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Lab Kit details for EECS 1011/1021

Lab Kit details for EECS 1011/1021

[Updated March 2024]

EECS 1011 (and 1021) Lab Kit

The EECS 1011 kit is available for purchase from the York University Bookstore. The link for all lab kits at the Bookstore is here. As soon as it is available your course instructor will let you know.

While the official kit is designed to work for most students, some of you live in regions that the Bookstore does not ship to (e.g. Iran). Or, maybe, you have broken part of your kit (it happens! It's okay!) and need a replacement part. Or you want to build the whole kit from scratch using alternative Arduino parts. If so, you should consider looking over the details below to obtain the parts your need.

The Parts in the EECS 1011 kit (Fall 2021 edition)

The following is a breakdown of the parts in the EECS 1011 kit, in the context of sourcing replacements or alternatives. The kit is actually simpler than this list, but we add extra detail here because we're assuming that people interested in this list are mostly overseas and need to find alternate local or international suppliers. The accuracy of the information is not guaranteed and we can only provide a limited amount of support if you go down the route of creating your own kit. So use the information below with care and consideration.

  1. The Grove Beginner Kit for Arduino (p/n 110061162 ; main link @ Seeedstudio)
    • Main vendor is Seeedstudio. You can purchase directly from Seeedstudio in China or use alternatives via Findchips.
    • Alternatives: Some students prefer or need to use an Arduino UNO. You may, but remember that the Grove board has many extra devices attached to it. If you choose to replace the Grove with an UNO you need to have access to all of the Grove's devices, too. To determine that list, go to the Grove board Wiki site: LED, Buzzer, OLED, Button, Rotary Potentiometer, Light sensor, Sound sensor, Temperature and Humidity sensors, Air Pressure sensor, 3-axis accelerometer. The priority components for EECS 1011 labs are: LED, Buzzer, Button, Potentiometer, Light, Sound sensor components. Make sure to have those immediately when we get started. Make sure to have the other components for EECS 2021 and/or for your projects.
  2. Grove Moisture sensor (p/n 101020614 from Seeedstudio)
    • Main vendor is Seeedstudio. You can purchase it directly from Seeedstudio or use alternatives via Findchips.
    • Alternatives: there are a number of soil moisture sensors on the market, like this one from DFRobot. What's important is that they provide an analogue output and that accept both 3.3v and 5v power.
  3. Grove MOSFET board (p/n 103020008 from Seeedstudio)
    • Main vendor is Seeedstudio. You can purchase it directly from Seeestudio or use alternative via Findchips.
    • Alternatives: You can use other "switch" type boards, either MOSFET-based or Relay-based. It should accept 5v signals from the Grove or Arduino board and should be able turn motors that have voltage sources from 5 to 15v.
  4. Screwdrivers
    • A multifunction screwdriver is needed, with small phillips and flathead ends. We often call these "jewellers screwdrivers" because of the small heads.
  5. Cables
    • Cables are tricky. Selecting them is dependent on all the other parts you source. The goal is to get the right cables to allow you to connect the parts you bought together. If you are going to use an Arduino UNO you need a lot of cables.
    • Grove to socket (p/n 110990028) -- useful for connecting a Grove sensor or the Grove Beginner Kit for Arduino to devices with pins.
    • Grove to pin (p/n/ 110990210) -- useful for connecting a Grove sensor or the Grove Beginner Kit for Arduino to a breadboard.
    • Barrel jack and socket to bare wire
      • Barrel jack/socket to wire adapters are, like these, are worth looking at. If you are using components with barrel jacks, these can be really useful. Note that they can also be tricky as there are different types of barrel jacks out there, with different inner diameters, outer diameters, lengths and conductor numbers.
  6. Breadboard
  7. 9 volt socket to XXXXX.
    • Often called "battery snap" connectors. We suggest using a 9v battery to power the MOSFET board that your water pump attaches to. Depending on the type of MOSFET board you use, you need a cable to connect your battery to it. This is likely to be either a (1) 9v socket to bare wire or (2) 9v socket to barrel jack.
  8. Extra Micro USB cables
    • Micro-USB cables fail. A lot. We recommend having a few on hand and trying to buy "good quality" ones whenever you can.
  9. A 12 volt DC water pump
    • This is used for the plant watering activities. These are tricky. There are many of these on the market, available from Amazon, eBay, BangGood, AliBaba, your local pet store, etc. They need to be submersible (go underwater) and should work on voltages from 5 - 15 volts (usually advertised as "12 volts"). The power cable attached to them are (1) sometimes bare, (2) sometimes USB, (3) sometimes barrel jack, etc. You will likely need an adapter for the power cable or, more likely, require cutting the cable and exposing the wires yourself with a pair of wire strippers or scissors.
  10. A flexible silicone hose
    • This is used for the plant watering activities. They look like this. Again, this is tricky. You need to match the inner diameter of the hose to the outer diameter of the water pump. Hardware stores sometimes sell these, as do garden centres, hydroponics centres and medical supply companies and pharmacies.
  11. Multimeter
    • You need to be able to measure voltage (up to 20v), current (up to 5A), resistance (up to a few mega-ohms) and connectivity. Basically, any modern multimeter that costs $30 or more.

Alternative Vendors

If you decide to use non-Bookstore vendors, you must determine the parts and compatibility yourself. We worked with the Bookstore and vendors to make sure we got the right parts in the official kit -- there is no way for us to do so for the hundreds of possible alternatives from alternate vendors, so please frame your expectations accordingly.

Buying parts in-person

It's not always a good idea to order parts from Amazon or other online vendors. Sometimes you need to go in-person to look at the parts and ask store employees questions. There are at least three "brick and mortar" vendors that students should know about in the Toronto area to obtain parts in-person:

Here are links to the Google maps to get you to those stores:

You can access in-person electronics vendors, Creatron, Sayal and downtown Home Hardware at these locations: and
You can access in-person electronics vendors, Creatron, Sayal and downtown Home Hardware at these locations: and

Note that you can buy parts like water pumps from both Creatron and Sayal. You may have to cut a connector off the end and expose the wires to then connect it to your MOSFET or Relay board, but it's doable, especially if it's the weekend before your project is due and you need the parts right now.

You can also go, in-person, to the Home Hardware because it's just across the street from Creatron and see what they have in stock... check the basement!

Walkthrough of the lab kit (2023/24 version)

This is the lab kit, 2023/24 edition. Here, I walk you through the parts in the kit.

Unboxing Video (Summer 2021 kit)

Not sure what any of these parts look like and need a visual before buying things? Here is an early unboxing video, based on the Summer 2021 version of the kit.

Unboxing video of the Summer 2021 Lab Kit. The Fall 2021 lab kit has a few other parts (9v power instead of AA), more barrel jacks. Even if you have the older kit we can still work with it.

James Andrew Smith is Professional Engineer and an associate professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department in York University's Lassonde School. Originally from Québec, James has degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alberta and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from McGill. He did a post-doc from 2006-2008 at the Institute for Sports Science in Jena, Germany. His engineering research background includes galloping robots, human birth and clothing. James believes that we can improve the way we teach. He 2018-19, he lived in Strasbourg and taught at the INSA Strasbourg (France) and Hochschule Karlsruhe (Germany) while on sabbatical with his wife and kids. Some of his other blog posts discuss the family's sabbatical year, from both personal and professionalperspectives.