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Is it safe for kids to take apart electronics?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by momwithtools, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. Unfortunately, those days are past. What would you propose assembling
    that couldn't be bought for 1/10th cost and with better performance
    and features? :)

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Mirror: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/
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  2. So that's why there are about 5 copies of this and your other related
    post. :)

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Mirror: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/
    Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/
    +Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lasersam.htm
    | Mirror Sites: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

    Note: These links are hopefully temporary until we can sort out the excessive
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    Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header above is
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  3. OK, so what would you be doing today if the first time you started to take
    something apart or do something that could lead to a shock, you Mom or Dad
    raised bloody hell and sent you to your room without dinner? Maybe you'd
    be a poet now instead.... :)

    I agree that there should be some guidance and limits on what to take apart
    or whatever. But to just do show and tell isn't the same thing.

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Mirror: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/
    Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/
    +Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lasersam.htm
    | Mirror Sites: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

    Note: These links are hopefully temporary until we can sort out the excessive
    traffic on Repairfaq.org.

    Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header above is
    ignored unless my full name is included in the subject line. Or, you can
    contact me via the Feedback Form in the FAQs.
     
  4. NSM

    NSM Guest

    Actually there are some kits. Some of the jobbers sell them, R P Electronics
    is close to me and has a range. And Radio Shack still sell those spring wire
    kits for radios etc. But complex kit building is like making your own window
    glass - theoretically possible but ...

    Still, they still do it in Australia. See 'Silicon Chip' magazine. And
    Elektor and other UK magazines have not died yet.
     
  5. Bob Urz

    Bob Urz Guest

    Yea. must be severe damage. ;)

    Dam news server keeps screwing up. My message window stays up and i get
    no confirmation of the send sometime. Then there was some error message
    about east and west coast servers. Then some encryption bs error
    message. So i kept sending it because it said it did not send and
    the window was still up.

    bob
     
  6. Asimov

    Asimov Guest

    "BOB URZ" bravely wrote to "All" (12 Feb 05 12:37:41)
    --- on the heady topic of "Re: Is it safe for kids to take apart electronics?"

    BU> From: BOB URZ <"sound(remove)"@inetnebr.com>
    BU> UNCENSORED Newsgroups. Xref: aeinews sci.electronics.repair:10355

    BU> All these years of sniffing solder fumes and non of my vital
    BU> body parts has fell off (yet) ;)


    But most here caught on that you posted the same reply 4 times.
    It makes one wonder about the rest. ;-)

    Actually, I sometimes come across stuff I wrote 10 or 20 years ago and
    I seemed to be much sharper then. Maybe the Pb is getting to me also.
    <G>

    A*s*i*m*o*v

    .... Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well.
     
  7. Bob Urz

    Bob Urz Guest

    The whole Lead issue is a hot button in the electronic industry. It
    started in Europe, and has spread. Essentially, the mandate is out to
    get the lead out of solder in the manufacturing process. I really don't
    quite know how this is going to affect the service industry yet. I still
    have my trusty 60/40 Kester next to the bench. Sometime in the future i
    might have to have separate solder pencils for non leaded solder,
    special solder, and a method to ID what it is. Time will tell.

    Bob
     
  8. Ken Weitzel

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Hi...

    Makes me wonder how many of us 50 years ago used our mouths
    as a third hand to hold a piece of solder... like I did; often
    leaving it there during a whole job :(

    I sure hope there's not a 2000's equivalent that's going
    to later be discovered has bitten today's younger folks.

    Take care.

    Ken
     
  9. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest


    I never have had much luck with lead free solder, never seems to make good
    joints.
     
  10. Dan

    Dan Guest

    Ken-You sure you didn't have a piece of solder in your mouth when you
    wrote that last sentence ;-)

    I know what you mean, and I did the oral 3rd hand thing a time or 2
    also. Studied electronics for 2 years at a local vocational high school
    in the 70's before taking it up in college. One of the instructors was
    this crusty former TV tech. I recall one time in lab a guy was
    soldering this way & he smacked him on the back of the head. Surprised
    the kid didn't SWALLOW the solder instead of spitting it out.

    Dan
     
  11. Guest


    I am in my mid 50's. I started playing with electronics on my own,
    when I was about 8 years old. It all began with a 1950's AM tube type
    radio that my parents tossed in the garbage. I read books and learned
    on my own, because my dad was always afraid of electrical stuff, and I
    had no one else to help. I got that radio to work, and that started
    my hobby of many years. Yes, I got knocked on my butt several times,
    but I am still here.

    Now a days people are so afraid of things, and the insurance companies
    make everything out to be life threatening, so we have a generation of
    young people who are protected so much that they are bored out of
    their minds, and will grow up missing a lot of experiences.

    Nothing is 100% safe, but life is full of dangers. Deprive your kids
    of everything and they will end up carrying guns, doing drugs, and
    joining a gang because they need something to fill their time.

