Developing My Interest in Electronics

It took at least 10 years for electronics to become my hobby.

During childhood, I had some experience with electronics. The components that I used include LEDs, light bulbs, batteries, and wires. I also built other projects on electronics project lab kits.

My difficulties include burning out LEDs, not getting a DIY thermocouple to work, and not understanding the circuits in the labs. I didn’t have much other experience for a while.

More than 10 years later, I got back into electronics by using LEDs. I’m interested in LEDs because they’re energy efficient, have high colour purities, mercury free, long lasting, and have lots of other applications such as road safety. I think they’re also attractive visually. I learned about their circuits, their drivers, and their applications from Google search. I shopped for components both online and locally.

I like designing circuits because you get to include the features you want, and learn about them. The projects I made include LED circuits, dimmers, bike lights, sunrise simulators, flashlights, and lamps. Some of them were documented on www.instructables.com.

From designing circuits, I learned about other components such as transistors, voltage regulators, and 555 timers.

Since I’m into electronics, I studied electronics courses at BCIT. The courses covered troubleshooting, AC, DC, electronics components, microcontrollers, IC’s, and electronic circuits. The circuits we’ve built include amplifiers, LED displays, and timers.

I think working with circuits and developing my interest was very important for my success in the courses. If I took them a few years earlier, I doubt that I would have done as well.

Over time, from doing more research, I’ve upgraded my circuits. The bike lights were upgraded from a single pattern to more features including different patterns, and buttons from using microcontrollers instead of 555 timers or an on/off switch. The LED circuits were more efficient. The products became more compact from using custom made circuit boards and SMT components instead of prototyping boards. The products became lighter and more powerful from using Li-ion batteries instead of NiMH batteries.

In the future, I might try the Raspberry Pi, making multi-layer circuit boards, e-bikes, drones, wireless connectivity for the Arduino, 3D printers, other battery chemistries, other tools, and other components.

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