Getting started with your first electronic project | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 01, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 01, 2019

DIY

Getting started with your first electronic project

Whether you are doing it for academic purposes or as a hobby, working on an electronic or hardware based project can be quite tricky. From initiating the plan to executing it with pin point accuracy, there are a lot of things that can go wrong as you venture into the world of circuits and microcontrollers. Thus, here are a few things you should consider before you start your journey.

Preparing the blueprint: Before starting the project, you need to set up a blueprint for your project. It should include all the necessary schematics of your project, its objective, the required tools and components, etc. Do your own research before planning out the design. Online resources like DIY videos or project documentations will help you a lot in this regard. Never rely on just one or two videos or papers. Go through multiple resources to make sure that you clearly understand what you are dealing with.

Purchasing tools and components: List down the names of components and tools you will be needing to build your project. There are a lot of online shops that can cater to your requirements. If the project is on the high end or if it requires additional components that are not that widely used in Bangladesh, you might have to order them from overseas. However, it is unnecessary to go for a costly approach as this is your first time building such a project.

Taking precautions: Safety should always be prioritised over everything else, especially if you are operating tools such as soldering irons, glue guns, high voltage power sources, etc. Exercise utmost caution while connecting your components. If you mess up your connections, like connecting the power source to the wrong terminals, your components will be damaged, often to the point where they will be rendered useless. Ensure that you have extra components with you at all times so that if one component does not function properly, you can replace it with the extra one.

Coding: If you are using programmable microcontrollers, such as Arduino, or a Single Board Computer (SBC) like Raspberry Pi, you will need to be somewhat familiar with coding. Even if you copy the code from your resource material, you will still need to understand what it does and how it operates. Each microcontroller or SBC will come with its own IDE for you to code in. The syntax to be used depends on the language which is supported by the device. If you can acquire the basic knowledge of how the syntax works, the rest is just logic.

Doing test runs: This will help you determine the faults in your project and also think of improvements that can be made. Conduct multiple test runs with a variety of conditions if possible.

Given that it is your first time working on something like this, you do not need to worry about perfection. Keep on trying until you see your project work just the way you want it to. The more involved you become with electronics and your tools, the easier and more exciting it will get.

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