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MAKERbuino is a handheld retro gaming device that you can build yourself. It's 8-bit, fun, educational and hackable.
MAKERbuino is a handheld retro gaming device that you can build yourself. It's 8-bit, fun, educational and hackable.
MAKERbuino is a handheld retro gaming device that you can build yourself. It's 8-bit, fun, educational and hackable.
1,574 backers pledged $100,745 to help bring this project to life.

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MAKERbuino - a DIY game console

$100,745

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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

4d618a6e9aa7f2198ca03951612454d3 original

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

Our Kickstarter campaign is over, but you can still get a MAKERbuino. Head over to makerbuino.com/shop for more info and to place an order.

Ever wanted to build your own game console? MAKERbuino is what you need!

MAKERbuino is:

  • a game console
  • DIY - do it yourself
  • educational
  • fun
  • 8-bit
  • portable
  • cool
  • open-source
  • Arduino powered
  • customizable

This neat little device is an open source handheld game device you can build yourself (it’s fully DIY). Besides that, MAKERbuino is also an educational device shaped like a game console.

MAKERbuino - a DIY game console
MAKERbuino - a DIY game console

 

MAKERbuino - a DIY game console
MAKERbuino - a DIY game console

It comes in a kit form (not assembled) - you get a box with all the electronic components necessary for building your own portable game machine.
To build your own MAKERbuino the only things you'll need are some basic tools and an interest in technology.

You'll get a bunch of electronic components needed for building your own game console
You'll get a bunch of electronic components needed for building your own game console

 

Yep, you can build your own handheld game console from scratch
Yep, you can build your own handheld game console from scratch

This device is based on easy-to-find components and programmed in Arduino – one of the most popular DIY microcontroller platforms. It's open-source, hackable and easily customizable with additional hardware components and custom casings.

MAKERbuino is an educational device disguised in the shape of a game console. Its purpose: to motivate people to explore, learn and create something new in a fun and interesting way.

 

MAKERbuino’s price equals the price of an average newly released game console video game. The idea is: instead of buying your kid, a nephew, a sibling or a friend a video game, you can buy him/her a MAKERbuino for the same price and motivate him/her to learn something new and enter the wonderful world of DIY electronics.

MAKERbuino kit costs around the price of just one average video game
MAKERbuino kit costs around the price of just one average video game

 

Forget the newest iPhone or the latest PlayStation, you will be the main hipster around after you show this one to your friends - a game console you've built and customized yourself! 
OK, it has a low-res screen and 2kB of RAM but you've made it with your own two hands, it's unique, it's retro, it's cool.

 

 

Electronics is easy... really! We're in the 21st century... teenagers build their own game consoles at home using online tutorials and cheap components from china. Try building your own game console, you'll see how much fun it is.

 

You'll need some basic tools and equipment for assembling your MAKERbuino:

  • regular soldering iron (nothing super expensive is required) and some solder
  • diagonal cutter pliers
  • regular screwdriver
  • desoldering vacuum pump (optional, but is really helpful if you make a mistake in soldering)

If you're a maker, you probably already have these tools.
If you're a maker-to-be and still don't have these tools, don't worry, we've got you covered. We've prepared a special version of the MAKERbuino kit that comes with required tools included. Check out the rewards section (at the bottom of the listing) for more info about the available kit versions.

 

YES, we love Arduino.
MAKERbuino is based on ATmgea328p-pu - the same chip used on Arduino UNO board.
Therefore, it's programmed in Arduino IDE (based on C/C++) – the most popular programming environment for makers.
MAKERbuino is compatible with numerous Arduino related examples of manipulating various hardware and software components. In fact, it's compatible with all Arduino UNO software libraries available online and will work with many Arduino shields and modules with minimal or no library code modifications.

 

Gamebuino is like a MAKERbuino, only a bit smaller. The biggest difference: it comes already assembled and is made out of tiny components that were pre-soldered by robots. It's an alternative for the ones that are afraid of getting their fingers burnt with a soldering iron.

