Introductory microcomputer/microcontroller experimenter kit - Heathkit Educational Systems® EX-1001

The EX-1001 provides an introduction to microcontrollers for experimenters.  Other microcomputers are already built when you buy them. The EX-1001 is a microcomputer you can assemble yourself, program yourself, and then use daily as a microcontroller, for example to control devices or make your own robot. This hardware also is excellent and cost-effective for electronics training and classroom use.
AVAILABILITY: Individual orders for the EX-1001 microcomputer kit usually ship within one to two weeks. For a large purchase for a class or club event, please write us first. We'll work with you to ensure your kits all arrive at once.

Want to learn how a computer works?

Build one.

The EX-1001 Generic Microprocessor Controller is a microcomputer kit you assemble yourself into a versatile, easy-to-use, general-purpose microcontroller based on the popular Atmel ATMega32 microcontroller chip.  

BUILD THIS COMPUTER : YOU CAN DO IT.  This controller board includes no more than is absolutely necessary for you to assemble your own basic controller, thus keeping the cost and board size to a minimum.  All of the individual pins have been brought out to standard 0.1” spaced headers to accommodate interfacing to almost any kind of circuitry.

This is your first step on building your own computers. We carefully developed the steps, procedures, and educational materials to ensure you can succeed. Next, we built prototype after prototype, refining the steps so everyone can do it. Then we designed it into a kit.

NOT JUST ANY KIT. A HEATHKIT.® The manual teaches you everything you need to know. Components are carefully, thoughtfully packaged so you can easily identify each tiny part. The instructions tell you what to open (and not open) at each step, so everything stays organized and you don't lose anything. We researched, tested, and qualified all the optional tools you need for successful solder asembly. The instructions take you step-by-step. It's all included. This kit is easy enough to ensure you succeed, just hard enough to be a fun challenge for a beginner, and useful when you're done.

Did we say useful?

You'll use it daily.

Plenty of uses.  The EX-1001 is designed for use in applications ranging from robotics, to sensor managment, industrial controller applications, and making your own modem or managing an LCD or TFT display. 

The following features make this Controller very versatile:

• Operates over a wide range of supply voltage: 7 to 15 Volts
• On-Board Power Distribution Bus
• On-Board reset switch
• Standard ISP connector for “In-System-Programming”
• On-Board power indicator LED
• On-Board regulation for the micro-controller
• On-Board regulation for the Power Distribution Bus
• Two On-Board I2C connectors
• On-Board I2C pull-up resistors
• Optional ceramic resonator connection for accurate clock frequency up to 16 MHz
• User-Selectable I2C Clock and Data lines


Great for learning. If you want to learn how a computer really works: Build one. Program it yourself, from the bare silicon up.

Great teaching tool--for electronics and for microcomputer programming, and for clubs and classes. See details below.


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It's a learning tool, and a useful controller.

When you build it, you'll know you succeeded. When you're done and it works, it will tell you. Just touch the built-in button and an LED lights. You're off and running.
Learn computers from the ground up. Every computer you've ever bought came assembled. What are its parts? What is its schematic? They never told you. With the EX-1001, you will know. Because we provide it to you, and because you build it.
Teaches electronics to beginners. You will solder components onto the circuit boad yourself. You'll learn (or if you're a teacher, teach) the basic circuit theory as you build: Solder parts onto the PCB, then identify the matching components in the schematic diagram. You will start to learn the kind of useful information people working in computer electronics actually use. We know because it's information we actually use.
Start simple and buiid it step-by-step, the Heathkit® way.  You'll proceed step-by-step using the world-famous Heathkit® manual. You can build the EX-1001 with confidence.

DIY Experimenter™ collection:

The first in a series.

This is the first in a family. We have more build-it-yourself computers coming.

Build the whole series. Use them with pride. Each computer in this Heathkit Educational Systems® product series is designed to teach new skills and knowledge in computing electronics and software. Collect the entire series. 

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Technical specs


Microprocessor: Atmel ATmega32 (Harvard architecture).

Clock frequency: 8 MIPS at 8MHz standard. Up to 16 MHz possible; higher clock speed access via controller fuse bits. Optional ceramic resonator connection for accurate clock frequency up to 16 MHz.

Memory: 32kB programmable flash. 2kB SRAM. 1 kB EPROM.

Analog to Digital conversion: (8) ADC channels.

General-Purpose I/O pins: (32) GPIOs.

Pulse generation: (4) Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) channels
Controller output: Two (2) I2C connectors. One (1) SPI master/slave. One (1) serial USART.

Clocks/timers: (2) 8-bit timers/counters. (1) 16-bit timer/counter. (1) internal watchdog timer with separate oscillator.

Standards/regulatory: JTAG compliant.

Power supply: 7-15V input required. Kit includes 5V regulator (non-switching / zero EMI).

Power consumption: ~20mA (10mA idle)

Software: BASCOM AVR compatible. Arduino® software compatible subject to verification for each individual intended application. WinAVR compatible (open source software). Atmel AVR Studio compatible (freely downloadable comprehensive IDE from the chip manufacturer).

Programmer interface: 10-pin In-System Programming (ISP) compatible interface. REQUIRES AN ISP PROGRAMMING INTERFACE. Contact us for details.

Tools required: Low-wattage soldering iron. REQUIRES AN ISP PROGRAMMING INTERFACE. Contact us for details.

Optional recommended tools: Magnifying loupe, soldering iron holder, and desoldering materials or tools of your choice.

Kit contents: Printed circuit board, integrated circuits, silver solder, all electronic parts (resistors, capacitors, jacks, switches), and the world-famous Heathkit™ assembly manual.


We can build the future together. 

Let's get started.

Your future in computing is ready now. Every part is included. For assembly, you'll need a low-wattage compatible soldering iron.  If you don't have one yet, check the soldering toolkit available on our website. As an electronics and computer expert, you'll use these new tools often.

Start down a life-long path with us. This is Heathkit's first build-your-own-computer solder kit in our series of DIY Experimenter™ products. After you assemble it, you'll have a working microcontroller computer you can use to control robots, program into  modem, manage vironmntal sensors, alk to and manage a display, and more.  And you built it. You'll know how it works, and if you ever need to, you can fix it.You'll also be ready for the next step in our future together as we introduce more computer kits. It's a great way to get started. Just click Add To Cart up above, and you're on your way.


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