Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Make Electronics (5) My first experiements

Worked my way through the first five experiments in Make: Electronics tonight and had a great time. Some things I already knew. Some stuff I am still working to clarify in my own mind. Up to this point, I am still pleased with my purchase. I was wishing I had a kid in the house who could share this with me. Too bad my nephews all live so far away. My wife says we aren't going to start a family in our late fifties just so I can have a playmate. She can be stern that way sometimes.

The author has you burn up a couple of things to see what happens. This includes putting too much power through a LED that stops working with a satisfying little pop. I also burnt up two more accidentally while I was messing around a bit with some of my own circuits.

Learning through destruction!  My kind of lesson.

The picture is of Experiment 3 in the book. Various resistors and an LED are hooked to a battery to see what happens. Directions are also given on how to check a resister with your multimeter to determine it's resistance rating. This is something that frustrated me tremendously in high school. I was always reading the stripes incorrectly. For those of you not in the know, a series of colored stripes tell you the rating of your component. This is all fine and dandy unless you are color blind, a disability I didn't even know I had until my physical for college.

My instructor and I in high school both assumed I was a lost cause when it came to electronics.  I felt a great deal of satisfaction tonight as some thirty years later as I figured out the ratings on each resistor without having to figure out the colors. This is going to be fun.

Went as far as I could today with the components on hand. I skipped ahead a bit and messed around with the breadboard. Set up the same circuit from Experiment 3. Later tonight, I'll be going online to buy what I need for the next few lessons. While I'm waiting, I am going to practice soldering.

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[Image: Photographed by Al Gunn (CC:Attribution)]

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