September 24, 2006

Electronics Kits are FUN

The things we never had as a child can sometimes be the things we return to when we have enough money to finally enjoy them. As a geek, I've always been 'interested' in electronics, but I've never had the time or the inclination to sit and just 'do' it. This weekend, I happened by a Radio Shack and saw the 'Electronic Snap Kit (Electronics 303) [Radio Shack 28-288]. I noticed that it had a software oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer software included in it. So, I bought it.
My son was with me, and we brought it home, and I started to play with it, building the circuits one at a time, grokking each one in turn. The kit is very simplified, where wires and switches are soldered onto plastic snap pieces that you snap together to create the circuits, and the book doesn't explain the concepts behind the included IC's (such as the music generator). But it was fun nonetheless....and then I realized [or rather, my son did]...I had bought another lab kit a few years ago. My son pointed out to me that I hadn't used it at all yet. Sitting pristinely in its box was the 'Electronics Learning Lab' [Radio Shack 28-280] with 16 ICs, breadboard, LED displays, pots, switches, etc all together in a lab kit. So, I started playing with it, and left my son to work with the snap kit. The Learning Lab didn't include the oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer, but I assume that if I study both kits, I'll learn how to use the software independent of the kit.
In any case, I'm having a great deal of fun with both kits. It's too bad that I overpaid for both of them (having purchased them from Radio Shack), but I'm certain that I bought the Learning Lab on sale [I believe at 50% off].

No comments: