Basic Electronics and Robotics Training Course Part 1

Basic Electronics and Robotics Training Course

Chapter 1 

Welcome again to another one of my articles. This article is part 1 of many and I will be teaching you basic electronics for robotics and hacks, plus mods for your own robots.

There will be projects to do in almost every article to help you understand the material that is provided. Please rank these articles so we can see how you like them and also leave comments or questions about the related material that you are having trouble with and I’ll do my best to help you understand the information.

PLEASE NOTE: Please feel free to share any information that you think would help out other members as long as the information you provide is on topic and any other article pertaining to the Basic Electronics and Robotics Training Course articles.

For all of you that are new to robotics and electronics, I truly hope you enjoy these lessons. As with anything it takes time and practice to build, mod or make your own circuits and robots. There will be a lot of math involved for those who want to design circuits but in general basic algebra and basic math is all what is needed  such as OHMs Law: E = IR where E = Voltage, I = Current, and R = Resistance. With any 2 of these you can find the answer to the other one. We will go into detail on this later on and what it is used for. Now enough of the intro, let’s dig in and start learning.

Figure 1-1 is a short version of schematic symbols; try to memorize these symbols because you will need to know what these are when reading a circuit diagram. As we continue with this training I’ll be adding more to this list. It might be a great idea to enter into the Gallery at the top of this article and download the picture and print it out for a reference until you learn what they are just by looking at them.

1-1    Photo was taken from the Forrest Mims III, RadioShack Electronics Learning Lab and the book can be downloaded for FREE at the RadioShack web site.   to download it. This kit is also a GREAT for those who are just getting started and it has a great power source that you can do some of your testing and circuit building with.

Let’s get started with the Tools that you will come across when doing electronics, hacks and mods.

First thing is to get your hands on a solder-less breadboard, these are great for building prototypes of a circuit that you are testing out or designing before you waste your time in soldering the components in place and finding out that the circuit does not work at all or you need to swap out another resistor to bring down or up the voltage. These boards can be bought in different sizes. They also are included on most electronics “trainers“ as described in the above link at RadioShack. In figure 1-2 is a photo of a breadboard. The breadboard consists of a matrix of holes in which rows or columns of them are interconnected. To wire a circuit, you have to place a component’s pin or wire into one of the holes in the breadboard and then either put in a wire or another component into a hole that is connected with that one.

Breadboard

Fig 1-2 This is just one size of many breadboards available and this one can be found here at this link and I’ll be using this one in the project we will be doing in this article.

The other tools are just listed here rather than showing pictures:

  1. Phillips head screwdriver #1 and #2
  2. Small Flathead screwdriver like what you find in a watch repair kit.
  3. Soldering Iron no more that 25 to 45 Watts
  4. Solder 60/40 Rosin-Core
  5. De-soldering Braid found at RadioShack or on-line.
  6. Razor blades
  7. Side cutters or another name is flush cutters to cut your wire
  8. Wire stripers
  9. DMM “Digital Multi-Meter” and probes

This is just a quick list and as you go, you will increase your tools as you need them.

OK, let’s get some math over with so we can start your first project. This part I’ll be introducing to you OHM’s Law.  We all know building things are fun to do else you would not be reading this lesson. But you cannot just throw parts together and expect them to work unless you want to see the “magic smoke” come out of the chips and smell that electronic burnt smell; once you smell it you’ll never forget what it is. Ohms Law is a very basic algebra equation but in its true form it is nothing more than basic math. So don’t let this bother you.

Ohm’s Law was named after G.S. Ohm, the German scientist who formulated it. Ohm’s Law states that in an electrical circuit, the voltage drop is equal to the value of the current multiplied by the resistance of that circuit.

An analogy of Ohm’s Law that is used widely today is the flow of electricity through a wire or circuit is like the flow of water through a pipe.  The volume of the water is the same as Current while the pressure of the water is to say it’s the Volts, and the diameter of the pipe is the Resistance.

A wide pipe that offers little resistance to the flow of water and can handle a high volume of water (I=Current) at low pressure (E=Volts) thus this same pipe will have the same output if the Current, or rate of flow, increases, while the pressure (Voltage) is reduced. If the pressure (Voltage) is increased while the diameter of the pipe remains the same, the amount of water flowing through the pipe (Current) will also increase. Now changing the Resistance buy cutting the diameter of the pipe down or up, will have an effect on the other two.

