Sensitive Voltage Detector Project

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by guerrillascholar, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. guerrillascholar

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 17, 2007
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    I would like to compliment you on the sensitive voltage project. I managed to round up the parts, soldered the components together in a way that is no doubt quite inelegant and messy, but damned if I didn't hear a distinct crackle in my earphones when I tried it on an older 9 volt battery!

    As I said, you are to be complimented. I say this as someone for whom "learning electronics" has been my proverbial white whale. For years I have tried just about every self-learning book or tool under the sun, from "Getting Started in Electronics" by Forrest Mims (which whom I have since become friends) to more books tried and discarded in frustration than I can count. It seems I just could not wrap my head around this, largely, I conclude because books written for beginners too quickly lapse into "engineereese" or leave things unexplained or assumed on the part of the reader. For example, in several books I read about using a breadboard, but then the book would never again discuss breadboards or how one used them. Your site does not make this mistake. Well, not nearly as often as other sites or books do. I am entertaining hope that "All About Circuits" might actually help me break through.

    A suggestion, if I may: my sensitive voltage detector is currently components strung together with wires and, as you point out, belongs in a project box. What lacks is some information on how one mounts the circuit in the box. How do I take this circuit and mount it on that green board stuff that I sometimes see in the electronics stores? I've seen many guidebooks suggesting using a project box, but they never go into detail about *how* to mount things inside them or use generic circuit board. Can someone point me in some useful directions?

    Also, I recall when perusing your site earlier I saw some experiments that used this voltage detector, but I can't seem to locate them again. Can someone refresh my addled memory on that score as well.

    All in all, a very good site. I am particularly impressed with the idea of using the Sensitive Voltage Detector as a poor man's oscilloscope for studying voltages. I suspect I would have made faster progress with access to an oscilloscope, but lacking the funds, I was stymied.

    Thanks again for a fun project. I look forward to expanding on it.
     
  2. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    6,960
    144
    Hi,

    Glad the experiment has proved to be useful in your understanding of the subject. As for mounting your components, if you are looking at a cheap and easy was of mounting them, you could always look at using a veroboard as opposed to going the full PCB route.

    As for other sections of the site using this voltage detector, can I recommend a site search for the term "voltage detector" - hopefully this will flag up other sections looking at the voltage detector circuit and some potential other applications.

    Dave
     
  3. cumesoftware

    Senior Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    1,330
    10
    Well, I think nobody will give you directions on how to mount a circuit in a box, or even how to mount a circuit using a stripboard. There are general guidelines for that, but that is it. Mounting circuits is more an art than a science. And art cannot be teached. Or you master it, or you don't.
     
  4. guerrillascholar

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    2
    0
    Is "veroboard" the proper term for that green circuit mounting material? I have to tell a funny (well sort of) story about that. Years ago I found a kids' book on electronics and they had some cool-looking projects that called for "veroboard". I lived in the north end of Silicon Valley at the time, so I got out the phone book (this was pre-web) and called at least a dozen electronics suppliers in Silicon Valley asking for veroboard. No one had a clue what I was talking about, although that might be more of a reflection of the kinds of help that they had answering the phone.

    But the other post cumesoftware, that circuit mounting is more art than science is actually kind of helpful.

    I'll also do a site search as you suggest and see what pops up.
     
  5. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    You're more likely to get results looking for "vectorboard". Don't forget the flea clips.
     
  6. John Luciani

    Active Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    477
    0
    To mount boards I usually use #2 hex standoffs with a threaded hole on one
    side and a stud on the other. I drill out holes for a #2 screw and use a washer and
    hex nut to fasten the board to the standoff. Check out McMaster Carr for
    hardware. I usually buy the aluminum standoffs.

    When constucting your board You need to allow sufficient space for a hex socket around each of the nuts. Checkout some of my PCBs at http://www.luciani.org/works-in-progress/works-in-progress-index.html

    (* jcl *)
     
  7. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    6,960
    144
    IIRC, veroboard is actually a proprietary name for what is essentially 'stripboard'. It isn't the 'green circuit mounting', it is a beige board with copper strips on the reverse side which act as the component interconnect. The reason I suggested it was that it is cheap and you can easily custom your interconnects to suit your means.

    Dave
     
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