[IAEP] [support-gang] What Sensors and Where To Buy?

Kevin Mark kevin.mark at verizon.net
Fri Sep 21 22:35:13 EDT 2012

--- On Fri, 9/21/12, James Cameron <quozl at laptop.org> wrote:

> From: James Cameron <quozl at laptop.org>
> Subject: Re: [support-gang] What Sensors and Where To Buy?
> To: "Community Support Volunteers -- who help respond to "help AT laptop.org"" <support-gang at lists.laptop.org>
> Cc: "IAEP SugarLabs" <iaep at lists.sugarlabs.org>, "OLPC SoCal" <olpc-socal at laptop.org>, "support-gang at laptop.org" <support-gang at laptop.org>
> Date: Friday, September 21, 2012, 7:39 PM
> On Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 03:38:12PM
> -0700, Kevin Mark wrote:
> > This is a minor update because I was reading a post[1]
> on sparkfun. This kit
> > shows a kit with single  examples of various types
> of sensors. This kit is too
> > expensive but you can buy the individual parts
> separately at their site or
> > elsewhere.
> > [1] https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11283
> Thanks.  Interesting.
> Not every sensor works with an OLPC XO though, and the
> teaching of the
> sensors themselves is more difficult with the highly
> integrated
> sensors, since they don't provide a simple voltage as
> output.

What your explanation makes clear is why people typically pay 3rd parties to develop educational material with pre-tested sample circuits and included parts. The average teacher will not have the expertise to just find a sensor, make a circuit, connect it, use software like measure and explain what the output means. 

I assume if a packet was constructed for the basic concepts for Ohms law and the basic understanding of how the sensor fits-into this Electronics equation, then they could present a lesson with a packaged electronics kit with audio-plug w/sensor bits. Maybe the XOexplosion/ilovemyxo or PlanCeibal/Butiabot people or whoever could mass-buy such parts and constructs these kits and create the teaching material(wiki?). 

LDRs, IR LED, flex sensor and other cheap parts if ordered in bulk I would imagine could be bought for a relatively cheaper cost compared to Radioshack-type stores. And if the purchase is made by a geographically closer group, that would limit the shipping cost.

Just my reaction to your great explanation of how those bits could be used.

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