Think. Possible.

2019 Jaycar Catalogue Review

DIYODE Magazine

Issue 21, April 2019

It’s quite a treat for we makers this year - last month we had the new Altronics catalogue, and this month we get the Jaycar catalogue - sensational!

Naturally, we’re writing this before it’s printed, and thank Jaycar for a sneak preview - as we did with Altronics. We’re always excited to see the catalogues release, highlighting cool new items on their way, and some that were introduced through the past little while, but we may have missed.

It’s safe to say, however, when we got our hands on a preview of the Jaycar catalogue, all we can say is WOW.

If you read the printed version of DIYODE, you will have already noticed the same thing, thanks to the included copy with this April issue (if you’re digital-only, or didn’t receive a copy, go to our website to download one).

It’ll only take you a split second to notice it, but Jaycar has a new logo! This isn’t the first time we have seen it, but it was initially released without a whole lot of fan fare, being subtly included on ads over the last few months. It has been around 15 years with the old Jaycar logo, so we can see the desire to update and modernise further. One interesting component to that, which we’re sure we’re not the only ones to notice, is that they’ve dropped “Electronics” from the logo too!

This might make you wonder, are they going the way of the Dick Smith Electronics? But we checked the components section, and the resistors and ferrites are still there - so we feel it’s safe to say, it’s in name only. After all, everyone calls it simply “Jaycar” anyway... It’s a bold new look, and we love the change.

One thing that did take our eye while perusing the cover, however, is on the back, there’s the talk of a new concept store coming - The Hub. You can read the speil on the back cover yourself, but essentially it looks like Jaycar are trialing a new concept store, which will have a built-in maker space! This is really pretty amazing to hear, and something we’re excited to check out when it launches in May. Naturally, due to geography, this is probably only relevant to people near Sydney for now, but this could mark the start of something very unique for Jaycar experiences.

Here's a selection of the amazing new products we found inside...

page 13: FlashForge Adventurer 3 3D Printer

We have tested a handful of the FlashForge printer range, and are excited to see Jaycar continue evolving this range. The Adventurer 3 has a 150x150x150mm print volume with a fully enclosed housing with an integrated camera for remote monitoring. Touchscreen and remote printing. Very powerful and reliable.

page 19: WiFi Enabled UNO

We love the humble UNO, but this WiFi enabled version fills the connectivity void we often feel with a regular UNO. It’s basically a blend of an ATmega328p (the foundation of an UNO) and an ESP8266. This gives you all the power of an UNO, with the convenience of WiFi connectivity, at a fantastic price!

page 20: WiFi enabled MEGA

Just like the WiFi enabled UNO, this MEGA variant provides excellent connectivity for IO-intensive projects. An ESP8266 takes care of the WiFi functions, while the ATmega2560 provides you with loads of GPIO and memory capability.

PAGE 25: micro:bit

We’ve featured a number of micro:bit projects and discussions, and we’re excited to see Jaycar add this to their product line up. You’ll also find a handful of awesome Raspberry Pi accessories on this page.

pAGE 30: 4WD metal chassis kit

This looks like a robust foundation for a bunch of projects. We’ve used the plastic variant for our SAM Robot series, but for something with more superstructure, we can see the desire for more strength. This is an all-metal chassis, though the wheels/hubs are still plastic, it’s a much tougher enclosure to build from. We look forward to testing one of these in the near future.

pAGE 31: Fingerprint Sensor Module

Fingerprint Sensor Module

Wow - we want to get our hands on one of these! Fingerprint authentication for IoT could be fantastic. Jaycar have released a special library for integration, so it should be straightforward. How accurate and reliable it is, would depend on many factors - but we’re keen to put it through its paces.

pAGE 32: Retro NES Hardware

A console case and controllers to suit retro gaming, fashioned in a NES style case. Bring your own Raspberry Pi and load up RetroPi or other gaming software. The controllers are robust with an authentic look and feel too.

pAGE 36: USB touch lights

While this might not seem like a real maker product at first glance, they’re touch-sensitive dimmable controllers. Running from USB, they must use 5V, so we’re confident there would be fairly hackable and look forward to having a go.

pAGE 53: Alligator Clips to Pins

Perfect for Arduino prototyping, with any platform using 0.1” socket headers. They’ll work equally well in a breadboard too. Most importantly, it makes connecting a few components together for a quick prototype even simpler and easier!

pAGE 66: Programmable Sphero Robots

Loads of fun, with an intuitive programming interface. There’s something uniquely cool about robots with no wheels. At least, no wheels on the outside. Two different versions available for varying levels of functionality.

pAGE 67: Tobbie II micro:bit Robot

The original Tobbie is still available, but this is the big brother in the series. This one requires a micro:bit board to be installed, and brings a host of new functionality thanks to the micro:bit brain.

pAGE 199: Lithium Ion Rechargeable Soldering Iron

We love our gas soldering irons, but this looks really cool. Up to 50 minutes use from a full charge, with 500°C soldering. Definitely one for the toolbox!

pAGE 338: Li-ion Power Banks

You might be wondering why we’re pointing these out... but they’re extremely handy for use with remote IoT projects. Often the commercial unit is cheaper to purchase than a Li-ion battery pack, charge controller, boost converter, and wiring. Especially the powerful 5200mAh for just $19.95, it’s often not worth building your own when you don’t need an embedded solution.

pAGE 366: Interlocking 18650 Mounting Brackets

At first glance, we thought we could probably 3D print these. But for a few dollars, it’s hardly worth the effort, and they likely wouldn’t be as strong. It would be nice if they had an integrated contact to assist with wiring them together, but it wouldn’t be difficult to wrangle.

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The printed edition is included with most print copies of DIYODE during April (sorry, not for international subscribers, digital, or back-issues).