For those of you that want to get into hardware hacking, learning electronics can be a very valuable skill. This ultimately lends itself to being applied to the 'maker' world with DIY electronics projects as well as playing with arduino, raspberry pi, beaglebone, etc. So in teaching my son about all this kewl stuff, I went looking to see what's out there that wasn't available way back when I was a kid.
With that in mind, a great beginners book is Make: Electronics (Learning by Discovery) published in 2009. This is a great book and starts from scratch with great examples throughout. But the best thing about the book (as the title explains) is that it is meant to be a hands on course. Examples:
- Not only put a battery on your tongue, but also test resistance by putting the multimeter on your tongue. Dry your tongue, do it again and note the results. Do the same on your arm.
- Break things on purpose to see what happens like shorting out a AA battery and seeing how long it takes to get hot to the touch, blowing out an LED and noticing the smell, break open a potentiometer to see what's inside.
Of course to do these experiments, you need to buy all of the different components. In the book, they recommend and specify each and every part you'll need. To make it easier, they even have 2 sets you can buy that has everything you need without having to do all of the shopping separately. Best of all it is in a very handy carrying case and everything is labeled. Looking up and buying each individual item is a learning process that is very valuable, but time constrained Dads will find this extremely convenient.
- Make: Electronics Components Pack 1 = $109.99
- Make: Electronics Components Pack 2 = $129.99
Awesome, right? But we're all on a budget, so of course I wanted to see if it's cheaper anywhere else. I found that Radio Shack has their own version of both of these kits, each $10 cheaper. Score!!
Just before the Vegas trip to BH/DC, I bought Pack 1 at Radio Shack. A few days ago, I saw an ad (on EH-Net no less) from The Shack showing that each pack was $30 off. WTF!?!?
As I always say, just ask. The worst that can happen is they say no. So I called Radio Shack and asked if they could do something for me. Without hesitation, they said as long as it was less than 30 days, they would honor the sale and refund the $30 back to my CC. How awesome is that? So while I was in the store with my son, I purchased Pack 2. He's not ready for it yet, but I might as well get it before the sale ends.
Which brings me to my time sensitive point. The sale ends tomorrow 08-17-2013!
Check out Pack 1 here: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... ullReviews
And Pack 2 here: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index ... ullReviews
So in the end, I saved $40 on each kit for a total savings of $80. Add that you can also find the book cheaper then at the Make Store, and you can save approx $100 and get the whole thing.
Hope this helps,