Let's Make Robots!

Big Trak Jr accessory port, basic hack

Plugs into the accessory port of the bigtrak Jr, and lights up when you tell the Big Trak Jr to output

This is my very quick hack for my brand new Big Trak Jr.

The Big Trak Jr could be an awesome platform for hacking. At $24.99 +pp from thinkgeek, you can't go wrong. You could gut the on board electronics & put in an arduino or PicAxe. I think I'll keep mine stock for the time being, but maybe in the future, I'll try to parallel the electronics in it, so it can work as is, or be switched over to microcontroller control.

I've attached a few pictures of the Big Trak for show.

Big Trak with the top off

But, anyway, the hack itself, is fairly simple. When I pulled the top off the Big Trak Jr, I could see the accessory port appeared to be just 2 wires, Positive & negative, connected to a 3.5mm TS jack, so as a proof of concept, I plugged in an appropriate plug into the port, and connected a LED, and programmed the Big Trak to output to the accessory port.

Once I had the LED connected the right way, it lit up nicely, so I soldered the LED to the port so it would protrude from the TS jack's plastic cover, then screwed the cover into place.

Sorry, I forgot to get a photo of it fully assembled, and in use, so I will try to get some pictures, and maybe a quick video when I can.

This project was really just a proof of concept, and an excuse to post the Big Trak. I'm hoping to be able to make up some accessories of my own, a DIY rocket launcher? an electric motor? I'm not sure. we'll have to have a look & see what I can work out.


More info on my blog at http://diydata.wordpress.com/ soon. More pictures on flickr

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

This should go under "Tips" not "Robot". That Bigtrack jr looks prety cool though.

I look forward to seeing what you do with the Big Trak Jr platform.

What voltage does the accessory jack output? You really should have a current limiting resistor inline with your circuit, or you will shorten the life of your LED.

See the post How to make your LEDs glow not blow.