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Looking for easy Breadboard projects

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Desdemona, Aug 27, 2013.

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  1. Desdemona


    Aug 27, 2013
    Greetings everyone!

    I instruct a very basic AC/DC class and would like a simple circuit in which adult students can grasp some basic circuit concepts and make soemthing interesting. Something more interesting than a simple resistor circuit with a LED (what we have right now). This class is part of a training environment for ITs, so it's not a indepth physics or electronics class. It's more so they can start thinking about circuits for later on when they are troubleshooting basic premise wiring and that kind of thing. I am not a physics/elecotronics major or anything like that.. just a IT trying to fake it (military school, if you haven't guessed already).

    So, I need something that you can teach people who are not that knowledgable about electronics and something easy for the only slightly knowledgable to understand. I also want breadboard only because we don't teach sautering at all. We don't generally work on small electronic circuits as part of the job. Just big "phone A is wired to telephone closet B" type stuff. My class is the least loved so I'm hoping to find something to make it more interesting for the students.

    Hopefully that makes sense. I find all of this stuff interesting, but I have limited time at work to really get into it. I teach another non-directly-related class so have to split my time. I've browsed around and looked at circuits but I either find very simple resistor + led circuits or really complicated circuits with printed circuit boards and such.
  2. alfa88


    Dec 1, 2010
    I think the easiest solution would be to go to a local electronics store and pick up a '101 electronics projects' and skip towards the end to find something interesting. Then, if you have to make several, use Fanstock clips on boards and order more parts.
  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    *Wow* my first thought was "The 1960's called and wants their post back".

    Do Fahnestock clips still exist? (I'm possibly highlighting more about my ignorance than your post.

    And the answer is: Yes, they do!
  4. alfa88


    Dec 1, 2010
    I made some demo projects for a teacher last year using those clips. Retro-tech still works pretty good. The reason I mentioned them is that those '101' kits use springs or some propitiatory scheme for connections.
  5. KJ6EAD


    Aug 13, 2011
    The logical next circuit might be controlling the LED of the previous circuit with a transistor, then latching it on as a third step.
  6. dezweb52


    Aug 28, 2013
    I agree, building the circuit up from a basic one and slowly getting more complicated is one way to take the class.

    Simple things that spring to mind are:

    1. Upstairs down / downstairs circuit, demoing (in a laymans form) how upstairs and downstairs switches control one lamp. (Good for circuit visualisation, esp if they have to think about it themselves first).

    2. Hand dryer circuit. Basically building a time delayed circuit out of a capacitor, lamp goes on for a short duration after pushing a button. Changing the resistor showing how it stays on or goes off for longer.

    3. Putting LED's in series / parellel. This could show them how they dim up to a point. Good for showing how devices use up the current further up the chain.

    4. Latch circuit. Shows how an alarm system, like the fire alarm stays on after triggering.

    Sometimes I think it helps if the circuits are based (although, sometimes loosely) on items from real life. It keeps them interested (sometimes) and makes them think about items around about them.

    I hope this helps!
  7. BobK


    Jan 5, 2010
    A relaxation oscillator is about the easiest understood circuit that actually does something on its own. Using a UJT it is quite simple, though they are not in common use these days. I would blink an LED with it.

    Here is a circuit:

  8. Desdemona


    Aug 27, 2013
    Thanks for all of the replies!

    We do teach them how a basic power supply works, we have premade cards for NIDA units, but I think breaking them down in a hands on way (which some of the circuits mentioned above will let me do) will work a lot better for them than a bunch of lectures before giving them the entire circuit. The NIDA circuit is sort of sophisticated, not a simple one capacitor+ a few diodes power supply circuits like I have seen online. Usually after frying their brains for 5 or 6 days on the components they seem a little lost by the time we get too everything connected together. Being able to play with the components on a breadboard would help.

    They do build series/parallel DC circuits, but not with LEDs. I will see about adding at least one circuit with LEDs to those labs as well.

    Still happy for more suggestions if anyone has any! I have to fight politics, but I'm always trying to update/modify the class to make it better.
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