Andrew Terranova from Let’s Make Robots mods the Spazzi Robot project from MAKE 27 to use less expensive solenoids. He calls it the EconoSpazzi. He writes:
While I was filming Make: Live episode 12, I saw they had a Beatbots Spazzi. I love those things. Becky gave me a set of the Makerbot printer parts. I was really stoked to make one. However, when I looked up the other parts I would need, I saw that the solenoids they were specifying on the Makezine.com website were $18 each. That’s too much for my wallet. I new a source for a similar solenoid for only $1.50 each. Thus, econoSpazzi was born. I bought my solenoids from allelectronics. They are rated for 24V DC, but I found that after I cut the included spring to size, they worked fine at 10-12V DC.
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In the Maker Shed:
Make: Spazzi Electronics Partial Parts Bundle