Electronics for power supplies

First, I apologize for being (almost) the hardware version of a "script-kiddie". I do want to learn the techniques involved but all of the electronics courses I've found work the wrong way around. They teach "this is what we have and this is what you can do with it" whereas my brain works in the "This is the problem, here is a solution and this is why it works." manner. This is how I learned software but when you get it wrong you can start again without losing the magic smoke! I have a 250ah, 12V battery bank, multiple DC devices requiring power and, eventually, several power sources for recharging. I also have several MC34063 chips and a few higher amp chips (somewhat optimistically as it turns out). Firstly, is there a practical course online that is built around this? Secondly (and probably extremely basic), if a device draws, for example, 3A is it self-limiting or do I need to put something between the source and the device too restrict the power?

Topic by ImmortalSoFar   |  last reply

how to install an electronic thermostat?

I want to replace my old style AC/Heater thermostat with a new one that has electronic temperature settings. I do not necessarily need to have a programmable thermostat. the heat/AC unit is electric

Question by    |  last reply

Electronic curb (kerb) sensor?

My parents are getting older and having problems parking the car in the garage. Not with stopping, but in parking too close to the walls (several bumpers and side mirrors have been damaged). I remember curb feelers from days-of-old, but am wondering if there is an electronic version available? Thanks for any help.

Question by DMSerley   |  last reply

Idea for Social Electronic Art

Hi everyone, I have been working on an idea for a new type of electronic creative art form. Social media has increasingly become cloud and computer-based, enabling people to network and share ideas and concepts online with others from around the world; this community is an excellent example of the power of electronics in fostering shared creativity. Art has always been an important aspect of society, bringing people together through the power of self-expression. In recent years, graffiti parks have become a popular method for communities to express themselves in a constructive way. In the area of electronics, circuitry and robotics have become increasingly accessible through open-source programs such as Arduino, enabling anyone to build complex and beautiful projects in their own garages (or anywhere!). This idea focuses on blending the social aspect of conventional art mediums with the untapped potential of electronic technology. One new technology in particular that has taken the first step towards merging the different fields of creativity is conductive ink and paint, created by Bare Conductive. This graphene-based material enables users to paint circuits and electrical systems onto most surfaces, opening up the entire world as a building area. Essentially, this is the focus of the idea- creative communities making the world their canvas through the power of conductive ink and open-source electronics tools. Imagine the possibilites! Walls covered with lights that can be activated by touching a drawn image, buildings covered with playable arcade games and interactive media, and childrens' parks with community-sourced learning tools on the play area! Of course, there's another aspect here; the social possibilities. See a circuit that someone didn't ever finish, or a piece of electronic art that you wanted to expand? Whip out your Arduino kit and ink bottle, and draw it in! Every wall would tell a story, and it would never stop growing. Our imaginations would be the only limit... What does everyone think of this idea? Let me know any thoughts or input you might have!

Topic by Chikpeas Brother   |  last reply

Is being an electronics engineer a good job?

It's getting about time for me to start getting ready for college and deciding what to do. I've started playing with electronics stuff, and was like this would be a cool job. Are any of you guys electronics engineers and would recommend it as a good job? What all do you have to do?

Question by 7654321   |  last reply

Is it safe to use the 3v ac adapter

Is it safe to use the 3v ac adapter to power up a small electronic equipment witch operating with 4.5 volts batteries or will damage the device

Question by NickS322   |  last reply

How can i make a clap on, clap off light switch? Answered

I would like to learn how to build a clap on, clap off light switch.Including all the steps to build it, help with the circuit, and diagram.

Question by Baseball24_7   |  last reply

European Electronic Components Stores That Sell On-Line? Answered

Do you know some European electronic stores that sell electronic components such as servos, DC motors, LEDs, resistors, online??? If you do, please post the link to their site! Thank you!

Question by comodore   |  last reply

Any good hobby electronics shops and places in London? Answered

My father sort of works in London and I am going there for my school autumn holidays. Does anyone know any good and interesting electronics shops, except for  obvious ones like Maplin, maybe some small and strange ones... I don't have much money, and I am going to be in Battersea, but the shops can be anywhere, if it is a reasonable, not walk-bus-train-bus-walk distance away.

