DIY Electronics Learning Kit


Introduction: DIY Electronics Learning Kit

About: Epic Failure Engineer and Open Source Fanatic.

I wanted to make an electronics learning kit suitable for ages 12 and above. It's nothing fancy like Elenco's kits for example but It can be easily done at home after a quick visit to an electronics parts store. This Self-learning Kit starts with educating the basics of electronics until the learner makes a motion detector alarm. Also it's very safe since all the circuits are powered by a 9 volt battery. And the learning booklet accompanying it is provided already with articles from various websites (I gave credit to them in the PDF off course) so all you have to do is build this kit with the option of expanding it. It Works by simply connecting different crocodile clips to form a circuit.

Tools You will need :-

1- Soldering Iron
2- Solder
3- Wire Cutter
4- Wire Stripper
5- Wire Clipper (For cutting Extra parts of leads and wires after soldering components)
6- Transparent Adhesive Tape
7- Colored Duct Tape (For Aesthetics)
8- Pen
9- Wood Glue
10- Access To Printer (Optional)
11- Drill
12- Drill Bit
13- Scissor For Cutting Paper
14- Angle Grinder (In Case You Will Cut The Wooden Board Yourself)
15- Multimeter (Optional)

Components/Materials You Will Need :-

1- 1 x Wooden Board (length * width = 20 * 30 cm, height = 1 cm)
2- 2 x Metal Nails (The Thinner The Better)
3- 5 x A4 Papers (Use 70 More In Case You want to print the Educational Booklet as well)
4- 2 x PCB (Dot Matrix) (9 cm * 14.5 cm)
5- 1 x Arduino Nano + 1 x USB Cable (Mini-B)
6- 1 x Micro Servo motor‬‏
7- 1 x HC-SR501 Small PIR Sensor Module
8- 1 x small dc motor (NOT THE YELLOW ONE !)
9- 1 x Standard Small Buzzer
10- 1 x 9V Battery Holder - PRT-10512
11- 1 x 5k Ohm potentiometer
12- 1 x 10 nano Farad Ceramic Capacitor (103)
13- 1 x 100 micro Farad 50 Volt Electrolytic Capacitor
14- 1 x 470 micro Farad 50 Volt Electrolytic Capacitor
15- 1 x 1000 micro Farad 50 Volt Electrolytic Capacitor
16- 1 x 2N2222 NPN Transistor
17- 1 x 1N4001 Diode
18- 1 x 5mm Photocell Photoresistor LDR Light Sensor
19- 1 x 1k Ohm Resistor
20- 1 x 2.2k Ohm Resistor
21- 2 x 4.7k Ohm Resistor (Optional)
22- 2 x 10k Ohm Resistor
23- 5 x 470 Ohm Resistor
24- 2 x tactile push button switch (pick the ones with 2 leads NOT 4)
25- 1 x 5mm Orange (or Yellow) LED
26- 1 x 5mm Red LED
27- 3 x 5mm Green LED
28- 35 x Crocodile (Alligator) Clips
29- 1 x 555 IC (Optional)
30- 1 x Small Wires Pack

Step 1: The Wooden Board, the Battery Holder & the Nails

Either Get A Carpenter To cut you the board with the mentioned dimensions (20 * 30 cm) or cut it yourself by using an angle grinder, you will need a ruler for measuring a marker for marking and to wear safety goggles and gloves for protection if you did that.

Use The Wire Cutter To cut the jack cable from the battery holder, then use the wire stripper to strip the black and red small wires that were inside the jack cable, make sure you strip them long enough so that they can be wrapped around the metal nails for the next step. Apply glue to the back of the battery holder and stick it to its place in the wooden board.

According to the rough drawing placement plan I drew, the battery holder should be at the far right of the board, so put it there and use a marker or a pen to mark 2 dots after the black and red wires, use the drill to make holes in these 2 dots and make sure the holes are a bit tighter than the nails, put the wood glue in and around the holes and then insert the nails, leave it for some time to dry and then wrap the stripped parts of the black and red wires one on each nail and then solder the wires to the nails this can make the nails become very hot and the glue might become soft for a while until the heat is gone so try not to touch or move the nails until you are done soldering and leave it for a while.

