What we talk about when talk about 84 combinations? Learn about tricks behind TechBox


Last week we held a workshop of TechBox Tricks within the team. Everyone was so excited about this tiny, smart and easy-to-make modular kit. The guys came up with a lot of creative (wired), fabulous (beyond my understanding) projects, such as spinning pavilion and light art. Check our Recipe to learn more.

how comes with 84 combinations

In the process of “plug and make”, there’s one question that almost every person has asked: When talk about the “84 combinations to play with”, what are you talking about? How does the calculation come? I believe you may have the same confusion, let’s work it out now! 🙂

Tricks to Modules

To begin with, tear down the one-piece Grove Tricks and you will get four input modules, they’re Grove – Light Switch, Grove – Tilt Switch, Grove – Approach Switch and Grove – Touch Switch; two output modules, Grove – LED and Grove Buzzer. There’s one more separate output – the DC motor in the package, thus in total you can have three outputs.

Logic DC Jack

Let’s turn attention to the mainboard, Grove – Logic DC Jack. There’re two sockets on it, the one on the left is for input modules while the one on the right is for outputs. There’s also a switch in the side, through changing its position as well as combining different input and output modules, we can get four scenarios as below. Let’s go one by one.

One input one output

For the 1st scenario, let’s turn on the power – switch to right (the original Logic Gate) and get Grove Cables for one input and one output every time, we can develop 4 (inputs) x 3 (outputs) = 12 (combinations). For instance, to have a touch sensor as the input and a LED module as the output, the principle is that when you touch the input, the LED will light up; If we turn the switch to the middle (NOT Logic Gate), of which logic goes against with the previous, you will get an opposite result. Again we have Grove Cables for one input and one output every time, the LED will shine when not touch the input and light out when touch the sensor, another 4 (inputs) x 3 (outputs) = 12 (results) appear.

1 input & 2 outputs

You may notice there’s a Grove Branch Cable in the package. It will be useful if you would like to have two input modules or two outputs in the project. Say we keep one input module, and connect two outputs with the Grove Branch Cable. It turns out to be 4 (inputs) x 3 (2 outputs among 3) x 2 (original Logic Gate & NOT Logic Gate) = 24 (results).

2 inputs & one output

Now we come to two input modules and 1 output– “AND Logic Gate” so called, we can have 6 (2 inputs among 4) x 3 (outputs) = 18 results. Please kindly be noted “NOT Logic Gate” principle applies only if there’s one input, thus it is not feasible this time.

2 inputs + 2 outputs

Keep the two inputs and add one more output, still backed by “AND Logic Gate”. We can have 6 (2 inputs among 4) x 3 (2 outputs among 3) = 18 results.

Finally we got 12+12+24+18+18=84 (results/combinations) in total. Have you lost in the logic gates? 🙂 Tell us what you think of TechBox or share what you have done with TechBox to win giveaways of new products!


May 2015