Question by gruffalo child   |  last reply

People in the UK, where do you buy your electronics components? Answered

I'm 18 and just getting into electronics after messing around for some time, and i really need to build up a basic kit/bits no bobs box with the usual myriad of resistors, capacitors, transistors, switches, LED. I don't know of any store near by (I'm in Chepstow, so Cardiff, Newport or Bristol) or are there any good online stores that aren't extortionate in small quantities or pricy delivery for tiny parts? (bearing in mind i wont be buying bulk) Cheers James

Question by jamesjamesjames   |  last reply

Draw Some Circuit Art, Win a Pro Membership!

Hello! I am starting a new instructables series called "Know Your Integrated Circuit" which will feature popular ICs and go over their history, uses, and quick projects you can make with them. What i need from all you artists is a mascot for this new series, if your drawing wins you win a 3 month pro membership! awesome right? What i Want: I want a cute, cartoony looking IC, preferably an 8 legged one. Think brave little toaster status. Rules: - Drawing must be vector and scalable. - Must be released under Creative Commons, but when used your member profile will be cited. - Must be posted as a comment before july 1st. - Give it a name as well when you submit. - Contest IS open to international residents.

Topic by frenzy   |  last reply

Any good ideas for simple electronic projects for kids to teach them how to solder? Answered

When I was little I learned how to solder by building a heathkit. Sadly, they are no more. So what would be a good project for kids to build? I repaired an LED 'sword' for my 10 year old daughter this evening and she asked if I would teach her to solder. Of course! I would be so proud. But I need some good ideas for projects.

Question by SteveDonie   |  last reply

solar powered throwies

In case you didn't know, a throwie is an LED with a small battery and magnet attached, that can be stuck to any metal surface. would it be practical to make a throwie with a long lasting lithium battery? or a small solar cell? just a thought

Topic by Antimatter500   |  last reply

Ballerina Jewelry Box Project

Hello, I am interested in creating a jewelry box for my niece. The idea is to laser-cut a custom box which I think I can find templates of online and create an SVG file with some art for the laser cutter. I plan to 3D print a ballerina as well. I initially thought of running the electronics with Arduino - but prefer to keep it simple.  I want to have a custom song/melody playing - I was thinking of perhaps some sort of a recording/playback speaker where I can record the song initially and then have it play back - ideas? For simplicity - do you think it is possible to run a simple circuit with a couple AA/AAA batteries, a hinge control (ideas for something that will do the trick and act as a switch are very much welcome too), a speaker, and some sort of a stepper motor/servo to spin the ballerina. I would love to get some ideas and supplies from you. This should be a pretty straightforward, simple project but I don't have much electronic experience and am not sure what to search to find the technology I need. Thank you, KoMoDo

Topic by KoMoDo   |  last reply

Make something from these parts?

It's my mum's birthday soon (December) and I was planning on making her something out of these various parts. Any ideas would be appreciated, or (possibly) more things I should get to make something look better. Thanks!

Topic by dansassin   |  last reply

inexpensive conductive fabric

Any suggestions on how to get or make relatively inexpensive conductive fabric?I'm considering a project that would use soft-switches like these, but much larger. But the Shieldit Super that's linked to in places can get real expensive real fast at $7 / ft. Any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated!T

Topic by t0nes   |  last reply

Uses for scrap floppy disk drives.?

I have a stack of old fdds - they have small motors and worm gears to drive the head and some have motors for the disk but the others have the disk motor coils affixed to the circuit board and so it is difficult to salvage that. Is it possible to 'drive' the fdd over the connector? What signals normally traverse the ribbon cable? They all have opto sensors for the disk in or out and an led of course.

Question by karnuvap 

why does one bulb keep on blowing, while others on the same circut dont? Answered

I have a alarm system at home that turns on a 12v circut when the alarm is active.  Attached to this I have 3 12v globes (the kind you find in old car indicator lights connected in parallel.  The one globe keeps on blowing.  Each bulb lasts about 3 days (this would total to about 40hrs total on time tops. The other two lights never give me any issues.  Any hints on what to look for?

