I am still curious....and wanting to know the best methods of acquisition of said kits...

I am curious, not so much for my own self (after all, I am nearing my mid fifties) but because a youngster that I am mentoring likes this kind of thing, is there any way to get a decent "collection" of parts together without spending half a fortune?

She prefers robotics, dinosaurs, and human anatomy to other subjects, but loves to build just about anything.  And since erector sets and lego mindstorms sets (she's a bit advanced for an 8 year old) are so expensive, and she does have a small K'nex set started, I figured we could "build" on that one, if it can be done at a reasonable price.  

Sadly for me, "reasonable" is much less than the average idea of reasonable. When I was younger, I got an erector set that could build literally hundreds of different "contraptions" for about $20-$30 and now I see on line a "discounted" "contraptions" set that can be used to build 6 different things for about the same price.....not really comparable in any way. 

Tinkertoys are not really that "useful" for "creating" things as far as I could see (had those as a child also and the one I am helping doesn't care for them either).

She also has a set of lincoln logs, but bores of them quickly as her imagination has not yet had a chance to "kick in" :-)

I know I asked a similar question recently (in the general forums) that was a bit more broader in perspective, so I thought I would narrow it down and get some input from you all.

Thank you in advance !


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didexo5 years ago
ha I'm the 60900's comment haha
Goodhart (author)  didexo5 years ago
oooo-k
Garage sales. Lots and lots and lots of garage sales. Also, to an extent, GoodWill. But mostly garage sales.
Goodhart (author)  Lithium Rain5 years ago
*sigh* which means I have to wait until (minimum) April....*sigh*. Garage/yard/porch/patio sales tend to be few and far in between in the winter, especially in Jan-Feb.
Have you thought about trying Freecycle? Find your local freecycle and sign up and you can put in a wanted list of stuff you will pick up. Most times there are people cleaning up garages or basements giving away old electronics that may or may not work. Since your looking for pieces/parts, it shouldn't take too long to have more than enough stuff to tinker with, and it's free so it's win win!
Goodhart (author)  RedneckEngineer5 years ago
Actually there is something I DID do awhile back.....I got one newsletter (email) and then nothing. I will have to check into it again to make sure I wasn't dropped for "inactivity" or because they simply closed up locally (stuff like that doesn't last long locally sometimes, at least, not in my area); TY for the reminder.
It could be the area isn't very active so they just quit running it as you say. The one in my area sends out emails at least once a day sometimes more. Wish you happy hunting!
Goodhart (author)  RedneckEngineer5 years ago
Well, I posted a "wanted" on FreeCycle...we'll see if anything comes of it.
Another idea is if you have a local goodwill or salvation army store. They have stuff in there real cheap you can strip for parts, or even see if they will let you dumpster dive for the stuff they can't fix and sell that they throw away.
Goodhart (author)  RedneckEngineer5 years ago
Yeah, I will have to look again. Last time in, they were VERY big on clothes and not so much on "devices". I have SO much bouncing around in my head right now......it is hard to solidify anything..... :-) TY
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