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Hobby electronics

Try out our online resistor value to color code and color code to value calculator.
A few easy to build, inexpensive hobby electronic kits.
Build simple, low cost audio power amplifiers with TDA2040, TDA2005 (20w) and LM386.
A high efficiency 170w Class D power amplifier with LM4652.
More hobby projects...

7W Mono Audio Amplifier Kit Electronic kits - Digital FM Stereo Transmitter - FM30B Electronic Dice Kit

Some basic hand tools and equipment you'll need:

  • Screwdrivers of all types and sizes straight, Torx, Philips...
  • Hex key wrenches or hex drivers.
  • Long nose, round nose, curved pliers, both smooth and serrated types.
  • A low wattage (25 W) iron for delicate components.
  • A medium wattage (30-60W) iron
  • A 100-140 W soldering gun
  • A temperature regulated soldering station
  • Desoldering pump
  • Electric drill, drill press
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Diagonal flush cutter
  • Wire stripper
  • Crimp tool
  • Adjustable power supplies
  • A digital multimeter and/or Analog Voltohmeter
  • Dual trace, 10-20 MHz minimum vertical bandwidth oscilloscope
  • RF signal generator
  • Isolation transformer

Electronics as a hobby

With the current trend in miniaturization and mass production, electronics hobbyist's numbers are in a free fall since the 70's. It used to be that someone did electronics from morning to night, as a hobby and a profession. A General Accounting Office report recently found that NASA is having trouble finding candidates with the science and engineering skills required for its operations. The report also noted that NASA has more times as many engineers age 60 or older than it does 30 or under. In response, NASA has funded an array of educational programs from school science programs to sending student experiments into space.

Also, the hobby electronics market was so slow in the recent years, that Radio Shack has dropped almost all of its electronics project books. So, is there a future for hobby electronics? While hobby electronics lost many of its enthusiasts to the computer revolution it helped begin, there is still plenty to do for those of us who still enjoy this exciting pastime. Our numbers have declined, but the quality of hobby electronics today is as high as ever. We can buy high quality test equipment at only a fraction of the price we might have paid a few years ago; with the help of the more and more powerful computer design programs and the low price of components we can build even more powerful and versatile circuits than those we built a decade ago.

While the overall number of electronics hobbyists has declined since the 80s, today's electrical, electronics, and computer engineers, technologists, and technicians still continue to revolutionize the way we live. We depend on these individuals who design, produce, operate and maintain a vast array of equipment and services.

Radio, television, computers, telephones, airplanes, space vehicles, automobiles, refrigerators, heaters, home appliances, life-saving medical equipment represent a narrow sampling of the now familiar facets of life made possible by skilled electric engineers, technologists and technicians. In our age of satellite television and computer networks, the challenges and opportunities in this dedicated profession continue to arise. While concerns of a shortage of new engineering talent may have lessened during the tech bust of the last couple of years, we hope the recovering economy will focus on the need for more U.S. students to enter electronic engineering.