Sessions for Maker Weekend: Bootcamp

See here for details.

Basic Electronics Lab ($15)

It's time to get hands-on with this two-experiment lab where you'll learn about relays and capacitors in some detail. You will construct something called a "relay oscillator," and then experiment with the relationship between time and capacitors. There is no soldering involved in these experiments, and you can take the components home with you to use in future adventures in electronics. This is a lab and the materials fee is $15. The first 22 participants to pay here via PayPal in advance are guaranteed a spot in the session.

Soldering Workshop ($10)

Don't be afraid of soldering! With a little bit of instruction and a tiny bit of practice you can solder like a champ. You will be surprised by how learning just a few basic rules of soldering will transform your solder messes into solid circuits. In this session you'll learn the tricks and techniques, AND get hands-on with some practice soldering using sacrificial boards and components you won't need to worry about ruining as you learn. Alternately, you can for $10 get a collection of useful components to practice with, including breadboard layout circuit board, solder and an assortment of parts including resistors, capacitors, voltage regulators, transistors, ic's and a relay. This course will include some video presentations on proper soldering technique followed by a hands on practice session. We will focus primarily on through hole soldering but some surface mount soldering will also be covered. We recommend you bring all your own soldering equipment if you have any. It's best to learn how your own equipment feels and behaves when it's soldering properly.

Make and Take Headphone Amplifier ($28)

A headphone amplifier is an electronic device that sits between your audio device, be that a computer or cell phone, and your listening device. You've probably been in situations where the output of the audio device you were using is simply not powerful enough for the speakers or headphones you have attached, or else turning it up so that it's audible creates distortion. A headphone amplifier solves that problem, and also happens to be an excellent project to tie together all of the electronic bootcamp lessons. You'll solder and assemble a headphone amplifier to take home with you. This is a lab and it would be a good idea to bring your own tools, including wire cutters and soldering equipment, but the components are provided by the lab fee of $28. The first 22 participants to pay here via PayPal in advance are guaranteed a spot in the session.

Build a BEAM bug bot ($15)

This weekend is all about analog electronics, but that doesn't mean it can't be about robotics too! BEAM is an acronym for Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics, and Mechanics, and is a style of robotics that explores the possibilities and range of behaviors achievable without the use of digital circuits. Typically behaviors and morphologies are modeled after biological inspiration, usually bugs, and as we see with bugs seemingly simple behaviors can achieve remarkable, complex results. In this session we'll dip our toes into the waters of BEAM robotics with a simple bot that moves around randomly using the power of the sun. This is a lab and you should bring your own soldering equipment, pliers and wire cutters if you have any, and there is a lab fee of $15 for the components of the bug bot you will make. The first 12 participants to pay here via PayPal in advance are guaranteed a spot in the session.

Build a brushless motor from scratch ($15) 

One of the best reasons for learning electronics is learning how to make things move. Well, this session will show you how the movement is made in the first place! You will build your own, working, brushless motor from scratch (or from pre-cut pieces anyway.) You'll love this little project based on a motor design created as an "epic business card" for a maker space in Seattle. It's fun, and easier than you might think. This is a lab and you should bring any tools you have just in case (see the list at the end of the post for suggestions). There is a lab fee of $15 for the components of the motor you will assemble and take home. he first 22 participants to pay here via PayPal in advance are guaranteed a spot in the session.