Aug 7, 2009

HiTechnic Experimenter's Kit A & Solderless Prototype Sensor Board

The wonderful folks over at HiTechnic have released a new offering that will interest electronics beginners, science teachers, and advanced tinkerers with a very cool way to play, learn, and create! HiTechnic's Experimenter's Kit A with the Solderless Phototype Sensor Board will enable you to go far beyond what LEGO has in mind for the NXT. The HiTechnic Experimenter's Kit A is a clean and easy way to integrate the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT with the world of homebrew electronics and circuits while keeping your NXT warranty intact. Crack into the potential of the NXT without cracking the NXT! Control something with the NXT...Have something control the NXT! Prototype the next big 3rd-party sensor! Bend the NXT, some circuits, and your mind!

HiTechnic has added The Experimenter's Kit Handbook…a fantastic guide full of detailed step-by-step projects teaching beginner electronics and sensor prototyping on the included Solderless Breadboard. This handbook provides a wonderful way for Mindstormers to learn about electronics and have fun at the same time. They have included enough components to build 8 experiment projects detailed in the Experimenter’s Kit Handbook, every one providing many different educational aspects of user electronics. Each chapter of the handbook explains how to identify the components, construct the project’s circuit, and run an example program. Programming examples and custom blocks for NXT-G, LabVIEW, NXC, and RobotC are available for each project.

The real treat is that this kit allows experimenters to design and build custom circuits and sensors to interact with the NXT through a normal cable connection. If you create something worth saving permanently, try their Solderable Prototype Board.

Take a Look! The Experimenter’s Kit A Handbook and sample programs are available for download here. Look through it and let the ideas flow! If you create something, send me some details and I'll post it to the blog.

I’m in the process of reviewing this kit and going beyond the kit projects by spinning it through a few of my own dark experiments and homebrews. In the coming months I’ll show off what’s being twisted in my own secret lab. (covert photo..)

Christopher R. Smith
Littlehorn

4 comments:

Action_puny said...

cool, but do they sell this prodect that requires soldering? I luv soldering

Christopher R. Smith (Littlehorn) said...

HiTechnic might agree to swap the 2 boards if you ask in an email. Or, they do sell the Solderable Board by itself. But, if you want to use the solderable board for each of the handbook experiments soldering/desoldering over and over again...you might damage a solder contact area/pad on the board after a while if you are not very careful when desoldering the components.

The "Solderable Protype Board" is really for when you have decided to keep one circuit design permanently.

Then again, if you are keen, you can use the Solderless Board for the same function by "breaking-out" the pin contacts (that's not breaking them out of the board...its a term used to describe expanding their contact area for multiple component connections). This is a more compact solution anyway.

It's all about what you want to do and what you can make happen with your skillset.

Chris

megamindstorm101 said...

This looks like 1 of the best hitechinc kits I have seen yet. I was thinking of buying this solder less prototype board but decided to hold off because I have no experience in homebrew and didn't want to fry my NXT. This is the perfect set. Lots of parts so there is no need to go to radioshack and pay 20$ extra to get some parts and then sift through articles online to find instructions. Everything is in one pack even programming instructions. I cant wait to get my hands on one of these awesome kits.

Brian Davis said...

This is exactly what I used on the HALE mission (the prototype board has been out for a while, but I beta-tested an early version of the experimenters kit). It allowed my to run from one NXT sensor port two temperature probes, a CDS light sensor, and a reed relay to turn the heating systems on and off. It's a fantastic, easy to use interface, and I'd highly recommend it. In fact, the temperature sensor circuit that was in the pre-packaged kit was essentially the same as what flew on HALE. Really well-designed.

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