Tahiti and Iceland on customer requests so Arduino works in any climate! 

I would really appreciate feedback on what you see here and what you'd like to see in the future.  We have access to  "Radio Row 2011" in Shenzhen, China where we can get almost anything electronic. 

I would like to collaborate with anyone teaching Arduino / Electronics on both online materials and courseware.  Open Source - Open Course is the future, and collaboration is key to good ideas and materials.

Thanks for listening and supporting my scrounging-for-bargains habit!

Regards, Terry King

terry@yourduino.com
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: fkeel on Mar 27, 2011, 05:12 am

hey. where is your shop located? (just wondering about import taxes etc.)

nice prices and interesting starter kits... next time I order stuff, I'll consider your shop.

cheers

p.
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: TerryKing on Mar 27, 2011, 06:54 am
Hi @fkeel,

Hey, I am inspired by your other-media work.. and I am sure others will be too.  Can I link to your stuff from here?? http://yourduino.com/whatcanido.htm (http://yourduino.com/whatcanido.htm)

Our "Shop" is a combination of two guys from the ends of the Earth, with one end being the Electronics Hub of Shenzhen, China. See: http://arduino-direct.com/sunshop/index.php?l=page_view&p=about_us (http://arduino-direct.com/sunshop/index.php?l=page_view&p=about_us) ...and the other end being wherever my International Librarian wife gets a job.  So far that has been Tunisia (in mythical Carthage, .5 Km from Zine Abidine Ben Ali's Palace ), Shenzhen, China - near Hong Kong, and now the Middle of the Middle East at KAUST.edu.sa . Home is Vermont USA where we live in a Log Cabin in the Woods (http://www.terryking.us/photoalbum/v/china/workers/ChinaWorkers--05.jpg.html (http://www.terryking.us/photoalbum/v/china/workers/ChinaWorkers--05.jpg.html), and http://terryking.us (http://terryking.us)) where we will end up after the next two years or so in Genoa, Italy, closer to ArduinoLand. 

AFAIK there are no export taxes from China, and in (many) countries small shipments of < $150 or so are not usually taxed. But Customs is unpredictable, and you may have to end up paying duty if they pull you out of the crowd.  Where I live in Saudi Arabia, stuff can sit in Customs for 20+ days  :0  We try to label stuff "Educational Electronics" FWIW.

So It's really a big World, and I am fortunate to have friends from so many places and cultures and experiences. It's a long story that I have to write. 

Peng and I have done many things together, such as http://miluoriver.cn/ (http://miluoriver.cn/) and I am as home in his small village in rural China (http://www.terryking.us/photoalbum/v/china/ruralchina/ (http://www.terryking.us/photoalbum/v/china/ruralchina/))as I am in Vermont.

Peng and I are both concerned about the future of China's villagers, and the jobs they have now and in the future: http://www.terryking.us/photoalbum/v/china/workers/ (http://www.terryking.us/photoalbum/v/china/workers/) We are working on ways the Village can become involved in the value-add of the modern world without giving up rural life and moving to Shenzhen. We are talking to Uncle Zhou, who is the "mayor" of Gao Ping about how the economics of the village work today and what the future might bring.

Peng has written one book and most of another, and I have done a lot of discussion and editing with him.

So it is an exhilarating journey, and someday we may both make a living at it. But the Journey, and new things to try, and communicating with people is what matters.
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: mowcius on Mar 29, 2011, 02:07 pm
I am intrigued as to the pricing and labelling of the boards you use.

Presumably due to the prices of the kits, the board (in your $65 kit) is not an official Arduino Mega despite the board in the pictures having the labelling 'Arduino Mega'.
If it is not an official Arduino board then it cannot have labeling on it implying that it is (the Arduino name is trademarked). If it is not the board pictured, and instead is a derivitive board with 'yourduino' labelling then perhaps the picture should reflect that as it would likely confuse people as it is currently.

Boards like this: http://arduino-direct.com/sunshop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=5 cannot say say 'Arduino Duemilanove' on them either - even if they state that they are an open source copy - as per the Arduino.cc policy page (http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Policy)
Quote
What about other uses of the word "Arduino"?
    .....
    you do not include the word "Arduino" (or derivatives thereof) in the name of your product, company, or domain name without permission


The kits look like good for what they contain though.

Mowcius
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: TerryKing on Mar 29, 2011, 03:01 pm
Sorry, That Mega image came from a supplier and I have removed it...

There are at least 5 or 6 suppliers of copies of the original boards.  I have tried to make sure that any that we sell come with labels that identify them as "Open Source Copy" or "Arduino Compatible".
I have no control over the actual PCB artwork before they are relabeled.  

