Electronics for students and hobbyists

(Above) Hall Effect Sensors. View all of my You Tube Videos

Electronics Projects for Students and Hobbyists

by Lewis Loflin

Introduction - The purpose of these pages is to introduce the student and hobbyist to electronics projects. My hope is generate interest for those thinking about entering a high tech field, or simply to have fun.

I've been a part-time adjunct professor at a local community college teaching electricity and electronics. My electronics website reflects what I've taught or been asked to look into by visitors. I have 40 years experience in electronics from vacuum tubes to modern solid state and industrial controls. In college I had a year each of physics, chemistry, and biology along with C, C++. Pascal, and assembly.

I taught myself the coding for Arduino, PICAXE, Raspberry Pi, Microchip PIC, Debian and Slackware Linux, CSS etc. which I approach in a way to give my students a basis for their own projects.

Every page on this website was hand-coded by me - every project built and tested. My education philosophy is learn the basics, find working examples, then use what works as a foundation for further learning. Modify and try new ideas. I'd say my job title would be applied technologist.

See How I got into Electronics


New section for December 2013: Raspberry Pi!

Here I concentrated on building a fast Linux based operating system to get some weaknesses in Raspberry Pi.

Added Dec. 29, 2013:

First and foremost read this safety warning. Unless one wants to use batteries, the only practical solution is a plug in the wall power supply.

Understand some terms right now: a short is an unwanted connection, while an open is a broken connection. For example a blown fuse is called an open because the electrical path is broken; a short is an unwanted connection such as connecting the positive post to the negative post on a car battery and watching it explode. Yes even low-voltage circuits can explode if mishandled.

Below are quick links to the major sections and projects on this website.

PICAXE Microcontroller Projects

The PICAXE series of micro-controllers rank as the easiest and most cost effective way to use Microchip processors. I wanted an easier and less expensive way to introduce my students to the "PIC" micro-controller. Here I hope to get those starting out past poorly written literature and lack of simple working code examples.

Arduino Micro-controller Projects

My Arduino section is growing. For example we can interface the thermocouple amplifier and an LCD display to the micro-controller to display the temperature in say the flue of a wood stove. Again the idea is modular, small projects that can be built into bigger projects. For more technical details on the Arduino see ATMEGA168 Arduino Micro Controller Projects.

Arduino controller
At 3 inches long the Arduino does ten times what the KIM-1 will do.
Cost is under $15.


General Electronics Learning and Projects

Listed below are pages on power supplies one can build and test. At minimum go buy a digital volt-ohm meter. They are cheap and can be found everywhere from Radio Shack to Lowes. In the You tube video I show how to use what I call a load lamp. This is simply a light bulb wired in series with the project. If one connects something wrong or shorts anything out, the lamp will light instead of blowing fuses or burning things out. It will also give one a quick visual indication something is wrong in order to disconnect the power.



BOLT Microcontroller LITE with PIC18F2550

Microchip PIC

Update Nov. 8, 2013. I've decide to add Microchip PIC projects to this website in addition to PICAXE and Arduino. Using the 18F2550 BOLT system the programs are largely interchangeable with Arduino. I'll be adding some PIC16F628 assembly language projects a well.

Useful Resources and Links for Electronics Hobbyists