Do you have abandoned projects?

Thread Starter

schmitt trigger

Joined Jul 12, 2010
840
During my over 50 years of electronics both as a profession and as a hobby, I have designed and built countless projects. With very limited occasions, where the project's budget has spiraled out of control or is taking way too long, I always complete my projects. Even if my original estimations proved to be too optimistic, or if the actual performance doesn't meet expectations, I complete the projects. After all, one gains more experience from difficult projects than the ones that work on the first attempt.

Nowadays however, I am on my third abandoned project on this year. After struggling with the troubleshooting or the assembly, I simply lose interest. Since this is a hobby, which is supposed to be a pleasurable endeavor, I don't pressure myself to complete it.
This doesn't mean that ideas don't keep coming, they do and plenty. I look at datasheets, search on the internet, fill my booklet with sketches. But right now I have imposed on myself a "project freeze" until I come out of this lethargy.

Have you suffered such a syndrome?
PLEASE NOTE: I have also posted this question on another forum.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
16,669
I've lost count of the number of projects I've started and never finished. In some cases, I just lost interest. In others, I just decided I had better things to do. Sometimes life got in the way and the project just didn't seem worth the effort when I did have time. Sometimes I just found a better way to do it.

I never beat myself up about not finishing a project that wasn't a necessity.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
28,506
I tend to stay on track if there is a definite need out there for the project in question, or someone requiring a solution to a problem.
I tend to go astray or even abandon some that I have entered into just for the particular circuit or device experience ! o_O
 

Hymie

Joined Mar 30, 2018
1,272
I’m with Dl324 on this one, I’ve got bits of half finished projects all over the place – for some, I only got around to buying a few of the required components – but at least they are together in a box, waiting for me to re-visit them.

Sometimes projects were never intended to go beyond bare vero-board - maybe just to demonstrate that the circuit idea works.
 

Thread Starter

schmitt trigger

Joined Jul 12, 2010
840
I tend to go astray or even abandon some that I have entered into just for the particular circuit or device experience ! o_O
Yeah, exactly that is one of the culprits! Once that one satisfies the curiosity, the hard work required to complete the project, including the mechanical and cosmetic aspects, becomes a hurdle.

I am so envious of those published projects that do look beautiful! Some are literal works of art.
 

KeithWalker

Joined Jul 10, 2017
3,029
When I consider a new project using components or techniques that I am nor familiar with, I always do a feasibility check, using mock-ups on breadboards, etc. That way, if they work out, I am always able to finish my projects, complete with cases, labels, etc and I save my notes, diagrams and experimental results for documentation. Here are a few examples:
Projects 002.jpg
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
29,844
As others have noted or implied, it depends on the reason I'm doing the project. If I'm just tinkering, I often have a "project" in mind, but I don't really have any intention of actually completing it. I'm just exploring for fun and education and the "project" is just a mental skeleton to guide my focus -- and, as such, it morphs pretty quickly and wildly. If I have an actual project goal, then I'm much more likely to finish it -- and often go overboard on adding bells an whistles as I go. But some of these don't get finished, for a variety of reasons: cost turns out to be more than anticipated, the need (or perceived need) goes away, I find a better way to accomplish the same goal, I just lose interest, more pressing things come along, etc. What qualifies as sufficient reason to abandon (or, in a couple of cases, but on a back shelf for a couple decades) a project is very project dependent.

But I sense from your first post that what is really your concern is that what you are doing now has changed from what you are doing before. I would say it depends on why the change is happening. Are you losing interest quicker and more thoroughly because your cognitive abilities are declining? That's almost guaranteed to happen to all of us at some point, but if it happens quickly or early, that might well be indicative of something that should be checked out. Or is it just happening because you have reached a point where the new knowledge and skills gained from faltering projects aren't adding much to an already well-established baseline? Or have your life's priorities simply shifted so that your interest and focus is more quickly pulled away to other things? I'm sure there are countless other explanations and some of them will be healthy, some unhealthy, and some very neutral.
 

Thread Starter

schmitt trigger

Joined Jul 12, 2010
840
Are you losing interest quicker and more thoroughly because your cognitive abilities are declining?
Bingo! As I am ageing, I tend to be more distracted, not only related to electronics, but to actual life. Some of which exasperate my wife. Like when I left a beer can inside the clothes washer. I can't fathom how could I make such a silly mistake. And it was me, because there are only three of us in the household: myself, my wife and a cat. My wife only drinks wine, and I am positive that the cat doesn't drink beer either.
Anyways, those silly distractions have caused me to solder expensive ICs rotated 180 degrees. Yeah, just like a rank newbie. An error which may damage many other things requiring a complete rebuild.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
17,493
I used to scavenge parts from anything and everything that was otherwise on its way to the dump. To some degree, every scavenged part represents an unfinished project.

I'm far more selective these days but I still can't toss out a VCR or printer without first saving any electric motors, PSUs or anything that would be expensive to buy. I do NOT desolder resistors, small caps or anything else not easily removed from the PCB.

I could make an awesome science fair display with all the electric motors I have, from tiny cellphone shakers to a garbage disposal motor. For now they sit in boxes in the basement.

Projects I start for a specific purpose tend to get done. I prefer the design stage and like @BobTPH, I find the final steps to be pure drudgery.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
12,757
Bingo! As I am ageing, I tend to be more distracted, not only related to electronics, but to actual life. Some of which exasperate my wife. Like when I left a beer can inside the clothes washer. I can't fathom how could I make such a silly mistake. And it was me, because there are only three of us in the household: myself, my wife and a cat. My wife only drinks wine, and I am positive that the cat doesn't drink beer either.
Anyways, those silly distractions have caused me to solder expensive ICs rotated 180 degrees. Yeah, just like a rank newbie. An error which may damage many other things requiring a complete rebuild.
Welcome to the geezer club. Unfortunately, one of things we learn is to never take simple things for granted.
 

k1ng 1337

Joined Sep 11, 2020
906
Concentrate every minute like a Roman—like a man—on doing what’s in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions. Yes, you can—if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered, irritable. You see how few things you have to do to live a satisfying and reverent life? If you can manage this, that’s all even the gods can ask of you.

Marcus Aurelius
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
17,769
If "unfinished projects" includes those ones visualized, considered, and even with material available, but never physically started, then yes, lots of them. If it only includes those with materials assembled to some point, still quite a few.
It comes from having a mind that always evaluates how things work, often down to individual elements.
Of course I also have quite a few completed projects, including machines on factory floors at auto companies. And projects for many of my current and past clients. And even in my home.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
30,454
If "unfinished projects" includes those ones visualized, considered, and even with material available, but never physically started, then yes, lots of them. If it only includes those with materials assembled to some point, still quite a few.
It comes from having a mind that always evaluates how things work, often down to individual elements.
Of course I also have quite a few completed projects, including machines on factory floors at auto companies. And projects for many of my current and past clients. And even in my home.
Does that include repair jobs that people asked you to fix and you never got around to them?
I have a few of those as well.
 
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