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In this Instructable, I will show you how to assemble an inventory that should contain everything you need for basic electronics projects including components, tools and technical phrases. I will also suggest projects that I felt helped me further my knowledge and understanding when I started in electronics.

Step 1: Components

There are many types of component that are important when building circuits such as LEDs, capacitors and transistors. All of these components are available at RadioShack or other stores and they are key components for a beginner.

  • 555 Timer - A type of IC (Integrated Circuit) used to provide time delays, as an oscillator or a flip-flop element. The 555 timer is cheap and easy to use so is ideal for small projects.

Metronome
555 Timer @ RadioShack

  • Batteries - Devices used for storing chemical energy for transformation into the electrical energy that powers the circuit. They feature a positively charged terminal (anode) and a negatively charged terminal (cathode).

Batteries @ RadioShack

  • Capacitors - A component used to store energy in an electric field. They come as electrolytic and ceramic variants and in many different sizes. The unit for capacitance is the Farad and capacitors also come rated with voltage.

Sunrise Alarm Clock
Capacitors @ RadioShack

  • LEDs - (Light-Emitting Diode) A semiconductor light source. Electrons combine within the LED releasing energy in the form of photons (ie. light)

LED Throwies
LEDs @ RadioShack

  • Resistors - Implements electrical resistance as a circuit element. These are usually used with LEDs. There are fixed and variable types that can be affected by factors such as temperature and light.

Resistors @ RadioShack
I found this useful when making large LED arrays for determining which resistors I needed:

http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz

  • Voltage Regulator - An electrical regulator designed to automatically maintain a constant voltage throughout a circuit. A specific type of transistor.

USB iPhone Charger
5V Voltage Regulator @ RadioShack

  • Wire - Metal strands used to carry electrical current.

Wire @ RadioShack

  • Switch - Able to break electrical circuit.

Switches @ RadioShack

  • Transistor - A semiconductor used to amplify and switch electronic signals. They are often found in integrated circuits.

TV-B-GONE
Transistors @ RadioShack

In your picture of the old mouse, the center tag can't be accessed because the outer tag over rides it. What does it say?
"IC"
If there was a seminal moment in my pursuit of electronics then building my first bench power supply surely was it. So much so in fact that today I tell any aspiring neophyte electronics enthusiast to just build themselves a power supply straight off. My hope is that they may skip the agony of running off batteries all together.<br> <br> So it saddens me to see so many batteries in your pictures here. I suppose perhaps very small children should not attempt to build bench power supplies that run off mains current. I know I waited until I reached the ripe old age of 12 before I worked up the nerve to play with wall juice.<br> <br> I'm just a late bloomer I guess. Other kids my age were already busy sticking forks, paperclips, and even capacitors into wall outlets then so I figured what the heck? I still have the first power supply I ever built, and even use it to this day. I wonder if others I grew up with are still sticking whatever they can get their hands on into sockets?
If there was a seminal moment in my pursuit of electronics then building my first bench power supply surely was it. So much so in fact that today I tell any aspiring neophyte electronics enthusiast to just build themselves a power supply straight off. My hope is that they may skip the agony of running off batteries all together.<br> <br> So it saddens me to see so many batteries in your pictures here. I suppose perhaps very small children should not attempt to build bench power supplies that run off mains current. I know I waited until I reached the ripe old age of 12 before I worked up the nerve to play with wall juice.<br> <br> I'm just a late bloomer I guess. Other kids my age were already busy sticking forks, paperclips, and even capacitors into wall outlets then so I figured what the heck? I still have the first power supply I ever built, and even use it to this day. I wonder if others I grew up with are still sticking whatever they can get their hands on into sockets?

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