Did you get that? If not, read it again and again till you do.

Now mathematically, Ohm’s Law is expressed as:

E=I*R or short E=IR

Where E=Volts, I=Current and R=Resistance

With any two of these you can find the answer of the third. Below are the break downs for each letter that you are trying to find.

Finding the Voltage: E=IR

Finding the Current: I=E/R

Finding the Resistance: R=E/I

Another simple way to remember the combinations is this:

      E

I           R

By putting your finger over what you want to know will give you the formula. Try it out to see if my formulas are correct..

Now let’s do a quick pop quiz - head to the next page!

[[page]]

Hint:  mA = milli Amps.  1 milli-Amp is equal to 1 one thousandth of an Amp or stated as 0.001 or 10-3

uA = micro Amp = 1 onemillionth of an Amp or stated as 0.000001 or 10-6

K = One thousand  

M = One million

1     Find the current if you have a voltage of 15v and the resistance of 240 ohms

 

 

1         Find the Voltage if you have the current of 100mA with the resistance of 1.5K Ohms

 

 

2         Now find the resistance  of a circuit that is using 12v at 500uA

 

 

Now, head to the next page to see the answers.

[[page]]

Pop Quiz Answers:

  1. I  = 15 / 240 I =  0.0625 Amps
  2. E = 0.1 * 1500 E = 150 Volts
  3. R = 12 / 0.0005 R =  24K Ohms or 24000 Ohms

If three questions were not enough for you, go ahead and make up more to practice on.

PROJECT TIME !!

Let’s make our first project just to keep you interested in what’s being taught. First, acquire the parts that are needed for this simple circuit.

 Parts:

  1. Breadboard
  2. 1K resistor (Brown, Black, Red, Gold will be on the color band of the resistor. I’ll get to this in the next chapter)
  3. Push Switch or Toggle Switch (SPST or STDP)
  4. 1ea LED of any color
  5. Solid strain Wire of 20 or 22 gauge
  6. 9 Volt battery
  7. 9V battery clip.
  8. Meter with probes
  9. Or you can download the MultiSIM software (the link is below in this article)

NOTE: All these parts can be found at your local electronics dealer such as Radio Shack or from scrap electronic boards.

Now let’s look at the schematic that we will build. I’m designing this circuit using Electronics Work Bench 8 Professional or also as known as EWB8 or MultiSIM 8. You can get a FREE 30 trial of this software and I think the student version is free as well but not sure. The student version is great for small circuits yet, I think you only have about 100 points to work with but this is more than enough for you right now in these articles I’m writing. Follow this link to read more about the program and download the software so you don’t have to buy anything for these projects.

If you built the project on the breadboard then it should look like this or close to it.

Let me tell you one thing about the LEDs. If you have a new LED, the Cathode “negative side” will have the shorter leg and the Anode “Positive side” will have the longer leg also if you look at the base of the LED the Cathode side will have a flat spot on it. Now look at the schematics for this circuit and find the LED. The triangle with a line at the top is the Cathode and of course the other lead is the Anode. If you can not see the flat spot look at the photo below and you’ll see inside the LED. The lead that has a bowl on it is the Cathode, this is where the silicone chip is placed that lights up when power is applied. Knowing this always helps when you have a LED that is hard to see the flat spot.

Now that we know how to set the LED in the correct position and built our circuit, let’s try it out. Press the switch and the LED should light, if it does not re-check your wiring and check that the LED is placed correctly.  When you release the button the electricity is cut off from the circuit “Load” hence the circuit is described as being open. If you do not have a switch for this project then just use a wire to emulate the switch by plugging it in and out.

