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NerdKits Newsletter Archives » NerdKits Newsletter #1 - Forums, Guide, and New Videos

July 30, 2009
by mrobbins
(NerdKits Staff)

mrobbins's Avatar

This newsletter was released on May 8, 2009.

Hi! This is the first edition of the NerdKits newsletter. The aim of our newsletters is to keep current customers (and future customers) up to date with the goings on at NerdKits.

In this issue:

  • Our new forums and members area
  • Improvements to our NerdKits Guide
  • 2 New Video Tutorials
  • Congratulations to Ben Meeder


Perhaps the most exciting new addition to the NerdKits educational experience is our Forum and Members area. As of the time of this writing we have over 450 registered members. Since its launch in early April, our forum includes over 60 threads with more than 300 posts in topics ranging from basic electronics, to troubleshooting the NerdKit, to brewing beer! We are very happy to see how well the NerdKits community has responded to the forum, and best of all we are very happy to see NerdKits customers helping each other.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has left their comments in our Customer Testimonials section. Many new customers have looked at this section before deciding to buy, and word of mouth is what keeps us in business! If you have not gotten around to it, make sure you leave your thoughts -- we would love to hear them.


As part of our continuing commitment to bring you the best educational experience possible, we try to make constant improvements to our USB NerdKits Guide. Based on commonly asked questions we have added a more detailed explanation of bitwise arithmetic and how we set and read registers on the ATmega chip. We have also added a section on reading resistor values based on resistor color codes. We would love your feedback about whether these sections have improved the guide, and would welcome suggestions for future improvements.

Another very recent feature that some of you may have noticed is the Bookmarks on the PDF. A special thank you to user Kevin who suggested we add bookmarks to our NerdKits Guide. With the added bookmarks you can jump directly to a certain section for reference. If you do not have the latest version, go download it from the Members area.


We are also proud to announce (for those of you who do not regulalry check our website) the release of two new educational video tutorials. The first is the Real Time Clock using only the USB NerdKit. This video was the direct result of members on the forums asking how they could keep track of real time. The project itself is very basic, doing nothing but count up the seconds, but as usual we hope that the NerdKits community takes these basics and builds something cool on top of them.

The other video is the Piezoelectric Sound Meter. This video is our first attempt to really highlight the usefulness of having a firm grasp of analog electronics. At NerdKits we try to "black box" as little as possible. We feel that by being exposed to the nitty-gritty details, it empowers our customers to really understand the systems they are building. That said however, this is the first video where a truly difficult analog concept was presented and we would love to know what you thought! Are these sorts of more through videos things you would want to see in the future? Let us know at or post a comment on our forum.


NerdKits would like to congratulate Ben Meeder on winning the 2009 North Museum Science & Engineering Fair. Using a USB NerdKit, servos, and a whole lot of ingenuity, he built a table tennis robot! Check out his personal website, as well as an article in his local newspaper talking about his achievement.

Ben will be competing in the Intel Engineering & Science Fair next week. Good luck Ben!


Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for being such great customers. Make sure you tell your friends and neighbors about NerdKits so we can keep America's DIY spirit alive!

Best wishes,

Humberto & Mike
NerdKits, L.L.C.

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