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Getting Started with Electronics


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1 About This Book 1 About You 2 About the Icons 2 Updates 3 The First Step 3 Project 1: Shopping Spree 4 Plan Your Shopping Spree. 4 Budget 6 Electronic Components and Accessories 10 Tools and Supplies 15 Project 2: Pocket Flashlight 18 Get Prepared 19 Battery 19 Light-emitting diode (LED) 20 Resistor 21 Build the Flashlight Circuit 22 Connect the resistor to the battery 22 Wrap tape around the positive terminal 23 Add a foam cutout 24 Connect the LED to the battery 25 Wrap tape around the negative terminal 26 Test Your Circuit 26 Add a Cover 27 Project 3: Red Light, Green Light 30 Breadboarding 31 Gather Supplies 32 Get to Know New Parts 34 Battery clip 34 Jumper wire 34 Slide switch 39 Breadboard Your Circuit 40 Track Down Problems 45 What's Really Happening? 45 Improve Your Circuit 46 Connect the power rails 46 Add a power switch 47 Project 4: Brainy Nightlight 50 Collect Parts 51 A Simple Sensor 52 The Tiny, Yet Powerful, Transistor 53 Transistors and faucets 54 Explore two transistors 55 Build the Circuit 58 Test Your Nightlight Circuit 65 Make Adjustments 66 Nightlight turns on when it shouldn't 66 Nightlight doesn't turn on when it should 67 Nightlight doesn't turn on at all 68 Project 5: Railroad Crossing 70 What's a Capacitor? 70 Check Out Your Capacitors 72 What's an Integrated Circuit? 73 Meet the 555 Timer 75 Collect Components and Tools 77 Build the Railroad Crossing Circuit 78 Operate the Railroad Crossing Circuit 85 Project 6: Sound Effects 86 Mini-Speaker 86 Gather the Parts You Need 87 Prepare Your Speaker 88 The Plan 90 Build the Tone Generator 91 Test Your Tone Generator 96 Modify Your Circuit 96 Create Sound Effects 97 Project 7: Radio 99 Plan Your Mission. 102 Homemade Tuner 103 Make an inductor 104 Make a variable capacitor 107 Meet Your Radio Signal Detector 111 Check Out Your Earphone 111 Collect Parts and Tools 112 Work Close to the (Earth) Ground 113 Prepare a Radio Platform 114 Build the Radio 115 Listen to Your Radio 119

About the Author

Cathleen Shamieh is an electrical engineer and a writer with extensive engineering and consulting experience in the fields of medical electronics, speech processing, and telecommunications.

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