Question by Lylec   |  last reply

Designer seeks collaboration with Electronics/Tech Guru for Installation

Hi,my names Dan and I am a Designer (and current MA Product design student) interested in submitting an entry to this:http://www.onedotzero.com/submissions.php (deadline for the show in september is May 29th)During my MA came up with a concept and design for an interactive installation that I would like to enter into the above event which will be installed at the BFI southbank in London.Basically, the project will involve the use of Electronics (sensors, microcontrollers, maybe some programming) to trigger light and audio, for an experiential installation.I need someone who can help me construct the kit list,and help with the 'how to' part of this project, thus enabling us to submit a Budget. If chosen we would then go on to install the project on-site.A UK/London based collaborator would be preferred for ease of commuting/meeting if this were to happen and our project selected.Someone from the site who knows their away touch sensors/controllers, LED and other electronics wiring, with perhaps a smideling of programming , who likes getting involved in creative and design based projects should contact me in the first instance to find out more:Role is not paid, but opportunities would abound!Heres hoping!danskimanuk(at)yahoo.co.uk

Topic by danskimanuk   |  last reply

Acrylic Heating Element - Questions for an electrician and acrylic expert

I'm trying to build a heating element suspended 1" from an aluminum surface, and 2" below what will be a piece of acrylic (hopefully up to 1/2" thick) suspended by aluminum covered 2x4's. I want to have a rheostat (I think that's what they're called) for variable control of the heating element. The width of the element is undetermined, although 1/2" is probably close and this may be of little relevance. The aluminum case itself is 21"x6" and 3" deep So far, I've harvested a coil of Nickel Chromium from a cheap space heater but in trying to create a suspended piece, I've done little but destroy my NiChrom. It was cool, sparks and all, but I'd like to get it right this time. I do not wish to use a torch or heat gun as the pieces are to be wide and the heat must be even over the width to create an aesthetic bend. I will post some photos of the pieces tomorrow. Feel free to throw your hat in on any questions you want to answer. Electric Questions: How much NiChrom. do I need to heat 1/2" acrylic to around 400 degrees (F) for malleabiity? What is the best way to mount or suspend the nichrom.? What is the appropriate method to attach NiChrome to the wiring? (My home made coil using 1/16" copper wiring as a cast was sound in theory, but practice yielded sagging of the strip when active, and eventually sparky explosions at the mounts, after which time this question came to mind.) What kind of Rheostat do I need? What kinds are there? What's the difference? Can I get away with using a 120v/600w Dimmer switch instead (please say 'yes')? Acrylic Questions: What is the ideal heat for bending thicker acrylics? Would a fan below the heating element help disperse the heat evenly over the acrylic, or mess up the dispersion? Can a heating element such as this create sufficient heat to 'weld' 2 pieces together? Is this even possible? Thanks. I'm sure I'll have more questions before you can answer those. Peace - Ian.Wms

Topic by Ian.Wms   |  last reply

Where can I sell my old electronic gadgets and appliances? It is on as is where is basis...thanks?

I would like to sell my old electronic gadgets and old appliances. Is there a site online where I can post my ads..thanks

Question by ayreeh109   |  last reply

Has anyone tried to bypass the Lid Lock on a Kenmore Oasis or Whirlpool Cabrio Washer and been successful?

Ark-Les makes the switch. The original part number was 8563937. They redesigned it and the new part number is W10059230. I am able to make the machine think that it is unlocked and ready to operate. I can even make it think it is locked, but I can not operate the machine in the locked mode, I get the DL code. If no one has tried this, maybe one of you can figure out a way to make it work. Thank you in advance for your assistance. If you need wiring schematics for the machine, let me know and I'll send them to you....

Question by jdeloach   |  last reply

I'd like to start playing with electronic locks. But how would I control it?

I'd like to start playing with electronic locks. I'm looking at this type of thing. (ebay item # 200260301195). But how would I power it (I'm in the UK) and how would I control it? For example how could I use a cheap chinese remote control or a basic fingerprint reader or a keypad? Thanks!

