Hacking Electronics: An Illustrated DIY Guide for Makers and Hobbyists
This is a book about “hacking” electronics. It is not a formal, theory-based book about electronics. Its sole aim is to equip the reader with the skills he or she needs to use electronics to make something, whether it’s starting from scratch, connecting together modules, or adapting existing electronic devices for some new use.
You will learn how to experiment and get your ideas into some kind of order, so that what you make will work. Along the way, you’ll gain an appreciation for why things work and the limits of what they can do, and learn how to make prototypes on solderless breadboard, how to solder components directly to each other, and how to use stripboard.
You will also learn how to use the popular Arduino microcontroller board, which has become one of the most important tools available to the electronics hacker. There are over 20 examples of how to use an Arduino with electronics in this book.
Electronics has changed. This is a modern book that avoids theory you will likely never use and instead concentrates on how you can build things using readymade modules when they are available. There is, after all, no point in reinventing the wheel.
Some of the things explained and described in the book include
• Using LEDs, including high-power Lumileds
• Using LiPo battery packs and buck-boost power supply modules
• Using sensors to measure light, temperature, vibration, acceleration, sound level, and color
• Interfacing with Arduino microcontroller boards, including using Arduino shields such as the Ethernet and LCD display shields
• Using servo and stepper motors
Some of the things described in the book that you can make along the way include
• A noxious gas detector
• An Internet-controlled hacked electric toy
• A device for measuring color
• An ultrasonic rangefinder
• A remote control robotic rover
• An accelerometer-based version of the “egg and spoon” race
• A one-watt audio amplifier
• A bug made from a hacked MP3 FM transmitter
• Working brakes and head lights that can be added to a slot car
You Will Need
This is a very practical, hands-on type of book. You will therefore need some tools and components to get the most out of it.
As far as tools go, you will need little more than a multimeter and soldering equipment.
When it comes to areas of electronics where a microcontroller would be useful, an Arduino Uno board is best. So you may wish to buy one of these microcontroller boards before attempting some of the projects.
Every component used in this book is listed in the Appendix, along with sources where it can be obtained. The majority of the components can be found in a starter kit from SparkFun, but most electronic starter kits will provide a lot of what you will need.
In many of the “how-tos,” there will be a You Will Need section. This will refer to a code in the Appendix that explains where to get the component.
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