kestrel

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2022-11-11 21:28:23 (UTC)

Electricity Projects #2

Personal entry follows. This is part of a series of entries related to projects and reflections related to the snap-together electricity kit I bought for myself. I'm a 45-year-old guy who is curious about electricity, and this is part of my opportunity to learn more about it.
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PROJECTS 6 - 10
- LEDs typically need resistors to reduce energy input so they do not become damaged by the amount of voltage that passes through them. The stronger the resistor, the dimmer the LED illumination.

- Some components also have -polarity-, or a one-way path of electricity between their negative and positive terminals. "Flipping" polarity (attempting to force electric current to pass from negative-to-positive, instead of positive-to-negative) is still okay in low-voltage systems (even if it won't work AKA won't allow current to flow) because you usually need more power to blow-up a component. I remember attaching jumper cables to a car battery in the wrong order... Is this the same thing, or at least comparable?

- Building circuits in parallel - instead of series - ensures there's a discrete/separate path for electricity to flow for each component. For example, creating a "branch" between a light and a motor will allow both to draw enough electric power from the energy source to keep them fully-powered, since they won't be creating resistance towards one another.

- "Conduction Detector" project: using a paperclip or other metal object to complete a circuit. This project used a LED as a rudimentary multi-meter to detect electric current. The brighter the LED, the less resistance in the circuit. The human body provides a tremendous amount of resistance, so if there were any current available, it still wouldn't visibly activate the LED.

- Project 10: "Space War Alarm Combo." There were two integrated circuits in this, the most-complex of today's projects. There was both a light that would activate as well as sounds that would play whenever a circuit was completed, and there were multiple ways to activate the components. For example, in this project the Alarm would constantly play, while when the participant would either press a switch or shine light on a photo-resistor, the Space War sound would play.
- The Space War integrated circuit also had a few different sounds to play, and the next in the sequence would play whenever the participant activated it. Once it played the last sound in the sequence, it would return to the first sound in the "list" and repeat the sequence.
- I messed around with this project a lot. There were several different paths used to complete the circuit, and I had fun switching out components, re-routing the circuit, and testing multiple ways to activate the different integrated circuit modules.

- An "integrated circuit" is a self-contained circuit component. It can be added to a larger circuit, "doing its own thing" whenever activated. In the case of this kit, the integrated circuits play non-moddable sounds.


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