Fun with Electronics and Code

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Parts and Supplies

Well it has been ages since I posted last but wanted to let any of you that might actually read this that I have found a couple of great places to get parts and supplies. For the last few months I have been running a Robotics club (based on the 3Pi Robot http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/975)with some other fathers with kids around my sons age. We have done the line following, maze solving and are now moving on to much more advanced stuff like using an Ultrasonic Sensor and IR receiver. lots of fun.

Well one of the other father pointed me to a seller on Ebay called Chip_Partner http://stores.ebay.com/chippartnerstore and it is some Chinese group that sells electrical components dirt cheep and includes free shipping. So we needed 5 ultrasonic sensors and decided to give this place a try. Well for less than 12 dollars we had 5 of them shipped. It was supposed to take 2+weeks to arrive but 4 days later they showed up. Not sure how that works as this shipping would seem to cost more than that parts but it works. We have been using the ultrasonic sensors for a couple of months now with no issues.

The second place is Deals Extreme http://dx.com/. At first it just looks like another fake inline store that will just steal your money and if you ever do get it, it will not be what you wanted. However I realized that they have an entire section devoted to Arduinos and their stuff is super cheap (I mean cheap and not inexpensive). Some of it is clones of designs out there available for free on the web. what got my attention was this board: http://dx.com/p/avrmega328p-pu-development-board-for-arduino-152598 this Arduino has built-in Servo headers and is $16.60 US shipped. If you want to separate out the power for your motors the you can add this board: http://dx.com/p/l293d-motor-driver-expansion-board-motor-control-shield-blue-172881 it is only $8.80 US shipped so for about 25 dollars you can get 3 of the major components you would need to convert a old Remote controlled car into one controlled by an Arduino.

So  I am going to order those 2 board and see if we have the same luck that we had with that Ebay group.

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