Electronics Tools and Materials
with randofo


In the soldering lesson we will be practicing soldering skills by making resistor people and component creatures.

For the soldering lesson you will need:

(x2) PCB
(x1) Bag of random electronic components
(x5) 2W resistor (optional)**

** This large resistor is particularly good for making the resistor people in the project below. If you plan on making any, you will want to pick up a few of these.


In the electricity lesson we will be making a Mad Scientist Light which will help us visualize electricity. Basically, it is a lamp, but we will discuss this more in a bit.

For the Mad Scientist Light you will need:

(x1) 9.1" x 8.1" x 4.9" wooden box
(x4) Brass flange sockets
(x4) 30 Watt Edison light bulbs
(x1) Power plug
(x2) Wire nuts
(x1) 10' of twisted pair fabric lamp cord


The switch lesson has two projects to choose from. There is a Mad Scientist Extension Cord which is slightly dangerous and likely not up to any sort of building code. This is more of a novelty item for irrational individuals.

The Useless Machine is also a novelty item for irrational individuals, but runs little risk of electrocuting you.

You may build either one to complete this lesson.

For the Mad Scientist Extension Cord you will need:

(x1) 3PDT 100A knife switch
(x1) Cord end plug
(x1) Cord end socket
(x1) 25' heavy duty fabric cord
(x2) Zip ties

For the Useless Machine you will need:

(x1) Continuous rotation servo motor
(x2) DPDT toggle switch
(x1) SPDT lever switch
(x1) 3 x AA battery holder
(x1) Small hinged wooden box
(x1) Wooden letter ('C' or 'J' tends to work well)
(x1) 1" wood cube
(x1) Wood glue


In the resistor lesson we will be making a Simple Stereo Mixer.

For the Simple Stereo Mixer project you will need:

(x2) 10K dual log potentiometers
(x4) 1K resistors
(x3) 1/8" stereo jacks
(x2) Knobs
(x1) 4" x 2" x 1" project enclosure
(x3) Stereo cables
(x1) Split back sticker paper (for printer)


In the Capacitor lesson we will be making a vibrobot which runs off of the charge of a supercapacitor.

For this project you will need:

(x1) 15F supercapacitor
(x1) 100 ohm resistor
(x1) Vibrating motor
(x1) Circuit board
(x1) SPDT through-hole switch
(x1) JST-XHP 2-pin male and female connector set
(x1) 2-wire power adapter
(x1) Adjustable voltage supply

(x1) 4V Solar Panel
(x1) 1N4001 diode


The Inductor lesson is another lesson with one of two projects to choose from. One project is a Secret Drawer Lock and is great for people who own furniture and have something to hide. The other project allows you to turn Nearly Anything into a Speaker, which is a bit of a musical magic trick.

To make a Secret Drawer Lock you will need:
(x1) Solenoid lock mechanism
(x1) Reed alarm switch
(x1) 12V rechargeable DC battery
(x2) Crimp-on quick disconnects
(x1) Lock strike plate
(x2) 1/4" x 1/4" spacers (or appropriate for your project)
(x2) 1" wood screws
(x4) 3/4" wood screws
(x1) power jack (optional)
(x1) High-strength magnet hook

To Turn Nearly Anything into a Speaker you will need:
(x1) Audio output transformer
(x1) Small project enclosure
(x2) 1/8" mono jacks
(x1) Piezo disc element
(x1) One-sided 1/8" male mono cable**
(x2) 1/8" male-to-male mono (or stereo) cable
(x1) Double-sided tape

** This type of cable has a plug on one end and a signal and ground wire on the other end. If you can't find one, then just buy any old male-to-male mono cable and cut off one end, and strip away the insulation to expose the wire.


In the diode lesson we will be making a hand crank rechargeable flashlight.

For this lesson you will need:

(x1) Stepper motor
(x8) 1N5819 schottky diodes
(x1) 1N4733 5.1V zener diode
(x1) Super-bright white LED
(x1) 15F supercapacitor
(x1) 100 ohm resistor
(x1) 0.1uF capacitor
(x1) 330 ohm resistor
(x1) PCB
(x1) Latching pushbutton switch
(x1) 5mm bore shaft coupling
(x1) 2" lever arm
(x4) 6-32 x 1/2" bolts
(x1) M6 x 20mm bolt
(x1) Reflector
(x1) 1" plastic flashlight lens
(x1) Black binding post
(x1) Rubber washer (optional)
(x1) 5" x 2.5" x 2" project enclosure


In the transistor lesson we will be making a Moon Night Light which glows when the light goes out.

For this lesson you will need:
(x1) TIP31 transistor
(x1) TIP42 transistor
(x1) Photocell
(x1) 1M resistor
(x1) 10K resistor
(x1) PCB
(x1) Power jack
(x1) White LED strip
(x1) Moon decal
(x1) 8" wooden disc
(x1) 6" letter "O"
(x1) 10' twisted pair fabric cord
(x1) Adhesive-backed Velcro squares

Integrated Circuits

In the Integrated Circuits lesson we are going to make a classic synthesizer called The Atari Punk Console.

For this project you will need:
(x2) 555 chips
(x1) 1K resistor
(x2) 4.7K resistors
(x1) 0.1uF capacitor
(x1) 0.01uF capacitor
(x1) 10uF capacitor
(x1) 500K potentiometer
(x1) 500K potentiometer with built-in switch
(x1) Tactile transducer (or speaker)
(x1) 9V battery snap
(x1) 9V battery
(x1) Hammond BB-sized enclosure
(x2) Knobs
(x2) 6-32 x 3/4" bolts
(x2) 6-32 x 1/4" nylon spacers
(x1) Adhesive-backed velcro
(x4) Adhesive rubber feet
(x1) Matte white sticker paper (for printer)


Share a photo of your finished project with the class!

Nice work! You've completed the class project