Author Topic: $50 Robot Parts List (Toronto, Canada)  (Read 2437 times)

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Offline jp1390Topic starter

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$50 Robot Parts List (Toronto, Canada)
« on: August 29, 2010, 09:10:17 PM »
Hi, I am very excited to have stumbled onto this project because it is exactly what I have wanted to start up. There are probably a bunch of Canadians on here who have done this project so I'm just wondering if any of you guys went for parts locally rather than shipped from the States or elsewhere.

Another thing is that I have a laptop and will obviously have to get the USB to Serial Adapter Cable, but not sure which programmer to get. The AVR Dongle apparently doesn't work with the Adapter so should I just go with the AVRISP2 programmer?

After much searching around I've put together a parts pricing/dealer list ($CAD):

Hobby Hobby (Mississauga)
Hitec HS-311 Servo - $9.99

The Source
Enclosed 4 AA Battery Holder (with On/Off Switch) - $4.99
CdS Photoresistor - $4.99
USB to Serial Adapter Cable - $26.99
Grid-Style PC Board - $4.99

Avnet Electronics Marketing (Mississauga)
ATMEGA8 AVR - $2.77
5V Linear Regulator - $0.49
AVR ISP2 Programmer - $35.46

SAYAL Electronics
220uF Electrolytic Capacitor
0.1uF Ceramic Capacitor
340ohm Resistor
1.62Kohm Resistor
LED

Didn't seem to find, probably a comparable product out there though...
28 Pin DIP Socket
36 Position Breakaway Male Header

Is this a reasonable way of going about buying all these parts, (I'm from the GTA so it's about an hour of driving to get to these places), or should I just stick with Digikey?

Thank you,

JP
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 10:00:57 PM by jp1390 »

Offline Metal Slug 2

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Re: $50 Robot Parts List (Toronto, Canada)
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010, 04:27:58 AM »
Hey jp1290, welcome to SoR!

I also live in Canada! (In London, Ontario.  Its 2 hours from Toronto)

I try to stay away from buying stuff from local hobby shops/electronics depots like 'The Source' because they are WAY over priced for their components.

The servo's you've found are great, and probably the cheapest place you'll find HS311's (because buying online you will have to pay shipping).  When I was building my $50 robot, I found THIS a great help when modding the HS311's for continuous rotation.

The  battery holder is rather expensive, but then again its The Source were talking about.  I highly recommend you take a trip down to your local surplus store, they almost Always carry battery holders (maybe not with the switch...but it will cost you $0.25-$1.00 and not $4.99).  Here is a reasonably priced switch (just splice the wires to your battery holder).  You can also find great building materials at a surplus store.

For the CdS Photoresistor, I HIGHLY recommend buying them from Taydaelectonics: Link.  These CdS Photoresistors are the exact same size (and seem to be the exact same build configuration based on visual inspection) as the two middle sized photoresistors you will find in the $4.99 5-pack at The Source, except they see for $0.22 each!

If your laptop has any USB ports, then don't bother with the USB to serial adaptor.  When I started with robotics and built my $50 robot, I just bought the AVR ISPmkII programmer (which just plugs into a USB port).  I had heard people some people were having problems with the cheaper serial programmer listed for the $50 robot, so I decided not to take any chances.  But if you do decide to buy the serial programmer, a serial to usb adapter would be needed.

When it comes to a PC board, probably local would be best.  You can find cheap PC boards on eBay, but they are generally flimsy and have weak copper contacts (meaning if your a slow solderer (or just starting), your going to have a hard time).

For the rest of your components, I suggest you order everything from Digikey.  If you think about it, driving here and there for an hour for components, you will probably spend more money and time getting the parts than if you were to order from Digikey and pay shipping.

One more thing, if you don't already have them, buy some "helping hands".  They will be the single greatest investment in your soldering career.  You may also want to pick up a couple of these desoldering wicks for when you accidentally bridge a connection on your robot (95% chance of this happening if your soldering for the first time on PC board).  If you want to spend a little more, you can buy a desoldering pump, which may work a bit more effectively.

For the 28 pin DIP socket, I would get it from digikey along with the rest of the parts, OR buy 2 of these and put them side by side.

Regarding the Header pins, do to same as above and order from digikey, or buy them from Tayda: Link
I also really recommend getting a couple rows of these for easy sensor connectors. OR you can go for a package (again, I would get 2-3) of these Servo leads (they will fit right on Male pin headers).  These will allow your sensors Plug'n'Play capability, just like the servo's.

And Finally, I actually have a couple extra sets of the $50 robot sitting around (minus the programmer, batteries, PCB and servos), so I could probably send you a set, PM me if your interested.

