What would you like to create for new bit?

Hi all,
Since the bitlab is closed and we seem to be stuck with the old bits, here’s a proposal …
What would like to introduce as a new bit ?
I propose to make our own bits, starting from schematic, etching or let etching your pub and solder the components and bitsnaps.
As a kick off, I propose my invented bits, the LFO, the MIDI, the optocoupler bits.
Share your ideas here and we could put our strengths together.
Greetings

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Great initiative @frankje, maybe this link can serve as a reference http://discuss.littlebits.cc/t/how-would-you-use-a-dreambit

Super idea @leo, @JackANDJude
I got some more bits to invent ideas, a tethered motor which can change directions depending on the voltage. At 2.5 Volts the motor doesn’t turn. From 2.5Vto 0V, the motor speeds up to the left, from 2.5V to. 5V, the motor speeds up to the right.
And a RGB led, which changes color depending on the voltage.
Greetings

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I love the idea of the RGB led! I imagine a relation between voltage and the colors of a rainbow.

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An RTC (Real Time Clock) bit…
See for details the following thread:


Or even an atomic clock bit, see:

:hourglass_flowing_sand::watch::alarm_clock:

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Hi @Frankje,
About your ideas about a tethered motor with changing directions:
I think the existing tethered motor from the Gizmos & Gadgets set already does this.
And I checked a different continuous rotation servo motor from parallax (#900-00008) and it works as you describe when connected to the original Littlebits servo bit… They sell this motor as a part of their BOE-Bot robot (Board Of Education)
See for details https://www.parallax.com/product/32335

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Cool, I didn’t notice that @Alex ! Perhaps I should get myself one of these motors.
Ok, for the clock, there exist a real time clock from adafruit, which should be easily adapt the littleBits system.
One of these days, I will start prototyping the circuits and make pcb layouts.
The recorder chip seems lovely, but a bit too big DIP package.
Maybe some alternatives ?

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Thanks for the link Alex!

I have noticed that littleBits has backed off a bit on the support for user developed bits, so I have been going in other directions (my office now has a people counter/CO2 level indicator, as well as a solar clock.)

But bits are SO cool! The single, 5 volt analog signal is easy to comprehend, and so easy to design for. I love it!

I did make a RTC device for littleBits, and have been using it with my new World Time globe instead of the IFTTT/cloudBit, which the original used. The new one needs no internet connection, and so is more reliable in more situations.

Here’s my device:

It represents time as an 8-bit (1/255th) fraction of a day. This works for anything that uses an alarm, or other notification of the time. If you can figure out how to search the “inventions” then look for my “functional clock” to see how it is used there.


For a more precise time,you can incorporate an RTC device such as a DS3231. My solar clock and pocketwatch in an altoids can both use that device.

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[quote=“Frankje, post:3, topic:25320, full:true”]
Super idea @leo, @JackANDJude
I got some more bits to invent ideas, a tethered motor which can change directions depending on the voltage. At 2.5 Volts the motor doesn’t turn. From 2.5Vto 0V, the motor speeds up to the left, from 2.5V to. 5V, the motor speeds up to the right.
…[/quote]

See here:

Hi all :wave:
I’m still interested in making Bits (existing or new modules).

To make it easy to keep track of our home made Bits, we can add a hashtag to our uploads at littleBits.cc/invent

Any hashtag suggestions?
@alexpikkert @Frankje @leo @chris101

Hi all
@chris101, @JackANDJude, @leo, @Frankje, @SeventhDwarf,

Closing the Bitlab seems to fit in the Littlebits strategy of aiming at kids and schools, making them aware of modern technology… Which is very good, they will be the “engineer wizards of tomorow”…
The Littlebits system has the same but state-of -the-art modern impact as lego and meccano did many years ago. An early start in tinkering can influence their future in a very positive way I think…

The creative inventing skills of the Littlebits team are also great, looking at their latest introductions of the Gizmos and Gadget kit, the Littlebits Code kit and the Bluetooth bit BLE w30…

In my opinion Bit inventions by users are a great way to extend the Littlebits gamma with additional hardware, making even more interesting and complex projects.
I have not put my Littlebits aside and will keep an eye on the forum, using my knowledge wherever needed to assist other bitsters in their struggle to succeed and reach their goals.

I think it is a good idea to use Instagram to keep the community updated on user developed bits.
There are (check date today) 145 hashtags starting with littlebits, most of them not technical…
Maybe one of these will do, they do not exist yet:

#littlebits2.0
#littlebitsinventors
#bitlab2.0
#littlebitsuserbits

?
:bitstar:

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I love seeing projects with user developed modules.

Great suggestions, @alexpikkert .

Any more hashtag ideas from the peanut gallery? If you’re reading this, feel free to tag a friend and add to the discussion…

@seventhdwarf @baselsalam @outaspaceman @blindbento @Philip_Verbeek @shaiss

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Hi @alexpikkert, @JackANDJude, @chris101

I agree with Alex his thoughts that littleBits moved into school and youngsters area, which is a good thing actually.
However, I feel a bit disappointed about the feeling that littleBits has more potential towards adult inventors, not being tied with the restrictions of the existent modules.
So, I felt the urge to continue in the spirit of the bit Lab, and with the help of fellow inventors, make new bits available for everyone.
So, if possible, I would like to suggest a new subdivision in the forum, only for new invented bits.
The meaning of this is to publish schematics, PCB layouts and descriptions of the new bit.
And whilst we are at it, why not starting a new sticky thread about the explanation of the littleBits modules ? Also good for young electronic enthusiasts to understand the circuits and their functions.
Greetings

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Hi @Frankje ,

Back when the Bitlab was online I submitted the RGB LEDstrip Bit which reached the 1000 votes. Amazing. It has multiple modes etc. Truly so much fun to work on and due to that still doing projects with RGB LED lighting:) Also so great to see all the other submissions and get inspired by the community.
Here’s the original video of my Bit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DcukLni1oo

And here I put some more information: http://pv-productions.com/product/littlebits-rgb-ledstrip-bit/ (Not to sell anything here but that’s where it lives now on my website)

Cheers, Philip

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I too agree with Alex that littleBits seems to move focus back to school and youngsters, but I don’t think that’s a good idea.

