Getting kids into electronics

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Members Lounge' started by flippineck, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. flippineck

    flippineck

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    Nearly bought one of those 100-in-1 project kits for my lads 7th birthday today. He's recently demonstrated the ability to read instructions and follow them through ok, by himself.

    When I actually got to the store and looked at the kit I decided to leave it & he's getting Power Rangers instead lol. I thought, he hasn't got the basic idea in his head yet.

    When I was a very young lad it was my mother who got me into electronics, by giving me a 4.5V battery (with the 2 copper strips on top as terminals) and a torch bulb. She showed me how to tape the bulb on top of the battery so the short terminal was clamped against the bulbs screw thread, and the longer negative terminal was free to be pushed down with the thumb so it contacted the bulb's centre pip. Hey presto lil torch

    She told me about all the electrons that were in the battery that wanted to get out through the bulb to the other side, and that could only happen when I made the bridge for them. Woo, I was fascinated.

    Once I had that idea in my head, electricity being little tiny creatures hot tailing it through a wire, all the Tandy project kits that followed made sense to me

    What and or who was it, when you were a child, that switched you on to electronics?
     
    flippineck, Nov 4, 2016
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  2. flippineck

    Bluejets

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    Crystal set with the added option of purchasing components for a whopping single transistor amp.

    Biggest hurdle was getting info to feed the brain cells.:confused:
     
    Bluejets, Nov 4, 2016
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  3. flippineck

    shrtrnd

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    We didn't have money, but it was the 1960's. On the way to school Friday mornings, I'd leave early and pick
    through the trash cans lining the street for discarded clock radios, and the like. What got me interested, was that
    back then you could usually see visible heat damage that caused the failure. I'd fix the discards up and outfit
    my family with usable electronics, and could sell some desirables to other kids or neighbors. The more things
    I fixed, the more I learned. Guess it was the fact that I could make something work that somebody else had discarded,
    and then return the device to useful service.
    Don't ask me about all the fireworks I created in the basement of our house, the blown fuses, or the radio chassis carcasses that I saved for parts. I was extremely lucky that I didn't hurt myself. I was also lucky to have parents
    that got mad at me, but tolerated my learning curve. My dad became an expert at the old glass, house-fuse replacement skill, and only used corporal punishment when I set things on fire.
    I used to salivate at the 100 and 1 electronic kits I saw in catalogs that I never had the money to buy.
     
    shrtrnd, Nov 7, 2016
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  4. flippineck

    GreenGiant

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    So when I was younger, my parents got me a kit very similar to (if not the exact same one as) this, the only complaint that I had about it was that it did not explain a ton about what was going on with the circuits. I remember spending hours building a circuit, then messing with it, ripping it out and starting over.

    But with your knowledge and guidance you could probably help explain what is happening in the circuits and why the things act the way that they do.

    On a side note, in a few years when he has had his fun with it and is bored of it, he can rip it all apart and see the internals, I did that as well.

    The other thing that got me interested was tearing apart electronics (like radios and such) that were (mostly) broken and just exploring what was inside, not necessarily fixing anything, but exploring the components.
     
    GreenGiant, Nov 30, 2016
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  5. flippineck

    cjdelphi

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    At about 9 or so my dad brought home a 200 in 1 machine, loaded it up with batteries, then i would flip through the book of circuits and make the simple but interesting ones...

    Absolutely no educational value for me, the compinents were not explained, i've not been a fan of them..

    The best way is a few of every basic component, 10 pnps / 10 npns 10 leds of different colours, 100/300/500/1000/10k/100k ohm resistors, 1uf/100uf/1000uf (or what you can get) and a breadboard and a 5-12v dc power supply

    Start off with the importance of never shorting a power supply as it could blow up, so careful in which power supply, for example a 12v 5amp power supply fed into a switch mode regulator which will limit the current to 3 amp in a short, start from there and ohms law

    Then pick an area of interest, get a couple or several 555 ics, find something that he's
     
    cjdelphi, Nov 30, 2016
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  6. flippineck

    cjdelphi

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    However now though.... i think it would be fun now i understand electronics :)

    Kit vs breadboard, a new breadboard for $5 is cheaper than buying a new machine if you like the circuit, or perfboard it...
     
    cjdelphi, Nov 30, 2016
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  7. flippineck

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    I was bought a 10 in 1 kit when I was very young. I eventually ended up with a 150 in 1 set which must have cost my parents a small fortune.

    It was great and I had lots of fun, but although it has circuit explanations I really didn't put the effort into really understanding them.

    I consider that a real shame because I had to do it at some time and I wish I had done it earlier.

    The one thing I did learn was hire to read schematics, certainly emphasizing the difference been a diagram and the spatial layout of a finished circuit.

    One of the things I learned pretty quickly was that if I had to join 3 points together, I didn't have to do it as A to B and A to C, I could do A to B and B to C or any other equivalent. This is really trivial, but I discovered it! Just think, I have the insufficient number of long wires in the kit to thank for that :)
     
    (*steve*), Nov 30, 2016
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  8. flippineck

    donkey

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    I saw this and thought to myself is that where you put them in a hamster wheel to produce electricity???

    I had those kits you speak of, Dad knew I was jedi for electronics. we used to go dump raiding and picking up things that were "broken" and I would work magic. A lot of it was easy like blown capacitors, or we were lucking enough to find 2 of the same thing and just swap boards around. the easiest fix to this day got me 500bucks, a belt fell of a cd player that was when they were 1000 ish so pretty new. that sucker lasted til about 5 years ago so bout 15years outta it lol.
     
    donkey, Dec 27, 2016
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  9. flippineck

    James87

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    I have a 7 year old son who became MUCH more interested in electronics when it came time to repair his RC car :)
     
    James87, Jan 16, 2017
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