Electronic 101 Class

Twin Cities Maker in collaboration with Studio Bricolage is offering a basic electronics course.

Dates: April 7, 9, and 14

Location: Studio Bricolage aka Leonardo’s Basement 4301 Nicollet Avenue in South Minneapolis.

RSVP: Please email Studio Bricolage or call 612-824-4394 if you are planning to attend
so we have materials on hand for everyone.

Each session will be less than 2 hours in length, with one hour of blah blah blah so we can actually get some playing done. There’s no charge for the class, but there is an optional $15 materials fee for some small goodies packs I’m assembling.

Please, please, PLEASE pre-register if you are interested in getting the goodies pack. Some wire and breadboards were purchased and we don’t want anyone to feel left out.

It is also STRONGLY suggested that you bring a simple multimeter. Doesn’t have to be much- just amps, volts and ohms. Multimeters of that sort can be had for $20 or less, and if you’re planning on doing much with electronics, a meter is pretty much essential.

Day 1- basic concepts: what is a volt, an amp, an ohm, a watt, and (briefly) a farad? How do they relate? What is AC current versus DC current? What is a resistor? What is a capacitor? What is a diode? What is an LED? The hands-on will cover reading resistor values, constructing a desired value of resistance from parallel and series resistors, creating a voltage divider, powering an LED, using a potentiometer, and, briefly, RC time constants.

Day 2- powering circuits: DC sources (wall warts and batteries), power connectors, reverse-polarity protection with diodes, voltage regulation ICs, transformers, fuses and dimmer switches. The hands-on will cover putting a voltage regulation IC into play, setting the voltage on a common adjustable voltage regulation IC (to provide power other than 5V), using a 7660 IC to easily generate a low-current negative voltage rail for biasing op-amps and analog circuits.

Day 3- basic uses transistors (MOSFET and BJT, N and P type, and the differences between the two), op-amp basics (the rules of virtual open and virtual short), the importance of power supply bypassing in integrated circuit usage, and a laundry list of my favorite integrated circuits (this is something that was never really presented to me, so until I started figuring this out on my own, I spent a lot of time and effort devising crazy methods to do things that could be done with a fairly simple off-the-shelf component). The hands-on will cover using a PMOSFET to provide a better means of protecting your circuit from reverse battery insertion, using PWM to dim an LED (demonstrated using my Magic Square Wave Generator IC), and demonstrations of using transistors to switch power loads highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of BJTs and FETs for certain applications.

More information is available via the Studio Bricolage site here.