The eagle-eyed amongst you, along with any one who saw us at Bett, or anyone that has ordered one already, will have noticed that the Starter Kit has changed!
It’s a long-discussed decision, and we finally felt that now was the right time to do it. Since its inception, the Starter Kit has undergone a few changes, including swapping out a normal battery box, for our short-protected one, and more recently, switching the plain white box for a fancy printed version, all whilst keeping the price the same!
The Starter Kit remains a very popular way for schools to get their hands on Crumble kit, with many opting to buy 15/16 for a class of 30 pupils. Although there are a good number of projects you can do with it, we decided that we wanted even more.
Official Crumble Starter Kit
We thought long and hard, and we’ve now added in a buzzer and a light sensor, which transforms the number of projects you can do with just the starter kit!
Without further ado, let’s get stuck into some project ideas!
First of all, if you haven’t already looked at it, make sure to check out our original post. All of the projects still apply, but they don’t make use of the buzzer or the light sensor.
For a start, let’s look at morse code. We covered this in our original post, however morse code is traditionally audible – therefore it makes sense to put the buzzer to use!
The buzzer can be wired/controlled in a few different ways. You can either connect the positive side to an output (A, B, C or D) and the other end to negative (-) on the Crumble or the battery back, or you can connect the + and – to the corresponding connections on a motor output. We’re opting for the former.
To demonstrate it, we’ve opted to make the letter C. To sound the buzzer, set the output it is connected to, to HI. To stop the buzzer sounding, set it to LO.
Next up, we have a simple night light. The idea behind this is to create a light, using the Sparkle, which turns on when it gets dark. Connecting the light sensor is easy. Connect the + on the light sensor to a + output from either the Crumble or the battery pack. Then connect the negative (-) on the sensor to an I/O (A, B, C or D).
To incorporate this into a program is simple. We can either take and use the analogue reading from the connected I/O pad, or check whether the pin is HI or LO. We have used the latter for simplicity (this wouldn’t be easy with the old LDR). If A is HI, it is therefore light so we want to turn the Sparkle off, otherwise A must be LO, and it is dark so we want to turn the Sparkle orange.
If you want more detail, head to our nightlight project page.
Extending the idea of a nightlight brings us neatly onto a lighthouse. By using the same components, we can achieve a different outcome.
We’ve chosen to write the code slightly differently, to show how there are multiple ways of achieving the same outcome. This time our condition checks whether or not A is LO (it is dark). If it is, flash the Sparkle. Otherwise, turn the Sparkle off.
If you want more detail, head to our Lighthouse project page.
Our final idea combines the principles of the previous projects together, as well as the buzzer and light sensor. The idea behind this is that you have an object e.g. a drink on top of the light sensor. When the item is removed, the buzzer sounds. You could even add a flashing light if you wanted too!
Once again we’ve chosen a ‘different’ way of programming this. You could easily use the ‘IF__ELSE’ condition from the previous examples. This time we are putting a ‘pause’ on our program which waits until A is HI (the drink is removed and it gets light). After this condition is met, the program continues and beeps the buzzer. We then loop back to the beginning. If A is still HI then we keep hearing the buzzer beep.
These are just a few more examples of projects you can do with the Starter Kit, and we are sure that you will think of many more!