• fromScratchEd

Primo day 2 – March 1, 2014

Date: 2 March 2014 Author: Sjoerd Dirk Categories: Primo 0


Today, I spent almost the whole day (okay, I also did the groceries) looking for all the stuff I need for my own Primo set.

Tayda Electronics

My favourite online electronics store is Tayda. They’re cheap, have low shipping costs and are fast.
And… once a month they publish a discount code on their Facebook page.
So, I’m trying to get everything there (but I know that won’t happen ;) )


I already decided to use two Shrimps as replacements for the Arduino’s.
For the UNO that’s not a problem, because the Shrimp is a substitute for the UNO.

But for the Mega it’s a different story.
Primo uses the Mega primarily for the 16 analog inputs. Well, that can be accomplished with 2 CD4052′s.
And to be sure I’ll got enough digital inputs/outputs also, I’ve ordered some CD4021 (digital ShiftIn) and I have some 74HC595 (digital ShiftOut) laying around.

Motor Driver

The motor driver turns out to be a L293D and Tayda has it for just € 0,90!

XBee and Arduino Proto Wireless Shield

These are the two most expensive parts of Primo. So it should be possible to find cheaper alternatives.
And… I’ve found this: XRF wireless RF radio UART RS232 serial data module XBee shape at Ciseco.

For € 28,80 I’ve got two XBee-alternatives with the same pinout as the XBee.
I’ve also ordered two active breakout boards, so that they can be used with the 5V RX/TX-ports of the Shrimp.

Hopefully they’ll do the job for me, but I have good hope they will.

SolarBotics Gear Motor and Wheels and Ball Casters

The gear motors are sold out at SolarBotics, so I had to find another supplier.
I tried finding one in Europe, to save on shipping cost.
I’ve found these three items at AlphaCrucis in Switzerland.

They don’t have the 1/2″ ball casters, so I’ve ordered 3/8″ ones.
Now I have to alter the lasercutter files :( !


I found a webshop in the Netherlands for the CNY70′s (unfortunately Tayda doesn’t have them).
But it would cost me 6 euro for 2. So I decided to search on AliExpress.
And I’ve found them for just € 2,84 for 10!
Okay, I probably have to wait a couple of weeks for them to arrive.
But looking at my schedule for this month (all my weekends are booked with workshops I’m going to give), that shouldn’t be a problem.


The 4mm x 3mm magnets are sold out at Supermagnete and it will take a couple of weeks before I could order them.
As a replacement I found these at They’re 4mm x 4mm.
Looking at the design of Primo the most important thing about the magnets is the width (4mm).
There’s enough room (I hope) for 1 mm extra height.
So I’ve ordered 40 of them. Now I can make 24 instructionblocks.


The Shrimp doesn’t have 3.3V on board.
And it could be that I need it for the XRF-modules.

I did two things to be able to add 3.3V to the Shrimp.

  1. At Ciseco I’ve ordered two extra sets of voltage regulators.
  2. At Tayda I’ve ordered some LM117 and 10uF capacitators

If I really need 3.3V I’ll  try both and see how that works out.

In the end

I didn’t buy plywood yet, but this is what I’ve spend today on all the parts, incl. shipping costs:

Tayda: € 19,88
Ciseco: € 45,64
Magnetenspecialist: € 14,75
AlphaCrucis: € 29,35
AliExpress: € 2,84
2 Shrimps: approx. € 10,00

Total: € 122,46

So I saved € 57,54.

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