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Total newbie with stupid questions

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by cacclay, Feb 23, 2014.

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  1. cacclay

    cacclay

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    Feb 23, 2014
    Hello - I'm a complete electronics rookie looking for some guidance/answers as I try to work on a incandescent light/switch/battery pack project with my 7-year-old son. These questions are so basic and indicative of my total lack of electronics knowledge that I'm too embarrassed to ask them in the general forum. If anyone out there is feeling magnanimous and willing to hold my hand and walk me through this stuff , I'd love to open up a PM thread. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    Don't be embarrassed. The fact that you know something that you don't know puts you ahead of many people.

    In essence, if you're doing what I think you're doing, the battery, the switch and the globe have to be connected together as if they were in a circle holding hands.

    Each have 2 terminals and you need 3 connections (wires) to connect them up.

    It is possible that your switch has more than 2 terminals. If so you may need to figure out which two to use. You've got it right when toggling the switch makes the light go on and off.

    If you're using exactly what you state above then it doesn't matter which direction things are connected or in what order.

    Oh, and PMs won't work (unless you PM a moderator) until you have 10 posts under your belt.
     
  3. cacclay

    cacclay

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    Feb 23, 2014
    Thanks, Steve. I managed to (badly) solder all the parts together and got the light working. Small miracles. It seems crazy that it takes eight AA batteries to power one bulb the size of my pinky nail. We were hoping to make a board with multiple toggle switches and lights but that seems impractical if each one is going to require that many small batteries. Is there a way to use one big power source (would a lantern battery work?) and modulate the outflow with restrictors to keep the bulbs from burning out?

    This is a 12v lamp. I think I remember seeing smaller ones at the store. But any really cool ones - like old aviation indicator lights and duckbill toggle switches - seem like they need more power than batteries can offer.
     
  4. KJ6EAD

    KJ6EAD

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    Aug 13, 2011
    If you don't need the portability of batteries, consider using AC/DC adapters (plug pack, wall wart, etc.) To supply the low voltage DC you need. If you're trying to power a panel of surplus indicators, you may need a few to create buses of different voltages (28, 24, 12, 6, etc.).
     
  5. shumifan50

    shumifan50

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    56
    Jan 16, 2014
    If you need portability, then maybe look at using LEDs as they consume much less power. But this will depend on how much light you need to produce. The LEDs could be mounted inside translucent shapes to make them more intersting - they also don't produce as much heat as a filament bulb.
     
  6. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    Or you could just get a lower voltage globe :)
     
  7. cacclay

    cacclay

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    Feb 23, 2014
    I may need a few what? Battery packs? Can you explain|elaborate? I would like to power a bunch of different voltages lights. I'd like to do it with portable power ideally. How do I keep from blowing out the lower voltage laps?
     
  8. KJ6EAD

    KJ6EAD

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    Aug 13, 2011
    I can't make it simpler. Use LEDs instead of incandescent lamps or design with all lamps at one voltage or set up multiple voltages with regulators or set up multiple battery packs.
     
  9. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    What you ask is not particularly easy.

    Best to have all the bulbs with the same voltage. If most of them are (say) 12V you can connect them all up in parallel.

    If you also have two *identical* 6V bulbs you could connect them in series these in parallel with the others.

    Once the wattages are different or you have an unusual mix of voltages the problem gets harder.
     
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