Now let’s do some measuring and math with this circuit. First let’s measure the voltage across the battery. Set you meter to the 20 volt range DC. Place your black lead “ Negative or ground ” on the – side of the battery and place the Red lead “ Positive ” on the + side of the battery and write down this voltage. Mine is 9.01 volts so E = 9.01. Now with the circuit turned off measure the resistors OHMs. Turn your meter to measure resistance and on my meter I’ll set it to 20K. My resistance of the 1K resistor is 0.99K so R = 990 OHMs. Since we cannot measure resistance through the LED we can measure the Voltage drop. To do this measurement place the Black lead on the Cathode leg and the Red lead on the Anode leg of the LED. Press the switch to turn on the circuit. You should get around 2 volts. Mine reads 2.01 volts. So with these readings our total voltage going through our circuit is: 9.01v - 2.01v = 7 volts and the resistance = 990 OHMs. So what’s our current through the circuit?

I = E/R  :  I = 7 / 990 

I = .007 Amps or 7 mA

Ok, time to prove this! If you are using the MultiSIM program then remove the line from the ground and the LED connection and for those who built the circuit do the same. Now connect your meters Black lead to Ground (-) and the RED lead to the LED’s Cathode. Set your meter up to read Current. You will need to remove the RED lead from the meter and connect it to the 10ADC jack. Now turn your meter to the 10A setting. Turn on the switch or press down on it, your meter should now read around 7 mA. See photo below using the MultiSIM program.

You’ll notice that I changed the Switch J1 to a SPST switch instead of a NO” Normally Open “ Push Button switch.  In the Simulator it reads 7.34 mA this is because in the program it uses precise readings from all components. The components that we use have a tolerance percentage such as our resistor with the Gold band on it which means 5% tolerance up or down from the given value. Our 1K resistor can read from 950 OHMs on the low end and 1.05K OHMs on the top end.   

In the next article we will continue learning about resistors and how they work.

Topics are as followed in the next chapter:

  1. Resistors in Series
  2. Resistors in Parallel
  3. Kirchoff’s Voltage Law
  4. Kirchoff’s  Current Law
  5. Thevinin’s Equivalency

I know this sounds hard and most of you do not even know what these laws are in electronics... but, hang in there and all will be explained in the next chapter. Thanks for reading this article and I hope all of you had learned something. If you have any questions about the material in this first chapter, please leave a comment and I’ll explain it to you.  Have fun learning electronics and do experiments on your own to help better understand this material.

Jax

Comments

GWJax's picture

OOPS I told you wrong in measuring current. Please make note of this. Here is the sentence I messed up on. "You will need to remove the RED lead from the meter and connect it to the 10ADC jack. Now turn your meter to the 10A setting."

You should remove the BLACK probe from the meter instead of the Red Probe. Sorry I did not catch this before the article was posted. All other information is now correct. I am currently writing the next chapter and I hope you will enjoy it plus I'll add some projects to prove the Laws and also give you more information about LEDs and how they work.

Thanks as always and enjoy learning or just refreshing you memory. As we go through the boring stuff I have some great hacks for all of you to do. And PLEASE rank this article so I can see if members like you are enjoying it and share with me what you would like to see in future chapters.

Jax

FreddyA's picture

Well done GWJax, great article. Thanks for posting this and making it simple to understand the very basics of electronics. Looking forward to your next lesson on resistors.

Freddy

GWJax's picture

Thanks FreddyA, I think you'll enjoy the next chapter.

Jax

crmfghtr's picture

Excellent! This should be required reading for any novice robot hacker on this page, like me! Thanks for all your efforts in this.

GWJax's picture

Thanks crmfghtr, I too need to keep re-reading these lessons, I think I have read this chapter about 15 times now and reworking the math just to make sure all info is correct and I still messed up when it came down to measuring the current from a DMM, LOL. I'll try to keep all chapters short "under 2500 words" when I can but may hit some big ones from time to time ;) If you don't have a Quad yet then start looking for one on e-bay. We will be doing a small hack to increase his light/dark sensitivity sensor since we are still talking about resistors and will be introducing capacitors. Really I could write many chapters just on the resistors but I'll give some good references to some of the best college books I know of and have.

Hope you continue to rank and read these articles plus feel free to spread the word out in the community about these articles.

Jax

Evans  Digregorio's picture

Excellent article, GW. Glad to see that you're taking note on the editing. It'll be great to see what novices can create from their robots or other electric creations.

