From Week 2 to Week 6, Term 3 2022, ELSOC is running our annual Hardware Flex competition! Hardware Flex is an opportunity for participants to learn more about electronics and show off their personal projects!
To help you all get started, ELSOC have compiled a brief list of guides and videos we have found helpful, along with some example projects that could spark some inspiration.
Don't forget to submit your own projects using the Submission Form.
Kits to Begin With
Bulk component kits are a great way to build a small collection of electronic components. They can be inexpensive and often contain more than enough for most basic projects. I've also included links to larger resistor and LED kits, since they are some of the more frequently used components.
It is usually best to purchase components from retailers such as Jaycar or Amazon when getting started with electronics. Although these stores will be more expensive than dedicated suppliers, they're a lot less intimidating to purchase from, and you can often get some helpful advice from their staff.
Jaycar and other retailers sell electronics kits which contain instructions along with all the parts required to assemble a small project. These kits are perfect for a first project, and could even be submitted for Hardware Flex!
Some of these kits may require the use of a soldering iron. ELSOC runs frequent workshops on soldering in the ELEC Makerspace, which contains many soldering irons that are free to use after an induction. Alternatively, retailers such as Jaycar do sell soldering irons as well, but we recommend that you get started soldering under some supervision to avoid some common mistakes.
Getting Started Guides and Videos
There are heaps of useful guides online for how to work with electronics. Sadly, a successful project will involve a bit of thinking - you can't quite get away with just plugging some wires together! These guides discuss some of the basic principles to consider when designing small electronics projects.
There are no shortage of project ideas all over the internet. Here, ELSOC have included a few of our favourite sources of inspiration. Some of these videos and sites contain instructions, some do not. Some of these may have required a lot of work, but all of them are sources of great ideas.
Projects Hub - Arduino
A Robot That Picks Tomatoes Out of Your Salad - YouTube (Michael Reeves)
Stuff Made Here - Youtube Channel
Zeal 8-Bit Computer - Youtube Channel
Michael Reeves - Youtube Channel
Ben Eater - Youtube Channel (personal favourite)
These are some more technical resources for those who are particularly keen. From here, we are no longer shying away from some of the intricate maths and design methodologies that are actually used in the electronics industry.