My middle boy is 7 this weekend, and he's got four friends coming round to do boy stuff for a few hours to help him celebrate.
I thought it would be good if I could come up with a small electronics project they could do and all have something to take away with them. Build a basic circuit with a switch and some bulbs or perhaps a buzzer/siren.
Can anyone recommend something that I could do failry easily with these guys, or a site where I could get some ideas?
It'll keep me from fretting about my lack of progress in the Volvo Ocean Race Game!!
It looked so grand then. Rather modest bit of kit now. Had to make a full PSU for it - and rewind the coils. The dial mechanism was supremely made.
30/= £1.50 to you youngsters.
I've recently sold dozens of meter movements for the old AVO valve tester VCM 163. I used to buy things like that just cos they were there. 30 years later someone recognized them, and they're going around the world. The point? Oh, yes. While I was testing them, I drifted back into a fluffy warm state of being interested in these things. I miss having a hobby shop in the UK. One is just born like this - turned all the lights off in a Colchester library when I was about 4. Just thought I'd found heaven when I crawled to the fuse panel.
One of the best toys I ever had was a electronics construction set Lots of components and diagrams to make things . You could even make a low power morse transmitter . Briiliant , dont know whether such things still exist
OK thread drift (a bit) but I have a cyristal radio that my Dad built when he was 20..so I am guessing it is now about 70 or 80 years old...he used to tell me he could listen to planes landing at Sydney Airport with it...I got it out of his "shed" when he died a few years ago..the thing is I dont know how to use it or how it even works, all I can remember is him telling me something about the "Cats Whiskers..or at least thats what I think I can remember...before he died I had last seem the thing probably 30 years earlier, so over to you fellow Pprunners
One of my favourites was making simple electric motors out of household bits and pieces, like wine bottle corks, paper clips, bits of card board and magnets reclaimed from old fridge magnets, door catches or hard drives. The magnets from old hard drives are brilliant!!
My dad's crystal set built in the early-,mid-1920s to hear the first broadcasting stations in US.
I progressed from this to regenerative sets and burning out tubes (valves). They were old at the time and would be rare today.
These headphones were 2000-ohm impedance. I suspect that all/most modern ones are low impedance and wouldn't be suitable for a crystal set.
The slider is an adjustable tap on the coil, which is "tuned" in conjunction with the capacitance of the long-wire antenna. In the mid-1950s we lived across the field from a 50 kW AM broadcasting station. This set gave loudspeaker volume with a very high efficiency high-impedance speaker.
I have spares for the active compnent, the crystal mounted in the bottom of the glass tube. The catswisker is on the end of the rod with the knob.
Caution to all experimenters, young & mature: remove earphone/headphones from ears before connecting or disconnecting them, or powering up (or down) a circuit. A sharp 'crack' in the ear can permanently damage hearing.
Junk... I recommend a healthy junk box, pile or shed to any budding electronics experimenter. It encourages experimentation. If you throw the 'junk' out, you're guaranteed to need some of it shortly thereafter!
OK got some good ideas thanks. I've got a load of motors and switches hanging about also bought a packet of plastic propellers and fans today so I think they can go away with something good.
I saw a great one where you get a polystyrene food tray, cut a circle out of the base, turn it upside down and then fit a PC cooling fan on the top. Powered by two 9v batteries its an instant hovercraft.
I was thinking of getting them to make a coke bottle rocket until I watched a few clips on u tube. They look a bit dangerous, given there's no real launch mechanism other than throwing them on the ground at your feet, at which point they become a bit unpredictable.....