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A control panel for a two year old Christmas Present

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Matt Berg, Nov 26, 2014.

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  1. Matt Berg

    Matt Berg

    5
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    Nov 26, 2014
    My son is two and is very interested in switches, lights, ect. I am going to try and build a box with switches and LED lights that he can turn on and off. Like a fake control panel. Multiple type switches and light colors. He really loves that stuff and would get a real kick out of it.
    I can't seem to find a schematic that I need to build it.I am thinking of setting something up with AA batteries or 9V.
    I took a few basic electrical classes in college so I am not afraid of a little trial and error. But, when it comes too my son it needs to be safe. The toys now a days are made of junk and I am having to fix most of them within a few weeks. (If they are fixable)
    I know this maybe a strange question for this forum but any help will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. hexreader

    hexreader

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    20
    Apr 21, 2011
    What country do you live in? (to have an idea of what is easily available....)

    How much are you willing to spend?

    You could make a finished panel quickly and cheaply yourself, but this would have limited educational value for your son.

    Much more educational would be if you provide sockets and patch leads to allow for more fun and for some learning, but then you need a bigger panel and higher cost with more components. This will allow your son to wire the panel how he wants.

    I would recommend buying 5V LEDs (and maybe a 6V light bulb or two) to save messing around with a resistor to each standard LED. Buy a 3xAA holder for a 4.5V supply that uses cheap batteries (bulk pack of low quality batteries) as you may get through many sets - especially if the patching allows shorting of the batteries).

    Avoid local stores for components, else you pay a lot, and choice is limited. Mail order from hobby electronics companies, or ebay will save money.

    A variety of different switches and indicators is more fun than just lots the same.

    I will post a sample circuit diagram when I get time, but in the mean time, I reckon you would:

    1) Wire the + of battery through a main on/off switch, then as a bus wire to every switch.

    2) Wire the other side of each switch to a 4mm socket.

    3) Wire the + of each 5V LED to a 4mm socket.

    4) Wire all - sides of all LEDs on a bus wire to - of the battery pack.

    5) Buy some 4mm plug-to plug patch leads (ideally varied colours) to allow patching of switches to lights in various combinations.

    Beware - this option may cost more than you expect. If you can find old equipment lying around in company skips, you can save a fortune and achieve far more.

    .... will post schematic later...

    Sounds like fun - maybe I will make one of these myself, since I have loads of switches and lights lying around. I am 56 years old physically, but still 2 years old in my head sometimes.
     
  3. Frenoy Osburn

    Frenoy Osburn

    64
    24
    Nov 20, 2014
    I know you want to build something for your son, but did you check this product called little bits?Designed by researchers from MIT.

    It's for kids 3+ but I can't think of a better way to get any kid interested/fascinated with electronics. Brilliantly done.
     
  4. Matt Berg

    Matt Berg

    5
    0
    Nov 26, 2014
    Hexreader,

    I really appreciate the reply. I should have been a little more specific.
    I live in the United States and will be buying from the internet for sure.
    Look to spend around $100.00.
    I will build the box or buy a plastic enclosure to start with and just add the lights/switches.
     
  5. Matt Berg

    Matt Berg

    5
    0
    Nov 26, 2014
    That is very cool and will be looking into that stuff for his next Birthday. Thank you very much for the info. I'm a new dad and had/have no idea what is out there for kids. Most of what I see for toys is used as a baby sitter. I don't want that I want to be engaged with my son. This kind of stuff is good for learning and motor skills.
     
  6. Frenoy Osburn

    Frenoy Osburn

    64
    24
    Nov 20, 2014
    Please check out their main website, littlebits.cc for more products. I really liked the idea and I would still get them for my kids if they are available then. (I still have a couple of years to go :))

    That's all I can add. I can draw a schematic for your LED-switch unit, but I think the others' would be able to suggest something better. It would be better if you could wait for a couple of hours.
     
  7. Matt Berg

    Matt Berg

    5
    0
    Nov 26, 2014
    Yea no problem. I will see what answers might come my way.
    If anyone has any questions or answers please let me know.
     
  8. Matt Berg

    Matt Berg

    5
    0
    Nov 26, 2014
    Just sending a BUMP to see if anyone else has ideas on this project.

    Thanks in advanced
     
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