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

Wayne C. Gramlich wrote:


I agree about Parallax being an excellent bang-for-the-buck. Though $50 for a single BS2 is a little high compared to what else is out there, the documentation and support is second to none. For first-timers I also recommend Parallax over just about anything else. The initial investment is miniscule compared to what you get out of it, and once you learn to use one microcontroller you're really half way there to the next, whether it's from the same company or a completely different.
I suggest LEGO for younger kids, and/or when there is a school program to support it.
-- Gordon
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Gordon McComb wrote:

Have you had the opportunity to look at the PICaxe range?
It's bang-for-the-buck is fantastic. Very simple programming interface and excellent programming interface, the option for flow chart programming is great for the novices and kids. Another product with good documentation and great support forum.
regards, Colin
-- www.minisumo.org.uk
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I have a significant investment in Vex equipment (thanks to the Radio Shack liquidation of last year) while I only have one NXT system. I have been looking for more NXT systems at a decent price...and it is apparent that Lego is controlling the price structure.
I think that is a BIG - BIG - BIG mistake.
I do not expect fire sale pricing (even though my wallet would appreciate it) but to maintain the high pricing that I am seeing means no one carries it and no one buys it. I have lost count of how many store managers have said that they do not and will not carry it because it is too expensive.
Lego...are you listening?
TMT
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Too_Many_Tools wrote:

[snippage]
No argument from me!

The short answer is that the Lego Corporation only listens to the customer when they start to loose money. Once they start making money again, they develop a case of selective listening. Many industries work this way, but it is a real shame.
-Wayne
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If one pursues the Parallax route, what do you recommend for the mechanical route?
Thanks
TMT
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Too_Many_Tools wrote:

Their BOE-Bot is fairly adaptable, and works with the BOE-Board, which I'd recommend unless you want to own your own breakout board for the BS2 chip and connections to everything.
Or, if you have a BOE-Board, you can put it on any of a number of "body only" kits. I'll unashamedly add a remind that's what Budget Robotics does. It's just the basic hardware. Because the robots are larger (7" diameter, multiple decks, etc.), and made of rigid PVC, they are easy to make work with any controller or board. Or, if you just want to add a couple of servos to a base of your own, there are servo brackets and stuff available separately.
For a while I played around with some "no cut" designs using stuff found at hardware and home improvement stores. You still have to drill, but at least you don't need to cut down a piece of wood, metal, or plastic to size. I just walked the aisles and found several things I could readily adapt, including stuff like plastic electrical receptacle boxes and what-not.
-- Gordon
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Too_Many_Tools wrote:

[snippage]
I've been a big fan of the BOE-bot body in the past. The BOE-bot uses servos that have been modified for continuous rotation. There are other alternatives, but as you steer away from Parallax products, you loose the benefit of the great Parallax documentation.
-Wayne
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Too_Many_Tools wrote:
[snippage]

[snippage]
TMT:
A common problem when I type in responses in a hurry, is that I drop words. What a meant was "being burned by the [first] version".
To answer the thrust of your question... The original RCX suffered from a general lack of expandability. It had 3 sensor ports and 3 motor ports. If you were careful, you could get a couple of them to talk to one another via the IR port. The NXT brick has 4 sensor ports and 3 motor ports, and if you are careful you can glue up several of them together via BlueTooth. By the time you have enough NXT bricks glued together to build an interesting robot, a substantial investment has been made.
-Wayne
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