Product Updates Summer 2017: Round One - June 1, 2017

School may be out for summer, but at Let’s Start Coding, we’re still hard at work! There are a number of product updates we’re introducing this summer. The first ‘batch’ is in this post, but ensure that you sign up below to receive updates from us about future product updates.

 

Hardware

We’ve spent hundreds of hours in classrooms, summer camps, and at events watching beginning coders use our products, and we’ve learned a thing or two! Starting next week, every individual order shipped from our website will include Carrier Board 2.0, an update to the board that connects you electronics to Maker Board’s brainpower.

 

Here’s the summary of updates:

Carrier Board

  1. No more (+) pins in the dual connector row. That means fewer ‘blown’ LEDs!

  2. Ports that are more ‘snug’ for components. Components will make a better connection inside the ports, so your projects are easier to build and are more reliable!

  3. Striped numbering for ports and pins. Even if you’re in a hurry to make your creation, we want you to be able to easily identify ports by number. By ‘striping’ every other port number, you can now more easily distinguish between ports that are next to each other.

  4. No more AA pack connector or circuitry. We’re simplifying the hardware by removing this little-used piece. Did you know that Maker Board can be powered by a 5V battery pack like those used to recharge a cell phone via USB?

  5. New fuse onboard. If you plug in your LED strip backward, no worries! We’ve included a self-resetting fuse on Carrier Board that automatically shuts off the power to the (+) pins if there is a short circuit on the board.

 

LED Strip

If you have an Ultimate Kit, you have a strip of flexible LEDs that make for some of the coolest projects we’ve seen yet. From crazy light patterns to multiplayer games, the LED strip has always been a favorite. Now, we’ve made the LED strip easier to use by redesigning the connector. Instead of 4 pointy pins that you need to insert into the ports of Carrier Board, LED strip now has a connector with ports on it that slide onto the row of pointy pins on Carrier Board. If that sounds confusing, check out the GIF below- it’s super simple!

Software

Website Project Cards

We also listen for your feedback to find out if we can make something easier during project-building process. What we heard was that the project cards that detail how components snap together are a little confusing, leading some coders to plug things in backward. We’re rolling out new project cards that solve that. Instead of a diagram showing the completed project on a Carrier Board, project cards now show detailed views of the components each project requires, plus their port locations and helpful tips. You can see an example of the new ‘parts list’ cards below.

 

We appreciate all of your feedback on the product and encourage you to email us your questions and thoughts at info@letsstartcoding.com.

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