# cub scout electronic activity

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#### MrDEB

##### Well-Known Member
well its a new year for cub scouts and being chief cook n bottle washer I am looking for activity ideas dealing with electronics.
first idea I had was a simple crystal radio (I remember building one years, eons, ago) but the kits and or parts are kinda spend y (more than $10 per) plus here in Salmon we only have one radio station so kinda dumb IMO maybe. my thoughts were to have the scouts (7-11 year old) build something cool but no soldering. I would solder sockets etc to pcboards chasing leds maybe activated by placing hand closer (Theremin principle using a pic) light activated something?? something that makes noise (pic or 555?) want to try and assemble the kits using spring clips instead of having the boys solder. Plan to etch my own boards (I have about 7-6x9 2oz boards (2 oz is terrible when doing thin traces). want to keep cost around$5 per or less.
something simple
will consider any and all suggestions.

#### stevez

##### Active Member
I would not write off the crystal radio idea so quickly. Maybe you can build one to see how well it might work. I helped my son build one about 20 yrs ago. I've in the suburbs of a midsized city and within 2 miles of a 50 kW AM broadcast station. I was still able to listen to a few of the stronger shortwave stations at night.

Info on clips:
Fahnestock Clips
One of the oldest and most popular terminals ever made. Ideal for
experimental bread-board assemblies where connections are to be
changed readily. Made of brass with nickel-plated finish.

I thought these were obsolete and no longer available. Obsolete was correct but I purchased hundreds of them for $1 at a hamfest. Another project from 20 years ago - a light listener. More or less a photocell, LM741 amplifier followed by an LM386 audio amp and speaker. With it you could hear the buzz of fluorescent lights, swishing of flame, the scan of a TV set. Was possible on breadboard and parts if purchased sensibly are cheap. Good luck. #### MrDEB ##### Well-Known Member cryatal radio parts for ten of each earphone =$46.54
coil = $19.73 variable cap =$19.04
up to $8.53 per kit remember these are 7 - 11 year old boys so winding coils is pretty much out of the question IMO found a sound circuit in Forest Mimms eng note book that looks promissing but need to price out 1-556 2 pots calls for 3 per. thinking photo cells instead of pots? 1 resistor and 2 capacitors, 1 small 8 ohm speaker. then Fahnestock Clips #### audioguru ##### Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member The Dollar Store has scanning FM radios with stereo headphones for only$1.00.
The radio is garbage but the headphones are pretty good. The battery might be useful.

#### stevez

##### Active Member
Yes, the cost is a challenge. If you had unlimted time to shop you'd get better pricing. I had cub scouts for a time and found the same thing.

I would not say that pots could be replaced with photocells - all depends on the application.

#### MrDEB

##### Well-Known Member
Dollar Store = 200 miles away

#### Mr RB

##### Well-Known Member
Hmm ok 7 and 8 might be a bit young for safe soldering.

The pushbuttons in your link won't conform to a 0.1" grid, they use a metric spacing. If you bend the legs they go into 0.1" spacing pcb, maybe you can get them into headers.

#### MrDEB

##### Well-Known Member
planning on ordering

pretty cheap for 100 push buttons
started reading the book on asm language. Thinking about swordfish, so much easier I think but am just getting started.
perhaps use the asm examples and convert to swordfish?
will let you know of progress.
mean while ordering the switches and maybe the headers??

#### Mikebits

##### Well-Known Member
Considering cost and age, perhaps your goals are aiming to high, perhaps a demonstration to the whole group would be better, that is, you build it and they will come. You can be Mr.Wizard and maybe try to explain what is happening. If you have an oscope, kids like that sort of thing, hook up a mic to the scope, have the kids talk into the mic and they can see their voice, then maybe you can explain how the sound waves were converted to electrical signals.

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