    If I survived playing with all that old tube stuff, which is far more
    dangerous than modern electronics, and which contained many more
    chemicals, such as the old oil filled electrolytic caps that tended to
    explode and shower a person with burning hot oil, not to mention the
    super high voltages, I think the new stuff is far safer.

    I learned in very dangerous conditions. I had a work bench in the
    basement on a cement floor, so I was grounded. My bench was next to a
    steel oil tank for the furnace, so more than once I tossed sparks when
    the old tube chassis, which was often live to the AC outlet, would
    touch that tank, or I'd get zapped because I was barefoot on a cement
    floor. Like I said, my dad was not familiar with electrical stuff, so
    he did not know I was in danger.

    Do this. Set up a bench on a wooden floor with no grounded objects
    around the area. Install a GFCI outlet on the bench. That alone
    should prevent almost everything. Then start the kid with battery
    operated stuff, and be sure he learns from someone that knows
    electronics.

    Note: When I got older, I joined the Boy Scouts, and joined a troop
    that specialized in electronics. The leader was a ham operator and
    hobbyist, and he was a great guy, and very helpful. It was a great
    experience.

    PS. If you dont want to keep buying the kid batteries for the battery
    operated electronics, get a protected power supply.


    Mark
     
  12. <
    ..com>,
    Caution them to keep their hands out of their mouths until they have
    washed them, and make a particular point of warning them about lead,
    which is in most solder.

    Otherwise, go for it.

    Isaac
     
  13. Guest

    Just let them take apart stuff with batteries instead of anything that
    plugs into the wall.

    If they are really into it, get them some kits to build. When I was
    probably 8-10, I had the radio shack kits that comes with jumper wires
    and springs. You can build a fair amount of cool stuff with it
    safely.
     
  14. Guest

    Do you think someone could resurrect a company like Heath used to
    I'm 36, and my Dad built a Heathkit color TV when I was a kid. Not
    sure of the size, maybe 25, or 27"... maybe a bit smaller. First TV I
    ever heard of that had a remote control (which was ultrasonic!).

    The channels were displayed digitally on the screen in white letters.
    The tuning was analog, where you had a board that pulled out that
    looked like a switchboard. You'd literally take jumper wires into one
    of the tuning slots, and connect up what channel number it represented.
    (so ch. 4 would be 0-4).

    I think there was also a jumper for uhf/vhf, then there was a multiturn
    pot that you'd adjust to actually tune in the station. It was
    something else!

    The tuning constantly had to be adjusted, just like any other tuning on
    an analog TV.
     
  15. Sounds like the one I built - beautiful full console cabinet, etc. GR-2000,
    25". I ended up with 3.5 of them as each time I had a problem and found a
    "dead" one, I had to take the whole thing to get the part I needed. The
    high voltage board & particularly the flyback seemed to be the weak point in
    the system. Other than that it was a fun TV with remote, built-in dot
    generator, on-screen channel display, etc. I learned a lot from that one -
    thanks for the memory.

    WT
     
  16. Chuck Harris

    Chuck Harris Guest

    One wonders how many Printed Circuit Board
    equivalents of lead one improperly discarded
    automotive battery contains?

    My guess would be thousands of circuit cards worth
    of lead.

    How many car batteries are out there?

    -Chuck Harris
     
  17. drwxr-xr-x

    drwxr-xr-x Guest

    'They' are so dead set against lead being put into the ground.
    Just where the hell do 'they' think it came from in the first place?
     
  18. w_tom

    w_tom Guest

    Lead comes from places in the ground where it does not harm
    people. Lead acid batteries dumped back into the ground are
    too often dumped where it harms many people. But then you
    knew that. You were just being facetious.
     
  19. Jim Adney

    Jim Adney Guest

    We have lead free solder at work and I can't tell the difference
    between it and the old 62/38 tin/lead that we all used to use. It
    flows freely on any material that the old stuff worked on, and it
    mixes freely with the old stuff, too, when I need to repair something
    old.

    Yes, I was skeptical too, but I've seen absolutely no problems with
    it. I THINK what we have is from Kester, but I'm really not sure. I
    can check if anyone is interested.

    -
     
  20. Barry Lennox

    Barry Lennox Guest


    A good point, this Lead free is so much BS driven by the nutters. IF
    lead solvency is such a big problem, what about lead in car wheel
    weights, every time it rains, it washes over the weights then straight
    into the waste water system. And many many roofs in Europe, the rain
    washes over the lead sheathing then into the waste water.

    And lead water distribution pipes in much of the UK.

    There's precious little evidence its a problem. It's just the stupid
    EU has this "precautionary principle" enshrined that more or less
    states that if you think something may be a problem ,you should act,
    even although there is no evidence to support it.

    Barry Lennox
     
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