Electronics

Review – AVAGO – ASMT-LW60 – LED Fibre Optic Strip

I’d say that LEDs have  been one of the fastest spreading new technologies in the last 10 years.   Consider now that most cars are being manufactured with LED lighting for all the turn/marker/brake/DRL lights.  They have even made an impact with home lighting – even though people are being gouged with inflated pricing (IMHO) from places like Home Depot, Rona, Lowes  This will change as LEDs become mainstream… Just wish I had...
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DYI, Mods, Hacks & Stuff

Review – OPTEK – Warm White LED Strip

Lately, I’ve been toying around with different LED strips for my projects.   I’ve had the chance to use a variety of LED strips (both RGB, and single colour types).  They come in many flavours – water proof, 3m-backed, silcone encased, sealed, non-sealed, exposed etc.   All have their advantages / disadvantages.
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LEGO Robots

Review – Dexter Industries – DI Thermal Series Sensor Roundup (Updated)

I recently had the chance to test out a set of Dexter Industries Thermal Sensors produced for the NXT. For those that are not aware, Dexter Industries has entered the market of producing LEGO Mindstorms NXT-compatible sensors and has come up with some pretty cool ideas such as the dSwitch (allows you to switch in-home devices on/off using the NXT) and some cool new ideas such as solar charging for the NXT as well...
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Sensors & AddOns

Reviews – Mindsensors Magnetic Compass

The folks at Mindsensors were kind enough to send me over this Magnetic Compass sensor to test. The sensor serves the useful task of providing the NXT with an indication of its heading angle from magnetic North to the NXT. It uses orthogonal two-axis magnetic sensor from Honeywell (HMC1052) and provides digital communication with NXT. Click the image below to see a video showing the compass in action. I did a brief test of...
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Sensors & AddOns

Review – TechnoStuff PIR (Passive Infrared) Sensor

ne of my early Mindstorms projects was to build a fire extinguishing robot. I did this using the parts I had at the time. It was based on a walker platform and used a pneumatic circut to “blow” the fire out when detected. It worked reasonably well with the provided light sensor. Recently, I discovered the PIR (Passive Infrared Sensor) from TechnoStuff. This sensor was built to detect infrared heat and seemed to be...
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Sensors & AddOns

Review – TechnoStuff DIRPD Sensor – Review

One of the my challenges was to build a bot that could effectively avoid obstacles before it hit them.  My first attempt was to use the Lego Light sensor and the RCX to do this. The RCX would send out IR pulses and the Light Sensor would be used to read them and, based on how long they took to get back to the Light Sensor, could determine proximity. This worked realively well, with...
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Books

Building Robots with Lego Mindstorms

A while back, I received an email from Mario Ferrari informing me that he was going to send copy of his new book, Building Robots with Lego Mindstorms.  When I received the book, I immediately cracked it open and skimmed all the sections.  My first reaction was that the book being some 600 pages in length contained a plethora of information similar to that of other Lego Mindstorms books written by other Lugnet members. ...
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Books

Official Guide to Lego Mindstorms

The Official Guide to Lego Mindstorms by Johnathen Knudsen.  I found reading this book to be quite informative.  I have spent much of my time building and programming Lego Mindstorms.  The book covered this area from the basics right up to higher level development.  There were many pictures, step-by-step instructions and code samples as well.  I learned a few tricks from the code samples in this book.
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Books

10 Cool Lego Mindstorms Ultimate Builders Projects

Having participated in the creation of this book, I have to admit some bias to the review. 10 Cool Lego Mindstorms Ultimate Builders Projects contains 10 original Lego Mindstorms creations.  The model I submitted is DominoBot. It was a great challenge to build and create the building instructions for this model.  The book contains step-by-step instructions on how to build each of the 10 robots.  The book should challenge the intermediate enthusiast and contains...
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