GWJax's picture

Evans Digregorio said: Excellent article, GW. Glad to see that you're taking note on the editing. It'll be great to see what novices can create from their robots or other electric creations.

Thanks Evans!! When we get more involved the novice robot hackers will be able to do more than just install LED's. Well I hope they will at least ;)

 

Jax

GWJax's picture

Just added a photo showing the LED lighting up when the switch was pressed. Sorry I left this photo out but hey at least it's in there now..

Jax

ps. Stay tuned for chapter 2. I think you all will really like this one. Plus make sure you downloaded the MultiSim 8 or at least have a your breadboard ready and some resistors for this one and a good calculator to use. If you go to Radio Shack you can get an assortment of over 100 resistors of almost every standard resistor value.

nicerobot's picture

Sorry I'm so late to comment on this article GW but like the others I think its excellent. I'm in the middle of a bunch of mods to my Roborover so its been helpful. I learned all this theory years ago but its nice to have a refresher course in such a clear and conscise format!

GWJax's picture

Thanks nicerobot for your great comment. It's always good to have a refresher course in electronics because some of the simple things are sometimes forgotten. I'd love to hear what your doing to your Rover to improve it's functions or it's looks. If you have a mod using OHM's law and LED's please post them here so others can see how this article can help them.

Jax

nicerobot's picture

Well one of the changes I've made is adding LEDs to the side lights that already house the IR sensors.  I basically tapped in to the main Headlight LED but inserted a 330 OHM resistor to each of the orange LEDS I added.  I was bad and didn't take any measurements from the main LED before hooking the others up but thought adding the resistors wouldn't hurt just to be safe and everything's still plenty bright.  The typical Vf for each of the orange LEDs is 1.7 v. 

I'll have to do a seperate post of the finished product when I finally get it done.  I added a mute button, vacuum and some other changes as well. Smile

TikaC's picture

I hate to put a damper on things but I just don't get your description of Ohm's Law, even after I've read it over and over and over (I could be reading it all night and still not get it). It doesn't seem logical to me. You said:

"A wide pipe that offers little resistance to the flow of water and can handle a high volume of water (I=Current) at low pressure (E=Volts) thus this same pipe will have the same output if the Current, or rate of flow, increases, while the pressure (Voltage) is reduced. If the pressure (Voltage) is increased while the diameter of the pipe remains the same, the amount of water flowing through the pipe (Current) will also increase. Now changing the Resistance buy cutting the diameter of the pipe down or up, will have an effect on the other two."

Ok, if you took a wide pipe and you put water through it but not forcefully for say, 4 seconds and the OUTPUT put in a cup. Then you take that same pipe and increase the force of water, MORE water goes through and the OUTPUT is NOT the same - the cup will have MORE in it in those 4 seconds than it did before. So the more the force, the more the output is INCREASED.

Ok, I get that. But if you increase pressure, the flow increases. More flows because more is being pushed through via more force. I don't know how you can increase a flow while decreasing a pressure. If you don't have enough pressure, your flow will decrease too.

Maybe this is why I could never understand Ohm's Law. It just didn't seem logical to me because of the terms used.

Maybe water through a pipe isn't a good analogy because the behavior of electricity is different from the behavior of water.

Then you need to figure in gravity and it's effect on the flow of water. Does gravity affect electricity though, I wonder? I don't think it does because electricity is much like radio waves or frequencies and gravity doesn't affect those frequencies. It's a "hidden" and not "tangeable" force. (Water = tangeable, electricity = hidden).

I'll have to some how just try to remember the forumula e=ir and leave it a that without trying to visualize water and pipes. And even at that it will be hard to remember because "volts" does not start with an "e" and Energy and volts seem like two different things (to me). Current does not start with an "I" (and I wouldn't often think of "inductance" as it's not the same to me).

So for me, it's v=cr and I need to find a different visualization. If I come up with one, I'll post it here. :) But I'll have to really think about how this all works.

TikaC's picture

Another little nitpick. On page 2 you introduce amps which threw me way off. I had to really read the questions over a few times to figure out you were talking about the measurement of current.

