For most people, electricity remains a rather mysterious phenomenon. We flip a switch, and a light comes on; we plug in our phone, and it charges the battery. We never wonder why this magic happens, nor how. As a result, many believe that the world of electronics is beyond the reach of ordinary people, that it is something reserved for experienced electrical engineers. But it’s not like that; it can be learned like all skills.
This guide is intended to give you a brief overview of how to build your electrical appliance from scratch, either as a hobby or to make something special for your home.
Before starting the project, we must think about what we want to achieve. For example, do you want to build a simple lamp or something that can perform multiple functions from a single power source? Remember: if you are a beginner with little experience in electronics, the level of complexity of your first project should ideally be minimal. On the other hand, if ambition gets the better of you, you may prefer to build a slightly more complex device, as long as you educate yourself and are prepared to fail multiple times before succeeding.
Now that you’ve decided which device you’re interested in building, it’s time to get out your pencil and paper to start drawing how your electrical circuit works. Let’s take the simplest example. If you have a power supply, two wires, and a light bulb, you’ll be able to create a very simple circuit that turns on the light bulb. If the light is too bright, you may need to add a variable or fixed resistor to your circuit. If the circuit produces too much heat, it will be necessary to add a temperature regulator. More advanced circuits require more complex components, and therefore, it is essential to create schematics that reflect all these components and wires.
The next step will be to acquire the necessary components to manufacture your device. Some of the components you will need are obvious: some cables that carry the electrical current, the payload that will go inside your circuit, etc. But you will also need:
- wire shears, which are optimized for cutting and shearing plastic from cables;
- other tools used to introduce cables into holes and fix them to the different parts of the circuit;
- a soldering iron is a key tool that will help you fix the wires in place.
Therefore, when undertaking your project, you must consider both the materials and the tools in which you are going to have to invest. You can go to your nearest hardware store to ask the clerk for advice.
There is another way to build electrical devices that will help you eliminate part of the labor, even more so if it is a more complex device. You can use PCB circuits (or printed circuit boards) to build more advanced circuit boards in complex devices. Currently, these circuits are present in most modern devices since they are capable of condensing very complex electronic circuits in a tiny chip or board. You can find more information about PCB circuits on the internet.
In the assembly phase, you will use your tools to fit all the components together. During this phase, you must be very aware of the security guidelines. You must be careful never to work with live electrical currents and make sure you follow all necessary precautions. Poorly made devices can cause fire or electric shock, so it is essential to ensure that the device is grounded and insulated and work with the electricity turned off.
If you follow all these tips, you will build your electrical device, which is great for any beginner.