Need some project ideas. Drawing a blank

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by atrumblood, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. atrumblood

    Thread Starter Member

    May 13, 2012
    Hello all,

    I have been teaching my self electronics and I have read and done enough to know the parts, do the math, read the schematics, and built some simple things like light chasers, traffic signals, ect. What I need now is something that makes me use everything I have learned.

    So far I have not done anything with microcontrollers/microprocessors, and nothing with inductors.

    I would like to try something that involves either of those.

    I have an 8085, but something tells me I am not ready for that level of electronics, but right now I am just looking for suggestions to continue learning.

    Does anyone have any thoughts, or advice?
  2. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    Building a simple AM radio receiver would check off your inductor urge and be a good introduction to RF design and construction. There are various schematics and kits available.
  3. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    The inductor is the least used of any basic component. It's probably possible to go an entire lifetime and never have the need for one.
  4. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Agreed. There are a few specialized applications for inductors.

    1) Power supply filters.
    In the days of vacuum tubes it was common practice to use large iron-core transformer-style inductors to filter out AC ripple.

    Small ferrite beads and toroids are still used to filter RF noise in power supplies.
    They are also used in switching LV power supplies and flyback HV supplies.

    2) In RF circuits.
    Small air wound inductors are used in tuned circuits such as radio receivers and transmitters, and RF oscillators.

    3) RF coils and transformers are used in superheterodyne radio receivers and transmitters.

    4) Inductors can be used in filter circuits. You can replace an RC filter with an RL filter. Most experimenters have a wider selection of C and not L. Hence the RC filter is more often used than RL.

    But for the average electronic designer and hobbyist you rarely use inductors in your design work.
  5. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    Except for the wall wart transformers that power almost every project here. ;)

    And the voltage boost circuits you see in all those solar garden lights.
  6. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    The 8085 is a 8 bit mircoprocessor. And well not the most user friendly of them either. If you want to explore programable devices. Step into the world of micro-controllers instead.
  7. atrumblood

    Thread Starter Member

    May 13, 2012
    Thank you for all the information about inductors everyone. Also thanks for the suggestions on projects.

    What is a good beginners micro-controller project to begin learning about them? I know that led cubes use them, and dot matrix use them.
  8. radiohead

    Senior Member

    May 28, 2009
    Go to Parallax dot com to see many choices in programmable projects. There are Basic Stamp kits, game development kits, robotic kits, Arduino kits and much more.
  9. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    I second the Arduino... Its EXCELLENT. and TONS of support/projects,etc..
    No need for a programmer or anything..
  10. atrumblood

    Thread Starter Member

    May 13, 2012
    Hey guys, sorry for the late response. Thanks for the suggestions. I will definitely look into Arduino.
  11. dougp01


    Dec 6, 2005
    Wow, didn't know you could still find the 8085. If you are intersted in 8-bit technology and through hole chips, the Zilog Z80 or its clones were one of the most used processors ever. If you can find one, you can most likely get literature with plenty of project ideas. Try a google search on "Z80 Software Gourmet Guide" to start.
  12. atrumblood

    Thread Starter Member

    May 13, 2012
    Thanks Dougp01. I found the 8085 at Jameco(dot)com. I just picked it at random when I was looking to build up my electronic components inventory. I will take a look at that guide though.