USB Basic Stamp 1 question

Ok, I have been interested in robotics for decades. Decided to do something about it. So my question is, has anyone tried the BS1USB
Board? From what I gathered it is the Stamp 1 on a USB plug in. Allowing easy connecting to the computer. I've read where it is suggested going with the Stamp 2 because of memory size. However, I would hate to invest a whole lot of money, time, and energies for something I might just get tired of before I even get started. You help in these matters would be greatly appreciated.
Lee
Oh here is the link to the BS1USB Board. http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=BS1USB
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Lee wrote:

I don't see any point in going for the BS1 if you're starting out. The BS2 is a lot better if you're wanting a complete package like that. For microcontrollers with built-in interpreters, you should also look into the OOPic, BasicX, and Atom. The OOPic is good in that one of the boards, the OOPic R, is stand-alone, similar to the Basic Stamp BOE board. Most of these products with carrier board, cables, etc., is at about the $100 mark, and that's not too much of an investment for a first learning tool.
-- Gordon
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I agree with all of Gordon's comments.
You might want to check out Parallax's USB BS2 board / kit: http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id'807
With the USB BS1 stick you mentioned you would need to add components to do anything besides programming it --- you would need LEDs and resistors at a minimum to see any output from it. With the BS2 kit shown in the link above, you could then add one of Gordon's robot bases to it and have a full blown robot! (I rolled my own from an old CD drive chassis and a BOE board.) What you should start with and how much you get out of it initially depends on your beginning knowledge and what kind of stuff you have laying around to experiment with. If you don't have any electronics "pieces and parts" laying around, then a kit like the one mentioned above is a good starting point because you can end up spending just as much as a kit's price by buying everything separately.
In addition, Parallax sells some refurbished (which usually just means returned) kits on eBay under the name "pbasic1" on eBay at a decent discount from the brand new price. Just search for "Parallax" on eBay and you may find a few bargains to fit within your budget. I just checked and there a quite a few kits from Parallax or others on there right now.
The other controllers Gordon mentioned are well worth looking into, also. They tend to have more capabilities than the Stamp products.
Personally, when I buy something like this I try to purchase it (and keep it in good enough condition) to resell on eBay if it doesn't work out or when I need to move up to something more powerful. I can almost always get at least 50% of my money back on it and sometimes even more. I call it "recycling my cash".
Good luck! JCD
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