Gamebuino was crowdfunded on Indiegogo back in 2014. It's a project made by Aurelien Rodot and it served as a great inspiration for the creation of MAKERbuino.
In 2016 we connected with Aurelien (on a Maker Faire, of course) and he helped us make MAKERbuino happen.
The best thing, MAKERbuino is 100% compatible with Gamebuino's vast collection of open-source games and its programming library.

MAKERbuino is fully compatible with Gamebuino's vast library of open-source games
MAKERbuino is fully compatible with Gamebuino's vast library of open-source games

 

            

The MAKERbuino kit comes with an SD card loaded with numerous fun retro games which you can play as soon as you assemble your MAKERbuino. More games can be downloaded from an online MAKERbuino games gallery.

Every game in the games gallery is open-source and available with a downloadable Arduino source code along with a compiled .HEX file.
In other words, you can take a look at the code of every MAKERbuino compatible game, learn something new, change the code and implement parts of the game code in your own game project.

You can make your own games using our Arduino library and share them with other makers on the MAKERbuino games gallery. Our programming toolkit along with our Arduino library was made especially for programming video games using Arduino IDE.
It makes easy to:

  • develop in-game menus and other GUI-related content
  • play and develop sound FX and background music
  • draw, display and animate bitmaps
  • emulate MAKERbuino games on your PC

 

 

                           

Playing games on a game console you've made is fun. But you know what's even more fun: having a multiplayer gaming party on retro DIY game consoles.
You heard it, MAKERbuino game consoles can connect with link cables, exchange data, and play multiplayer games.
The consoles communicate using i2c communication - a type of communication protocol used to interface microcontrollers with sensors and other microcontrollers.

Since i2c is serial, you can chain more than 2 MAKERbuino consoles together using link cables. Theoretically, you can connect up to 128 MAKERbuinos together and make a massive multiplayer match.

 

MAKERbuino's detailed build guide leads you through the process of building your own game console. Here you can check out our current build guide used for beta tester kits.

We've designed the build guide with the purpose of teaching you something new, not only showing you how to assemble things. Every now and then, the build guide gives you some useful and educational info about the things your are doing (e.g: "Now you have to find a 10k resistor and place it on the spot marked R2. This is what the resistors look like.... Resistors are used for.... This is how you read a resistor....).

Who is this kit for?

Based on our experience, an 11-year-old kid should be able to assemble a MAKERbuino kit with a tiny bit of help from an adult. Therefore, the estimated age group is 11+.
Estimated build time: 5 hours. Build time varies and depends on the skills of the person and if the person has ever soldered before.
The build time will be significantly less if you're a skilled maker.
Building the MAKERbuino kit is just the beginning. After that you'll spend numerous hours creating your own games and experimenting with hardware.

This kit was designed to be assembled as easy as possible. However, if you have never soldered before, it might be a good idea to get some practice first.
Nevertheless, with enough patience and care, a total newbie can assemble this kit by precisely following these build instructions.

What you'll learn with MAKERbuino

  • how to solder 
  • what are the basic electronic components and what are their functions 
  • how can electronic components be connected and why
  • what are microcontrollers and some basics of digital electronics
  • how to program a microcontroller in C/C++
  • what are 3D printers and how to modify and design your own unique 3D printed casing
  • how to extend beyond MAKERbuino’s capabilities by adding various expansion modules

Let's get down to MAKERbuino's details!

Standard MAKERbuino kit comes with all the electronic components needed for building your own handheld game console:

