Electronics

DearLeaderJohn

New Member
Anyone into electronics as a hobby? I've just ordered an arduino uno r3, and I'm interested to see what others round here use and make!
 

fatboy

New Member
I love messing about with electronics - got a few college courses under my belt about it all from setting up a few simple circuits to building my own Sky decoder when they first started out and before they knew a lot about scrambling signals :)

Fast forward a few years where I did nothing I now have a son who is getting into it so we have some bits and pieces and a few raspberry pis and have a muck about every so often to see what we can do (or break)

:)
 

MartinD

Retired Staff
Verified Provider
Retired Staff
Always loved dabbling though that came from my Dad. He was part of the team that designed the very first barcode scanners :)


I remember as a kid starting out making crystal radios. Can still remember how to this day!
 

notFound

Don't take me seriously!
Verified Provider
I've always loved tearing electronics apart and reusing old electronics etc., and figuring how they work. I've always had time and money as the limiting factor for building on this hobby.
 

DearLeaderJohn

New Member
Great to see quite a few people with a passion for Electronics.

I've always loved tearing electronics apart and reusing old electronics etc., and figuring how they work. I've always had time and money as the limiting factor for building on this hobby.
That's why the Arduino platform is great, you can pick up an Arduino board for around £7 and add your own components. Programming is done in C or C++ and it's fairly quick to grasp
 

MannDude

Just a dude
vpsBoard Founder
Moderator
As a kid, yes. It was a hobby that I wish stuck with me. Basic things like the school project where you use a D battery to create a switch to power a lightbulb, that was fun. I remember as a youngster getting a gift for Christmas that I spent so much time with, I wish I remembered what it was called as i'd probably enjoy it today too, haha. Essentially was a big board with springs all over it, and you'd connect wires to different areas to do different things.

Been wanting to do more with my Raspberry Pi too, instead of just stuff I can do with a normal computer. Should do somethign that requires soldering.
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
The Pi's and Arduino sure are active with electronics projects.

I never got into electronics due to the cost when you break something and lack of role models/teachers with related experience.

Closest I get is my random solar projects, related power, battery pack building, some DC sensors.  Most of what I do is off the Asian shelf repurposing of things --- often using things for purposes other than what were originally intended for.
 

shawn_ky

Member
As a kid, yes. It was a hobby that I wish stuck with me. Basic things like the school project where you use a D battery to create a switch to power a lightbulb, that was fun. I remember as a youngster getting a gift for Christmas that I spent so much time with, I wish I remembered what it was called as i'd probably enjoy it today too, haha. Essentially was a big board with springs all over it, and you'd connect wires to different areas to do different things.
They still sell this at RadioShack. Various sizes. And now various kits.
 

Jade

NodeServ
Verified Provider
The Pi's and Arduino sure are active with electronics projects.

I never got into electronics due to the cost when you break something and lack of role models/teachers with related experience.

Closest I get is my random solar projects, related power, battery pack building, some DC sensors.  Most of what I do is off the Asian shelf repurposing of things --- often using things for purposes other than what were originally intended for.
They still sell this at RadioShack. Various sizes. And now various kits.
*Maandude goes to Radioshack and buys one* :)
 

MannDude

Just a dude
vpsBoard Founder
Moderator
They still sell this at RadioShack. Various sizes. And now various kits.
What are they called? I had one when I was, I don't know, 6 or 7. 8 at the oldest. I just remember making it chirp, light this thing up, light that thing up, etc. :p
 

stim

New Member
I started dabbling about 18 months ago by building some DIY synthesizer kits. It's addictive. Currently I am building a polyphonic synth with keyboard (my own design), and a nascent monster modular system. 

Wish I had more time.
 

MartinD

Retired Staff
Verified Provider
Retired Staff
What are they called? I had one when I was, I don't know, 6 or 7. 8 at the oldest. I just remember making it chirp, light this thing up, light that thing up, etc. :p
mx9051.jpg

Used to have these too. Started with a smaller red one.. then got a larger blue one. Loved those things!
 

HalfEatenPie

The Irrational One
Retired Staff
So... um....

what are they?  I never had one of those before.  But I did have a breadboard with wires, light bulbs, resistors, batteries, clock, etc.  Made a stop light system a long time ago.  
 

DearLeaderJohn

New Member
So... um....

what are they?  I never had one of those before.  But I did have a breadboard with wires, light bulbs, resistors, batteries, clock, etc.  Made a stop light system a long time ago.  
Well my Arduino arrived today and I've started messing around with it. It's a single-board microcontroller.

HDzVbPv.jpg


The Arduino has been programmed to fade the LED via PWM (Pulse width modulation); this is a very simple beginner project (some people have made sentry guns detecting friendlies etc).

The Arduino is programmed in a language based on C/C++ and is quite simple, for example the code used for this project is:

Code:
/*
Fade

This example shows how to fade an LED on pin 9 using the analogWrite() function.
*/

int led = 9; // the pin that the LED is attached to
int brightness = 0; // how bright the LED is
int fadeAmount = 5; // how many points to fade the LED by

void setup() {
  // put your setup code here, to run once:
  // declare pin 9 as an output;
  pinMode(led, OUTPUT);
}

void loop() {
  // put your main code here, to run repeatedly: 
  // set the brightness of pin 9;
  analogWrite(led, brightness);
  
  // change the brightness for next time through the loop:
  brightness = brightness + fadeAmount;
  
  // reverse the direction of the fading at the ends of the fade;
  if (brightness == 0 || brightness == 255) {
    fadeAmount = -fadeAmount;
  }
  //wait for 30 milliseconds to see the dimming effect
  delay(30);
}
 

MartinD

Retired Staff
Verified Provider
Retired Staff
There are lots of Arduino - Pi projects out there, a lot of them for the likes of 'eye in the sky' type projects.
 

splitice

Just a little bit crazy...
Verified Provider
mx9051.jpg

Used to have these too. Started with a smaller red one.. then got a larger blue one. Loved those things!
I had that exact one! It was great but I ended up getting sick of it as I already knew how to solder at that time and who can beat circuits made from the leads of other components at that age?

I owe my father for teaching me to solder and all those things. :) He used to be a phone techie at the exchange so a bit of electrical engineering was part of his job (and part of his night schooling at the time).

Pretty sure learning electronics teaches you to think logically at a young age, leads to programming. Most of the programmers I know can solder or are interested in electronics in some way or another.

I am yet to do anything to my Raspberry Pi yet, lack of inspiration struck less than 24hrs after it arrived. Recently however I've been thinking about getting building a serial interface for it and using it to PWM (via a serial PWM chip) control the fans for my servers based on profiles etc. TBD
 
Last edited by a moderator:

notFound

Don't take me seriously!
Verified Provider
Anyone into electronics as a hobby? I've just ordered an arduino uno r3, and I'm interested to see what others round here use and make!
Out of curiosity, where did you buy all of your goodies from? Since we're both in the UK. ;-)
 

DearLeaderJohn

New Member
Out of curiosity, where did you buy all of your goodies from? Since we're both in the UK. ;-)
Well I got a starter kit so I could do the basic tutorials, cheapest place in the UK is on ebay. So I ordered:

The Funduino Uno R3:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Arduino-Compatible-Funduino-Uno-R3-ATmega328P-PU-Board-with-Free-USB-Cable-/181181225989?pt=UK_Computing_Other_Computing_Networking&hash=item2a2f3e1c05

and a starter kit:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/120947620583?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

Can't complain about the seller, items came next working day :)
 
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