Question by dan_ce   |  last reply

Help make a quacking noise in a wooden toy duck (mechanically, not electronically)

I'm in the process of recreating the LEGO wooden duck toy. I'm only working from a few images I've found online, however; I don't have an actual one to examine. On the originals, the axles operated a couple of mechanisms: the duck head pivots to open and close the beak, and there's a mechanism under the base (I'm assuming) that makes a quacking noise. I've got a pretty good idea how to create a simple cam for the head/beak movement, but I'm not sure how to generate a quacking noise mechanically. My online searches have proved fruitless. Does anyone happen to have one of these vintage LEGO ducks and is willing to snap and share some photos of the mechanisms? Or, does anyone have any good ideas how to make a quacking noise mechanically? My thoughts are a push/pull rod-type crank attached to an axle, but on the other end of the rod . . . not sure.

Topic by seamster   |  last reply

Perceptual ART in motion

This little Wizard, my Grandson now in third grade, built and soldered the circuit of this perceptual motion kit. . I only added the two V grooved screws to stabilize the totter edge and allow height adjustment. The screws were hand filed to provide a stable fulcrum for the rower.

Topic by iceng   |  last reply


Does anyone have any tips on how to make sharp corners for duct tape things that are hallow (like a cover for electronics)

Topic by Saby Waby   |  last reply

Help!! Hydro power

Hello! I need step by step instructions which shows how to build a hydro power system. I have to do this for a small hostel in the mountains. It needs to make 12v atleast and will use a alternator.I will need lots of help from you guys to build it all.Particulatly on the runner(what type for best efficiency,how to build it, cost, tools)and on the housing for the turbine(what material to use,it will have to be very durable and strong).I am an electronics expert so no need to explain to me what is what. Include a circuit which can charge a 12v battery bank . I am aware how a rectifier can be used to convert the alternator's AC to DC.I would like the rectifier circuit too.Added bonus if you show me how to make a housing for the turbine.Also I would like a homemade charge controller circuit too.The controller will have to have dump load options as well.If you can give a good way to water proof the whole thing... Kudos to you I will need all the plans for this project Alternator, Charge controller ,Blades, How to best wire battery bank etc. Please explain what materials to use etc. And please be aware this will be a rather low budget project.I prefer maximum efficiency and please do not worry yourself about where i will get flowing water etc.And please post your own pics if possible.It may not be possible for me to use power tools and a welder,I prefer simple tools, if not, no problem.

Topic by mhkabir   |  last reply

Help Help! My dad's birthday is tomorrow and I need somehting BIG HUGE and SPECIAL to make VERY QUICKLY ! any ideas?

I specifically want something very special, but not anything like 'I love You Forver, You are The best' or anything. like a game, somthing electronics, but keep it simple, I do not know anything about electronics more than a couple facts!

Question by weirdudette   |  last reply

Instructables T-shirt and stickers? Answered

I suppose in the spirit of the site we should DIY our own Instructables merch???

Question by Volthaus Electronics Laboratory   |  last reply

I have some questions about building a solar charger for my electronic devices. Please help!

I want to make a universal solar charger for my electronics (like phones, ipods, gaming devices). I have a tiny tiny bit of basic knowledge about circuits (did not pay attention in physics...), so I really need your help. I have a few questions here.Most solar chargers I see from the Instructables connects to a battery first. Is is possible to connect it directly to the electronic?Is it possible to make a solar charger that can allow a device to charge like it charges to the wall. I mean adding a socket to the solar charger. So instead of the charger plugging into the device, the device is connected with its usual charger wire (with a plug) and then plugs into the solar charger socket. Just like how you would normally plug it to the wall. Please tell me if there is something like this.Is the solar power strong enough to charge the devices? If not, is there an easier way to step up the power? If you can, please provide a diagram/picture/link.Thank you so much for your help =)

Question by viviluk   |  last reply

New DIY Green Blog

Hey everyone. Tap33 and I started a new DIY Green Blog. You can find it here. Basically, we're finding cool DIY projects on the internet about going green and posting them.If anyone wanted their Instructable that related to "Going Green" featured on the site you can leave a comment here, PM Tap33 or me, or contact us at the Contact Us section of the Blog. We know that there are a lot of great projects here so please, tell us if you want it featured on the page. Also, does anyone have any ideas for new "Green" projects?

