Hello everyone and welcome back to another Friday full of new products. Let me start by saying that shipments are starting to show up. We had a dry past few weeks, but we're starting to receive all the stuff we ordered over summer. Expect the next few weeks to be loaded with goodies. We've got some exciting new stuff on the way, in addition to what we have today. It's been busy, but I'll try my best to demo and show as much as I can.
Vimeo version found here
Hey, how about that fancy new intro, eh? Hopefully showing all the little connectors and switches and such on video gives you all a better idea of how big they are and how to use them. Sometimes pictures just aren't enough. We will be getting datasheets on all of them soon enough, so stay tuned. Our supplier is on vacation, so we're just waiting for them to get back and we'll get the datasheets up on all the product pages.
This week we've got a new robotics kit from the fine folks over at Parallax. This heart of this kit is their Board of Education Shield, which is a prototyping board for Arduino that attaches to the metal chassis. The ambulation occurs with the aid of two continuous servo motors and wheels. It comes with all the hardware you need to put it together as well as a pack of electronic bits to start playing around. Their website also has a lot of resources available for educators to teach various lessons with the whole setup.
Speaking of Parallax, our own education team is going to be doing a LilyPad class at Parallax later this month. It's our first collaborative effort with them so if you're in the area (California) and want to take a class at Parallax, this is your chance. Go here for more information.
The power supply is oftentimes the last thing I design for a project, so testing it 'out in the field' consists of using it in my car, since it conveniently has a 12V power source. This 12V car adapter lets you make an easy power supply by just soldering on some wires. Taken it apart, solder in some wires, put it back together, and you have your very own way to get 12V out of your car battery. It even has an LED to indicate power.
We see a lot of books here and we turn down quite a few. Not every book makes the cut. This robotics book caught my eye because it took a much different approach to robotics. Instead of getting into the technical details, it starts at a much more basic level and incorporates fun projects you can do at home with minimal materials. Not all projects have to include hundreds of dollars of parts and hours of code! The book is primarily aimed at a younger audience, but I found it pretty enjoyable because of the amount of information it was able to cover in a relatively small space. It's worth checking out and would make a great gift for someone looking to just tinker around with stuff.
A lot of people like our small key switch, but for those of you wanting something a bit bigger and beefier, check out this new key switch. It's a little bigger, sturdier, and has a threaded barrel instead of just snapping in.
This simple barrel jack plug is great for making your own cable. Solder on some wires, crimp the strain relief and screw on the outer shell and you have a nice custom cable. It works with all the standard barrel jacks we sell (5mm, 2.1mm diameter).
Need to connect a few more pins? This 6-pin chassis connector set includes both the male and female bits and has a locking ring so it won't pull out of your panel. The panel-mount part screws into your panel while the mating plug locks into place with a threaded ring to make a secure connection. The connector even has a strain-relief clamp for those thicker cables.
This simple inline switch is what you might find on a lamp. How many times have you wanted a simple on/off switch but didn't want to have exposed wires? This inline switch neatly tucks all the wires away in its enclosure and gives you a nice clicky on/off switch for power.
We have a new version of the MaKey MaKey Standard kit this week. We are now including a set of basic jumper wires with the standard kit. Everything else is the same (except for some minor firmware tweaks). Get on the MaKey MaKey bandwagon and start finding things to replace your keyboard and mouse!
That's it for this week. My desk is over-flowing with new stuff for next week. Our photographer just got back from Maker Faire and he's got a mountain of new stuff to photograph for the site. Check back next week for more new goodies. Thanks for reading and watching and we'll see you next week!