It might have been useful to state this (especially for beginners) that:

Voltage (E) is measured in Volts: E = Volts (V)
Resistance (R) is measured in Ohms: R = Ohms (Greek Ohmega symbol is usually used)
Current (I) is measured in Amps: C = Amps (A) or in MicroAmps (uA) or MilliAmps (mA) (and describe the differences here).

TikaC's picture

For those with the MaxiTronix 300-in-One Electronics Lab Kit (they cost some but are worth it IMHO) Here is a picture of how the basic circuit would be wired up:

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

TikaC's picture

Ok, just finished the article. Left me wanting to do more! :)

Just a couple last things:

1. The sim program you mentioned is only good for 30 days. What happens if you don't get all the lessons up in those 30 days?

2. When doing the VOM readings to verify current I ran into a problem. Here are my readings:

Voltage (E) = 9.20
Resistance (R) = .98
Voltage drop on the LED = -4.64 (yes, it threw a negative and I am sure I got the leads right because switching them gives "1" which for some reason my Cen-Tech VOM stays on that when idle.)

So, this would be around 4 mA I would think.

Following your original instructions closely for measuring current, I got:
Current (I) = 0.01 (LED lights up when switch pressed).

Following your corrected instructions closely produced just 0. Which is what it was reading before measuring anything. The LED didn't light up either when I pressed the switch (like it did the other way when I did get a reading).

If I switch leads, I get nothing either way.

I hope my VOM isn't on the fritz? It is a nice one with NPN/PNP transistor testor, hFE, DCA, ACV, DCV, ohms. It's a Cen-Tech P30756. I have another Cen-Tech in the car tool box but it's like nearly 11pm and I don't want to go out in the dark to get it. LOL! But seems this one I have is working right as it did the Voltage and Resistance ok. Just wondering why current didn't come up with the same as my calculation? Could the LED reading of a negative number have something to do with it?

Again, I'm using the 300-in-one lab set as shown in my previous post.

TikaC's picture

One last thing (I know, I know! LOL!)

In your quiz questions, you numbered them 1, 1, 2 instead of 1, 2, 3. :)

Rudolph's picture

The letters in Ohm's law used to bug the crap out of me. Turns out we probably use "E" to mean "Electromotive Force", and "I" may be from "Intensität", the German word for Intensity. I've also heard that "I" may be from the Latin "Influare", which probably means something like "flow" (we still use the root of that in the word "influx", for example).

Using V=CR still works, as long as you know you're thinking electricity and not videocassettes ;)

TikaC's picture

Video cassettes? What the heck are those? LOL! (Ok, I know what they are, and still have a couple but I don't have a VCR to play them on anymore!) The whole thing gets confusing when you try to find I or R because you have to divide and I keep forgetting the order of division. I guess I have to remember E (ie. V) is always first.

We need to rewrite Ohm's Law. LOL! I would have some fun with that! :)

Maybe something like "Hot water is on the left, Sh-- rolls downhill and payday is Friday". Wait... that's about water, but that's the Plumber's Credo I think! LOL!

Gotta think up something for Current/Voltage/Resistance.

How about Amps, Volts, and Ohms? Makes sense too:

V = A * O
A = V / O
O = V / A

That makes even more sense since the values you get are in Volts, Amps and Ohms anyway!

Rudolph's picture

V=AO (volts, amps, ohms) sounds like Vaio which we computer folk will likely remember
V=AR (voltage, amperage, resistance) sounds like "var" which we programmer types will likely remember

Both work, both can be used with the triangle mnemonic thing too.

 V
A O

 

edit = Oh yeah. Yeah, I too have a few video tapes left with no working player. My last VCR ended up here. Oddly enough I do still have a working 8 track player (and a few tapes) and a working record player (and several albums).

TikaC's picture

I'm printing out some notes for all this so I'll add the VAO and EIR together on my notes. I like how you came up with ways to remember it. :)

8 Track? Vinyl? I went digital YEARS ago! :) Ok, so I do still have some DVDs and CDs and two DVD players (one being a JVC 6-deck that I got for free and repaired it - needed one tray snapped in place, a new power cord and remote). But mostly I watch and listen to everything online or on my MP3/Video player. CDs and DVDs are now becomming obsolete with folks getting stuff via internet. Though if you buy hardware you still usually get a CD with it. Except the RoboRemote (to remain on topic? :) ) I noticed that it does NOT come with a CD - you have to download the program!

