After watching recent Systm episodes, I decided that I would try and get into electronics. The most specific part that I decided I wanted to get into was the AVR programming. But before I get to that, I decided that it would be a good idea to learn how to solder first!
Off I went to a Maplin store. You walk into maplin and you are instantly greeted with millions of electronic things, of which I didn’t know what they were. Walking around there, for a while, I discovered some electronic kits. These “make your own” kits are manufactured by Velleman, and I can recommend them.
So after browsing through the many different kits, I ended up choosing a Clap activated switch. Whilst I was there, I grabbed a soldering iron stand, as I already had the soldering iron + solder.
Opening the kit presented me with millions (ok, 20) resistors, and a bunch of other electronic parts. Two days later, and the solder sucker having to be used occasionally, the kit was finished. One thing I forgot to purchase was a transformer to plug it in with. After visiting maplin I came home and found the transformer was faulty. It is one of those changeable voltage transformers. This one, however, would only work when set to 6 volts. After getting a replacement, finding that it was faulty too, buying a different one instead, I finally got the clap switch to work.
And am I surprised that it worked first time? Well… Yes!
And where will I go from here then? Read on…
As I mentioned earlier, I’d like to get into AVR programming. Unfortunately, there is no simple kit, like the Clap switch. The parts that they mentioned I should use, in that Systm episode on AVR programming, are quite hard to find in the UK. You can go ahead and use the digi-key site that Systm recommended. One problem with that though is the postage. £15 for shipping + £5 for handling!
Eeek! After a fair bit of searching, I decided to post a forum thread. The result turned up Farnell. I haven’t found out the postage yet. But I expect it can’t be as bad as Digi-key.