Electronics Projects

Electronics, circuit design and communication networks might seem complex at first but, taken in small steps, they are easy and fun topics to explore! So, if you are an engineering student or a hobbiest I hope you will have some fun here.

Your input is always welcome. Send me an email at rmckeon4@cableone.net
100: Fun Stuff for the Electronics Hobbyist
This section has some fun projects, some lighthearted insights, and some challenges for the electronics hobbyist. Send me your favorite projects and your thoughts at rmckeon4@cableone.net and I will publish them here.

Let's have some fun sharing our enjoyment of this wonderful hobby!

Look Ma, Three Hands!

They come in many sizes and shapes, but a 3rd hand is essential if you want to enjoy your electronic projects. This is an inexpensive model but it has a magnifying glass and a light (good for my old eyes). Do yourself a favor and get a 3rd hand!

555 Schmitt Trigger (video)

The 555 op amp can be configured in many ways. This is a basic video showing it used as a Schmitt Trigger.

Diagram of trip points (jpg)
Schematic (jpg)

Don't Save Bad Parts! (pdf)
If you have paid good money for some parts but they seem to be of questionable quality, just throw them out! You will be glad you did.
200: Oldies But Goodies
This section is devoted to some of my early projects and the interesting ways things were done "back then." Today these things are considered pretty simplistic, but "back then" it was cutting edge stuff! So, join me on a nostalgic journey to the early days of digital electronics.

Product Design: How We Did It in the Old Days (pdf)

Now, there were ʺolder daysʺ than this when we wrote machine language code by hand on coding sheets, but by 1992 we had assembler software and EEPROM burners that connected directly to
the PC. Major improvement!

Foucault Tester with Digital Readout (pdf)

If you were an Amateur Telescope Maker (ATM) back in 1977 you know that polishing and figuring the mirror was a major challenge. I was an electrical engineering student back then and wanted to simplify the process of figuring a mirror. A major help would be to have a digital readout on your knife edge tester, so I designed this digital micrometer. The design was published in Sky and Telescope magazine.

The On/OFF Switch (pdf)

Remember when the ON/OFF switch actually turned things ON or OFF? The ON/OFF switch used to physically supply power or remove power from a machine.

Today the idea of "warm up" has been replaced with "boot up." Here's an interesting bit of history about the way things used to be done.
300: Basics: Components and Logic
Logic Diagrams (pdf)

Here is a nice summary of the basic logic diagrams.
400: The Challenge: Design Something