Packs to teach electronics/circuits?

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shocklocks
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 5:32 am UTC

Packs to teach electronics/circuits?

Postby shocklocks » Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:14 pm UTC

Hello, i'm currently enrolled in my first year of a 4year engineering degree specializing in mechatronics. While the 2physics papers i'm doing are great for theory I am currently also in an engineering paper which is later going to require me to build and run a robot to do basic commands(basic movement, touch sensors, possibly light sensors etc.) While I have basic knowledge of the software involved in running these sensors it has always been at a level where circuit knowledge/soldering etc has been ignored in favour of teaching principles. While I know in theory how alot of this works I have little practical experience(bar the 3hour weekly labs) on making a working circuit(based on a problem ie set number of volts/amps etc) involving all the basic components. While i've had a bit of fun tinkering with the electronics in my car(resulting in a few nightmares with the fuses and losing the lights on my dashboard); i'd like to if there are any products on the market both with software and auctual parts that can teach me the practical side of electronics/circuit/robot building. As i'm inexperienced it would be nice if it was basic enough to get a hold of quickly yet still be adequate to teach me enough theory to be able to create a running circuit to specifications such as a sound system in my car or a motor with a certain amount of power.

Cheers in advance.

hobbesmaster
Posts: 239
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:11 pm UTC
Location: Lexington, Ky

Re: Packs to teach electronics/circuits?

Postby hobbesmaster » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:06 am UTC

What do you do in labs? I would assume bread boarding basic electric circuits? (I'm assuming mechatronics is a hybrid EE/ME program, so the intro classes would be circuits I/statics and you would be taking the same labs as EEs or MEs?)

Basically you should just need some resistors, capacitors, some LEDs, some transistors, a power source and a DMM to start. (DMM would be handy, but I guess isn't strictly necessary) Then you can start dealing with microcontrollers. Then some sensor stuff, then maybe networking your MCUs and so on.

Sparkfun has a decent starting from nothing tutorial and sells you your parts. Theres also a great website for robotics called socity of robots. There are instructions for a $50 robot* that may be of interest, and theres good tutorials on basic robotics concepts too.

*all tools not included of course ;)

ks_physicist
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:09 am UTC

Re: Packs to teach electronics/circuits?

Postby ks_physicist » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:22 am UTC

You might benefit greatly from one of the Parallax kits.

Don't laugh, but Radio Shack actually has a good deal on these.
What's a Microcontroller (kit)

I handed one of these to a motivated student of mine last year when he needed to learn about electronics for a Science Olympiad competition (he built a robot). This kit and tutorial taught him a LOT about basic electronics.


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