Step 2: The Crocdile Clips & the PCBs

Use The wire cutter and wire stripper to cut and strip the crocodile clips from the middle of each wire so that they will be ready for soldering next.
Start Soldering Each Component according to the drawing placement plan I drew, solder each component separately and notice that some components are soldered to others (current limiting resistors are soldered from one end to the LEDs and pull-up resistors are soldered from one end to the push-button switches), also notice that 1 PCB is horizontal and the other is vertical to allow appropriate spacing between all components. For the PCB containing the Arduino Nano you have the option to not solder all the pins, feel free to solder just the ones mentioned in the plan or add or modify others, also leave appropriate spacing between the Arduino Nano and the motors and sensor and buzzer and mind the USB Cable. Look at the pictures to see how they are spaced. The Servo Motor is placed next the Arduino and the 2 Green LEDs are above it. For the Other PCB see how the components are soldered in different lines and try to give equal spaces between each line. After you finish soldering the components completely start soldering the previously cut and stripped crocodile clips next to all the leads of the components or pins until every component (except those soldered to others already) has a crocodile clip soldered next to it. You can add the 555 IC and do the same if you want but that's just and optional expansion. For the servo motor you will need to cut and strip the wires to make them appropriate for soldering. For the PIR module you will need to solder small wires to it first same thing with the DC motor you need to solder 2 wires to it before soldering it to the PCB. You may want to test some components either by using a multimeter to check for short circuits/unwanted solder bridges or by connecting some components' crocodile clips to the battery box nails to see of they are working or not (ex. the LEDs which are interconnected to the 470 ohm resistors, the DC motor, the buzzer. Also note that battery type might affect the quality of the output of the buzzer).

Step 3: Putting It All Together

After You are done soldering all the components and the crocodile clips to all of them, cut all the the extra parts of the solder and leads to even the PCBs from its downside and then apply glue on them and place the 2 PCBs one horizontal and one vertical on the wooden board as shown in the placement drawing. You may need to keep pressing the 2 PCBs on the wooden board for a few moments until it sticks. Leave it to dry for a while. Do the same thing with the servo(remember to put it next to the PCB with the Arduino Nano), the DC motor the PIR module (i.e. put glue on their back and stick them to the board, and leave them to dry for a while).

Step 4: Aesthetics and Labels

After Making sure that everything is glued to the board, start using the colored duct tape, choose a color that will be OK for putting paper labels on them later. Cover all the board from the front and the back with the tape BUT leave the components visible and leave a small room for the crocodile clips so that they can be moved freely. After that you either print the labels with their numbers on points according to the order shown in the placement plan, you will need a printer for that and I have provided the images for different lines for one of the 2 PCBs, for the other PCB (the one with the Arduino)) You can just use the transparent tape to stick the white paper (after cutting it to small strips and writing the numbers and the labels on it of course). Or you can write it for the 2 PCBs and not print anything just make sure that everything is visible (the schematic symbols, the numbers, the points). You Can download the print labels from here.

In case of any confusion, return to the booklet to see how the points are used to build circuits.

Step 5: The Instructions Educational Booklet

You can choose to print the booklet or use its PDF. Either way I can't repeat this enough. I DO NOT get any credit for all the scientific material in this booklet. All the articles explaining how electrons move, or how transistors work or different Arduino Programs were written by other people all over the Internet in various articles which I have collected and that's it ! I HAVE given all of them credit within some of the articles and at the very end of the booklet and I just wrote the first few pages and the last page in addition to some comments relating the topics to each other in some learning sequence and telling the learner how to connect the crocodile wires to make a circuit relating to a specific topic in the booklet. The booklet is provided in both English & Arabic, you can download them from the following links and feel free to translate it to other languages.



    • Clocks Contest

      Clocks Contest
    • Planter Challenge

      Planter Challenge
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.