I'll try to make VERY clear what is not Original Arduino...

But Ebay is outta control in so many ways... "Arduino Duemilanove" gets 208 results.  That's wrong, and I am trying to be clear about that situation while making low-cost stuff available to people who need it.  In my workshops I use mostly original UNOs and suggest to people that they at least buy an original Arduino board to support the effort.
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: mowcius on Mar 29, 2011, 03:58 pm
Quote
Sorry, That Mega image came from a supplier and I have removed it...

There are at least 5 or 6 suppliers of copies of the original boards.  I have tried to make sure that any that we sell come with labels that identify them as "Open Source Copy" or "Arduino Compatible".
I have no control over the actual PCB artwork before they are relabeled. 

I'll try to make VERY clear what is not Original Arduino...

But Ebay is outta control in so many ways... "Arduino Duemilanove" gets 208 results.  That's wrong, and I am trying to be clear about that situation while making low-cost stuff available to people who need it.  In my workshops I use mostly original UNOs and suggest to people that they at least buy an original Arduino board to support the effort.

Nice to hear that :)

I personally only purchased one official Arduino but I recommend to others that they buy their first board as an 'official' arduino, not just for supporting the community but also for ensuring that if they have an issue - well all know exactly what the board is like as most of us have at least one of them. Some clone board or variation may have many other issues that people may not have encountered before.
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: fkeel on Mar 30, 2011, 08:31 pm

I was under the impression that the pictures of arduinos on the site are simply photoshopped versions of original arduinos. I was going to ask what moscius pointed out as well. The descriptions seem clearer now, but the images still are confusing. I would rather see a picture of the actual board I am buying ...

Anyway I need to pay a bunch of bills tonight, and if I have any money left after that ... theres an order coming your way :-)
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: TerryKing on Mar 30, 2011, 10:02 pm
I understand the concerns on this...

The "Open Source Copies" that are "Arduino compatible" are made by companies that are using the released design files from Arduino.cc, and they look very close to the originals. The Megas have a little bit different color board.  We've asked for copies without the "Arduino" silkscreen labeling, but no one is making them that we have found.  If we get big enough we will have a production run done with different artwork. Meanwhile, the stickers / printing...

A couple of these images came from the suppliers, but I think we shot the 168/328's ourself, by the high image quality.

There are stickers applied to the actual boards denoting them as Open Source Copies.  We want to be 100% open on what are copies and what are original Arduinos.  Our application as official Arduino distributor is in the works; right now we have to buy from a middleman at almost the retail price.

Go to http://ebay.com and search on "Arduino Duemilanove".  You'll get many dozens of Arduino copies with almost no disclaimers.  We don't think that's right.

We have legal copies, labeled as copies, and tested by us before shipment. That's the best we can figure to do so far.

Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: mowcius on Mar 30, 2011, 10:21 pm
Quote
We have legal copies, labeled as copies, and tested by us before shipment. That's the best we can figure to do so far.

Yeah that sounds much better than some do.

On minor thing you could do atm is change the title you have as 'Arduino Microcontrollers' to 'Arduino Compatible Microcontrollers'.
Then they all fit into the category. The official Arduino board is compatible with Arduino too.
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: TerryKing on Mar 31, 2011, 12:13 am
...
One minor thing you could do atm is change the title you have as 'Arduino Microcontrollers' to 'Arduino Compatible Microcontrollers'.
Then they all fit into the category. The official Arduino board is compatible with Arduino too.
[/quote]
Good Idea! Did that....
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: odjiri on May 07, 2011, 10:24 am

Hi,
I have several Starter Sets now available that I developed for Arduino Workshops and classes I am doing.  My scrounging for low-cost parts got out of control and now my Chinese friend Peng and I have put this online store together.


Hello, Terry!
I think what you and your colleagues are doing for making popular Arduino (YourDuino) and electronics in general  among young people, is very important, especially in developing countries like mine, where most people can't afford to buy one Lego Mindstorms NXT, but really want to study and to get educated in electronics and programming. 
I'm from Russia (but not Russian), we have here mostly 'grown' specialists who can make an Arduino (we have a version here called a Freeduino), but it's only for adults, people who are skilled in electronics already.
Speaking about applying Arduino and its clones for educational purposes, I think the idea is just brilliant.
Actually, one of my friend advised me to google for Arduino when I'd asked about MIT media lab's PicoPoard ( http://www.picocricket.com/picoboard.html (http://www.picocricket.com/picoboard.html) ) of PicoCricket kids set. I planned to use Arduino with Scratch in a learning group... if I ever have a chance to gather such a study group. Still I do everything by myself as a volunteer (now I'n preparing a web site with Scratch video lessons) ... sometimes getting despair (maybe I just waste my time).

