When you love electronics and soldering, you simply can't get enough kits to keep you busy! That's why I've created this three-month subscription where UK backers will receive a small parcel containing a kit to solder each month for three months.
This is similar to a very successful subscription I ran in 2015. You can read more about that subscription here.
Each parcel will come with all the components you need along with instructions to guide you in constructing the kits and explain some of the electronics lurking within them. There are some tools and batteries that you will need to provide yourself - see below.
Parcel 1 contains a fun "electronic organ" based around the famous 555 timer chip. With lots of resistors to solder, this kit will give you plenty of practice reading resistor colour codes. Note that the circuit board will be green rather the orange shown in the video.
For parcel 2, you get to choose what you would like to receive:
- Option #1 is "Gertenlights" for the Raspberry Pi which Gert kindly gave me permission to make available as a kit - you can read the original blog post on the Raspberry Pi website.
- Option #2 is a simple audio amplifier that you can connect to a phone or MP3 player.
- Option #3 is a trio of mini kits comprising of an LED tester, an LED flasher (that uses a Programmable Unijunction Transistor) and a small board that lets you learn to solder tiny surface-mount resistors and LEDs. The surface-mount kit has two resistors for you to practice your soldering and then two more resistors and an LED to build a simple torch circuit.
Parcel 3 is an "LED scanner" which is based around the 4017 "decade counter" chip which is almost as common in hobby electronics projects as the 555 that you will have met in parcel 1.
As with many electronics projects, this subscription is only feasible and affordable with the support of a good number of backers, hence the need for this Kickstarter campaign. It should be a lot of fun and, with your support, parcels of soldering fun could be dropping through letter boxes across the UK early in 2018.
You will need:
- A soldering iron with stand and tip cleaner (e.g. a damp sponge).
- Wire cutters for trimming component leads after soldering.
- A 9v battery (PP3).
- A Raspberry Pi computer if you choose the "Gertenlights" option.
- 4 x AA batteries if you choose the Audio Amplifier option. It can also work from a good quality 9v battery but AA batteries are better.
- Tweezers will help if you build the surface-mount soldering practice kit.
How good does my soldering need to be? These kits should be accessible to anyone who has soldered a few kits before with the possible exception of the kit that uses surface mount components which is somewhat trickier.
When will the subscription run? The first parcel will be delivered early to mid January. The parcels will then be sent approximately at 4 week intervals.
Is this subscription available outside of the UK? With apologies to international backers of my previous campaigns, this subscription is to UK addresses only in order to keep logistics as simple as possible.
Can you offer a discount for two subscriptions to the same address? No but, if you're happy for two subscriptions to be delivered in the same envelope each month then I will find an "extra" to include as a thank you. I don't know what this will be just yet but it might be an additional small kit or a battery or some bonus components.
Risks and challenges
Having run a similar campaign in the past, I don't envisage any real problems. The biggest scope for problems is with component suppliers but I will be using reliable suppliers whom I trust and hence don't expect any significant issues.
In some cases it may be necessary to change the type or colour of some components from that which you see in the video e.g. the circuit board for the electronic organ will be green, not orange.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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