Welcome to the electronics section of Low Orbit Flux!
This part of the site has been created for our electronics projects and guides. This is probably going to be one of the most interesting parts of this site and this is the page to start on. Here we step away from software and get our hands dirty. We still need software to control many of our projects and we are going to make sure to look at how everything fits together.
We are going to a variety of related topics including:
- Basics of Electricity
- Electronic Circuits Basics
- Digital Logic
- Arduino Projects
- Raspberry Pi Projects
- Signal Processing
Electricity is as interesting as it is dangerous. Care needs to be take when working with it. People tend to take this amazing force for granted. It is kind of sad how little the average person understands how electricity works these days. People view it as thought it were magical. So much of our modern world relies on electricity. People who understand how to use computers and write software can be completely ignorant of how the underlying technology actually works. Even people who build their own computers can do so while still being ignorant of the fundamentals of how electricity works.
Soldering is loads of fun but it does take some basic level of skill. Once you learn to solder your own circuits together you can move beyond the breadboard and start building real projects. This is loads of fun and can lead to a greater sense of accomplishment. The basic skills and techniques are most important. It is also critical to have an understanding of the basic tools and components used. You can learn to solder with a $5 soldering iron from the 99 cent store or a $100 soldering station from Amazon.
Tools are important. This may be the understatement of the year but that is how I’m starting out this paragraph. Having the right tools can make all the difference in the world. Even so, the right tools will only get you so far if you don’t have the knowledge to use them properly. Tools are an investment. Buying better tools can often times bring a great return on investoment. At what point do tools become toys? That could be seen as a matter of your attitude. How do you feel about what you are doing? There doesn’t have to be line.
The Arduino is a really neat set of devices. They open up a world of possibilities for people looking to implement their ideas. They have made it easy to create custom software programs that can be written to chip which will control your circuits. These are cheap, simple, and highly functional. They aren’t quite as powerful as the Raspberry Pi but they are still pretty great and are still the right choice depending on the use case. If you don’t want to have to deal with installing an OS and just want something that runs a single program, this an excellent option. We are going to cover these and implement some basic ingteresting projects.
Raspberry Pi Projects
If you want something that is a big step up from the Arduino, this is it. When we say “big step up”, we don’t just mean more powerful. We also mean more complex. These have ARM processors and are meant to run full operating systems. They make great mini servers and can be used as desktops. There are even kits for building Raspberry Pi based Laptops. The Raspberry Pi 4 is the best option if you want a desktop replacement.
The Raspberry Pi also comes with GPIO pins. These make interfacing with custom built external circuits easy. You can connect these to all sorts of things including cameras, sensors, servo motors, and much more. These are a great component for all sorts of electronics projects.
Robots…this is what everyone really cares about. Sure it may be neat to build all sorts of fun little projects with a Raspberry Pi but who wouldn’t love to actually build a robot? We’re probably not going to design the next terminator but something a little closer to WALL-E would be a nice goal to shoot for.
A lot of really great things have been done in the field of robotics. We aren’t anywhere even close to where I would have imagined things would be when I was a kid but we have still come a long way. There are so many options available for hobbyists today. Robot building is so much more accessible than it used to be. It is not only easier to find the supporting technology but information is much more accessible than it used to be. Our goal is to become one of these many sources of information that makes building robots easier. We’re probably not going to be helping with the construction of a terminator robot but who knows.