  • MAKERbuino PCB
  • laser CNC cut acrylic casing (has three pieces)  
  • ATmega328P-PU microcontroller
  • 28 pin IC socket (for the ATmega328)  
  • Nokia 5110 graphic LCD breakout board
  • Li-Po charger board with micro USB port (TP4056 charging circuit)
  • Li-Po battery, 3.7V, 600mAh with male JST connector
  • female JST battery connector  
  • 128MB SD card preloaded with games (for storing, loading and streaming files and programs)  
  • SD socket
  • 16Mhz crystal
  • 3.3v voltage regulator (MCP1702-3302E)
  • 4 pin angle anti-reverse pin header (for i2c ports) x2
  • 3.5mm headphone socket
  • 2N2222A NPN transistor
  • 100uF capacitor x3
  • 100nf capacitor x2
  • 22pf capacitor x2
  • 100Ω resistor
  • 10kΩ resistor x2
  • 4.7kΩ resistor x2
  • 2kΩ resistor
  • 1kΩ trim-potentiometer x2
  • 1N4148 diode 
  • big clicky pushbutton with corresponding button cap x7
  • mini slide toggle switch x2
  • 8Ω, 0.5W, 28mm diameter speaker
  • ISP port angle header pins
  • Serial port angle header pins
  • Breakout port angle header pins  
  • FTDI USB to rs232 adapter board (a board for conneccting your MAKERbuino to the computer)  
  • set of screws, nuts and spacers needed for fixating the screen and the casing

Let's talk tech specs:

  • CPU: ATmega328 @ 16MHz (same MCU used in Arduino UNO)
  • Display: Nokia 5110 84x48 monochrome graphic LCD /w white backlight (adjustable with a built in potentiometer)
  • Sound: 0.5W speaker with 4-channel audio generation, 3.5mm headphone connector, hardware volume control 
  • Input: 7 pushbuttons with replaceable button caps (D-pad + ABC buttons) 
  • Storage: 32kB of FLASH program memory, 2kB of RAM, up to 2GB SD card for loading and saving programs (HEX files) and data
  • Communication: serial UART port, i2c, SPI
  • Battery: single cell LiPo, 3.7V, 600mAh, charged with your regular micro USB smartphone charger 
  • Dimensions: approx. 13cm x 6cm x 2.5cm (depending on the casing, hacks, mods, expansions…)

MAKERbuino has a special bootloader that allows you to store and load programs from an SD card.
Unlike a regular Arduino UNO board, MAKERbuino can have multiple games and programs saved on the SD card in the form of .HEX files, which can then be selected and loaded in MAKERbuino's FLASH memory.
Since MAKERbuino's .HEX files are pretty small compared to an SD card's size, you can literally store hundreds of games and/or programs on your MAKERbuino. 

Every MAKERbuino kit comes with an SD card preloaded with numerous fun games and programs so that you can try your game console out as soon as you assemble it.

Sometimes sh*t happens while building stuff. You lose a component, you overheat or break something, a diode falls onto your carpet and you can’t find it anymore… We get it, that’s why we'll give you some extra components in your kit.
If you lose or break a component which isn't doubled in the package or if you're having trouble assembling your own MAKERbuino kit, notify us with a polite email and we’ll send you some extra components for minimal or no cost and help you with the build process.

MAKERbuino is fully customizable. Make your game console unique. Change the button caps, craft or 3D print a custom casing, add some expansion modules and make your MAKERbuino light up with a few blinking LEDs... We can't wait to see what your MAKERbuino will look like.

 

 

See all that pin headers on the MAKERbuino board? They're used for connecting hardware add-ons. MAKERbuino is based on Arduino UNO. Therefore, it's compatible with lots of hardware expansion modules. You can easily plug in some LEDs , switches and photoresistors or some more complicated modules like accelerometers, gyroscopes or RF transceivers...

MAKERbuino was meant to be hacked. Our goal is to encourage people to become creative makers and explorers of the wonderful world of DIY electronics. MAKERbuino allows you to develop your hardware and software skills. Make video games, explore new hardware solutions, learn from numerous tutorials and share your work with the community. Change the button caps, code a Pokemon-like video game, connect a GPS module, turn your MAKERbuino into a robot car…get creative.

MAKERbuino's software is fully open-source and available for you to download.
MAKERbuino's hardware's schematics along with the bill of materials are also open-source and available online.
That means that you can use our documentation to build your own MAKERbuino clones on a breadboard, experiment with our hardware design using the provided documentation and schematics and create your own MAKERbuino compatible boards and modules. 