Good Luck with your Robot! ;D
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 04:35:07 AM by Metal Slug 2 »

Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: $50 Robot Parts List (Toronto, Canada)
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 05:41:29 AM »
Hi JP,

I also live in Toronto, perhaps we can have a beer and talk about robots?

The best store for robotics in Toronto is Creatron Inc, on 255 College St., Toronto. They are Sparkfun, Pololu, Solarbotics dealer and you can find many electronics there, including the pin headers and sockets. Sometimes I prefer to just go there instead of waiting for parts and paying shipping  usually covers the tax you pay in the store.

Also on College, going west of Spadina, on the right hand side there is a Home Hardware store that has electronics. Tons of resistors, capacitors, ICs, headers, connectors, etc. and a bit cheaper than Creatron prices.

There is a surplus store called Active Surplus on Queen St., east of Spadina, that also has tons of cheap and old electronics parts, plastics, connectors, motors, etc.

Another place you can check out is Site 3, a shop for art projects, that includes electronics, they also have some classes. I have been there showing my robot last Thursday and I'm planning going back almost every Thursday between 6-10 PM when they have Open Hours. Everyone can sop by, bring a project to work on, talk about, participate in their projects, etc. They are working on assembling a Makerbot that will be available to use if you pay for the plastic used. Cool, huh? I also have built my own CNC, if you need a part, let's do it together.

Cheers!
Check out the uBotino robot controller!

Offline jp1390Topic starter

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Re: $50 Robot Parts List (Toronto, Canada)
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 09:36:05 AM »
Thank you for the replies! So I am going to head out today and checkout these servos and probably buy a few since they're cheap and useful haha. I think I'm going to take your advice and buy the majority of the parts on Digikey, I don't want to run all over the GTA for a couple parts. There is a SAYAL decently close by to my place so I can check out that stuff for all the PCB/Battery stuff.

The only trouble I'm having is with the ATMEGA8-16PU. Everywhere online (Digikey/Mouser) and in store here they are unavailable or have a long lead time. Are there any easy alternatives to getting that MCU that wont have an effect on the robot that I could get at Digikey? Like an ATMEGA16 or ATMEGA32...etc? Also, is the AVRISP2 the same as the AVRISPmk2?

Sorry for the mass of questions, I'm just getting ready for school so I'm rushing to get all these things in this week haha

Offline Metal Slug 2

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Re: $50 Robot Parts List (Toronto, Canada)
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 02:39:27 PM »
You can try going for an Atmega168 or Atmega328, they are basically upgraded versions of the atmega8.  If you want I can send you an atmega8.

Regarding the difference between the AVRISP2 and AVRISPmkII: http://support.atmel.no/bin/customer?=&action=viewKbEntry&id=128

Offline cyberfish

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Re: $50 Robot Parts List (Toronto, Canada)
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2010, 09:40:29 PM »
Are you sure Digikey shipping is $20?

I've bought from them several times (I live in Vancouver), and it's $8 flat rate for me.

Next day shipping, too. No idea how they are doing it. By far the cheapest I've seen.

Usually next day shipping would be something like $50.

Offline jp1390Topic starter

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Re: $50 Robot Parts List (Toronto, Canada)
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 10:00:19 PM »
Are you sure Digikey shipping is $20?

I've bought from them several times (I live in Vancouver), and it's $8 flat rate for me.

Next day shipping, too. No idea how they are doing it. By far the cheapest I've seen.

Usually next day shipping would be something like $50.

Ya, I misread something. I just picked up a bunch of servos from Hobby Hobby and ordered the remainder of parts from Digikey. Shipping was $8, as well and it has already been shipped quite a ways. Amazing...

I can't believe it.

Offline Metal Slug 2

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Re: $50 Robot Parts List (Toronto, Canada)
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2010, 11:03:25 PM »
I remember when I first ordered from Digikey, they also sent me a copy of there catalog, all 2000+ pages of it (thicker than my phone book!), free of charge :)

Offline blackbeard

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Re: $50 Robot Parts List (Toronto, Canada)
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2010, 05:52:17 AM »
Ya like others have said Active is good in Ontario (maybe more). if you don't mind waiting for servos you can pick some up from dealextreme for cheep and i have yet to have one fail on me so i'd say they're good to go! Also at leas locally active has a really good weller soldering station on sale called a WES51 which is what i have so you might want to check it out if you're in the market for one too.
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Offline Metal Slug 2

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Re: $50 Robot Parts List (Toronto, Canada)
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2010, 09:45:12 PM »
ya DealExtreme is amazing.
So many cool gadgets!
I haven't had any problems with any of the servos (5x TowerPro mg995's) I have bought from them yet either.
Although if dealextreme carries them, go for the mg996's...(an upgraded version of the 995).

 


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