April 30, 2008
News - New Product Friday: Spinn…
about 3 weeks ago
Yes it was said a few years ago when Dick Smiths went to be the Techspets - going with tvs, computers, etc, btw they went broke doing this and was sold off by their parent company. I learnt electronics from their Fun Way into Electronics Kits (vol 1, 2, 3).
Tandy was the Australian version of Radio Shack and we had one in our town - it was good as they stocked some of the dick smith stuff too.
We now have Jaycar and Altronics - thse are for the electronics hobbyist and do an excellent job. They carry Ardunios, and many introduction kits (Jaycar’s short circuits kits are the same thing as the dick smith kits - great for kids learning)
that’s my two cents
News - LilyPad MP3 Giveaway!
about 7 months ago
As a teacher I would like to build a wearable sound machine that I can use to interact with my class. It could get a wireless signal from the computer when a student get a question right. It could randomly say a students name to answer a question or if I press a button it could play music or a memory jingle or something. It could also interact with the loudness metre tie that I am building with pixel gear from adafruit.
the kid love it when I do something weird like that. I keep getting in trouble because my classroom looks like a makers space.
News - Enginursday - Open Source…
about 2 years ago
We use Creo at school and the students find it easy to use - similar to solidworks but ‘free for educational use’
about 3 years ago
Why are these kits $1,250 when the inventors kit without retail box is only $95 ie 10 x $95 is only $950. Is there something extra that isn’t in the just the standalone kit?
Just wondering as I have a very tight budget and $300 is almost a semesters electronics budget.
News - Microcontrollers for Educ…
about 3 years ago
It is very adhoc and dependant on the flavour of the month. Remember that the government and associated bodies need to justify there spending. Here in Australia during the GFC the governement spent there way out of recession (and it generally worked) by buying a laptop for every year 9 to 12 student - problrm was at school we didn’t have the inferstructure to handle these laptops to be added to the system - so they upgraded each of the schools with the minimum solution - they then had to come back and upgrade it to make it ackually work. now these laptops are getting old and we are trying to find out how to replace the laptops for the next wave of students (and we have a school of only 200 students)
News - Using the ProMicro
about 3 years ago
the ICSP header is if you want to program it as a PIC. the Picaxe only needs two resistors and a basic serial connection to program.
There are many great and varied boards about that are build for various applications (not just the restrictive adruino footprint) and it is easier to breadboard.
In terms of language and uses each have their own benifits, as a teacher, picaxe basics is alot easier to teach and for the students to understand without all these hidden libraries but then again it doesn’t have some of the functions that arduino has.
I prefer PICAXE and that is my decision, what would you prefer and amstrad or commodore 64?
about 3 years ago
for the picaxe lovers out there - here is some picaxe code using the 18m2
love the bright vivid colours that can be produced, massive current draw though.
what is the policy of replacement if the water prof casing cracks? the first led isn’t showing due to a crack in the sealant.
News - eTextile Fashion
about 4 years ago
Many of my students will be presenting at the Concept 2 Creation Expo in Adelaide South Australia on 10th and 11th November - many projects inspired by the news stream here - the fashion parade was watched with wonder by the group making wearable electronics. If you want more info I can add it.
I do understand your opinion but as a teacher of electronics I want all the tools at hand to engage the students into my (our) world. I have over the last 3 years used the Lilypad system, EL wires and many other basic electronics and embedded them into clothing, hats, shoes etc to get them in (especially girls). the comment is they would have never considered a career in electronics and especially not look at it as a possible hobby (only for those geeky people isn’t it?) 2 of these girls are now studying electronic engineering at uni.
Hobby electronics doesn’t have to be hard. Once you are in then you can get the absolute joy of solving the hard problem.
Lastly all great inventions started life as some dumb down crap that someone tinkered with - it just took someone to make that into a must have thing. My students have just competed in the highs schools section of the UAV Outback challenge - their motto is the military can do it, the government can do it but if we get privateers, unis and schools doing it - we will get a cheaper and left field solution. The Uni of North Dakota won the open section (first team to find Joe in 4 years).
Keep on the weird and wonderful I say - love your work sparkfun.
News - Solder Class and New Proj…
about 5 years ago
Robocup Junior is a cool contest for high school students, this version was started in melbourne in 99. started using lego mindstorm then the nxt, now many teams in Australia use a combo of lego and pics, atmega, picaxe etc. There are 3 competitions, dance, rescue and soccer (football).
www.robocupjunior.org.au is the Australian website.
Our school uses many sparkfun products combined with picaxe micro in the rescue and dance comps.
No public wish lists :(
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