EYE on NPI – Molex FIRST® Robotics Components Cable Kit #EyeOnNPI @DigiKey @MolexConnectors

This week’s EYE ON NPI (video) is FIRST in it’s class – it’s the Molex FIRST Robotics Components Cable Kit, designed specifically for the thousands of high school students who are participating in FIRST robotics classes and competitions.

This box comes chock-full of 2 and 3-conductor color coded cables, with different pitches and contacts.

If there’s one thing we remember from our explorations in robotics (or, heck, even watching robotics shows on TV) it’s that mechanical connections are a huge concern. You can have the fastest bot, with the most flawless code, and all will be for naught if your power cable comes loose, or a sensor line is shorted to ground.

A lot of folks learn about cable crimping to make custom cables – hey, we even have a tutorial video on it. But here’s the thing – even if you have a great crimping tool, it’s extremely hard to do as good a job as a auto-crimping machine. You have to strip the wire perfectly, insert it into the tool, and press down with just the right amount of force. It’s hard to get the crimp to be strong enough to grip the wire strands and cable cover but not so tight that it cuts into the housing.

As we’ve gotten older, we’ve stopped trying to crimp cables, and instead we go with pre-crimped cables or housing + ‘raw wire’ sets like these. And that’s what Molex has done here. They’ve chatted with FIRST robotics teams, including ones they sponsor, to figure out what cables are they using. It turns out they like the Molex SL Modular system. Then, they put together a low cost kit with a whole mess of cables and housings that will let you outfit a robot with power, servo, and sensor wires easily. You can check out the unboxing on YouTube, with Jonathan and Alan, where they go through each cable and what it’s good for.

This cable set is good for any FIRST robotics team and it’s plenty good for any home or company robotics or mechatronics project. It’s also a great deal where you get a bunch of cables made by Molex themselves, at better prices than sketchy knockoffs!

Digi-Key has tons of the Molex FIRST Robotics Components Cable Kits in stock right now for immediate shipment – order today and you can be wiring up your robot by tomorrow afternoon.

 


As 2022 starts, let’s take some time to share our goals for CircuitPython in 2022. Just like past years (full summary 2019, 2020, and 2021), we’d like everyone in the CircuitPython community to contribute by posting their thoughts to some public place on the Internet. Here are a few ways to post: a video on YouTub, a post on the CircuitPython forum, a blog post on your site, a series of Tweets, a Gist on GitHub. We want to hear from you. When you post, please add #CircuitPython2022 and email circuitpython2022@adafruit.com to let us know about your post so we can blog it up here.

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

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CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


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Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: New Releases of MicroPython and CircuitPython and more! #Python #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF

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EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — JP’s Product Pick of the Week — 4pm Eastern TODAY! 1/18/22 @adafruit @johnedgarpark #adafruit #newproductpick

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