Electronics Workshop Feedback/Suggestions

Hey, just wanted to get some feedback from people who would be interested in some sort of electronics workshop that I’m considering teaching at VHS (either online or in person, not sure yet). What kinds of things do you want to learn about? I’m thinking small groups or one on one instruction.

I realized that back before COVID, I’d just offer a lot of one-on-one instruction or mini-workshops kind of spontaneously while hanging out at the space, but since these kinds of interactions aren’t happening organically as much these days I’d reach out and see if I can help out.

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Well, as a person with basically no electronics experience I certainly have a few electronics projects on the horizon in conjunction with my Darth Vader costume build(s) (and other prop/costume projects) that I would love to get some guidance and expert advice on, such as coming up with a programmable lighting system for the lighting sequence on Vader’s chest box much like in this video:

If creating something that specific isn’t appropriate for this type of workshop, I guess some introductory information on designing these types of circuits and programming simple lighting sequences in general would be a fantastic start for me!

Please let me know if this sort of project is the type of thing you had in mind, as I’d love to learn all I can!

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In all honesty, I’d love an Electronics 101, but I should probably just go read something like Electronics for Dummies.I get most of the circuits, but understanding what’s happening on the math level and why is still challenging for me.

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This is great Electronics 101 book that really goes into the “why” of things: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KggFUTR_5YE0CbjK7pMql3rZnGX5HCWg/view

Electronics is challenging to develop an intuition for because you can’t use your senses to comprehend it (well… you can feel it, but maybe try to avoid that), so you have to think of it in abstract terms, or make it relatable to something else with analogies, or hands-on experimenting and measuring.

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This is definitely appropriate for a workshop. I’d need to know what your experience level is to start with, but we could cover some of the programming techniques (like non-blocking timers, functions), as well as some of the hardware techniques (calculating resistor values for LEDs, using transistors to switch higher-powered loads or things like buzzers, and maybe adding a few switches or sensors).

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I’m really interested in learning how to work with brushless motors and ESC’s controlled by arduino. On my to-do list but I never get to it.

My tattered copy of the 3rd edition (circa 1985)…

Purchased at radioShack for $3.59

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I haven’t done much with brushless motors, I admit, but I’m sure there are some good tutorials out there online. A brushless motor has a lot in common with a stepper motor (technically a stepper motor is a special type of brushless motor), and a lot of fancy stepper motor drivers will drive a stepper motor with sine waves, just like a brushless motor needs.

Damn, that’s oldschool. I bought my copy back in the late 90’s when I was a kid (yes I know I’m revealing my age, but hey I joined the hack space when I was 18 to take advantage of the beer keg-erator we had at 45 West Hastings lol)

Fantastic! I would probably label my electronics experience level at “high-beginner”… :rofl: I’ve done a bit of soldering and get the basics of what resistors, transistors, and capacitors do, but I don’t feel confident to start designing circuits more complex than an on/off switch between a battery and some LEDs… I would love to get to the level of actually programming ICs for use in a lighting sequence system like in that Vader chest box seen in the video I posted above. That may be a few steps down the line, but I’d like to get there eventually!

@Adam_Barlev I’ve got some experience with BLDC motors and controlling them through VESC controllers. I once hacked a hoverboard and turned it into a remote controlled banana my daughter can ride. I’m always glad to grab a beer/coffee and share my experience and learning. I love learning and sharing what I built so I’m happy to connect with anyone about VESC, Lipo packs, and interfacing with microprocessors.

Hey! Check out Upverter for some good lessons on electronics from circuits all the way up to pcb design (which some peeps do at VHS). Also 'tis free. That Vader chest box is pretty awesome. I hope you make it!

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Thanks for the link! I’ll check it out. :smile:

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