For backups I use USB hard drives (WD Passports) and sometimes USB sticks for temp stuff.

We're drifting off topic here and I hope poor Jax don't mind the added uh... comments? :)

nicerobot's picture

Hey GWJax - in the process of modding my roborover I'm trying to slow the motors down by 1/3 or 1/2 so he's more tank like in movement and not so zippy. I'm looking for the most simple solution short of removing one of the batteries and was thinking of just using a resistor on each motor. I still haven't figured out the value of the resistors I would use but my biggest concern is that they don't overheat in operation. Do you think 1/2 watt resistors would be able to handle the rover motors' load without becomming hot?

GWJax's picture

nicerobot said: Hey GWJax - in the process of modding my roborover I'm trying to slow the motors down by 1/3 or 1/2 so he's more tank like in movement and not so zippy. I'm looking for the most simple solution short of removing one of the batteries and was thinking of just using a resistor on each motor. I still haven't figured out the value of the resistors I would use but my biggest concern is that they don't overheat in operation. Do you think 1/2 watt resistors would be able to handle the rover motors' load without becomming hot?

Controlling the speed of motors using a resistor can be done but it will tax your battery life and waste a lot of engery as heat!! The best way is to make a PWM circuit at around 20hZ to reduce the shuttering noise from the motors. You can build one of these using a 555 timer chip and set the PWM (Pulse With Modulation) using a VR (Varaible Resistor). I'll post a simple circuit that you can experiment with. I'm not sure how the Rover sends it's power to the motors at this time but I do know that it uses a PT disk for it's speed and location of the rovers movements.

Jax

nicerobot's picture

A PT Disc?  Is that like an encoder?  I had also planned to try diodes in series as an alternative to reduce the voltage but I assume they would have the same issues as the resistors.  I have heard of PWM circuits but was trying to use the least amount of components possible but then as you say don't want to heat things up too much or waste battery life if I can avoid it. 

GWJax's picture

Yes the PT disk is the encoder like whats in the Rovio, Tri-Bot, Mr.P., Elvis Alive, Chimp Alive, and some others that help control the speed of the motors.

A PWM circuit is a 'Pulse Width Modulation' circuit just like what the encoders are doing with a program in the Rover. You can make one out of a 555 timer chip that can be adjustable speed wise by changing it's duty cycle and the frequency of the pulse that will drive the motors.

A diode will not change it's voltage so I think you are talking about a Zener Diode with a given voltage such as a 5.1 volt Zener. This too will not help but it will act as a shunt thus removing any excess current as wasted heat.

If you need a simple PWM circuit just let me know an I'll post one here for you even though it's off topic for this chapter. Without me ripping the Rover down to see how the motors are connected in the circuit I can only guess how it can be attached. Remember that when you slow down the Rovers motors he might add more power to it as well with his program to bring it up to speed. Not sure about that or he might throw a code like in the V2 with the "bad motovator" problem.

Jax

GWJax's picture

@ TinkaC

To answer some of your questions above about the identification of E=IR in Ohms Law.

E can also be V if you like both are known as voltage

I is the SI standards for current. I'm not sure why they used 'I' but 'C' stands for Capacitance in Farads

R of course is for resistance which makes sense. Remember that all these are to be in upper case letters because as you go further in electronics the lower case letters sometimes mean something else.

Now let's look at your problem with reading your voltage drop on the LED. Use the photo below to make sure you are connecting your meter to the right pins of your circuit. Make sure that your meter is set to  DCV 20 on your meter and that your leads are in the correct location as well. Your black lead should be plugged in the COM plug and the Red lead is just above that in the VOHMmA plug and not in the 10ADC plug. once you have it set up make your voltage reading again and you'll find that it will be 2 volts or there abouts. You done the math correct but had the wrong voltage drop on your LED. If you get the same reading as before then use anotherr LED but not in the trainer. The trainer may have a resistor connected to it or a diode that protects the LED from burning out which may cause this voltage error.

Hope this helps you out.

