Batteries
MAKE reader Rotwang has a mini book review of Batteries and Magnets Kid Kit “This book was my favorite book when I was about five or six. It’s all about how to make pretty simple games or toys out of stuff around the house. Like cardboard, tape, wires, batteries and lights. The book introduces children to electro-magnets and circuits.”

“From the publisher: This 32-page book shows you how to make things that go, things that glow and things that buzz and flash. Use the motor, propeller, battery holder and wooden dowel to make the whizzing plane that really flies. The pipe cleaners and magnets will help you learn about the properties of magnets while having fun at the same time. Kit contains paint (ASTM D4236 approved), brush, propeller, magnets, pipe cleaners, motor, round hook, battery holder and wooden dowel.”Link.


  • cheesy

    Or you could do the same thing for much cheaper:

    http://pic18fusb.online.fr/wiki/

    samples.microchip.com has free samples

  • BrianSchmalz

    cheesy – yup, the _only_ expensive part is the PIC, and it is easily available for free from Microchip. Breadboarding one of these yourself, or even etching your own board is super easy. Not quite as easy as shelling out $25 to SparkFun, however. :) But definately cheaper. See the schematics on SparkFun and/or my site for details on how to make your own. http://greta.dhs.org/UBW

    *Brian

  • Oracle1729

    I’ve noticed that sparkfun has been offering less and less value for more and more money lately.

  • AndyPeters

    Ummm, big deal. Silicon Labs has a USB-to-RS232 bridge, as does FTDI.

  • BrianSchmalz

    Andy – very true, as do a bunch of others. They are much better at emulating a true RS-232 serial port. However, that is not the point of the UBW at all. There is no ‘real’ RS-232 port on the UBW – it is purely a virtual thing. When plugged into a computer, your computer automatically gets an extra ‘com’ port, which you can use almost any language to ‘talk’ to. On the UBW side, you can write code for the processor that receives the messages from the PC and sends messages back, as well as run arbitrary code. This is what makes the UBW different from the RS-232 converters – you get to run your own arbitray code on it.

    *Brian