Archive for April, 2014
Who is interested in learning some basic electronics and soldering skills? I will arrange a hands-on “maker” experience where we will build some small, cool little electronic thing that you will be able to take home with you afterwards. The cost will be in the $50 range, and is for materials only, all of which will be yours to keep.
The first thing you need is a decent set of tools. I can provide some tools during class, but if you want to solder on your own, or don’t want to wait and share during class, you should buy one of these, or something like it. Whatever you buy, it should have a 20-25 Watt soldering iron, some solder, a wire cutter and pliers. A solder remover and/or solder wick is a very good idea. You can buy the tools seperately, or in kits like below, which are all less than $50, most less than $25. I have lots of pliers and cutters, so the soldering tools are the most important part:
- Maker Shed soldering kit (has pliers)
- Think Geek Kit (has pliers)
- Ifixit kit (deluxe starter kit!)
- Elenco soldering kit (soldering only)
- Elenco Kit with project board (fewer tools, but it comes with a kit!)
- Radio shack soldering kit (soldering only)
Here is the menu of kits that I think would be appropriate. They are all less than $40, most less than $20. I don’t have any attachment to these companies, but they make nice kits. Please choose one and order it so that you have it in time for class. Feel free to get something not on this list as long as it is a beginner kit (since this is a beginner class). You can read the description and decide for yourself what you want to build; keep it mind that kits with more parts take longer and have a higher chance of failure due to complexity.
- Weevil Eye (one of the simplest kits – good for smaller kids or unambitious adults)
- Digital Dice
- Simon Game (button version)
- Simon Game (tilt version)
- Blinky single-digit marquee (a little more advanced due to high part count); hackable
- Pico Paso noise maker (spectacularly annoying!); hackable
- Tiny Cylon LED blinking thing;hackable
- Music Game (Has possibility for more advanced hacking)
- Useless Machine (One of my favorite things, but actually not that much soldering involved; it’s largely mechanical)
- 1-gram piano (Has possibility for more advanced hacking)
- ClocKit (Has possibility for more advanced hacking)
Contact me if you have any questions.