New Hobby – Electronics

July 31, 2016

I am starting, along with my husband, on yet another new hobby. This one I have wanted to try for years though. And it goes hand in hand (at least in my eyes) with the other item that is taking up my time, the online classes.

I finished the Excel class. . . and I’m part way through the nutrition class (but I have until next May to finish that one). . . I’m also part way through the Scratch class (waiting on my husband to finish that). . .and now I’m making decent progress on my CS class!  I have probably mentioned this before, but I did enroll in the online CS class. This one is starting off with Python, and it’s starting at the very beginning. When I look ahead at the class sections, I get a bit overwhelmed. So I’m trying to do one section a week, and take my time to learn each part. We’ve gone over loops (which I knew before), recursions, and now we’re on list comprehensions. I’m getting it, but I haven’t had that “ah-ha” moment when it clicks and just makes complete sense. So for my next homework (which is working with the Caesar Cipher) I plan to take my time and write out my thoughts on what I want the code to do on a piece of paper before entering anything in the computer. I think that will help me learn a bit better.

While I’m doing that, my husband and I started on an electronics book! I’m really excited about this. I know some basic basics, but not very much. So we bought the book, ordered a kit of electronics and got started.

electronics kit

I thought we only needed a mix of different items to get started, but it turns out we  needed specific measurements of the different items. Once we started reading the book, that made sense. So we took a break, researched what we needed for the first two chapters, then spent a bit of time online looking up the items and ordering. We ended up placing an order with Digi-Key and with Jameco.

The parts came in, and we proceeded on with our chapter and experiments. First using jumper cables and the multimeter.

Electronics - first experiment

We have since progressed on to using LEDS, resistors, capacitors, tactile switches (buttons) and a breadboard. Yes, I’ve burned out a few LEDs already, so I may have to order more of those. But we’re learning as we go. It’s really quite interesting. And I know as we get further along in the book, we’ll be using an Arduino Uno board – and for that I’ll need at least a little coding background. My thought is that if I continue on with both of these learning projects, I’ll be able to do some really interesting projects combining the two. At least that is my thought process!

In the meantime I have not read any books (even though I now have three from the library that came up from my wish list), and I’ve been working on knitting the same simple sweater for the past month. There is just so much I want to learn and do! Not to mention I just bought a sewing pattern for a dress for my oldest granddaughter that she asked me to make. How can a Nana turn that down?!!

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