Let's Make Robots!

My Shopping List (feel free to ignore)

Why would you care what I'm shopping for?  Well, you probably don't.

Still here?  Go build a robot!  Here's what I'm shopping for to build some of my own.

September 2009

I need stuff for Mr. Suspense!  Plus maybe some other goodies.

Mr. Suspense

  • (4) QRD1114 IR sensors (for DIY Inclinometer)
  • (2) Spirit levels (for DIY Inclinometer)
  • Brass wire/rod/tubing
  • Brass fittings (screws, nuts, caps, bits and bobs)
  • (4 or 8) Some kind of ball joint for suspension
  • (1) 2.5mm drill bit


  • (more in different colors) Jumper wires
  • (TBD) Picaxe chips
  • (TBD) Picaxe project boards
  • (TBD) L293D or other motor control IC
  • (1) LCD (just to learn)

DAGU Order

  • (1) Additional servo mounting brackets for Sensor mount kit (when available)

August 2009

See I thought I was done buying parts for a while, but now there is the Mr Basic Challenge V2 to consider!


  • (more in different colors) Jumper wires
  • (TBD) Picaxe chips
  • (TBD) Picaxe project boards
  • (TBD) L293D or other motor control IC
  • (1) LCD (just to learn)

DAGU Order - For Mr Basic Challenge V2 (From LMR Components List - yay! Parts arrived!)

  • (1) Mr Basic kit
  • (1) Mr Basic PCB with motor controller
  • (1) battery box (item 6 from LMR Components List)
  • (1) Additional servo mounting brackets for Sensor mount kit (not yet available)
  • (10) Wheel gear (Item 5)
  • (2) Pair DG01D gear motors (Item 13)
  • (1) Universal PCB Pack (Item 20)


July 2009

Power Supply Parts

  • (4) TO-220 heat sinks (ordered 10 from Newark Electronics)
  • (8) 0.1 uF monolithic capacitors (ordered 100 from Newark Electronics)
  • (8) 470 uF electrolytic capacitors (ordered 100 from Newark Electronics)
  • (4) small perfboards or copper-clad (make due with stock I have on hand)

Lefty the Mousebot

  • (1) IR module (waiting to test modules from Electronic Goldmine)


  • (more in different colors) Jumper wires
  • 0.1 uF ceramic capacitors for noise reduction (ordered from Newark Electronics above)
  • (TBD) 2 AA battery box (ordered 6 from eBay: In transit from Hong Kong)
  • (TBD) 3 AA battery box (ordered 6 from eBay: In transit from Hong Kong)
  • (TBD) 4 AA battery box (ordered 6 from eBay: In transit from Hong Kong)
  • (TBD) Picaxe chips
  • (TBD) Picaxe project boards
  • (TBD) L293D or other motor control IC
  • (1) LCD (just to learn)

DAGU Order (Delivered! Too bad I won't have time to play with it until Monday!)

  • (1) "Large" servo motor (item 1 from LMR Components List)
  • (1) Medium servo motor (item 2)
  • (1) battery box (item 7) (ordered alternative from eBay above)
  • (1) pair DG01D geared motors (item 13)
  • (4) 30 mm omni wheel (item 14)
  • (4) 20 mm omni wheel (item 15)
  • (1) 5-pack LMR sensor mount (item 18)
  • (10) mini servo motors (item 19)


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I'd like to order a few PICAXE chips and project boards, and I'm finding it a challenge to get everything I want from one provider. One provider would be ideal, so save on shipping.

RobotShopUSA and Sparkfun have better prices on some items than Solarbotics, but they don't have as much variety. So I try my shopping list against Solarbotics, and I find I can get any of the PICAXE ICs I want, but they don't have the PICAXE-18 Power Project Board, or the 28x/40x Protoboard. In fact, as far as I can tell, they are selling the 40x chip but have no board for sale that will fit it.

To frustrate me further, I find that if I want to buy something from Solarbotics for the 08 chip, I'm limited to the proto board kit. The much cooler Motor Driver and Servo Driver boards for the 08 aren't available there. Lastly, I would have liked to experiment with the "improved" SN754410 motor driver IC in addition to getting a couple of the L293Ds. Unfortunately, Solarbotics doesn't sell 'em.

That's not to pick on Solarbotics. If I buy from RobotShopUSA I can't even get the x2 chips yet, and Sparkfun isn't even carrying the PICAXE 28 pin project board. 

What was going to be a fun purchase in a variety of PICAXE platforms is going to have to wait. I'll probably just go with a couple of 28x2 chips and supporting boards/chipsets. I'll have to wait to discover what I can do with the other PICAXE chips, which I was really looking forward to.


I just ordered 1000 pcs of 25 values from ebay for $9, with a like.. 2 week delivery date, but didn't need em too quick. And 100 9013 NPN transistors for $6!... I was like uhh, I don't know if I'll ever need that many, but much easier / cheaper than buying a few lol.


We'll be waiting for your robot! :)

Get a big assortment. I find havign them all handy makes it much easier when building new circuits. Also saves $$$ since I dont run out and buy one or two when I need them (if Radio shack even stocks the ones I need).

Thanks, I will. I stocked up on an assortment of caps, resistors and other common parts a bit ago. However, I didn't anticipate the need for certain values and types. For example, I got a bunch of 0.1 uF caps, but they are electrolytic. No good for a noise filter on a motor, which has bi-directional current flow.

My early excitement about getting into robotics lead to several iterations of "order-think-order".  This blog entry is my attempt to prevent that. 

Any other thoughts on common items?  I already have a variety of LEDs, transistors (NPN and PNP), and a variety of ICs. What are the essential components you either re-use a lot or constantly find yourself ordering?

resistors, caps (ceramic and mylar), LEDs of various colors (eventually got a bunch of RGB tri color), perf board, sockets for the chips so I dont have to solder them in place and can resuse them easier, sockets for the download cable sinc eI solder one on every project (soon to change since I am working at making everything modular).
are these project-specific? I'd suggest you buy many more of those monolithic capacitors, you could use them for your picaxe chips and for the motor driver too.

Good thought. I have to list the 0.1 uF caps I need for motor noise control, etc. 

The idea is to build list so I can organize a set of orders from multiple vendors to get all of what I need.  After I figure out what I need for specific projects and general inventory, I can avoid what I just did recently... realize I needed a few more things after I placed my order. ; j