We need your help to mass produce the MAKERbuino!
For over a year we have been working on prototypes, collecting feedback from beta testers and learning about design and manufacturing.
Finally, we are ready to show our project on Kickstarter and we need you to get enough orders and collect enough money to produce MAKERbuino kits for everyone.

 

 

MAKERbuino kit with tools

As described in the list above, this kit comes with diagonal cutter pliers, a screwdriver, some solder, a solder sucker, and a neat USB soldering iron.
Fun fact: this soldering iron is light, small and portable and can be plugged in a USB power bank so that you can solder on the go.

 MAKERbuino inventor's kit

This kit is for more advance users. It comes with a set of MAKERbuino compatible hardware components, some wires and a breadboard.

You'll get an i2c GPIO expander and a gyroscope & accelerometer module so that you can expand MAKERbuino's hardware capabilities.

Assembled MAKERbuino

Building MAKERbuino is a great experience and we highly recommend you to try it out. Maybe you'll get addicted to DIY electronics, who knows. Despite that, we understand that not everybody loves soldering and would like a MAKERbuino just to program games for it.... we respect that. 
We'll send you a fully functional assembled MAKERbuino so that you can get down to programming right away.

Educational packs

You want to organize a group MAKERbuino making party or a workshop, great!
We'll help you out by providing our educational material, workshop plans, worksheets and the experience we've gained with organizing MAKERbuino test workshops.

MAKERbuino's design is ready for manufacturing. The kits will be assembled at our headquarters in Croatia and controlled directly by us. We have sourced all the needed components and made deals with our components suppliers and PCB manufacturers.

We will start the production of MAKERbuino kits 10 days after the start of the crowdfunding campaign after we see the market's reaction.

Thus, we plan to ship the rewards really fast:  

  • early bird rewards will be shipped in April 2017
  • regular rewards will be shipped in May 2017

Until we ship the rewards, we will continue polishing MAKERbuino's software, documentation and tutorials and expand its library of games.

Every MAKERbuino kit is packed by hand in Croatia – a tiny country located in Central and Southeast Europe.

Croatia is popular for its seaside and Game of Thrones being filmed in it (google it), but it also has some pretty smart entrepreneurs living in it (and they help us make MAKERbuino happen).

Albert Gajšak
MAKERbuino kits were designed by me.
I’m an 18-year-old student from Croatia and I really like electronics and programming. I started developing the MAKERbuino 3 years ago. It all started as a weekend project and recently turned into something more. All of this is possible thanks to supporters like you (thanks again) and the support of my family and other helpers:

 Emil Gajšak

That's my little bro, he’s really smart. He's 14 and a primary school student. He helps with documentation and hardware and software development.

Zoran Gajšak
That's my dad (and Emil's dad, too). He’s a mechanical engineer, a high-school teacher, and a photographer in his free time. He helps with hardware design, promotional material and documentation.

Other important collaborators:

  • Tomislav Car - advisor
  • Ana Car - advisor
  • Niko Klansek - business advisor
  • Hrvoje Hafner - crowdfunding advisor

It all started with this prototype back in 2014:

Since then, a lot has changed. We've displayed MAKERbuino at various technology conferences and shows and worked hard on improving its design.

first prototype vs. the latest prototype
first prototype vs. the latest prototype

 

MAKERbuino at Maker Faire Rome 2016
MAKERbuino at Maker Faire Rome 2016

 

Ross Atkin (thecraftyrobot.net) checking out a MAKERbuino
Ross Atkin (thecraftyrobot.net) checking out a MAKERbuino

 

Mate Rimac - CEO of Rimac Automobili - checking out a MAKERbuino
Mate Rimac - CEO of Rimac Automobili - checking out a MAKERbuino

 

First MAKERbuino workshop, January 2017
First MAKERbuino workshop, January 2017

 

