Late last week I got my first monthly mailer for Tron-Club. What is it? As they describe on their site...
Monthly, Tron-Club will send you a kit with instructions to build over 21 unique circuits. Each month, the circuits start simple, and become more challenging. You'll collect and learn about many electronic parts. You'll be able to apply these circuits to robotics, home automation, etc...
When I was in high school, I got so pumped in my computer science AP course when I wrote my first program. I thought it was so cool making a machine do something you tell it. Still to this day it's a main reason why I love the software world and that aspect of my job.
But one thing that's been a mystery to me is the hardware side. The last few years we've seen things like Anduino & Raspberry Pi. We picked up Kano for my son for Christmas for him to start tinkering. While there's a software side to these things, where it gets real fun is when you start crafting your own hardware creations and then write the software to control them.
However for me, circuits and electrical engineering (EE) has always been a mystery. I've been trying to pick it up in my hobby time, but it's tough. Then I stubled across Tron-Club. I love this experience... each monthly kit includes about 20 projects.
This past Sunday, my son and I did a few of the projects. Each one took about 5 minutes to put together. They've done a good job putting it together. You get a package of parts like resistors, LED's, IR blasters & receivers, switches, buttons, relays, capacitors, photoresistors, a breadboard and a 9V battery. The instructions for each project are broken into three sections.
The top-left section is a drawing of how you put it together with the breadboard. The top-right section is the same thing you are building, except the schematic drawing. Personally I love this as you really need to learn how to read schematics to understand the parts and how things work. Then the bottom includes theory like an explination of Ohm's law, how circuits work, how LED's work, how capacitors work, etc. This is exactly what I needed!
If you're into this stuff, it's worth the expense. Can't wait to do more of the projects and get working on my personal project plans!