ENGR 120 - Required Hardware and Software

The freshman curriculum, called Living WITH the Lab, provides a boost in hands-on learning by putting the ownership and maintenance of the “lab” into the hands of the students. Each student will purchase a robotics kit with a programmable controller, sensors, servos, and software to provide the basis for a mobile laboratory and design platform. Students will also purchase tools and software to allow them to work on projects independently outside of the classroom. Student-owned hardware and software broaden the spectrum of projects and design topics that can be addressed.

The items purchased for ENGR 120 will be used throughout the ENGR 120, 121 and 122 course sequence. Student should order their Boe-Bot parts kit, Arduino, breadboard, USB cable, multimeter, and mini test clip adapters well before classes begin to avoid "backorder" or "out of stock" problems. Students will need the other tools by the middle of the quarter.

Some local suppliers (for more suppliers, click here):

Radio Shack (I-20 and HWY 167 N) Louisiana Tech Bookstore
Tool City (167 N just past city limits) Pierce Hardware (HWY 80 across from Church's Chicken)
Backus Hardware (I-20 and HWY 167 N) Do-It Center (HWY 33 N of I-20)
Lowes (shopping center behind Walmart) Walmart (service road on N side of I-20)

Some online suppliers:

Harbor Freight Tools: www.harborfreight.com (retail store in Shreveport) Radio Shack: www.radioshack.com
Omnitron Electronics: www.omnitronelectronics.net McMaster Carr: www.mcmaster.com
Parallax: www.parallax.com Jameco Electronics: www.jameco.com
MSC Industrial Supply: www.mscdirect.com MPJA Online: www.mpja.com

Click here for a one-page shopping list of the items below.

description, sources and approximate cost

Description: Laptop Computer

Purpose: To communicate with the robot, to make engineering models and drawings, to perform scientific calculations, to write reports, and to develop computer-based presentations. You will also need your laptop during the exams.

Source: Various sources.
Tips for Selecting a Computer: Click HERE!

Boe-Bot parts

Description: Parallax Boe-Bot parts kit

Purpose: The Boe-Bot parts kit will provide the platform onto which we will mount the Arduino microcontroller. The resulting robot will be interfaced with a host of electrical components, sensors and actuators, providing a mechanism for implementing interesting engineering projects.

Source: www.parallax.com

You must order . . .

Custom Kit for Louisiana Tech First-Year Engineering
part number 81016

Search for 81016 on the Parallax web site to find the kit.


Description: Arduino Uno (Rev 3 or later) (ATMega328)

Purpose: The Arduino microcontroller will be utilized for measurement and control applications.


www.robotshop.com part number RB-Ard-34
www.mouser.com part number 782-A000066

Approximate Cost: $30

Description: Breadboard (400 tie point)

Purpose: Breadboards allow circuits to be quickly prototyped.


www.robotshop.com part number RB-Cix-11
www.mouser.com part number 510-GS-400

Approximate Cost: $6

USB cable

Description: 6 ft USB cable: type "A" to "B"

Purpose: A cable is needed to attach the Arduino to your computer.


www.robotshop.com part number RB-See-119
www.mouser.com part number 562-3021007-06

Approximate Cost: $4

Description: Equus Innova 3320 Auto Ranging Digital Multimeter IN3320

Purpose: For understanding and troubleshooting electrical circuits and components

Source: www.amazon.com (search for Innova 3320). While you can purchase multimeters locally in most cities, we have found that the multimeter listed here provides very good performance for the cost. In particular, it provides very stable measurement of DC current which is troublesome for many multimeters. Walmart also carries this multimeter.

Approximate Cost: $28

test clip adapters

Description: Banana to IC Hook Cables

Purpose: These cables allow you to connect to small wires with your multimeter, providing for hands-free measurements.

Source: www.sparkfun.com with part number CAB-00506

Approximate Cost: $4 per pair


Description: ANSI Approved Safety Glasses

Purpose: To protect your eyes during project work

Source: Varous sources (online or local)

Approximate Cost: $2 - $10 per pair

tool bag

Description: Canvas Tool Bag (internal and external pockets not necessary)

Purpose: To hold your tools

Source: Varous sources, online or local

Approximate Cost: $3 - $12

needle nose pliers

Description: Needle Nose Pliers

Purpose: Nice for doing electrical work

Source: Varous sources, online or local

Approximate Cost: $2 - $10


Description: Stainless Steel Ruler (there are all different types that would work well)

Purpose: For measuring and laying out parts during fabrication

Source: Varous sources, online or local

Approximate Cost: $3 - $12


Description: Dial Caliper (6 inch with thumb wheel is recommended)

Purpose: To measure parts to within 0.001 inch

Source: Varous sources, online or local. At www.harborfreight.com, see part number 5658-1VGA.

Approximate Cost: $15 up


Description: Small to medium sized Phillips and flat head screwdrivers. A #1 Phillips head works well.

Purpose: To assemble parts

Source: Varous sources, online or local.

Approximate Cost: $2 - $10

wire strippers

Description: Wire Stripper. You will need to strip 22 gage solid core wire (this is the size wire that fits into your breadboard).

Purpose: For stripping insulation off of wire, for crimping, and for cutting

Source: Varous sources, online or local. At www.amazon.com search for Klein 11046 for a nice pair.

Approximate Cost: $5 - $15


Description: Fine Point Sharpie (or other paint pen)

Purpose: To make marks during project fabrication. Also works good on the printed student notes.

Source: Varous sources

Approximate Cost: $1 - $2

electrical tape

Description: Black Electrical Tape

Purpose: Various uses, including line following for Boe-Bot

Source: Varous sources

Approximate Cost: $0.50 - $2

teflon tape

Description: Teflon Tape

Purpose: Thread sealing tape for plumbing fittings

Source: Varous sources

Approximate Cost: $0.60 - $2


Description: 0.031" Rosin Core, Lead-Free Solder (choose a relatively small solder diameter, although it doesn't necessarily need to be as small as 0.031")

Purpose: Metal for permanent and secure electrical connections - requires a soldering iron which will be supplied in the Bogard Hall Freshman Projects Laboratory (never solder on a surface that could be flammable and never in a place where people live). Read safety precautions.

Source: Varous sources, online or local. On www.amazon.com search for Elenco lead free.

Approximate Cost: $5


Description: Simple and small pocket knife

Purpose: To remove burrs from plastic parts and for cutting materials

Source: Varous sources, online or local

Approximate Cost: $3 - $10


Description: 6 AA Batteries (alkaline or rechargable)

Purpose: To power your robot for autonomous (no wires attached) operation.

Source: Varous sources.

Approximate Cost: $6 - $35


Description: SolidWorks

Purpose: For making drawings (2D and 3D)

Source: Installed in a special after hours class

2013-14 Cost: $100


Description: Microsoft Office 2010

Purpose: For general productivity, presentations, and calculations. You will specifically need Excel and PowerPoint.

Source: University Bookstore

Approximate Cost: $100


optional items
description, sources and approximate cost

Description: Box for robot.

Purpose: Most students like to have a robot storage box. Some students purchase a single container for their tools and robot, and some obtain a container just for their robot. Examples of containers include shoe boxes, plastic containers (like those used for food storage), and fancier containers such as the one shown in the picture to the left.

Source: Various sources (the DVD and game lock box shown to the left can be found at www.amazon.com for $20)

LA Tech © 2011 College of Engineering and Science
Louisiana Tech University
Ruston, Louisiana