It takes far more than the whole MAKERbuino team to make MAKERbuino happen.
Here are some of many supporters that have been an enormous help: Ivančica Gajšak, Jonne Valola and his Pokitto project, Aurelien Rodot and his Gamebuino project, David Roper, e-radionica, Matija Abičić, Technical culture community of Karlovac, STEMI, Infinum, Dobriša Adamec, Martin Adamec, HUB385, Robokacija, Fablab.hr, Projektni biro 2a, Izvan Fokusa, Pavle Kocanjer, Vladimir Mitrović, HZTK, Matija Fućek, Anton Premec, Nikola Petrović, Antonio Valentić, Bruno Mastelić Ivić, Dragan Petric, BUG, Gradionica, Gueidan Audric, Denis Plavetić, Digitalni Tisak.

We hope that you're as excited about MAKERbuino as we are and that you'll back our campaign and make our ideas come true.
Thank you!

Risks and challenges

Having a hardware startup can sometimes be harsh. Volume manufacturing risks are real and we’ve taken every precaution to prepare for them:

-MAKERbuino uses common, easy to get components that can be easily purchased in large quantities.

-Hired workers and helpers will be doing the production of kits at our headquarters. We will directly control the manufacturing process and the quality of finished kits.

-We already have certain experience with producing MAKERbuino kits with more than 150 beta tester kits produced before the start of this campaign.

We promise we'll keep our backers updated about any issues that may arise.
Keep making!

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    Buy me some coffee

    You’ll contribute to the project by keeping us running thanks to an extra shot of caffeine. Of course, you will also get your name at makerbuino.com supporters' page.

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    Stickers!

    You’ll contribute to the project and get listed as a contributor at makerbuino.com. You’ll also get some snazzy stickers to show your support.

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    MAKERbuino kit - early bird

    Get your MAKERbuino kit for a special price before anybody else. Includes a kit with all game console components included. You’ll need some basic tools to assemble it. Thorough online build guide and learning resources are included.
    This reward is open for a limited number of fastest backers

    Includes:
    • standard MAKERbuino kit
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    standard MAKERbuino kit

    A box loaded with various electronic components needed for building your own game console. You’ll need some basic tools to assemble it. Thorough online build guide and learning resources are included.

    Includes:
    • standard MAKERbuino kit
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    MAKERbuino kit with tools

    A standard MAKERbuino kit that comes with all the tools and material needed for the assembly process included.

    Includes:
    • standard MAKERbuino kit
    • tools and equipment needed for assembling the MAKERbuino kit
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    MAKERbuino inventor's kit

    A standard MAKERbuino kit with an extra set of hardware goodies for you to explore, invent, and play with.

    Includes:
    • standard MAKERbuino kit
    • set of hardware expansion modules with wires and a breadboard
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    assembled MAKERbuino

    Building a MAKERbuino is a fun and useful experience and we highly recommend it. Despite that, we understand that not everybody loves soldering and would like a MAKERbuino just to program games for it.... we respect that. That's why we'll send you a fully assembled MAKERbuino unit ready for you to play games and program it.

    Includes:
    • assembled MAKERbuino
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    MAKERbuino multiplayer pack

    If you think that making game consoles and playing games alone is a sad thing, you can get a pack of two standard MAKERbuino kits with an extra super-duper link cable so that you can connect them together.

    Includes:
    • standard MAKERbuino kit
    • super-duper multiplayer link cable
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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    assembled MAKERbuino multiplayer pack

    Building a MAKERbuino is a fun and useful experience and we highly recommend it. Despite that, we understand that not everybody loves soldering and would like a MAKERbuino just to program games for it.... we respect that. That's why we'll send you two fully assembled MAKERbuino units ready for you to play games and program them. You'll also get a link cable so that you can get down to playing and coding multiplayer games straight away.

    Includes:
    • assembled MAKERbuino
    • super-duper multiplayer link cable
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    MAKERbuino multiplayer pack with tools

    If you think that making game consoles and playing games alone is a sad thing, you can get a pack of two standard MAKERbuino kits with an extra super-duper link cable so that you can connect them together. This pack comes with two sets of equipment required for making MAKERbuinos!

