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Good Electronics Projects for Beginners


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#1 samgj   Members   -  Reputation: 398

Posted 15 June 2013 - 05:35 PM

I don't know much about electronics but I want to know more. I've never made any electronic device other than some simple circuits. Are there any kits or open source hardware project that are easy and low cost? Two I've found interesting are RONJA and Arduino.


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#2 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 20336

Posted 15 June 2013 - 05:44 PM

Raspberry PI has gotten alot of attention recently.

From NAND-to-Tetris also interests me alot.

 

I have experience with neither project.


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#3 Nickie   Members   -  Reputation: 322

Posted 16 June 2013 - 01:49 AM

Raspberry PI is fun but its tricky to power it if you are not lucky like me.

All of the charges in my house were giving ~4.70V and raspberry was constantly getting into random kernel panic.  Its fny that after I powered it with arund 5V it still didn't work. I found that the low voltage had erased random bits on the SD card and the image was corrupted...

And I need to travel ~40 minutes to the closest electronics shop... Yet I'll try to power it by batteries using a linear voltage regulator. If I have time to buy one 0_0...

Still I would recommend it.. Its nice to have linux in your pocket.



#4 Cromulent   Members   -  Reputation: 388

Posted 16 June 2013 - 01:59 AM

Raspberry PI is fun but its tricky to power it if you are not lucky like me.

All of the charges in my house were giving ~4.70V and raspberry was constantly getting into random kernel panic.  Its fny that after I powered it with arund 5V it still didn't work. I found that the low voltage had erased random bits on the SD card and the image was corrupted...

And I need to travel ~40 minutes to the closest electronics shop... Yet I'll try to power it by batteries using a linear voltage regulator. If I have time to buy one 0_0...

Still I would recommend it.. Its nice to have linux in your pocket.

You can just use a mobile phone charger to power the Raspberry Pi. That's what I do anyway.

 

As for corrupting the SD card it is pretty easy to recreate the OS image on a PC.



#5 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2907

Posted 16 June 2013 - 03:27 AM

You have to make sure your charger can deliver enough power though. I think they recommend it should deliver at least 1 Ampere, many small or old chargers are a lot less powerful.

 

For lots of electronics kits, parts, tools, instructions and whatever else, I recommend www.adafruit.com

Very quick delivery by UPS, prices are ok imo, you can find a lot of the stuff cheaper at other places, but few places has so much of it at the same place, which is good if you need to ship internationally (like me)

 

But most importantly, they also provide awesome and detailed instructions for how to use everything they sell!

Quite educational, and can give a lot of inspiration on what could be done.

As with programming, electronics is most fun when you have some particular thing in mind you want to build smile.png

 

For what to drive your electronics, I have to recommend the Teensy 3.0, its compatible with the arduino, but has a 48MHz Arm with DSP extensions on it, and a bit more ram, LOTS of ports, and its a lot smaller!

 

The raspberry pi is also nice (I've got a few of them too), but if you want to build something portable, and you can get away with less processor power, the arduino-compatible devices are awesome (there are many of them)

The RPI also only have SPI/I2C and a few IO-pins, the arduino devices typically have analog input ports, and PWM output ports too, which is very useful for controlling stuff.


Edited by Olof Hedman, 17 June 2013 - 02:48 AM.


#6 minibutmany   Members   -  Reputation: 1657

Posted 16 June 2013 - 04:03 PM

I just got a beaglebone black. It only costs 45 bucks, it has 92 i/o pins, HDMI out, Ethernet, one USB host and one for computer and power connections. 1GHz ARM processor and I think about a gig of RAM too. Linux comes pre-installed. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it but I can imagine it being useful for robot projects, and maybe audio stuff. Currently I'm building a lot of radio transceiver kits. Have you made an FM or AM receiver yet? Its really fun to hear somebody else's voice come out of something you built. What kind of projects are you interested in?


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