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Customer Testimonials » LED array looks cool ... BUT!

November 04, 2009
by paraplegic
paraplegic's Avatar

Ok guys, it is time to come up with a NerdStamp! We need a printed circuit board with the crystal, power supply and appropriate components (of course we'd like the 328) ... here's my thinking;

The LED array is a permanent component, and it needs a dedicated controller. My NerdKit is for experimentation, tear down, re-deployment and such, and I don't want to permanently dedicate a proto-board to run something like the LED array ... oh, and given the economies of scale, the Stamp kit should be about half the price of the NerdKit ... because you are getting into Arduino territory, and those can be had for about $19.00 ... and it should reduce the bundled LED array cost.

Alternately, just bundle up the components for the NerdKit, and assume a RadioShack perf board instead of a proto-board ...

I'd just rather solder up a Nerd stamp to control an LED array, with a dedicated USB interface, to make it into a viable computer peripheral.

Does this make sense, or am I just blowing smoke??

November 05, 2009
by mrobbins
(NerdKits Staff)

mrobbins's Avatar

Hi paraplegic,

Thanks for the suggestion. I think the idea of having a more permanent (solderable) board for the NerdKit is interesting, particularly for customers who have already had the learning experience of going through our kit and want to make some more physically permanent circuits, and I'll be looking into it.

In particular, our recent introduction of the LED Array Kit has made it even more possible for us to explore this idea, because we explicitly require soldering, which we did not with the USB NerdKit alone. (I still think solderless is the way to go for people to get their feet wet and for everyday tinkering, but with expansions / add-ons I do not object to having soldering.)

For now, there are two alternatives:

  1. We do have the "Build Your Own Project Package" with microcontroller, breadboard, crystal, and cap for $14 (ATmega168) / $15 (ATmega328P) in our store, available now. We hope this does a good job of making it inexpensive for our customers to expand to have lots of active projects at once.
  2. Use something like this solderable proto-board from RadioShack instead of a solderless breadboard.

I think the other question is as to the USB / Serial interface to dedicate to these more-permanent projects, and again we do offer that in our store in two parts now (USB-RS232 and RS232-TTL). Again in the context of these more-permanent projects, I can see how miniaturizing / making a more "dedicated" interface might be useful and we are exploring some options in that direction, but from a technology point of view it ought to behave exactly as the current setup does.

So to summarize, the system/circuit we have now "works" from a electronics perspective and is available from our store today, but you're suggesting that re-packaging it in a more permanent form would be helpful for certain kinds of projects. I agree and will start thinking about this! Thanks again,


November 06, 2009
by paraplegic
paraplegic's Avatar


Thanks for the quick and thoughtful reply. The store is growing nicely with respect to the available products, and yes, the kits you refer to will work, sort of. I have some of the RadioShack proto boards, so I'll test this out.

Might consider adding a socket for the chip, and some headers .. as far as programming, the rs-232/usb interfaces can be added and taken off after programming ... for the dedicated projects, so the board will bring all the pins out to headers, have a slide switch for programming, and voila ... we can all roll our own arduinos or better yet, NerdStamps ... 8-)

Cheers, Rob

December 13, 2009
by Hewitt2
Hewitt2's Avatar

The fact that the nerd kit does not have a permanent plug in is what pushed me to this kit. I am sure that after I get past the first few prototypes and get to a project I want and need and want it permanent I might change my tune. Of course I do this hobby so I can learn and make stuff myself. I have begun researching ways to bring my own boards and thus be able to make my own printed boards and thus make my own permanent solution.

I guess I say this because I know me and if there was a pre tested working mod that I could buy then I would start making my own and then after the first few trials give up buy the mod and then because I didn't build it loose interest in it. By not having it available I am forced to work through my trials and learn.

Just another opinion.

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