Topic by Gjdj3   |  last reply

HELP (study courses)

HI im fujiapple this might not be the best place to post this, but i need help in choosing a suitable course for my studies, and whats better than asking the pro's themselves. I'm interested in arts, designing, electronics, programming and making things. im sure most of you here share the same interest. I would like to ask, 1) which would be the best choice 2) did you all study courses like :electronics, designing 3) or did you all do this during your free time thanks for helping.. Fujiapple

Topic by fujiapple   |  last reply

Water dispenser or cooler Pump system ? Answered

Hi everybody, i am searching to pump the water from the 5 gallon water dispenser bottle but this time from the ground level, to a small water (2 liters ) tank above the water cooler (maybe  2 meters height from the ground level) . So can anybody help me  to find the ideal pump to do the best job ? and there  is any pump that stops just after the small tank is full? I need an electronic trick to make the pump works on 2 different modes _ the first continuous mod that stops only when the small tank is fully filled _ the second mode is the button mode, so if i pushed down the button the pump will work and if released it will stops ! So can anybody help me how to make the small electronic panel or just guide to a similar one ! !!Pls community help me urgently Pls !!

Question by vwtm2006   |  last reply

Would anyone like a company for students to make money selling things we like - apparel, accessories, electronics?

Would anyone be interested in a company geared for students to make money selling things we like - apparel, accessories, electronics? I have found tons of companies that say they are for students to earn money while in school but none of them were something I would use. I tried selling phone service, but found that it was a bad product. I have and had friends that sold Cutco, but none of us use kitchen cutlery, so that left us to roaming the neighborhood and selling to parents and adults. I started selling watches to my friends and classmates and was fairly profitable. The isses I came across when selling the watches were finding a decent watch, multiple designs or styles (no one wanted to be wearing the same watch as the next guy) and having enough money to buy inventory and sell the inventory before I can buy other styles. I am interested in finding out if there are any other people interested in a company that is geared for students so we can make money buying and selling things that we like and would use ourselves, like watches.

Question by King Haus   |  last reply

New 3D printing company: shapeways

Phillips Electronics is starting a new 3D printing company. The site is down at the moment but it sounds really cool and useful! It's supposed to open to the general public in a few months.more info (techcrunch)

Topic by aphrael   |  last reply

Good points of static grounding? Answered

Can anyone suggest a good place to static ground myself when working with electronics? Next to my bench is a radiator with some bear metal, would that work?  If not can anyone suggest  any other places?

Question by Minifig666   |  last reply

DIY DVD changer ?

 Anyone try merging mechanical parts from an old 200 disk cd changer with the electronics from a dvd player to make a 200 disk dvd changer?  I hate to throw out an obsolete cd changer w/o trying.

Question by bizydad   |  last reply

Tic Tac box Answered

Yah this is a silly question i know, but does anyone know the dimensions of a tic tac (the large 1oz box, commonly labeled Big Pack)? It is for a small electronics project, and i am wondering what amount of space i have to work with...  Thanks!

Question by astroboy907   |  last reply

Tips for Miniature carousel up and down movement

I am making a miniature carousel for a decoration on my bookshelf. I like to make a kind where the horses go up and down. I got a motorized lazy susan (which already goes around with it´s built in motor) so the basic rotation is there already. What I just need to figure out is how to get the horses go up and down for couple of inches. What electronics should I use for the up and down movement? I´d prefer to use batteries for the source of electricity for these. I was checking solenoid c:s on a electronics website but had hard time finding a slow ones that would work and/or don´t know how to slow them down. Thx!

Topic by carouselman   |  last reply

Arduino Projects ITT

I've been doing research into some home brewed add-on people have made for Arduino. I was surprised to find that there are a ton of custom shields that people have developed and sell right now (check this out: http://shieldlist.org/).  This gave me some ideas for developing products myself. I'm trying to gauge what people are looking for in new Arduino product. If you could take a really quick survey that I designed to test the market, I'd really appreciate it? Here is a link to it: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PTSDD8Z Please let me know what you guys think would make great products for Arduino! On a related point, I was wondering about the feasibility of a brushless motor shield. I am working on an Arduino based dual rotor mulicopter with some friends (here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC566tCzMbp-S5ThKuPQO_6g. We aren't too far in yet). I think for others that make "Arducopter", it would be nice to do away with external ESCs for controlling brushless motors. I think it would be far more convenient to have a shield that acts as a substitute for ESCs and also act as a power distribution platform for on board components. Is it dangerous to be running that much current on a PCB on top of an Arduino? Would it be wise to connect a 3S LiPo in parallel with the shield ESC and an Arduino, or could that damage my Arduino? Thanks in advice for the help!

