Friday, June 10, 2016

Getting Started with Hobby Electronics - 1

Good afternoon everyone, I was planning to write this post for a very long time now, but didn't quite got my thoughts together to compile this so let me try another time. I will be writing this as a series and first one obviously is the introduction.

To whom this post might concern:

1. Someone who is trying to get into hobby electronics.
2. Someone who is already into it but not sure what to do.
3. Someone who is facing difficulty.
4. Just to get the idea what it is all about.


Well, this probably is the most common question that we get is why do you need to be an electronic hobbyist? The simple answer is, it is a hobby, I don't need a reason to have this hobby, simple. Although it is pretty much the same as any other hobby but it might be somewhat beneficial in your day to day life too. Electronics hobbyists usually don't have to rely on electricians for normal day to day needs regarding electrical equipment and stuffs. An electronic hobbyist can many of his/her domestic problems associated with electrical or electronic items just fine. So it is obvious that hobby electronics is a pretty fun thing to do and also very useful.

I do understand that hobby is a thing that we do to distract ourselves from the normal monotonous work that we do so often times we don't worry about the gains from hobbies and it should be this way but almost every hobby that I know will help you with something. If you collect stamp it is pretty sure that you know something about many countries that other people do not know about. This knowledge pretty much comes free and it might help you one day, same thing applies for electronics hobby too. It will help you in many ways but that is not the primary purpose.

How about some more examples?

I probably can think of thousands upon thousands of examples of how this hobby can help you in your day to day life but let's just start with some normal examples.

1. Say your 2 years old router is not working, none of the indicator lights are glowing but you need internet very badly, what can you do? Well you are in luck if your hobby is electronics, measure the output voltage of the adapter of the router. Probably it has died so not putting anything on the output lead. Okay so probably the problem is identified, now you can look closely at the adapter or router it should say the working voltage of it. Assume 9V 0.6A which is very common. Now with your skill and simple components like the 7809 regulator you can make a power supply under 10 minutes and you are good to go to run the router again.

2. Your phone needs charging but no electricity, although you have a sealed lead acid battery and couple other components. What can you do? Well make a simple circuit that puts out 5V from the input 12V, maybe a 2576 regulator based circuit and done, charge your phone with that! You need to charge your lead acid battery? No problem you can do that later too maybe with a 317 integrated circuit and some other components!

3. How about some automation? A remote control to turn on your lights or fans? Sounds good right and you can make that happen with some development board too, not that complicated either!

4. Ceiling fan running slow? Chances are the capacitor has gone bad, replace it, if you are a hobbyist it will be a very simple thing to do, no need to call for assistance of other people and it might take only 3-4 minutes.

5. Need to change blown fuses? Depleted batteries? Damaged lamps? Well you can do any of them with relative ease. Someone who doesn't have this hobby can do it too so it will be even easier for you.

6. How about building a small Network attached storage that will download and store your favorite series which you can watch from any device you want? Well you are in luck, you can use any small single board computer to do this.

7. How about making a small amplifier? You can use either Bluetooth or standard wire with it to get the audio from the source!

You can think of infinite number of examples too but I will just stop here and hope that my point has gone across. Proper tools and necessary knowledge can make your life a lot easier and we regularly face this issues so no harm knowing I guess.

One thing to keep in mind though yes you can buy these stuffs or service but the main thing is the fun, making something brings a lot of pleasure and this pleasure will be multiplied when you will see the things that you make are working properly and helping you with something!

That is pretty much what I wanted to say as introduction, I hope I have got your attention so in the next couple posts I will be focusing on:

1. The hardware that is needed, both mandatory and optional.
2. Some circuit theories that might be helpful.
3. Conclusion.


1. Index page of my blog!

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