Posts by Ben (Page 4)

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Just in time for Halloween: Orange breadboards

Posted by Ben on 24 September 2013
Tags: new products
Just in time for Halloween: Orange breadboards

Our 170-point solderless breadboards, which we already offer in black, red, green, blue, and white, are now available in orange. Add some color to your next electronics project!

For more information, see the product page. For other options, you can take a look at our full selection of solderless breadboards.

New products: Optical encoders for micro metal gearmotors

Posted by Ben on 13 September 2013
Tags: new products

Those encoders we mentioned last week are finally here! Here are some pictures:

Check out the product page for more details.

Small things in the pipeline

Posted by Ben on 4 September 2013

Here’s a sneak peek at some encoder wheels we are developing for our micro metal gearmotors:

QTR reflectance sensors just got more affordable

Posted by Ben on 23 August 2013
Tags: pricing

I am happy to announce another price drop. This time, it’s for several of our QTR reflectance sensors!

QTR-8A and QTR-8RC reflectance sensor arrays are now $9.95 (down from $14.95) with quantity price breaks starting at just five units. These modules feature eight IR LED/phototransistor pairs spaced 0.375″ apart, and an integrated MOSFET allows the LEDs to be turned off for additional sensing or power-savings options. These boards can optionally be broken apart into a six-sensor array and a two-sensor array.

QTR-1A and QTR-1RC sensors are now available in packs of two for $4.25 (and for even bigger savings, we’ve dropped the individually packaged QTR-1s from $2.49 to a clearance price of $1.95).

More about QTR sensors

These sensors and the rest of the modules in the QTR family combine infrared LED emitters with phototransistors that detect the amount of reflected IR. This makes them great for applications like edge detection and line following. Each type of QTR sensor is available in two versions: “A” units indicate the reflectance with an analog voltage, and “RC” units have digital I/O-compatible outputs that let you measure the reflectance by timing the discharge of a capacitor.

And don’t forget the newer members of our QTR family, which were priced from the outset in line with our efforts to offer better quality products at lower prices:

QTR-3A and QTR-3RC reflectance sensor arrays make a great minimal sensing solution for a line-following robot. They use smaller sensing elements than the QTR-1 and QTR-8 versions, so they can fit three IR LED/phototransistor pairs onto a compact 1.25″ × 0.3″ board.

QTR-L-1A and QTR-L-1RC sensors use a discrete right-angle infrared LED and a right-angle phototransistor, each mounted on a different side of the board. This results in a very small sensor that has a low profile along the plane of detection.

The Zumo reflectance sensor array incorporates six IR LED/phototransistor pairs onto a 2.6″ × 0.6″ board, with the distance between the sensors increasing as they get farther from the center of the array. This module was designed to work directly with the Zumo shield on our Zumo robot, but it can also be used as a general-purpose QTR sensor array.

QTR sensor size comparison. Clockwise from top left: QTR-3RC, QTR-1RC, QTR-L-1RC, QTR-8RC.

New stranded wire: It's back to spool time!

Posted by Ben on 21 August 2013
Tags: new products
New stranded wire: It's back to spool time!

We just added bulk stranded hook-up wire in six gauges (20, 22, 24, 26, 28, and 30 AWG) and six colors to our selection of cables and wire. With all the combinations, that’s 36 new options for wiring up your next project! The convenient mini spools are all filled, so the wire lengths range from 40 to 100 feet (12 to 30 meters), depending on thickness.

New products: Fixed 3.3V and 5V Step-up Voltage Regulators U1V10F3 and U1V10F5

Posted by Ben on 19 August 2013
Tags: new products
New products: Fixed 3.3V and 5V Step-up Voltage Regulators U1V10F3 and U1V10F5

We have released two new step-up regulators that can boost input voltages as low as 0.5 V. Like the very similar U1V11x line of step-up regulators, these modules automatically switch to a linear down-regulator mode when the input voltage exceeds the output, making them great for powering electronics projects from 1 to 3 NiMH, NiCd, or alkaline cells or from a single lithium-ion cell. These modules do not offer the U1V11x shutdown functionality, which allows them to be much smaller (just 0.35″×0.45″) and a little less expensive ($4.49 each).

These regulators are available with a 3.3 V or 5 V fixed output voltage. For other options, you can take a look at our full selection of step-up voltage regulators, step-down voltage regulators, and step-up/step-down regulators.

New products: Encoder motors for 25D mm and 37D mm metal gearmotors, without gearboxes

Posted by Ben on 16 August 2013
Tags: new products

We are now selling the motor and encoder portion of three of our metal gearmotors, without a gearbox. The pinion gear on the output shaft works with the gearboxes on the corresponding products, so these can be used as replacement motors or encoders.

Motor with 48 CPR Encoder for 25D mm Metal Gearmotors (No Gearbox)


HP Motor with 48 CPR Encoder for 25D mm HP Metal Gearmotors (No Gearbox)


Motor with 64 CPR Encoder for 37D mm Metal Gearmotors (No Gearbox)

ARM mbed NXP LPC1768 price reduced by $10

Posted by Ben on 16 August 2013
Tags: pricing
ARM mbed NXP LPC1768 price reduced by $10

You can now buy the ARM mbed NXP LPC1768 Development Board for just $49, a reduction of $10. We also lowered the price of the m3pi Robot + mbed NXP LPC1768 Development Board Combo by $10, to $189.95.

From the product page:

The mbed NXP LPC1768 is an easy-to-use MCU development board designed for rapid prototyping. At its heart is a powerful 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 processor running at 96 MHz with 512 KB flash and 32 KB RAM, which makes it far more capable than popular 8-bit prototyping alternatives. A comprehensive firmware library and plenty of sample code help you get your program up and running quickly, and a free online IDE and C++ compiler means that no software installation is required. Downloading programs is as simple as using a USB flash drive (no external programmer is necessary).


ARM mbed NXP LPC1768 development board with included USB cable and documentation.
Pololu m3pi robot controlled by an ARM mbed development board.

RGB shoji lamp

Posted by Ben on 23 April 2013
RGB shoji lamp

This Japanese-style lamp by Pololu engineer Kevin Chang was made from laser-cut parts and uses an RGB LED Satellite Module 001, a ShiftBar, and a Pololu Mini Maestro 12-channel servo controller.

Here is a video of the lamp in action:

Featured link: http://blog.kevinwchang.com/post/48595870556/rgb-shoji-lamp

Freedom Zumo Robot

Posted by Ben on 13 March 2013
Freedom Zumo Robot

This robot uses our Zumo robot kit, 75:1 micro metal gearmotors, and a Zumo reflectance sensor array. Instead of an Arduino it uses a Freescale FRDM-KL25Z as the microcontroller board. Sample code is available for line following and maze solving.

Featured link: http://forum.pololu.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=6657