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New NXT Education Resource Set


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#1 Mithrandir

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 05:39 PM

The new Education Resource Set is available from the Lego Education Store, I'm wondering if anyone bought it yet?

The old Technology Resource Set (for the old mindstorms) was incredible for technic parts, but it was mostly older-style studded stuff, so I'm really looking forward to the NXT version, and I was just wondering if anyone has a parts inventory. It's a little disappointing that there's a lot less pieces (first one was 1110 pieces, new one is only 671 for the same price), but it's still above the 10c/piece limit, so it's not all that bad.

Hopefully it should include the new L-pin connector (you can see it here, next to the bionicle teeth parts), and a bunch of other useful technic stuff.



edit:
Dang, nevermind, I just noticed that it's only pre-order, and won't be available till August.


*eesh*


Still, anyone wanting to discuss it, or has any details on it that I haven't found, feel free to chime in :)

#2 dunamis

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 12:27 AM

I saw this as well.  Looks like NXT is on LEGO Shop@home now as a pre-order with availability around July 1.  

Any idea if LEGO releases these sets a little early to reviewers so we can start getting some feedback on the new system?

I'm looking forward to experimenting with the NXT system.
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#3 gylman

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 02:17 AM

I think I'll be holding back on NXT, for a while at least.  It doesn't look Lego-ish enough for me, and I have my doubts about the motors we are getting. Too big and bulky.  If they find a way to let us use our old 9V motors I think that would sway me to enter the field.   Also, it remains to be seen whether the user interface we get is much better than the old useless one. If not, then we will have to wait some time for the equivalent of NQC to be stable and usable on our PCs.  I don't think I want to be on the bleeding edge of this one.

#4 Mithrandir

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 04:20 PM

View Postgylman, on Apr 4 2006, 02:17 AM, said:

I think I'll be holding back on NXT, for a while at least.  It doesn't look Lego-ish enough for me, and I have my doubts about the motors we are getting. Too big and bulky.  If they find a way to let us use our old 9V motors I think that would sway me to enter the field.   Also, it remains to be seen whether the user interface we get is much better than the old useless one. If not, then we will have to wait some time for the equivalent of NQC to be stable and usable on our PCs.  I don't think I want to be on the bleeding edge of this one.

Well, You're sort of in luck.


The Lego Education NXT will come with 3 converter cables, which converts the new NXT RJ connector to the old 2x2 plate connector. It also comes with a rechargable battery and an AC plug.


I'm not really sure why the retail NXT doesn't come with the AC plug, seems like it would be easier to do, but *shrug*.

The downside is that you get 130 less pieces AND you need to buy the software separately. Blah.


Personally, I'm just excited about the resource set (without the NXT stuff), because it's basically a cheap technic parts pack :)

#5 gylman

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 05:14 PM

View PostMithrandir, on Apr 4 2006, 04:20 PM, said:

The Lego Education NXT will come with 3 converter cables, which converts the new NXT RJ connector to the old 2x2 plate connector. It also comes with a rechargable battery and an AC plug.


I'm not really sure why the retail NXT doesn't come with the AC plug, seems like it would be easier to do, but *shrug*.

Hmm.  looks like I would definitely want the educational version.  The AC plug is essential for anything OTHER than a robot.  

Are we sure those "converter cables" permit seamless use of a standard 9V motor. There was some early discussion of this when the NXT came out which suggest that it was not possible to do this easily - different voltages, different signaling methods. Maybe more info came out afterwards, but I kind of lost interest.  

Cheers.

#6 Mithrandir

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 05:48 PM

View Postgylman, on Apr 4 2006, 05:14 PM, said:

Hmm.  looks like I would definitely want the educational version.  The AC plug is essential for anything OTHER than a robot.  

Are we sure those "converter cables" permit seamless use of a standard 9V motor. There was some early discussion of this when the NXT came out which suggest that it was not possible to do this easily - different voltages, different signaling methods. Maybe more info came out afterwards, but I kind of lost interest.  

Cheers.

Yeah they should. I can't find the link at the moment but there was an ambassador discussing how Lego Education made sure there was a converter cable because they realise that there are armies of schools out there that have a ton of old motors and they don't want to piss everyone off by making them throw them away.


As far as voltages go, I'm not sure it's that big of a problem. You can change the voltage of a DC motor easily (in fact I do it all the time when I use rechargable batteries; they're usually only 1.2v versus 1.5, so 6x1.2 = 7.2v, instead of 9; just make sure you don't go too far above 9v or you'll fry it :P).

Regardless, the new NXT brick uses 6 AA batteries anyways, and is compatible with the old RIS 1.0 AC adapter, so I'm almost certain that it's still 9v.

For the signaling, from what I can tell, Lego used a new connector so that they could use more complex digital inputs and outputs, rather than relying on analog electrical impulses, it should be rather trivial to tell the NXT brick to output old analog signals if it detects that a converter plug is connected to a port.


I think the only real downside I can see is that the old system allowed electrical chaining, by use of stacking studded connectors on top of each other. I am not aware of any way that this would be possible in the new system.

Edit:

Here we go

Quote

Another extra provided in the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education NXT is the converter cable.  The converter cable allows you to connect existing RCX-compatible sensors and motors to the NXT brick.  This will come in handy for many users who wish to continue using their considerable collection of existing sensors.  It will also makes it possible to use the existing LEGO temperature sensor in conjunction with the NXT.  Since the NXT set does not include a temperature sensor at this time, this will greatly benefit those who rely on that sensor for specific projects.

Some people have asked about using the converter cable to connect the RCX and the NXT. Although you could physically connect them, nothing will come of it. Just as it wasn't possible to have two RCX bricks communicate through a connecting cable, the NXT brick won't be able to communicate with the RCX through the converter cable.

People have also asked if it's possible to use the converter cables to connect new sensors to the RCX brick.  This is partly possible.  Using the converter cable to connect the new touch and light sensors will work, as the RCX is familiar with touch and light sensors anyway.  It isn't feasible to connect the sound or ultrasonic sensors, however, due to software limitations.  The ROBOLAB software used by the RCX can't communicate with the new sensors.

Have I confused you?  Here's the quick version of everything I just said:

    NXT Brick + NXT Sensors = Works
    NXT Brick + RCX Sensors = Works
    RCX Brick + Updated NXT Sensors = Works
    RCX Brick + NXT Brick = Doesn't work
    RCX Brick + New NXT Sensors = Doesn't work


#7 gylman

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 06:02 PM

That's very good news Gandalf.  You've made my day.  Like I said - I had kinda given up on NXT because I was quite wedded to my current motors.  I am far more likely to get it now.

I can't imagine it will be very long before 3rd party converter cables are available.  

It seems to me that these converter cables themselves will allow electrical stacking. Assuming it's just an electrical signal flowing along the wires, you just use the 2x2 plate be the location where a whole bunch of things come together.

Cheers!

#8 dunamis

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 08:09 AM

Thanks for all the info, this is good stuff.

The resouce kit does look like a nice Technic parts pack.

Definitely looks like the education version is the way to go, but costs more because you have to buy the software separately.
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