Topic by Filleted 

Has anyone built a tire pressure monitor reader?

In 2008 and later all autos sold in the usa must have a tire pressure monitor in each tire. Commercial devices to read the tire pressure and id from these tpms are very expensive. Has some clever electronics hobbiest built a device to read these tpms?

Question by hswaters 


I'm trying to find best way add labels under buttons for my DIY electronics project. I've been filling laser etched letters with acrylic pain, but it's huge pain in the arse.  So I'm thinking of using vinyl letters instead. Has anyone used any services that can do small custom letter on the cheap?  Any recommendations?

Question by gedwrdddff   |  last reply

Can you use fused plastic bags to make small plastic boxes? Answered

I would like to make some small plastic boxes to hold assorted electronic experiments, are the fused plastic bags hard / strong enough to form around a wodden block or similar to shape into a small box?

Question by mad_mat   |  last reply

Career Advice? Answered

I'm about to finish highschool, and hopefully head off to uni However, I still am a little unsure on my career path, which I think I need to be to choose a course for uni Originally, I wanted to become a mechatronic engineer, and I was hoping that by the time I got out, it would not be so new and unfamiliar an occupation. However, I dunno if that is gonna happen.... So instead, now I'm thinking about whether I should try to become an electronic engineer for something like a section of the Australian Defence Force... I'm just looking for a path that will later on help me get a stable job, with enough money to live comfortably (i.e get a house/car). I don't really want to waste my time on a degree that will not be worth the work put in, however. What do you think?

Question by .Unknown.   |  last reply

how do i use a savonius wind turbine made from 200w electric scooter motor to charge 12v sla battery?

 the turbine is to charge a battery the battery will the run 2 12v caravan lights in a hut in the woods I am not electronically minded so you need to put the answer into laymans terms please many thanks 

Question by venator   |  last reply

Easiest low voltage cutoff (ensure minimum startup amperage for solar fan project.)

So, if I weren't so electronically derped, I'd know this. I've seen a few easy ideas for a 12v solar fan.  Basically stick a capacitor on it. However, I'm trying to work from a few low amperage panels (~100ma@12v total).  Since I want this to keep my tent feeling cooler once the sun comes up, I don't want to be stuck for an hour or two in the morning until the minimum amperage comes out of the panels. Anyone have an easy idea of what I could use with simple parts from scavenge boards or electronics teaching kits to make it have a low voltage cutoff (so that it won't go to the fan until it hits a minimum voltage on the capacitor (so that it has a minimum startup amperage))  That way, even in the morning, at least it would pulse on for small whiles even when it didn't have enough power.

Topic by TheRevJester   |  last reply

Electric Instrument

So I am a big fan of music, making and listening to. i like to make instrument also because i like the though of making something pleasing to the ear with my bare hands. I also am interested with electronics. So in conclusion i thought i would make a thread were you can post you ideas and answer questions about audio based technology

Topic by g-tech   |  last reply

How to Save Electricity

Saving Electricity: How to Save Electricity Welcome!I've always hated "How-To" guides which don't explain why a certain tip works, or how well it works. Sometimes a topic is just as mysterious after you read the guide.My guide is different.In all honesty, this guide is a bit simplistic, but it does have a nice description of why there's no point to worrying about surges when electronic devices are powered up.

Topic by ewilhelm   |  last reply

would it be possible to use wooden laminate flooring as blades for a wind turbine?

Hi, was thinking of making a wind turbine with some parts i have like a newish car alternator and battery bit of electronics and some spare wooden laminate flooring looks about 15cm wide about 150 cm tall and just under a cm deep, and some stuff for making a frame for it. got a bit of electrical knowlege. cheers.

Question by padz   |  last reply