Jax

TikaC's picture

I haven't forgot this thread. I have it bookmarked so I can try it out later. Thanks for the info! I am not great at using a VOM and need practice, I admit. :)

GWJax's picture

No problem TikaC just take your time when you can. I also posted a bunch of info on your Cylon eye thread that describes what circuit I'm using and some other circuits that will fade a LED off with just using a Cap. This circuit is the same as the one I posted here but just added a Cap on it.

Jax

TikaC's picture

I saw that. BIG Thank You! :) I had just finished a lesson on Capacitors too so I have learned a little about what they do and how they work. That and resistors. The more I play around with this stuff, the more fun it is. :)

GWJax's picture

LOL Great TikaC!! Electronics are fun to work with once you start to understand why and what each component does. And with this knowledge there is no stopping you with moding your bots and changing their functions rather than playing with the stock versions.

Jax

TikaC's picture

So true! And I actually started to understand what you were saying about why you were using a counter the way you were in the Cylon Eyes thread!

When this mod is done, of course I'll be crediting you as the designer of the circuit, etc. I plan to photograph and show how to put it together.

I plan to do that with all my bot mods, hoping it might help others who want to do the same.

GWJax's picture

This is why I love RoboCommunity because there are so many people on this forum that enjoys helping out others and sharing their mods with all of us. It is important that we come together and share our knowledge and learn different ways in hacking and with a combine effort in designing.

I am trying my hardest to get chapter 2 done so those who are reading these can start learning more about electronics and how to apply what they learn in their hacks and mods. My goal is to have this sent to Commander Pete for review within 2 days. After that he will edit and format the content and publish it when the time is right for the forums.

Jax

TikaC's picture

Ok, I've FINALLY got to trying this. My reading was 1.61V so that probably is about right. Just as a test, I grabbed me an LED from my stockpile and put it on the breadboard (instead of using the one that is in the kit) and it read around 1.64V. Removing the Switch from the circuit and wiring it up directly, I got around 1.65V.

So I think I got it right this time. :)

GWJax's picture

Yep that would be correct so your voltage drop on your standard LEDs are 1.61v. That makes a big difference now. Glad you got it right..

Jax

FREEEK's picture

GWJax good job!
You 're the best because education and knowledge (as a effect) is the key of the tomorrow's evolution!
I appreciate what are you doing ... you're adding value to this website in that part where it has soo little!

MIT has an open course ware for those who are interested and it's FREE with the actual Class Courses on YouTube of to download on your computer from their website:

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/ (the 6.002 it's Circuits and Electronics)
http://www.youtube.com/user/MIT#g/p

GWJax's picture

Thanks for the great words Freek and also for those wonderful links.. I hope our members will take advantage of this learning..

Thanks again,

Jax

TikaC's picture

I agree with Freek! I am looking forward to the second lesson!

Freek - Thanks for the links! Just in time for back to school season!

FREEEK's picture

Me too tikaC! :)
Let's start the second lesson professor GWJax when you're prepared!

Timothy's picture

Very interesting post - Might be old new, but it was new to me. Sap Training

jofi's picture

very great lesson article,
thanks GW Jax,
your the man

greetz from Germany

RobosapienV2-4mem8's picture

yes my bro is a wonderful teacher and he loves what he does, he has a great passion for tinkering and explaing projects well for others to understand.

GWJax's picture

OK I've been able to work on Chapter 2 on and off as my health issues allow me to do so. I am so sorry that this is taken almost a year to complete but all I have left now is to do what is now the hardest for me to complete because of my hands and that is doing the experiments with real components and taking photos. I have included Capacitors in this chapter so I could push the learning a little bit faster and have better projects. So keep a look out soon for Chapter 2.

Jax

TikaC's picture

It's great to see you here again! I hope you are doing as well as you hope to be, or are at least somewhat comfortable. I been so busy with things and work that I will have to review all my electronics stuff again to relearn it. :-/ You know the old saying "use it or lose it". LOL! I'm glad you are continuing this series as it is a very good resource to any robot builder.

RobosapienV2-4mem8's picture

Hi Tika, I know that scenario only to well, just getting back into it myself after 14 months away from it all.

TikaC's picture

I hear ya! I been so busy. I hope to find time this weekend to work on Garcifer and figure out if I can repair him or what I need.