*Resources and Links
This is a representative list of resources. The inclusion of a link on this page is not intended to be an endorsement of any particular supplier. Links are listed in alphabetical order. All links on this page are set to open in a new window.
Caution: Many of these sites sell kits that could be used directly to create solutions to Destination ImagiNation® challenges. Teams should certainly consider purchasing kits to learn how things work but they then should use the kits only for parts. Solutions created directly from purchased kits will typically score little or no points.
Want to see all the videos from this website in one place? https://www.youtube.com/user/DITechSite/videos
Stored Energy Devices (Balloon cars, mousetrap cars, etc.)
These sites offer kits that used stored energy.
- Activity Based Supplies: http://www.absupplies.com – Balloon, rubber band, and mouse trap power car and boat kits.
- Doc Fizzix: http://www.docfizzix.com – Mouse trap racers, balloon racers, rubber band racers. Buy the kits to learn how stored energy is used to propel vehicles. They also sell wheels and other parts that could be used to construct your own vehicles.
Electronic Surplus Shops
If you look around you may find an electronics surplus store in your area. For instance, in my area, there is a Surplus Electronics store called Tanner Electronics. They sell a wide variety of dc motors, stepper motors, electronic kits and electrical components like switches, diodes, resistors, LEDs, etc. Their prices for components are generally much cheaper than the chain electronics store. For instance, a package of 5 resistors cost $1 at Radio Shack. Tanner sells the same resistors from a bulk bin for $.03 each. The problem in dealing with a surplus store is that their inventory changes so something you find on one visit may not be available on the next visit.
- All Electronics: http://www.allelectronics.com
- Alltronics: http://alltronics.com
- Electronic Goldmine: http://www.goldmine-elec.com
These sites offer various electronic kits that may be useful to Destination ImagiNation teams. If you are considering purchasing electronic kits I suggest that you purchase a beginner “learn to solder” type kit to learn the basics of soldering before attempting to assemble the kits.
- Cana*Kit: http://www.canakit.com – Canadian based manufacturer of electronic kits
- Carl’s Electronics: http://www.electronickits.com – Web-based retailer of electronic, robotic and other hobby kits. They sell some of the kits that are also sold directly by the manufacturers listed in this resource list.
- DIY Electronics: http://www.kitsrus.com Manufacturer of electronic kits and they do not sell directly to the public. If you find something you like on this site you can generally find the kit on some of the other retailers listed on this reference page. They also have a forum where users discuss problems they have had while assembling the kits.
- Electronic Rainbow: http://www.rainbowkits.com Manufacturer of electronic kits.
- HobbyTron: http://www.hobbytron.com
- QKits: http://www.qkits.com
- Radio Shack: http://www.radioshack.com While you can order online you can generally find anything they offer at a local store
- Rapid Electronics: http://www.rapidonline.com Retailer of various Electronic Kits. Based in England.
- Velleman Inc.: http://www.vellemanusa.com Manufacturer of electronic kits. The website has a dealer locator to find a retail outlet in your area. You can also find their kits at some of the other online retailers listed on this resource page.
Small DC Motors
- All Electronics: http://www.allelectronics.com – All Electronics sells a variety of DC Motors from smaller motors that run on 1.5V to more powerful motors that require 24V.
- Edmund Scientific: http://www.scientificsonline.com They also sell various kits that explore different areas of science.
- Radio Shack: http://www.radioshack.com Sell a limited number of small DC motors.
- Tamiya: http://www.tamiyausa.com Manufacturer of radio control vehicles, small motors, and gearboxes. They also sell wheels, wire control devices and other supplies that could be useful to Destination ImagiNation teams. You can order directly from their site but many local hobby shops also sell their products. The site has a dealer locator to help find a retailer in your area. Their gear and motor kits are nice because they generally contain a variety of cams and arms designed to fit the shafts of the gearboxes or motors.
Servos, Specialty Motors, Robotic Kits, Stepper Motors
- All Electronics: http://www.allelectronics.com – All Electronics generally has a selection of stepper motors for sale.
- Futaba: http://www.futaba-rc.com/ Manufacturer of Servos and Radio Control equipment. The site has a dealer locator.
