Otona no Kagaku email newsletter

I was hoping for a little more response, but thanks for the one feedback. I will keep using this blog for announcing news and reviews for the Gakken kits.

I’ll start things off by mentioning the Gakken email newsletter (AKA: the “electric magazine”). You can sign up for it from the Otona no Kagaku page, but it’s only in Japanese. I haven’t really seen a pattern to when it comes out. I think the last issue was #149 (I didn’t keep it so I can’t go back to look). Generally, it seems to be mailed just before or after some major event.

The latest issue advertised some videos showing how to generate new sounds from the SX-150 Mark II synthesizer, with a mention that there’s still plans for releasing the Udar under the Sound Gadget Series blanket in the near future.

I don’t remember if the following item was mentioned in the newsletter or not, but the Otona no Kagaku site also has a new article on a circuit you can make with the Denshi mini Block kit that wasn’t included in the 50 circuits in the mook. It’s titled “little electric bird. Basically, it’s the railroad blinker circuit, but you connect the oscillator Vcc pin to the battery by touching the two jumper paddles with your fingers to add variable resistance.

The newsletter also reports on the live “Denshi mini Event” that had been held in the middle of December. The event allowed the public to meet the kit designer, watch presentations on how electronics works, and to play with the mini block kit prior to buying it. There was also a Q&A feedback session. The newsletter recapped some of the feedback. Apparently, the event was attended by a number of individual housewives, families and unattended kids, surprising the organizers by the diversity of its market. While the kit is good for parents wanting to teach kids about electronics, the main complaints revolved around parts breaking, and the difficulty of buying blanks in bulk for making your own blocks. Gakken promises to address these issues in the future.

The newsletter wrapped up with the announcement of the target release date for kit #33. This is the vacuum cleaning robot. The article asks “how can a small vacuum cleaning robot accurately cover the top of a desk without having an electronic controller, and being mechanically-driven only?” Expect it to come out around Jan. 30, 2012. No official price yet.

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