Maker-First Steps in Electronics, the basics

Authors

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first-steps-on-electronics-fritzing-layout-strip-board-print-out-sheet

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Where to start?

platine-hartpapier

Strip-Board

I propose to work with system when WE use strip-boards; thus meaning: preparing them ALL the same way. Any electronics project will need a power supply, so WE will start with the power supply which will mostly be a 9 Volt battery. WE will use the outside strips to connect them to plus and minus and WE will ALSO provide a diode (1N4007) to protect against polarity reversal. As a newbie in electronics this might be the best way to protect you to destroy the electronic parts if + and – would get reversed😉 With normal rectifier diodes the power supply voltage will typically drop by 0.8 volts. WE will have then ONLY 8.2 Volts which is enough in most cases.

WE will solder also a PCB-Connector (Printed Circuit Board Connector) where we can feed the strip-board with the power supply.

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SO, as WE will solder a bit, it will be also a soldering training before we start on more serious projects later😉

Check below please how the finished project will look, which we will discuss in detail on the How-To. WE use a 100 mm x 75 mm strip-board (CONRAD 529531 – 62  for 2,19€).

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Strip-Board-Power Supply

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First steps in electronics

Necessary material

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screw-terminal-2-pins.

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In above image I used a 2 pin screw terminal from CONRAD (1192188 – 62) for 0,28€ and for the wire I choose from a “Wire Kit from Velleman” (60 m from different colors).

  • full core, 0.2mm²
  • colours: 5 metres : white / blue / brown / green / yellow / orange / grey / violet + 10 metres : black / red
  • external diameter: 1.4 mm
  • max. voltage: 60 V
  • max. current: 4.3 A
  • PVC insulation
  • tinned CU
  • AWG24

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abbiegevorrichtung.

To make sure to have proper bent edges; I suggest to bend the diode (1N4007) over the left-hand side shown “Wire Bender” (CONRAD 425869 – 62  at 3,29€).

 

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First start to solder the 2 pin screw terminal in the middle of the strip-board, followed by the diode (1N4007). Now measure the distance and cut the wires. For the red wire (Plus) it will be 4 cm (3 cm distance), the blue wire (Minus) will be 6 cm (5 cm distance). Take the electronics cutter and strip off o,5 cm of the insulation at each end and bend it. Put it into the holes in the strip-board and solder it. P.S.: WE will use the red wire for the Plus (+) and the blue wire for the Minus (-) of the power supply; that are internationally conventions in electronics. Sometimes for the Minus (-) is also used the black color (see 9 Volt battery clip).

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strip-board and wire lengths.

Solder the wires and cut off the stick out wire close to the soldering with the electronics cutter.

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Solder side

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Strip-board solder side

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Solder side

Click the above image please to enlarge it

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Cutting off stick out wire

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dsc_0504

Click the above image please to enlarge it

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Disconnect the upper strips from the lower

strips by breaking the copper with

a 4,5 mm HSS drill

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dsc_0503

Click the above image please to enlarge it

 

Selfmade stripboard cutter

with a grill handle

and an 4.5 mm HSS drill

Selfmade stripboard cutter

Click image please to enlarge

 

When WE want to start with electronics there is a little bit theory to learn as well; in electronics there are special symbols who get used in schematics. Any component (even a battery) has its own symbol. In the following tutorials and projects, WE will learn by easy step-by-step WHAT they are and HOW to make OUR PracTICE (to GET used to it…) with them. I am certainly NOT a friend of learning by heart, BUT symbols need to get learned that way to understand schematics of electronics!

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Symbols used in this tutorial: battery, resistors, LEDs and diodes…

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battery-symbols

Battery symbols

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diodes-symbols

Diode symbols

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resistor-symbols

Resistor symbols

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led-symbols

LED symbols

Learn more:

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Strip-Board tutorial with Fritzing

Here below a small description about the How-To to work with strip-boards in general:

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After viewing the above tutorial YOU will understand. The above tutorial uses the FREE software “Fritzing” which WE will use as well in the next blog posts; you can download it here:

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Wiring and soldering on the strip-board

Here the wiring and soldering on the strip-board, as well as the parts list:

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first-steps-on-electronics-fritzing-layout-strip-board

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resistor-color-chartAs You have remarked, I added ALSO a resistor and a LED (Light-Emitting Diode); the red (could also bee a green one) LED is lightning when the power supply (9 Volt battery) is connected. SO, YOU might solder the two components (330 Ohm resistor and LED) as well, not mandatory BUT it will give YOU a bit more training on soldering and alerts YOU to NOT solder when it is on!! NEVER work on whatever project with connected (switched on) power supply <===> Safety first!

WHY has the resistor a value of 330 Ohm?

In above example we used a 5 mm red LED with this characteristics: 2.25 Volt and 20 mA current (that’s the maximum values which DON’T have to become higher otherwise the LED will get destroyed) and as power supply we use a 9 Volts battery.  WE will use the “Online Calculator” to calculate the value of the resistor. First let us do some mental calculation, there WE DON’T need any calculator. WE have a 9 Volts battery and the LED will have maximum 2.25 Volts, so “9 V – 2.25 V = 6.75 V” which needs to get taken away from the LED to avoid destruction.