- Lynxmotion: http://www.lynxmotion.com They sell servos and other robotic supplies.
- Servo City: http://www.servocity.com
Programmable ICs (PICS)
PICS are Programmable ICs. These devices take a while to master. However, once you master programming and construct the correct interface PICs can perform a multitude of tasks. The Lego Mindstorm is a specific version of a programmable IC.
- Arduino: http://www.arduino.cc/ Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform. This site is the main site for the Arduino community. There are links to companies that sell products based on the Arduino specifications.
- DIY Electronics:: http://www.kitsrus.com Manufacturer of kits (see above) but they also sell PIC programmers.
- Lego Mindstorms: http://mindstorms.lego.com The Lego Mindstorm product is a specific version of a PIC with simplified interfaces for the younger user. Mindstorm products are available at most hobby and larger toy stores.
- Parallax: http://www.parallax.com (Makers of the BASIC STAMP kit)
- Microcontrollers: https://www.microcontrollertips.com/a-beginners-guide-to-microcontrollers/ – A beginner’s guide to Microcontrollers.
- Radio Shack: http://www.radioshack.com (They sell one of the BASIC STAMP kits made by Parallax.)
There are hundreds of websites dedicated to robotics. This is just a list of a couple that might be useful. Parallax, Lego Mindstorms, and Tamiya also sell robot kits.
- Lynxmotion: http://www.lynxmotion.com
- Parallax: http://www.parallax.com Parallax sells several robot kits that use the Basic Stamp II as the microcontroller.
- Learn About Robots: http://www.learnaboutrobots.com This is a place where you can learn about robots and robotics engineering.
- Robot Power http://www.robotpower.com/ Sell a variety of motor control products. The majority of their products would not fit into a DI challenge cost limit
- Superdroid Robots: http://www.superdroidrobots.com/ Sell various robot kits.
- Pitsco: http://www.pitsco.com This is a site primarily dedicated to technical equipment and teacher supplies. They have such a wide variety of things that the best thing for a team to do would be to browse the site and see the things that catch their eye. Keep in mind the advice at the top of this page about using unmodified packaged kits for your solution.
- Teacher Geek: http://www.teachergeek.com Teacher geek sells a variety of kits for learning (or teaching) electronics, hydraulics, etc.
“HOW TO” Websites
- http://www.ehow.com another HOW TO site
- http://www.instructables.com Members post instructions on how to do a wide variety of things. It may be that someone has already posted instructions on a particular topic you are researching.
- http://www.makezine.com a HOW TO site
- http://www.wikihow.com a WIKI howto site.
Electrical and General Reference Sites
- Links http://www.electronics-lab.com/projects/ This site provides links to various hobby and instructional sites.
- All About Circuits http://www.allaboutcircuits.com This site provides a series of online textbooks covering electricity and electronics.
- Colorado State Videos – http://www.engr.colostate.edu/mechatronics/book/video_demos.html Video demonstrations of various electrical devices including servos, stepper motors, dc motors, ac motors, robotics, pics, and various other electrical components.
- Mechatronics Resources: http://mechatronics.colostate.edu/resources.html
- Lessons in Electrical Circuits – http://www.ibiblio.org/kuphaldt/electricCircuits/DC/index.html A free series of text books on the subjects of electricity and electronics. The lessons are very technical lessons and could prove to be a good reference for teams that really get into electronic design.
- School for Champions – http://www.school-for-champions.com/science.htm Online lessons in physical science topics such as electricity, motion, force, acoustics, optics, chemistry, etc.
- Technology Student http://www.technologystudent.com This website contains information sheets and exercises to enhance the study, understanding and teaching of DESIGN and TECHNOLOGY. Topics include electronics, mechanisms, robotics, gears and pulleys, forces and movements, pic controllers, and computer control.
Web Research Ideas
- Search the web for haunted house sites. Many people who run haunted houses have details on how they constructed the devices in their haunted houses.
- There are many hobbyist forums and sites they have information about assembling electronic kits, etc.
- Electrical Engineering Degrees – http://www.electricalengineeringschools.org/ A resource for new students listing in-depth information about electrical engineering careers in aerospace, oil and gas, and architecture.
|*DI Tech DIcoded by Heather Compton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License
©2009 Heather Compton