Playing with Lego Mindstorms NXT and EV3

hobby lego, mindstorms, ev3, nxt-g, nxt

Lego Mindstorms EV3

Whenever I see my Lego Mindstorms kit on the shelf gathering dust I sigh then I tell myself one day I’ll find enough time to build soemthing with it again. That day was last weekend! This post is a collection of notes that I started taking when I started playing.


I have 2 older bricks and one of the newer ones. At first glance the naming was a bit confusing. So to clarify there are 3 versions of the brick out there as outlines here.

  • The programmable bricks are all called Lego Mindstorms
  • The names of the versions are:
  • Also NXT has several sets:
    • LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 (8547)
    • LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Education Base Set (9797)

I have one of the education sets and one regular so I was getting confused about identifying which one was which as all the contents are mixed up at this point. The good news is shown in the same article that lists NXT sets:

  • The NXT Intelligent Brick is the same in all versions of the Mindstorms NXT sets.
  • The NXT motors are the same in all versions of the Mindstorms NXT sets. Each version has three of such motors

Since the brick is the heart and soul of the whole thing, it’s much easier to say that I have 2 NXT and 1 EV3 bricks.

Programming the brick

First, I downloaded the software and installed it:

Then plugged in the EV3 brick via USB cable:

Unfortunately, macoOS Catalina doesn’t seem to support programming yet. Even though it installs fine and sees the EV3 brick connected I couldn’t make it work. So I reverted to my Surface Pro 3 and tried Windows to do the job.

I guess this time it really worked as it asked me to upgrade firmware on the brick which I did.

After that I was able to start using NXT-G to develop my first program: An infinite loop of 2 motors moving forward

And the result is simple but good enough for the time being.