Elements of Electronics: Course Report

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We just wrapped up this introduction-to-electronics course, and it went over very well with our first group of 8 students, most of whom were software or web industry professionals. Each of the four planned 2-hour sessions stretched to over 2.5 hours, but even with 10 hours in the MakerMobile we were really only able to start on this wondrous path of discovery and creativity. Plans are now afoot for a Level 2 course to take people further than we could go this time!

Material covered included:

  • Essential concepts and analogies.
  • Overview of components.
  • Breadboarding circuits.
  • Basic measurements; the multimeter.
  • LEDs. Photovoltaic effect (basis of solar cells).
  • Schematic diagrams.
  • PCBs and soldering.
  • Potential dividers.
  • What is “ground”.
  • AC and DC.
  • Analog and digital signals.
  • The oscilloscope.
  • Detecting and decoding infrared signals.
  • Our last class was an Arduino workshop – working in pairs most groups managed to build at least 3 or 4 different mini-projects!

Level 2 will consolidate key concepts as well as delving into material that we had to skip over very lightly this time, such as transistors. Plus we will introduce some key Integrated Circuits (IC’s) and work on some more substantial projects.

Photos of the course are now hanging in our gallery.

Electronics is a huge and fascinating field with endless scope for creativity, so it’s no wonder that it is a big focus area for us here at MakerMobile. Elements of Electronics is just one of the courses and workshops that we’ve designed and run. We have had grade 5 kids soldering safely and creating their first circuits under our watchful eye, and we’ve built TV-b-Gones with groups not too much older than that. If you want to learn electronics at any level, drop us (‘team’) an email at makermobile.org to get the conversation started!

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