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Building Electronics Kits at JOTA

Electronics is a core part of both radio and computers, and over the years a wide variety of electronic kits have been constructed. Noisy ones like sirens, hee-haw sounds, monophonic organ, and so on. Others have lights that flash in various combinations, such as the windmill shown above on the top left. In more recent years, kits containing tiny computers were even constructed.

Colorful Voice Control Rotating LED Lights (2023)

Start the 10 LED rotating light display by making a sound. The circuit uses a 4017 decade counter integrated circuit to individually control each output to make a 10 sided dice. 10 LED Dice.

10 LED Dice

Ding Dong Doorbell (2022, 2019, 2007, 2004)

A simple analogue circuit using the 555 integrated circuit, a transistor, and a few resistors and capacitors. Ding Dong.

Fidget Spinner (2020)

A classic fidget spinner with flashing lights that make a pattern as it rotates. See the Fidget Spinner page.

Fidget Spinner

Arduino Sensor Gadget (2018)

The Sensor Gadget consists of a variety of tiny sensors, similar to those found in a typical smart phone, connected to an Arduino Nano processor. A small graphic screen displays the outputs.

The sensors include temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, magnetic field strength, gravity and accelerometer, and an optional light meter.

For more details see the Arduino Sensor Gadget pages.

Arduino Programmable Synthesiser (2017)

Another old favourite returns this year, the monophonic organ. Pressing on the piano-shaped keyboard with a finger plays the corresponding note. Of course, this version is programmable, much like the Moog Synthesiser from the 1970s. You can dial in a whole range of different audio effects. With a bit of practise the audio possibilities are amazing.

For more details see the Arduino Programmable Synthesiser pages.

Programmable Bike Tail Lamp (2016)

For 2016 the bike tail lamp makes a return this year - with a twist. It's now programmable using a DigiSpark Micro-controller, This is a very small computer, the computer board measures just 18mm by 20mm! It uses the same Arduino programming language and environment that we used last year. It has four super-bright LEDs that can be flashed in any combination you can think of.

For mode details have a look at the Arduino Bike Lamp pages.

JOTA Arduino (2015)

In 2015 the level stepped up a few notches, with the construction of a tiny Arduino computer. The Arduino Nano comes pre-assembled on a small circuit board which plugs into a larger sized board with light emitting diodes, switches, potentiometer and other input and output devices.

This kit is compatible with the Power House Museum's Thinker1 project, so all the programming examples developed for the Thinker1 work on this one. For more details have a look at our JOTA Arduino pages.

Windmill (2014, 2010, 2006, 2003)

The return of a simple but effective circuit, the windmill, with light emitting diodes that flash in a rotating pattern.

Windmill Windmill

Cyclic Sounder (2013)

An audio tone that changes frequency with the flashing lights. Sure to be loved by Scouts and hated by Leaders and parents :)

Cyclic Sounder

Bike Tail Lamp (2012 and 2001)

Uses three very bright light emitting diodes to create a flashing red tail light for your bike.

Bike Lamp Bike Lamp

Red and Green Flasher (2011)

Using two light emitting diodes and a 555 integrated circuit this is the classic flashing light kit. Use a multimeter to measure the components.

Red Green Flasher

Electronic Dice Kit (2009)

At the press of a button seven light emitting diodes flash briefly and one pattern stays lit, representing a number between 1 and 6. Truly random and never rolls off the table!

Electronic Dice

Variety / Mystery (2008)

Each year an estimate is made of how many kits will be required. Every so often we have a year where we go through the pile of leftovers and do a variety of kits.

Siren (2006, 2005, 2000)

In previous years there were avariety of kits. The picture below shows the windmill, with light emitting diodes that flash in a rotating pattern, and a ding-dong doorbell. Or it might be a siren. Either way it's guaranteed to annoy you.

Electronic Kits

Earlier Kits

And before this there were other kits, amongst these was the famous Monophonic Organ. The underside had a printed keyboard with a two octave range. This kit took a lot of patience to assemble, getting all the resistors in the correct position.

Monophonic Organ