Stuff for the Make to Learn Youth Contest:
What did you make?
I made a sonic screwdriver TV-B-Gone combo as a birthday present for a friend. It started out as a crazy idea that I had one day, but transformed into the awesome finished product you see above. In preparation for this, I learned all about how the TV-B-Gone circuit worked so I could modify it to use the least amount of parts possible. In order to build it, I ordered parts off of Digikey, Amazon and Sparkfun, then I assembled everything according to my plans. I used my Raspberry Pi, a breadboard, my trusty soldering iron, wire cutters, needle nose pliers, an exacto knife, solder, and desoldering wick.
How did you make it?
The idea came to me one day while I was browsing around online, I was looking for potential ideas for a birthday present, and I came across several homemade Sonic Screwdrivers online, and thought, "Hey! I can do something like that!" and it worked out perfectly because my friend is a huge Doctor Who fan. I ended up using my dad's help to split it open and his clamps and plastic cement to seal it back up. My initial design called for a capacitor to help smooth out the current, but in the end it ended up not fitting, so I had to leave it out. I could probably have left out the resonator too, but I had already bought it, so there was no point in wasting it if it fit.
Where did you make it?
I made this at home, upstairs in the room with all of my dad's model trains. He has a small work area up there that I'm allowed to solder at, and it's got this really comfortable chair to sit in, which definitely helps with my ADHD. I had to balance this with homework because the last day of the term was today, and I had to make sure I had all my grades in order.
What did you learn?
Honestly, this turned out amazing! I only had two gripes, and those were the range and the fact that I had to leave out the capacitor. It functions just fine, but you can see the UV LED flicker ever so slightly when in use. I feel the most proud about programming the microcontroller, it was a first., that combined with this being my first complex circuit made me really happy. All in all, it was a project full of firsts for me, and considering I designed the whole thing myself, and it actually works, made me a really happy person the last week or two. It doesn't hurt that my friend loves it either!