Trickle-In Effect

As I am starting again from scratch, I’ve been shopping around on the internet for equipment and components.  I had a book I impulse bought, called “Make: Electronics” by Charles Platt, that helped me compile a list of things I need. A surprisingly long list it turns out.

A lot of the items I could source on Amazon easily enough. I went for products that were reasonable inexpensive and had generally positive reviews. 

Buying the more exotic components, like IC’s, sockets, headers and such, was a different story. I won’t go into the details but trying to navigate sites like is daunting and hair wrenching. Each item has a gazillion variations of shape, size and type, and I’m not at all familiar with any of it. In fact I have the sinking feeling that I know just enough to be detrimental to my bank account. Haven’t received any of these purchases yet but I’m hopeful they all fit together…

So the ordering is a done (for now) and parts are trickling in. I have on hand an assortment of resistors, capacitors, LEDs, as well as a logic probe and various small tools. Still not enough bits to build anything of interest, alas.

However, two items of particular note did arrived. A huge $30 breadboard from Elenco (Model 9440) – that comes with a box of precut jump wires – and a $20 adapter (transformer) from PowerLine.

Breadboard and Adapter

Breadboard and Adapter

They bought feel decidedly cheap – particularly the terminal posts on the breadboard – but on first blush they seem to work well enough.

The adapter has switch that lets you select output voltages of 12, 9, 7.5, 6, 4.5 and 3. The switch is awful. Feels like it’ll break and is very hard to move. There is also a switch to change the polarity. Not sure I like that. I’m going to be all paranoid now about which wire is which pole. Guess it makes sense to always check polarity anyways… so maybe it’s a good thing.

So I hooked up the multimeter to figure out the polarity, and to check the voltage levels:

Measuring the Output

Measuring the Output

Both the 12V and 9V settings were about half a volt over and rock solid. The other settings were closer to their rated voltage but seemed to fluctuate somewhat. Not sure if that is a problem.

Decide to go ahead and make a very simple circuit to try out on the breadboard. Did see some negative reviews complaining that the holes were hard to push components into but I had no problems in that regard – at least for the few holes that I was pushing leads into.

So this is my tiny circuit I wired on this massive board:



In the Flesh

….obviously a slow news day.

Can’t wait for all the components to arrive. Really want to build something more….involved.


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