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Visit our new WorkbenchFun site and discussion forum


Getting Started
Your workbench & tools
Understanding components
Ratings, measurements, & math
Kits & projects
Going further - invention!

Post your questions or help those who have them



Getting started:

A desire to learn, a kitchen table, a soldering iron and a few other tools, and you have everything you need to scare the family members. Follow along, or just explore what interests you, and you won't just have fun, you'll also amaze yourself at what you can do!

Your workbench & tools:

Workbench - Nothing fancy or sophisticated is necessary. My first workbench was an old wooden desk given to me by my aunt to do my homework on. Hope she's not reading this. Actually anything sturdy enough not to collapse will do - with the following additional considerations:

  • A durable, fireproof (just in case) surface
  • Enough room for your project, parts, tools, test equipment, & elbows!
  • Good lighting, a comfortable chair, and a radio or other form of entertainment to soothe your mind during those frustrating moments
  • A plug strip to plug all your stuff into

Tools - To start with you'll need a soldering iron, small screwdriver set, needle-nose pliers, and a small precision wire cutter. A fine razor knife can also be helpful for trimming and clearing any short-circuits between printed circuit board traces.

Soldering tools, tips, & safety warnings(.pdf) by Weller®

Some additional equipment that is very helpful and will give you greater capabilities is as follows:

Circuit board holders and "extra hands" devices by PanaVise®

Bench mounted illuminated magnifier by Dazor®

Adjustable output power supply

Multimeter/tester  (using a multimeter by Doctronics)


Function generator Circuit design & simulation software

* Personal Safety *

shock hazard
burn hazard
shattering & flying objects
lost patience

* Component Safety *

over voltage
over current
static discharge
thermal management
mechanical shock & vibration

Understanding components:

So many fun goodies, so little time!  We'll do our best to present them to you, as well as how they work and how to use them.

diodes & rectifiers
incandescent lamps
neon lamps
infrared receivers

vacuum tubes
programmable ICs
motors & servos
sensors & transducers

Ratings, measurements, & math:

A basic understanding of component ratings will save you a lot of grief. There's nothing worse than spending hard-earned money on parts and then watching them go up in smoke. :-o  Knowing the proper voltage and current values for each part won't just save you money and heartache but will bring you much satisfaction and success with your creation. You'll need your part specification data, a multimeter, and a basic hand calculator.

Online Conversion - a resource site for converting units of power, energy, and much more

Component Ratings

mechanical shock



Math Formulas

Ohm's Law
power factor
voltage drop & attenuation
1Ų versus 3Ų power
AC versus DC
RMS (root-mean-square)
resistance and heat

Kits & projects:
Learn both the hardware and software of console gaming
Computer scientist and author Andre' LaMothe has put together a series of hardware kits that are powerful enough for dazzling graphics and game play yet basic enough to comprehend and program
click here to learn more


Going further - invention!:  (Unleash the Thomas Edison or Nikola Tesla inside you!)

In 1895 Lord Kelvin, a very prominent and respected scientist, stated that heavier than air flying machines were impossible.

On December 17th of 1903 the Wright brothers flew such a machine.
Forget what the experts say - invention starts with a dream!


Interact: Post your questions or help those who have them
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How does this work:
Our purpose with this is to provide a positive and helpful environment for visitors to share questions, thoughts, and ideas with other visitors about electrical and electronic technologies. There are many ways to automate something like this, but We felt that the best way to maintain its quality and purpose would be to personally moderate the input. We invite and welcome your submissions, but ask the following:

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● Please be patient while we review and post your submission.

To participate simply click on (send here via e-mail) above to activate your e-mail program. Leave the subject line as-is and put your description in the body of the e-mail. We may provide an on-line form for this in the future, but we felt a simple e-mail would be the easiest to use. You may also include images, but we cannot guarantee that all will be posted. After we receive your e-mail we will review and post as quickly as possible - in most cases this will be less than 24 hours. Please understand that we cannot post anything that would be harmful or in violation of the law, and ask that you simply use good common sense. Thanks!

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