LEGO® Mindstorms® and LEGO® Technic® on Steriods!
To relax at evenings, at times when the weather is inclement and when my health lets me down, I enjoy building LEGO® Technic™s and Mindstorms™ Contraptions & Models.
Between myself and my two children we have around 50Kg of LEGO®, ranging from Large Containers of Duplo & Standard Bricks, to Technic™s & Mindstorms kits & parts. I have in excess of 25+Kg of LEGO® Technic™ & LEGO® Mindstorms™ parts which include 2x Micro-Scout kits, 2x RCX Kits, 1x Full NXT (#8527) Kit, 5x Extra NXT Programmable Bricks, 2x Full Mindstorms EV3 (#31313) Kits, and with the following Mindstorms Add-ons:
LEGO® NXT Parts:
- 4x NXT Touch Sensors
- 2x EV3 Touch Sensors
- 3x NXT Light Sensors
- 1x NXT 2.0 Colour Sensor
- 2x EV3 Colour Sensors
- 4x NXT Ultrasonic Sensors
- 2x EV3 IR Sensors
- 2x EV3 IR Beacons/Remotes
- 30x NXT Servo Motors
- 4x EV3 Large Servo Motors
- 2x EV3 Medium Servo Motors
- 22x RCX Touch Sensors
- 4x RCX Light Sensors
- 4x RCX Rotation Sensors
- 18x RCX/Technic Motors
- 4x 8882 PowerFunctions XL-Motors
- 4x 8883 PowerFunctions M-Motors
- 4x 8884 PowerFunctions IR Receivers
- 1x 8879 PowerFunctions IR Speed Remote Control
- 2x NXT Hitechnic Compass Sensor
- 2x NXT Hitechnic IR-Seeker Sensor
- 1x NXT Hitechnic Infrared Electronic Ball
- 1x NXT Colour Sensor
- 1x NXT Hitechnic IRLink Sensor
- 1x NXT Hitechnic Gyroscope Sensor
- 1x NXT Mindsensors NXT-Cam (Mindstorms NXT Vision System)
- 2x NXT Mindsensors Multiplexer for NXT Motors
- 1x NXT Mindsensors Multiplexer for NXT Sensors
- 2x NXT Mindsensors Multiplexer for RCX Motors
- 1x NXT Mindsensors Multiplexer for RCX Sensors
- 1x NXT Mindsensors 8 Channel Servo Controller (NXTServo-v2) -
- 1x NXT Mindsensors PF Motor controller (PFMate)
- 3x NXT Mindsensors Port Splitter for NXT Digital Sensors
- 1x NXT Mindsensors PlayStation 2 Controller interface(PSP-Nx-v3)
- 1x NXT Mindsensors Touch Sensor Multiplexer
- 2x NXT Mindsensors NXT Relay Driver
- 1x NXT Mindsensors Numeric Pad
- 2x NXT Mindsensors GlideWheel-m
Dexter Industries® Parts
- 1x Wifi Sensor
- 1x NXT2WiFi Module
- 1x dIMU Inertial Motion Sensor
- 2x NXTBee ‘Digi XBee Radios
- 1x dGPS Global Positioning Sensor
CatCan Creative® Parts
- 8x Metal Gear Standard 43g RC Servo Motors Home-brew
- 8x Metal Gear Full-circle 43g RC Servo Motors Home-brew
- 8x Metal Gear Standard 9g RCServo Motors Home-brew
- 1x PCF8574 (I2C) based 4 Output LED Lighting Controller Home-brew
- 1x PCF8574 (I2C) based 8 RCX Touch Switch to NXT Multiplexer Home-brew
- 2x PCF8574 (I2C) based 8 RCX Touch Switch to NXT Multiplexer Home-brew
- 2x NXT 5mW Laser Sensor Home-brew
And Lots of Pieces Acting Like Wet String, too Connect Them All Together!
The majority of my parts are stored in compartmented Clear Lidded Cases. The lid hinges have been modified to allow the lids to be unclipped and filed away whilst in use. The large Black and Yellow Boxes are excellent with moveable/removable compartment dividers. In most cases I’ve use a Hot-Glue Gun to glue the dividers too stop them accidentally falling out. I’ve glued extra dividers in to create extra, but smaller compartments to help maximise the space. My most commonly used parts live in these boxes, excluding wheels.
Smaller versions of the Black & Yellow cases which have fixed dividers are used for the larger less commonly used parts. The remain small “Fishing Tackle Box” types house the least used and mainly small parts. I do have a couple of large plastic containers for the 4-5kg spare beams, plates, connectors & bricks which are not black in colour. I’d prefer to use my favourite colour green, but most parts are hard to obtain in the amounts I need.
I’m a very regular user of Bricklink and I regularly spent my beer money there instead of making it to the pub. Mindsensors also tend to do quite well out of my beer money too. I would love to be like Xander with his 7-8 NXT’s but I guess I’ll have to make do with just a pair for a while. I wish it was possible to go to the LEGO™ website and just order 50 x 15 stud long black beams & 200 Black Technic™, Pin Connectors! But, I suppose those who sell on Bricklink would be the looses otherwise. It’s just hard to get large quantities of most Technic™s parts in the one Bricklink store fortunately.
I don’t have a dedicate room, so we tend to take over the lounge room. I usually work on the sofa in comfort. The commonly used cases of parts live behind the sofa when not in use.
I’m fortunate in that I spent my working life as an Electronic & Data Infrastructure Technic™ian for many years until my heath let me down 10+ years ago. I am no longer able too work a normal 9-5 job and lot of my time is spent indoors. My LEGO™ keeps me sane most of the time, and keeps the grey-matter active. You need to be very unwell before you are not to be able to “Play LEGO™”!
I have a full electronics lab set-up in my shed which has most equipment needed to work on extending my NXT. Unfortunately, cash was a bit short a few years ago and I ended up selling my 100Mhz, 4 Channel Oscilloscope, which I miss dearly. I will hopefully get a replacement PC based on in the future so I can work in comfort at my PC instead of the shed. A scope can often help solve many issues quickly when in development.
I advise every one with an NXT to purchase a Breadboard and/or one of the Sensor building kits available for NXT from Hitechnic and Mindsensors. They are a great way to learn what makes the NXT kit tick! A soldering iron and a multimeter are available for just a few dollars outlay now days and will definitely be handy for many things besides playing with your Mindstorms™ Kit.
For all your LEGO™ Parts, Software & Accessories visit BrickLink.com.
BrickLink.com is a venue for individuals and businesses from all around the world to buy and sell new, used and vintage LEGO® through fixed price services. Most Stores accept PayPal.com for payment, which is a very safe and secure method of buying on-line. I have purchase of 75% of my LEGO™ Parts through BrickLink.com over the last 10 years. In all that time I have never had any issues with my purchases. I’ve purchased LEGO™ Parts from 23 different countries around the globe, and counting. BrickLink.com currently has 100,306,468 items in 3,161,619 lots in 3,592 stores, as of Jul 2, 2010 08:00.
LEGO™ Compatible Rotacasters
I was the instigator in having a LEGO™ Technic™ compatible Rotacaster Omni-wheel available to LEGO™ Builders around the World. Many thanks to Mr. Peter McKinnon from Rotacaster for having faith in me to take on the challenges involved with developing what is an Industrial Rotacaster Omni-wheel, into a product suitable for use with LEGO™ Mindstorms™ & other Robotics Platforms.
Videos of my Lego Mindstorms Contraptions!
Complete Rotacaster Omni-wheel details are available at : www.rotacaster.com.au
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