Tag Archives: circuit

Solar Experimentation

Garden lights have an interesting circuit. When you buy them in the store, they may turn on their LED when light hits the solar cells as they did for me. After you pull the tab out, and connect the battery to the circuit, they only light the LED when the solar cell is in the dark. Inside the housing of the walkway lantern is a small circuit board between the solar cell and the battery. This circuit keeps the LED from using up the electricity from the solar cell during the day, and when the input voltage falls below a threshold, the electricity stored in the battery is sent out to do the work of lighting the LED. Continue reading

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TapeTricity Cards

TapeTricity is quite possibly the simplest way to introduce electricity to people. THere were kids as young as three or four who made their own working circuits (the younger ones got some parental help). This project was fun, because people got a chance to make a drawing, which they then picked out some places for LEDs. Next, they built a simple circuit out of tape, batteries and LEDs. It is a fairly quick project, and costs about a quarter per person. Continue reading

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Tapetricity

You can experiment with electricity with just a few supplies, and some simple processes. By building your circuits on file cards, it is pretty easy to try out circuit ideas and see for yourself how they work. Continue reading

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Paintable Circuits with Bare Conductive

At World Maker Faire, I finally got to see paintable circuits in action. Matt Johnson spoke with me about the conductive paint that people were using and showed me a few projects that demonstrate the possibilities. The business cards they brought were printed with a swath of conductive paint suitable for home experimenting. I awarded them one of my Editor’s Choice Blue Ribbons. It’s exciting how this opens up a great area in education for arts, electronics, and physical programming.

Bare Conductive grew out of the founders’ graduate studies at the Innovation Design Engineering Course at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College, London. The version of their conductive paints they had at Maker Faire is similar to the skin paint featured in a music video of a few years back. Continue reading

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