I introduced my daughter Yuziana to littleBits, with a Kit as present for her 3rd birthday. The reason for this was to give her the idea that any thing she sees and uses isn’t an intimidating ‘black box’, but a simple ‘shoe box’ filled with littleBits. So, playing with littleBits replaced a potential ‘fear’ for technology with a love of technology.

Those littleBits sure inspired Yuziana’s creativity, and we made quite a lot of interesting contraptions. But now, after playing with littleBits for about one year, we hit the limits of the system. Yuziana ‘invents’ all kind of things that can’t be build with littleBits anymore.

For instance: we couldn’t get a ‘Book of Monsters’ for the Harry Potter challenge functioning correctly, due to all kinds of interferences between littleBits servos and the Arduino bit. Yuziana and I worked on it for weeks, and it looked really fantastic, but I didn’t do what Yuziana wanted it to do.

And we also couldn’t build a cardboard robot arm, because of the low - only 6 bits !?! - resolution of the littleBits servos, and - again - interferences.

We only just managed to get the Dancing Disco Robot working, with a high power USB supply, and elastic bands to dampen the almost always oscillating littleBits servos…

The last few months with littleBits were very frustrating, and I therefore decided to switch from littleBits to standard Arduino boards, servos and sensors.

So, why don’t I think it’s a good idea to focus littleBits more to schools and youngsters? Well, that’s because littleBits is - and becomes much more - about engineering than inventing. It’s an educational tool to teach kids how certain inputs (sensors, buttons, sliders, …) and outputs (leds, buzzers, servos, …) work. It may inspire some ‘inventions’, but it sure can’t keep up with the unlimited creative minds of kids.

Summarizing: littleBits can educate kids about the basics of electronics, but it limits their creativity.

Hi @Yuziana !
That’s exactly the reason why I’ve started this topic !
The little bits are ok to create something, but they need some adaption to work with your inventions. See also the topic Hack a little bit

So the need arises to create your own littleBits module, and that’s something kids can’t do. There are truly some good bit module hackers/inventors out there, and this forum thread shows off some of them. So, let’s assemble some good bit ideas with detailed building instructions, in the mind of open source.

Hi @Yuziana,
Your daughter is very creative ! I am really amazed to see the projects she made on her YouTube channel… Great !
I agree when you say that LittleBits is an educational tool. The bits make it very easy for someone to understand the basics of electronics and the interaction between inputs and outputs. When you have an idea you can quickly snap some bits together to see if it works. It has a very steep learning curve I think.
Much steeper than most other systems where you can get lost in soldering and wiring and frying components. It will awake the inner inventor for sure…
But the system has its limitations also. Bits are very small and building them into a contraption needs engineering. It is a real challenge to add the right materials to make a contraption work. On the invention page you can find the whole spectrum, from builds with toilet rolls, clothes pegs and cardboard serial boxes to specialized 3D printed parts. Whatever you want to make, it can be done.
If a robot arm does not work as expected you can tinker as long as it needs to engineer a working solution. Then at the end of the day you can say: I did make it !
There is a big difference between inventing and engineering,
see an interesting explanation in this post.
Basically it says that engineering is about putting the bolts and nuts together until it works and inventing is generating ideas without beiing sure that it can be made. I think both worlds can be covered with LittleBits.
And when you get stuck, there is always help available on the forum. Just post a question and show what you want to invent and there will always be someone with additional ideas and maybe a new direction to get it solved.

I stumbled about the system a few years ago and since then it became one of my favorite hobbies.
Even solving interferences in contraptions is interesting… I found that most interferences are caused by a weak power supply. Using a strong one will eliminate most of them, the servos are the “bad guys” when it comes to interference indeed.

:clap: :bitstar:

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I made a few bits for contraptions and as a general extension of the Littlebits program:
(You can find them on the invention page and by searching in the forum)

The relay bit to connect other systems:

The power bit to measure the load current of bits and the applied voltage level:

A led strip bit to connect Christmas led strips, powered
from the Littlebits 5 Volt VCC connection

A filter bit to suppress noise on the speaker bit caused by servos

Additional safe input & output surface connections
and I2C connections on the Arduino bit

A reed contact bit (a switch controlled by an external magnet)

A filter used in the beatbox and minipop drum machine with the Arduino bit

A humidity sensor to see the humidity level on the number bit

a true I2C color sensor to detect marbles

:sweat_smile:

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Great work @alexpikkert
It would be awesome to design real PCB’s for these.
All info can be found on GitHub. We could load these files in a Berber program and adapt these to our circuits.
The advantage is that we have already the bitsnap and board sizes.
When I find the time I will try this with the midi bit.
Stay tuned !

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Hi all,
Time has passed since …
This weekend, I found some time to install the Eagle software on my computer.
This free software let you design your schematic circuit and circuit board.
So I grabbed one of my prototypes, the MIDI bit for the LittleBits arduino, as seen in the string synthesizer project.
The purpose of all this is to share the final PCB with all Bitsters. Nowadays, it’s quite cheap to produce quality professional circuit boards by sending the Gerber files to online PCB manufacturers.

A few questions arise, though …

Is there any interest in this concept ?
Can we use SMD components ?

Anyway, this is a draft of the MIDI bit.
Note, that the mini jack, diode and bitsnap are not displayed, these are not recognized in the software yet



Greetings

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