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Make:Electronics training

17 January 2012 at 9:36 pm

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Make:Electronics is a book from Make Magazine that provides an introduction to electronics. It’s full of exercises so you’ll need a bunch of components. You can either pick these up at a local electronics store (it’s all standard stuff) but you can also order two nice plastic cases with all the components collected for you. I opted for getting the cases, though I realize that I could have gotten all of this at my local electronics shop - Elfa Elektronikk in Oslo. My plan for this week and the next is to complete this book with all the exercises so I have a better understanding of the hardware side of microcontrollers.

It’ll probably be a little longer between updates as I’ll try my best to stay focused and not play with all my new Arduino toys. I really need to know the basics of this so I can complete a couple of projects I’ve started. You can see a vid of experiment 8 from the book above. It’s a simple circuit that toggles two LEDs, something that would be dead easy to do with a microcontroller. I love how it sounds like the turning-lights of my car! This one is however done using only basic electronic components (a capacitor, a resistor and a relay).

One thing about this kit: Europe is probably not the target for Make Magazine / Makershed, but it would have been nice if the switchable power supply that comes with Make:Electronics Components Kit 1 was an auto-switching one (110/230v). I picked up a European one at my local hardware store (Biltema) for only $29, but I’m sure that it wouldn’t be much extra cost to change the kit to include one of these instead. I have plenty of converter plugs, but none that transforms 110v to 230v…

I’m really liking the style of this book. Not only do you learn through experiments, but you also get to take things apart! In Kit 1 (containing all you need for the first 11 experiments) there are two 12v relays. One is to be used for building circuits, but the other is to taken apart! Loving this approach to electronics! You can see a video of how this “dismantled” relay works below.