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led-series-resistor-calculator-330-ohm

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THAT value of 337.5 Ohms doesn’t exist! Resistors are manufactured by following <===> In 1952 the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) decided to define the resistance and tolerance values into a norm, to ease the mass manufacturing of resistors. These are referred to as preferred values or E-series, and they are published in standard IEC 60063:1963. These standard values are also valid for other components like capacitors, inductors and Zener diodes. The preferred values for resistors were established in 1952, but the concept of the geometric series was already introduced by army engineer Renard in the 1870s.

By checking the below link, WE will see that the closest value is 330 Ohm. BTW: The symbol for “Ohm” is “Ω“; SO, we write 330 Ω. Tip: You find it in the “Special Characters” in any editing software.

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Read more http://www.resistorguide.com/resistor-values/

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In the above website is a video integrated which explains very well about the How-To of that norm, give it a try.

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framing-in-educationMY experience described in ONLY some phrases: Give the LEARNers, students (whatever age) the freedom of LEARNing without squeezing THEM into a FRAME and concentrate on guiding them as a coach by analyzing THEIR behavior and show them the How-To to become self-directed learners, autodidacts. SHOW THEM ALSO up from the beginning WHAT THE <===> LEARNing Path <===> will be with design of it and explain THEM that they could design themselves it with a short introduction on the How-To. THEY will learn the ICT-PracTICE which will help them once out of the <===> #SchoolCocoon <===> to be ready for Life-Long LEARNing and to be able to adapt very quickly in the workforce! WHEN YOU show the LEARNers, students <===> WHAT the profit is for THEIR private life <===> YOU will engage them very quickly😉 AND DON’T teach THEM more as necessary, propose them some links to go further ONLY for those who want!!

Check ALSO (Up from 11 years old, give THEM THE confidence THEY need to grow):

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WHAT’S my message and WHY did I create this blog post!?

Well, I will encourage all youth and also adults, seniors, oldies to become <===>Life-Long LEARNers <===> and staying Up-To-Date with their knowledge, especially concerning their skills in ICT, called NOW <===> #eSkills <===>! In the modern world YOU will change YOUR job probably +/- 12 times in YOUR working career, it is very rare to stay life-long in the same job and/or same company!!! SO… The workforce is looking for people with ICT skills which YOU mostly didn’t learn at school, right!? 

Bring in YOUR kids to such creative makerplaces WHERE THEY can develop (and perhaps parents as well…) THEIR creativity and GET interested in something WHICH could boost THEIR interest into ICT in their future😉

YOU won’t have (mostly) the time to learn by visiting courses, right!? START to become Life-Long LEARNers by LEARNing on YOUR OWN pace, by becoming <===> Autodidacts <===> Self-Directed LEARNers. YOU are able to, I did it, so can YOU!? 😉

I found a job because of my ICT eSkills and I am STILL LEARNing on a daily base routine for being Up-To Date with my <===> Professional Development <===>, even being retired NOW! THE pleasure of LEARNing!

I did THE <===> ICT PracTICE <===> and THAT’S WHAT the workforce needs!!!


 Due to my eSkills I could share my knowledge AND expertise ALSO with the below mentioned as well as to a broad range of visitors from around the globe! 

Check out my blog posts:

AND check my profile below as well, at the bottom of this blog post please!😉

 

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OHM’s Law, resistors and LEDs

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led-symbols

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Learn more:

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led-symbols-anode-and-cathode.

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Practical Tip: LEDs are transparent, so the Cathode (Minus) looks always a bit larger as the Anode (Plus).

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When working with electronics WE need to learn a bit theory and mathematics, BUT DON’T worry, it is very easy! First of all which is mandatory, is the “OHM’s Law“. YOU DON’T need to calculate!😉 There is an online calculator who will do the job for YOU! Click the image below please to access the online calculator and play a bit around with it to get used to it, have fun.

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ohms-law-calculator

Click the image please to access the online calculator

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Useful online help:

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The schematics of our project

Here below the schematics where YOU will see how the components are represented; YOU will remark that ANY component gets represented with its part number as well, apart from the battery.

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first-steps-on-electronics-schematics-1

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Print out this sheet for YOUR PracTICE

Here below THE sheet for PracTICE, ALL the necessary stuff is on it to make sure that the project will be successful. Print it out please and give it to YOUR learners, as well for YOU😉

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first-steps-on-electronics-fritzing-layout-strip-board-print-out-sheet

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Have FUN and stay tuned for the next tutorials about electronics😉

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GUST-AVRIL2014-800px-2L’auteur Gust MEES est Formateur andragogique / pédagogique TIC, membre du “Comité Conseil” de “Luxembourg Safer Internet” (LuSI), appelé maintenant BEESECURE, partenaire officiel (consultant) du Ministère de l’éducation au Luxembourg du projet  ”MySecureIT“, partenaire officiel du Ministère du Commerce au Luxembourg du projet ”CASES” (Cyberworld Awareness and Security Enhancement Structure). L’auteur était aussi gagnant d’un concours en électronique en 1979 ( Pays germaniques ) et voyait son projet publié dans le magazine électronique “ELO”.


The author Gust MEES is ICT Course Instructor, ”Member of the Advisory Board” from “Luxembourg Safer Internet” (LuSI), BEESECURE, Official Partner (Consultant) from the Ministry of Education in Luxembourg, project “MySecureIT“, Official Partner from the Ministry of Commerce in Luxembourg, project “CASES” (Cyberworld Awareness and Security Enhancement Structure).

The author was also a winner of an electronics contest (Germanic countries) in 1979 and got his project published in the “Electronics Magazine ELO”).

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Stay tuned for next blog post(s)😉

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