Where to a Lego NXT kit for less? Take #2

I am looking for a source to buy several Lego NXT kits.
Where does one buy this kit for less than list price?
Thanks
TMT
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Not even one reply?
Is this comp.robotics.misc? ;<)
Considering that this is a popular product with a strong price MAP, I would have expected this question to spur many responses.
TMT
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Yes. :)

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Too_Many_Tools wrote:

Few people use this group any more, especially as many ISPs aren't even supporting Usenet these days. I swing by rarely myself.
Anyway, my guess is that none of us would do any better than Google or Yahoo finding a better price. I think you'll find it's pretty squarely $199. I remember seeing some deal at WalMart.com, but just checking again the product appears to be sold out.
That leaves eBay, which doesn't warrant mentioning as it's pretty obvious.
-- Gordon
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wrote:

Gordon, which sites do you recommend a Lego/VEX/general robot amateur visit?
When I search with Google, I get many sites that lead to nowhere.
Thanks
TMT
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Too_Many_Tools wrote:

I think it depends on what you want to do with these. For LEGO I'd start at Lugnet. For VEX they have a forum, and often other forum members will mention an only resource they like. I usually spend 10-15 minutes quickly reading through messages, and bookmarking anything of interest into a "pending" folder. Then later on I'll cull through that to find things that are interesting.
For general robotics most of the sites these days are fairly shallow blogs or forums people have set up just so they can pimp up some Google ads. I prefer a more narrow approach. For example, I've been playing around with the Arduino microcontroller lately. Doing a search on that yields a lot more useful links. It just so happens that since the Arduino is basically designed for robotics and other small-scale automation, many of the links are about amateur robotics.
-- Gordon
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On Fri, 26 Dec 2008 16:54:58 -0800, Gordon McComb

I'll also suggest looking at the robotics club sites, such as this one for the Atlanta Hobby Robot Club (okay, full disclosure, I'm a member): http://botlanta.org / Click on links, and at the bottom are links to other robotics clubs websites.
And of course if you're ever near any of these club meetings, be sure to go. There's no charge to attend AHRC meetings, membership is mainly to offer financial support to the club and to be able to vote for officers.

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Hey Gordon....after the holidays I need to call you about a project I'm working on. It has something to do with this: http://www.heathkit.com/herobot.html
-John O
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Looks like White Box Robotics cut a deal with Heathkit: http://www.whiteboxrobotics.com/

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Yes, this is true.
Full disclosure...I work for Heathkit, and I'm running the robot project. We're into the school market, and fully realize that some of the choices we've made won't work out in the hobby market. The Mindstorms limitations discussion in this thread tells the story...despite all that it's extremely popular in schools, and curriculum is easy to find and there's some great books and lessons written.
Anyway, I'm here to learn from you guys. :-)
-John O
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Ain't nothin' wrong with that ! :-)

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On Tue, 23 Dec 2008 10:33:19 -0800 (PST), Too_Many_Tools

I know this thing is being strongly marketed to schools. If you're associated with a school, you may be able to get a quantity discount that way.

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Too_Many_Tools wrote:

This is sort of a non response...
The Lego corporation has a very strange strategy about deciding who they will let sell their products. In particular, if you choose to sell Lego products, you usually have to sign up to sell across all of their product line. For specialized network robot stores, they can not afford to do that. About the only place I see Lego NXT kits are at Lego stores in selected high volume shopping malls and at the Lego web site. There is very little discounting on Lego products.
By the way, many Lego enthusiasts feel that Lego corporation is killing themselves with this strategy. The story of Lego Mindstorms version 1 is actually quite appalling. The NXT (version 2) seems to be a little better, but after being burned by version, I decided to take a pass of version 2.
About the best price I found for NXT with very limited searching was $219 at Nextag; this is off list price of $249. You can try bidding on one on Ebay, but I doubt you will beat $210.
Have fun,
-Wayne
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Thanks for the responses everyone.
Wayne, could you explain what you mean about "being burned by the version"?
Thanks
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Just saw one on ebay for less than $200 + free shipping. I would guess that trolling ebay in the next few weeks might be a good bet. There are bound to be some given as gifts and then lost interest in ... I've had good luck searching for misspellings now & then, too. Less bidders for the ones spelled wrong (*most* of the time). Good luck! JCD
wrote:

Thanks for the responses everyone.
Wayne, could you explain what you mean about "being burned by the version"?
Thanks
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Too_Many_Tools wrote:

I guess he means he was somehow burned by the first version, maybe he bought one and then the NXT came out.
Speaking of Mindstorms, I'm clearing out my personal inventory of RCX-based Mindstorms. I think I have three of those but none are complete, 3-4 of the Discovery bots (which can be programmed by the same IR tower), and various accessory packs. I'm not decided if I want to sell them as closeouts on Budget Robotics or put them on eBay (which I don't like using). I'm pretty sure at least two of my RCX bricks have modified firmware, so they'd be for the more advanced user. If anyone is interested, shoot me an e-mail to the un-spammed version of my e-mail.
And sorry TMT for stealing the thread a bit. I actually forgot I had these in storage...
-- Gordon
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wrote:

No problem Gordon...an interesting conversation is never in a straight line. ;<)
Have a great holiday!
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wrote:

How many "versions" are there of the NXT?
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Gordon McComb wrote:

Nothing like that. I bought 2 NXT's and had a friend donate a 3rd one to me. They are gathering dust in drawer somewhere.
My real problem with the Mindstorms is that it is a dead end system. Once you build a few simple robots, you spend the rest of your time fighting the limitations of the system. The documentation is awful. If you need more parts, there is no easy way to obtain them. If you run out of sensor/motor ports, tough. The vendor supplied software is really quite crippled and useless. After spending a fair amount of time and money struggling with the system, people get frustrated, and drop out of the hobby. The Lego corporation is not very committed to robotics. Since I think robotics is a neat hobby, I get frustrated when I see people bail out due to frustration.
For those of you who do not know, I am currently the president of the HomeBrew Robotics Club in Silicon Valley (San Jose, Calif.) As president, I frequently get asked where to start. After asking a few questions in response ("what are your skill levels in electrical, mechanical, and software?") I usually point them at the Parallax stuff (or sometimes the VEX stuff.) The advantage with the Parallax stuff is that much of what you are learning can be moved forward when finally exhaust the capabilities of the Basic Stamp 2. Parallax has a ton of excellent documentation, sensors, etc. The Vex system has some great mechanical stuff and the Vex "brick" is way more capabilities than the Mindstorms bricks.
My $.02,
-Wayne
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Wayne C. Gramlich wrote:

Quick correction. I have a total of 3 RCX's (version 1) and my son has 1 NXT (version 2). All of them are gathering dust.
-Wayne
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