A basic hobby kit for a 10 year old boy.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by volthauslab, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. volthauslab

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 5, 2015
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    I am putting together a basic electronic hobby kit for my friend's son who is 10 years old. I am including 2 555 timer chips, 10 each of about 10 different values of resistors. 3 each of 2N3904, BC547, BC557 transistors, 5 each of several values of common capacitors, a 5K and 10K pot. 5 green, 5 red, and 5 yellow LEDs, 1 1602 LCD display a bread board and a bag of jumpers. Also including one of my old Multimeters. I'm putting several electronic eBooks on a flash drive for him. I think this should get him started. What am I leaving out?
     
  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    A power supply.
    Be sure to get some high value resistors in there to slow the 555 down to a visible rate of blink.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
  3. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    9V Battery connector,some switches and diodes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
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  4. absf

    Senior Member

    Dec 29, 2010
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    A vibrating motor from a handphone and a buzzer perhaps, and a LM386 plus a 2.5" speaker...

    How is he supposed to display something on the LCD without a MCU? May be you can include that after he learns how to use an MCU.

    Allen
     
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  5. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    You are starting with something that is too complicated. Just start with
    - a small battery pack.
    - some wire
    - some fahnestock clips mounted to a board
    - motors
    - incandescent mini-bulbs / bulb holders

    This was a huge revelation to my older son. He was 6 or 7 years old when he got his board full of fahnestock clips.

    Show him that connecting the batteries backwards, reverses the motor.
    Show him that connecting the bulbs backwards still lights the bulb.

    Show him that connecting several bulbs in series make them dimmer than a single bulb, and connecting them in parallel lets them stay the same brightness (with a reasonable battery pack).

    My son didn't play with this long but he certainly understood how a circuit worked when he was done with it.

    THEN he was ready to play wiht LEDs. Buy the "Make: Beginning Electronics" book. It starts out teaching kids how NOT to light an LED. Connecting them directly to a battery until they pop - make sure you wear goggles!

    Lots of neat stuff but he should have someone available to ask questions. He should be taught how the wires INSIDE the protoboards connect so he can visualize how it all works. Make sure NOTHING IS A MYSTERY. If you push chips and transistors too soon, each item will be a mystery. 10 is a bit young to undestand - he can go through the mechanical motions to get an LED to flash or speaker to buzz with a 555 but I am not sure he will really understand it. he will understand a battery connecting to a motor or bulb.

    Enjoy and don't expect too much. Attention span of something with out a screen is about 10 minutes on his own and about 30 minutes if you (an expert) sit with him. If his father knows nothing about electronics, the kid may not have interest unless he idolizes you in some way.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I once helped a 12 year old build a HAM radio receiver, but he was a brilliant kid.
    Hoping for good judgement on the part of the father.
    Depending on the kid, your mileage may vary. ;)
     
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  7. AnalogKid

    Distinguished Member

    Aug 1, 2013
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    I vote *against* the power supply. Besides it feeling a bit like the too much too soon post #5, it is too much power, no matter how small the supply, for the ultimate trial-and-error phase of electronics.

    AND, it is too easy. More than any other single component or concept, the thing that taught me to think first act second, think about what might work, about what might not work, about the consequences of a mistake for each component, and just plain think - was the cost of batteries.

    ak
     
  8. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I vote *for* the power supply that ISB123 suggested in post #3.
    Either that or a battery pack that holds (3) AA batteries. That would keep the voltage low enough that LEDs might survive if installed backwards, and you KNOW mistakes like that happen. :D
     
  9. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    I tend to agree with you Gopher but I wonder for how long that should be possible. Life is posing a huge panoply of misteries at all levels. The girl I met when I was 23yo, she was a mistery. The lady I divorced some time ago, still IS!
     
  10. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    Add some regulators, perhaps a few 7805 and electrolytic caps.
    Seven segments?

    A PICAXE 20M2 would suit the LCD nice!
     
  11. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    A 250 in 1 project kit would be a good one from his parents.
     
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  12. gerty

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
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    A relay or 2, small dc motor, small solar panel...
     
  13. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    That is my point. Life works better if you dive in, figure out how things work, understand what is a "cause-and-effect", what is a correlation, what is a one-time random coincidence. Test it, confirm it works and is repeatable and go on from there. After 25 years of marriage, there are no mysteries left in my house and, (I have been told;)), we like it that way.
     
  14. bwilliams60

    Active Member

    Nov 18, 2012
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    I tend to agree with Wendy. Many fine electronics technicians started from a 250-in-1 or 300-1 kit. Has everything you need to start. Why mess with a good thing?
     
  15. nerdegutta

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    Dec 15, 2009
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    Isn't this what he is doing. The Do It Yourself Way.
     
  16. WBahn

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    Mar 31, 2012
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    I also agree that the best way is probably to go with one of the kits.

    When I was about that same age my uncle got me the granddaddy Radio Shack kit which was the 65-in-1 at the time. I've never looked back since.

    I wasn't able to follow the descriptions behind many of the projects, but I could wire them all up and see things happen. And many of the projects I COULD follow the descriptions and understand what was happening. The circuits and guides that come with such kits are written specifically for that targeted age range and are intended to provide a variety of levels of difficulty, both in terms of understanding the concepts and circuits and also in terms of just tackling the circuit construction. I recall my kit having projects that involves a half dozen wires that could be completed in a few minutes to ones that took me many hours to systematically work through.
     
  17. ian field

    Distinguished Member

    Oct 27, 2012
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    There's an archive of Philips EE kit manuals here;

    http://ee.old.no/20/

    In probably any language you could want, there's a lot of simple projects - and a few not so simple.

    A few of the manuals are for kits that date back to the PNP germanium transistor era.

    There's a few mechanical experimenter kits too.
     
  18. Dr.killjoy

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
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    Personal I would check out the Make Electronics and start from there and they give a parts list or you can buy the kits and all the parts you need and you can learn alot from this kit... Oh I am working on setup right now trying to learn electronics again cause I screwed off in school..
     
  19. volthauslab

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 5, 2015
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. nerdegutta can see my point. Why buy a 250 in 1 when I can put together something from what I have on hand? But being a Radio Shack vet myself (My 10th (1967) Christmas gift was a 30 - 1 RS kit) I can certainly see the wisdom in handing one of those over to him. Tough choices.
     
  20. bwilliams60

    Active Member

    Nov 18, 2012
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    The beauty of an all-in-one kit is that there are not a lot of moving parts, you do not have to find this component for this schematic, and most of the circuits are explained for him as he builds. It is a step-by-step process which you can explain to him as he goes. The other way, has components all over the place, things to solder, have to find this or that, cross reference this and see if it works, and it may be all too much for a youngster. I too have components all over the place, but my son who is much older, learns from the kit first and then on to where to find these components, salvaging etc.
    Everybody has their own preference.Kudos to you for getting him involved. I just hope the components don't get so small or modulated that we can't work on them anymore.
     
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