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Design Challenge.....for us newbies

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Hello all. I've only been comming to this site for a couple of weeks, but I like what I see, and I've been back everyday. I come to the conclusion that this site has two kinds of people. Those who don't know squat, like myself; and those that know so much that they scare me sometimes!

I think that I thing I would like to have created is some kind of challenge for the newbies to help guide us. I'm trying to learn on my own, but I don't know if I'm learning the "correct way" if I can use those words. It's kind of like learning a computer language. I don't like just going through the manual, and I've coded 'hello world' in enough languages to make me sick. I have to have something to work towards. I think that a monthly or quarterly challenge would help give us newbies a little direction....

Eg. Given X components, design a circuit Y that does this, assuming get my point. Anyway, it's just a suggestion.

Hope to peak some interest.

Bentov, Ever heard of the saying "you gotta walk before you can run" ?

Well imho I think this applies to what you just said........It may well be that you have sufficient knowledge to carry off such a task, but as you say there are others who are still technically challenged by all of this,therefore it would be unfair to say "go and design this circuit using these components.."

In order to design a circuit from scratch, one needs to know the basics, fundamentals and the various formulae needed, and how they apply to any given set of conditions.

Whilst I admire your enthusiasm, I think it is a bit over the top......

I'm no Einstein, even I struggle from time to time with the simpler things..

Again this is just an expression of my opinion and nothing personnal against you or anyone else 8)
I take no offense to that chippie, but I think that maybe I didn't explain myself enough. I want to circuits to be simple. I would like to them to be something that a newbie would be able to build, and through building, learn more. There is nothing like a little friendly compitition to make the ole' neurons fire more. I am a real newbie. I was so geeked to just make a simple 555 timer circuit that made some LEDs blink. So next I tried to hook up a 4020 using the 556's output to make a LED bar blink as it counted up the pulses. I fried my 556 chip trying to attemp this. I wasn't happy. Yea, it's only $.60 at most, but it was a little blow to my ego, and all I could think is "I'm such a newbie" I guess I would just like a little direction, and I'm sure that there are things in electronics that the more advanced people here say, "man, I wish I would have paid attention to this" or "I wish I would have learned that sooner" I guess I view it like this. I'm 30 years old. Some of my best friends are women that are like 20 years older than me. They have given me so much insight into the female mind it's scary; so I have this mental list of "things that I won't do, becuase some other guy has already made that mistake, and I would rather learn from his mistake, then make it myself"... Well I hope that makes sense..
Walk?, I can't even crawl :cry:

I'll try and think up a decent project for you Bentov. Something educational and fun - just give me a few days.

As for insight into the female mind
I've learned a few simple facts -

1. Treat a women too good and she craps on you.

2. Treat her ok, don't always give her what she wants.
Let her know when you're mad, don't let her think this is fun.
Try not to get her mad, this is no fun.

3. Treat her like crap and you're an idiot.

#2 works really well
Lavenatti--Thanks for offering to design a project for me. I appreciate it very much. And thanks for the insight, although my girlfriend isn't sure she agrees, she does agree that some women are like your #1 fact.

thanks again man.

I was thinking of a light sequencer for your Christmas lights. To sequence six strings of lights back and forth at a variable speed.

The project would be built in a series of modules...

1. A regulated 5 volt linear power supply.
2. A 555 as an astable multivibrator (variable)
3. A 4017 as a sequencer
4. MOC3011 optocoupled Triac Drivers and Triacs(Q4004L3) to drive AC loads.

All on a big piece of perfboard

What do you think?
In my best Mr. T voice, "I accept the challenge, cuz' there is no challenge." Seriously though, a little advanced for me(I'm really green), but I am definitly willing to try, so I will start tonight, and keep you posted of my progress.

I didn't realize it before but I think everything you need to know is in the projects section. Lots of good beginner projects.
Hmmm, I actually just started doing web searched on the part numbers. I understand the 555 well enought, but the others are new to me. This will be an interesting project. I'm not sure about the AC part though. But as all things, it will come with time.

3. A 4017 as a sequencer
To sequence six strings of lights back and forth

You want the lights to go back and forth? ie, 1-2-3-4-5-6-5-4-3-2-1? Difficult with a 4017 (but not impossible). Better to use an Up/Down Counter eg, 4029.......actually now that I think about it, a few diodes might help (there's a hint 8) )
4017 it's OK

:D I agree that the 4017 it's a perfect component for this application.
The led sequencer has been my second project after the 555 blinker in my spare time after school!

The only great limit of thi chip is that you may use only a sequence of 6 lights. Once i found a project of a programable 8 light sequencer that used an eprom's 8 data bits to pilot the leds and instead e 4060 to sequence the addresses od the memory. This project it was quite funtastic with the only limit of having to cancel and reprogram the eprom every time you wnted to change the sequence.

I find it's a good idea to place a task to pursuit maybe creating a zone in this site just for this and were every one can give the own solution and offcourse event have the project commented and corrected.

it could even be a nice thing to give different levels of tasks from the newbee's to the electronics guru up to make it become a sort of a research site!
Maybe i have got my self taken :lol: !

Any way good luck!

Bentov, I understand your desire to improve your skills. One of the best ways to do this on this board is to find a post that interests you, and look over the solutions that various people have come up with. Then, see if you can come up with a simpler, more elegant solution. You'll know when you've found a good topic, because something just won't ring true, i.e. you'll have a hunch that there must be a better solution.

That's how I felt when I first joined this board and saw the bar-graph to 7-segment decoder thread. It took some effort to come up with a simpler solution, but I knew it was there. Same goes for the lamp-dimmer, hay-baler, and long-timer threads. I haven't posted my solutions for all of them yet, but I will. You don't need artificially proposed problems to improve your skills, there are plenty of real world examples right here on the forums. good luck!

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