I discovered this forum topic and I'm so glad I can learn from people like you Terry.


Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: TerryKing on May 07, 2011, 11:48 am
odjiri, Let's keep in touch about this.

There is an effort called Modkit http://www.modk.it/ (http://www.modk.it/) that is working on an Arduino programming environment that is based, I think, on SCRATCH.

I have updated a lot of my material and I hope you and other will find it useful.

Take a look here: http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/ (http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/) for some of that.

And here: http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/BrickStarterSet (http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/BrickStarterSet) is the Educational Starter Set we have. Just click on any Electronic Brick for How-To information and examples of hookup and Software Sketches.  This is oriented for the easy-to-connect Electronic Bricks, but that's just a connection convenience and breadboarded parts could be used just as well.

I was fortunate to visit the MIT Media Lab several times about 10 to 7 years ago, and meet Seymour Papert, the author of MINDSTORMS and other developers of the LEGO Mindstorms system.  I hope to keep working on Educational materials forever!

For people just starting out, this: "Getting Started With ARDUINO and software":  http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/GettingStarted-Software (http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/GettingStarted-Software) may be a good start.

My other stuff and low-cost hardware starts here: http://yourduino.com/ (http://yourduino.com/)

Suggestions, Critiques from anyone appreciated!!  terry@yourduino.com
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: odjiri on May 07, 2011, 12:12 pm
Thank you so much, Terry, for you help and advises.
I will  study everything about Arduinos and how it can be used in kids education  thoroughly, starting from yourduino.com - the information is represented in a very clear and understandable way for kids (I try to regard it as I was a kid). MIT media lab gave the world wonderful project like Scratch or PicoCricket (development of the last one is suspended now, as it seems, it has come to a logical end actually, besides now there is Lego Mindstorms, but again I don't think Mindstorms is really affordable 'for the rest of the world').
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: TerryKing on May 07, 2011, 12:39 pm
Let's try to figure out what would be a "really low-cost robotics starter set" with 2 motors, Arduino compatible controller, and a few sensors.

Anyone???

Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: odjiri on May 07, 2011, 01:09 pm
in our region, Arduino clone (Freeduino=Arduino Duemilanove) costs approx.$30 without cables etc. (
http://www.freeduino.ru/arduino/freeduino2009.html)
In your shop, the same model - $17

servo motors :
http://arduino-direct.com/sunshop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=128 in your webshop $8.50
http://shop.roboforum.ru/product/servoprivod-sm-s4303r-plast-shesterni-postojannoe-vrashenie/ same model - $21 . almost 3 times more expensive :(((

so as you can see, it depends on region : in any way,I would order ready kits from your shop because it saves me lots of money.
shipping from China to Russia is quite low if not to use DHL.

The starter kits from yourduino already have very good pricing.
IF there were several basics video lessons on how to work with these kits, that would be perfect.
You have some great written tutorials  http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/BrickStarterSet
But modern kids are lazy to read, unfortunately ;(
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: TerryKing on May 07, 2011, 02:15 pm
Shipping:

I'm still learning about different countries.

Have you had things sent to Russia (from ebay seller, perhaps) by "Hong Kong Airmail Registered" ?? What was your experience??

Anyone else??

Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: odjiri on May 07, 2011, 02:22 pm
Yes Terry, I've received some goods from China (Guanzhou-Moscow) via DHL  and also with EMS (is a Russian postal service), from a small Chinese factory. It was no problem. Ems is much cheaper. Also I regularly send documents to S.Korea via EMS - normally successfully, too.
The time of delivery can be longer rather than DHL (for ex., 7 days instead of 1 day with DHL), but the price is really an issue.
with EMS you can check status of your delivery on their web site, so for me it's quite ok.  
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: TerryKing on May 12, 2011, 04:11 pm
OK, I'll do some checking on shipping...

Please tell me a street, city and country and postal code (does not have to be exact) so I can research...

Regards, Terry King

terry@yourduino.com
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: odjiri on May 16, 2011, 05:22 pm
Hello, Terry! Sorry for being out for such a long time.

Here is the information about mail and posting in Russia with EMS : http://www.ems.com.cn/ (http://www.ems.com.cn/)

And also I found one very useful link http://taobaofocus.com/order/shipping-fees-from-china (http://taobaofocus.com/order/shipping-fees-from-china)

It seems that using AIR MAIL  (China post) is the chipest one, DHL is most expensive one.
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: odjiri on May 16, 2011, 06:09 pm
Terry, would you please tell me, if you know.

