Everything for Electronics

Signal Generators — Part 1
Workbench

Signal Generators — Part 1

Signal generators are devices used to make the signals used in testing and troubleshooting of radio receivers and other circuits, so are of primary interest to almost everyone interested in electronics.


Old Heathkits Never Die, They Just Get Restored
Projects

Old Heathkits Never Die, They Just Get Restored

I love restoring old electronic equipment. A while ago, I was excited to find a vintage Heathkit EC-1 analog computer for a reasonable price on eBay. It definitely needed a little TLC. Here’s how I brought it back to life.


The AC Volt
Theory

The AC Volt

In the US, the DC volt is legally defined by the Josephson array — a super conducting quantum device with a highly repeatable output voltage. Banks of standard cells and temperature-stabilized zener diode references are used by the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) to calibrate DC meters for scientific and industrial customers. So how is the AC volt defined?


The DC Volt
Theory

The DC Volt

How many times each day do you pick up a probe to measure a DC voltage? The meter reads, say 4.65 volts, and we usually accept it without question. But just what is a volt and how is it maintained? Here's a fascinating look at the search for increasingly more accurate methods of building a “standard volt.”


Meet the ESP8266
Hardware

Meet the ESP8266

It’s not all that often that a new piece of hardware comes along that immediately captures the attention of the builder community. The ESP8266 is the newest example of this. It’s only about the size of a nickel, yet contains a powerful 32-bit microcontroller and a Wi-Fi interface, plus you can buy it for around $4.


Raspberry Pi, Anyone?
Experimenter Platform

Raspberry Pi, Anyone?

The Raspberry Pi represents a breakthrough in low cost computing power. Get a piece of this popular DIY action by learning how to cook up your own RPi to start experimenting with.


The Edison Cell
Science

The Edison Cell

With the wild fluctuations in fuel prices over the years, world concern over global warming, and simply the idea of creating new and more sustainable technologies, immense interest and progress continues in the world of battery development. Perhaps one day soon we’ll have a battery that displays no “memory” effect; can be completely discharged or overcharged without harm; and require no complex computerized management system. This battery could even prove so durable it will be immune to damage from vibration and not break down chemically over time. In operation, such a battery might also routinely outlast the very vehicle or machine it was designed to operate in! Lastly, we could complete our wish list by adding in the impossible: low materials toxicity, simple construction, and, of course, good energy density. Does such a battery sound like too much to hope for? Thomas Edison didn’t think so.


Build a Wall Wart Power Monitor
Workbench

Build a Wall Wart Power Monitor

As an experimenter, I use wall warts all the time to power circuit boards, microcontroller boards, and even finished projects. However, during the checkout phase of a new circuit, wall warts present a problem. How do you measure their output when they’re plugged into a board or project box?


Shop Best Sellers in THE Electronics Hobbyist JUNKBOX

The Official Webstore of Nuts & Volts and SERVO Magazine

DIY Motion/Light/Sound Animatronics Starter Kit

Perfect for kids (or adults who act like kids!). When triggered by the motion sensor or via the push-button switch, this mini animatronic system moves servo motors, lights LEDs, and plays back the sounds you record!

$41.95

Numitron Clock Kit

This six-digit, beautifully designed timepiece showcases cold war era components — Numitrons instead of Nixie tubes — along with modern LEDs and a Microchip PIC to create not only a useful clock but a great conversation piece as well.

$119.95

Analog-Style LED Clock

A fun take on an old favorite - Build this Entertaining and Educational Digital LED clock and learn “Charlieplexing” to control 180 LEDs.

$129.95