    Includes:
    • standard MAKERbuino kit
    • super-duper multiplayer link cable
    • tools and equipment needed for assembling the MAKERbuino kit
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    MAKERbuino multi inventor's edition

    If you think that making game consoles and playing games alone is a sad thing, you can get a pack of two standard MAKERbuino kits with an extra super-duper link cable so that you can connect them together. This pack comes with two sets of extra hardware goodies for you and your friend to explore, invent, and play with.

    Includes:
    • standard MAKERbuino kit
    • super-duper multiplayer link cable
    • set of hardware expansion modules with wires and a breadboard
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    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    MAKERbuino party pack

    5 standard MAKERbuino kits with some extra goodies like multiplayer cables, extra button caps, extra casings, spare parts, etc. Call a bunch of your geeky friends and make a cool maker party.

    Includes:
    • standard MAKERbuino kit
    • super-duper multiplayer link cable
    • extra button caps and casings in various colors
    • spare parts and other hardware goodies
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    Standard educational pack

    10 standard MAKERbuino kits with some extra goodies like multiplayer cables, extra button caps, extra casings, spare parts, etc. Educational material with a workshop plan and some printable worksheets is included. You’ll also get a cheat sheet with some experiences, advice and tricks we’ve learned from organizing various MAKERbuino test workshops.

    Includes:
    • 10× standard MAKERbuino kit
    • super-duper multiplayer link cable
    • extra button caps and casings in various colors
    • spare parts and other hardware goodies
    • educational material, a workshop plan and printable worksheets
    • workshop organizer cheat sheet
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    Educational pack with tools

    10 MAKERbuino kits with required tools and some extra goodies like multiplayer cables, extra button caps, extra casings, spare parts, etc. Educational material with a workshop plan and some printable worksheets is included. You’ll also get a cheat sheet with some experiences, advice and tricks we’ve learned from organizing various MAKERbuino test workshops.

    Includes:
    • 10× standard MAKERbuino kit
    • 10× tools and equipment needed for assembling the MAKERbuino kit
    • super-duper multiplayer link cable
    • extra button caps and casings in various colors
    • spare parts and other hardware goodies
    • educational material, a workshop plan and printable worksheets
    • workshop organizer cheat sheet
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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    Pledge $415 or more About $415

    Educational pack - inventor's edition

    10 standard MAKERbuino kits equipped with a set of hardware add-ons for exploring, inventing and playing. Also comes with some extra goodies like multiplayer cables, extra button caps, extra casings, spare parts, etc. Educational material with a workshop plan and some printable worksheets is included. You’ll also get a cheat sheet with some experiences, advice and tricks we’ve learned from organizing various MAKERbuino test workshops. This perk is great for the ones that want to organize a workshop for more advance users.

    Includes:
    • 10× standard MAKERbuino kit
    • 10× set of hardware expansion modules with wires and a breadboard
    • super-duper multiplayer link cable
    • extra button caps and casings in various colors
    • spare parts and other hardware goodies
    • educational material, a workshop plan and printable worksheets
    • workshop organizer cheat sheet
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    1 backer
    $
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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $550 or more About $550

    MAKERbuino superbacker pack

    10 MAKERbuino kits with required tools, some hardware add-ons and other various goodies like multiplayer cables, button caps, casings. Educational material with a workshop plan and some printable worksheets is included. Comes with a cheat sheet with some experiences, advice and tricks we’ve learned from organizing various MAKERbuino test workshops. You’ll also be among the first to get a beta tester kit of our next mystery project.

    Includes:
    • 10× standard MAKERbuino kit
    • 10× tools and equipment needed for assembling the MAKERbuino kit
    • 10× set of hardware expansion modules with wires and a breadboard
    • super-duper multiplayer link cable
    • extra button caps and casings in various colors
    • spare parts and other hardware goodies
    • educational material, a workshop plan and printable worksheets
    • workshop organizer cheat sheet
    • beta tester preview kit of our next mystery project
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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (25 days)