I am very interested in PicoCricket sets ( http://www.picocricket.com/whatisit.html ) and PicoBoard of these sets ( http://www.picocricket.com/picoboard.html , http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10311 )
, but the PicoCricket sets are expensive. Is it possible to create sensors analogous to PicoCricket sensors with Picoboard or analogous devices? Sorry if my question looks silly, I am new to electronics.
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: oscarcar on Jun 04, 2011, 08:20 pm
I like your kits. Very nice.

Within a year I'd like to get familiar enough with the electronics that I could start an Arduino robotics/anything
club for kids. Your kits seem like a good thing to offer the kids who want to take one home to work on.
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: TerryKing on Jun 04, 2011, 09:50 pm
Hi Oscar,

By that time we will definitely have even more Educational material and Courseware that you can use.

For now, take a look at a few things:

What Can I DO with an Arduino: http://yourduino.com/whatcanido.htm (http://yourduino.com/whatcanido.htm)

A Quick Start with Arduino:  http://yourduino.com/get-an-arduino.htm (http://yourduino.com/get-an-arduino.htm)

How to Get Started With your Arduino:  http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/GettingStarted-Software (http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/GettingStarted-Software)

I am working with a couple of teachers now on Course materials for young people...

Any suggestions or pointers appreciated!

Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: fkeel on Jun 07, 2011, 07:48 pm

Let's try to figure out what would be a "really low-cost robotics starter set" with 2 motors, Arduino compatible controller, and a few sensors.


Does it have to be arduino? Cheapest robot I can think of would be using two small motors and two photoresistors and either make it run towards or away from light. You can probably get the cost of that down to around 2$ :-) (hm - you might want to throw in some potentiometes to adjust sensitivity, and some transistors for voltage regulation... shouldnt be such a hard task :-) ..)
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: liuzengqiang on Jun 08, 2011, 06:56 pm


Let's try to figure out what would be a "really low-cost robotics starter set" with 2 motors, Arduino compatible controller, and a few sensors.


Does it have to be arduino? Cheapest robot I can think of would be using two small motors and two photoresistors and either make it run towards or away from light. You can probably get the cost of that down to around 2$ :-) (hm - you might want to throw in some potentiometes to adjust sensitivity, and some transistors for voltage regulation... shouldnt be such a hard task :-) ..)


Certainly without arduino a kit can be cheap. But once that purpose is done, there won't be room for much improvement, like a robot that goes towards light, and after getting bored, starts to stalk the cat. That needs a little brain of a microcontroller. If I built a robot, I would want it to ultimately stalk a pet, cat being my top choice, they are so curious  :smiley-mr-green:
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: fkeel on Jun 10, 2011, 08:07 pm
now that might be a fun robot...

it reminds me of: http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/03/polar-bears-destroy-robot-spy-cams-show-no-remorse-video/

wonder how long it would take the cat to do the same. but yeah, a cat sensing robot might be an awesome toy to build.

*

still, simplest robot I can think of has two sensors, or one sensor mounted on a servo, and a differential drive using two continuous servos. Add an arduino for upwards compatibility to later stalk cat or mailman.
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: liuzengqiang on Jun 10, 2011, 08:37 pm

Add an arduino for upwards compatibility to later stalk cat or mailman.


I have thought about making a mailbox robot to sing and offer the mail man a gift card around X-mas. I just didn't get a house yet :)
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: fkeel on Jun 23, 2011, 12:10 am
for the record:

I ordered some equipment from Terry's store. It arrived within 10 days (dont remember exactly, slightly more than a week I think.). Everything in the package was exactly as described.

I am satisfied and will order again.

p.
Title: Re: Starter Sets: Electronic Bricks, Online Manual available
Post by: joseph_m on Jun 30, 2011, 01:26 pm
I was in China in 1992 I doubt that things have changed on how to do business but you need quanchi ( pinyin might not be correct but it means importance as in mayo quanchi- it's not important).  You get that by taking the guy that silkscreens the boards out to eat giving him presents and things like that.  When I was there if you wanted to ship by train you had to grease the palms of the people that work on the train.  It's like a village on the train.  But if you pass out enough stuff and do something nice for them they repay in kind.  My friend in BeiJing was so happy it only took him a year to get a telephone installed in his house.  Every week he would show up at the phone company with gifts for people. You don't want to bribe them with money, that's tacky.  But a nice meal out or some gift for them or their kids helps a lot.  Things have been working like that for thousands of years.  Just flow with it.

The thing I would really like to see is an easy way to connect lego nxt sensors and motors to the arduino.  Here is a link to Mindstorms software and hardware development info.
http://mindstorms.lego.com/en-us/support/files/default.aspx (http://mindstorms.lego.com/en-us/support/files/default.aspx)

I am going to be teaching a class to young boys so I suspect that we will be buying a number of your kits.