Thursday, May 4, 2017

NEW PRODUCTS – Star Simpson’s Circuit Classics!

from NEW PRODUCTS – Star Simpson’s Circuit Classics!
by Daniel Nosonowitz

Circuit Classics Group Shot ORIG 144

NEW PRODUCTS – Star Simpson’s Circuit Classics: Stepped Tone Generator / Dual LED Flasher / Barograph Voltage Indicator


Forrest M. Mims III is a trusted name in the electronics world for good reason: his charming and engaging texts have drawn millions of people into the world of electronics for the first time. Star Simpson has created an electronic tribute to those hand-drawn circuits by bringing the projects to life. These kits are an exquisitely designed series of finely crafted and highly detailed boards. These are the Circuit Classics. They make a great gift for a first-time learner, an expert tinkerer, or even just as a fun conversation piece for your desk.

This initial release includes three of Forrest’s circuit designs in kit form: the Dual-LED Flasher, the Stepped Tone Generator, and the Bargraph Voltage Indicator. Each kit includes:

  • Printed Circuit Board (PCB): Includes the circuit itself, the circuit’s schematic, and a description of the circuit, all in Forrest’s iconic hand-drawn style, traced directly from his books. (Prototypes are OSHPark purple, but the final production run will be blue.)
  • Through-hole Components: All the components you need to build a working circuit. Easy to place and solder on the PCB thanks to clear footprints and large, friendly solder pads.
  • Display Stand: made of high-quality blond ash wood, each stand is crafted to let you proudly display your work.

3459 wooden stand demo ORIG

First we have the Stepped Tone Generator. This circuit gained a life of its own, jumping from the pages of the 555 Timer IC Circuits Engineer’s Mini-Notebook and out into the world as the storied Atari Punk Console. Well-known for enabling the creation of sounds just like classic Atari console games from the 1980s, this kit from Circuit Classics provides a fun audio-centric project, as well as an interesting introduction to digital circuitry, feedback, and oscillators.

3460 wooden stand demo ORIG

Next up is the Bargraph Voltage Indicator. This circuit lets you become a scientist and an engineer and marks the passage of that important milestone of using tools you have constructed yourself. With this kit, you can measure batteries or use it to explore and understand other electronic circuits that you find in the world.

3461 giffy

Lastly we have the Dual LED Flasher. This circuit is a rewarding first project — with just nine components you can get the satisfying effect of making LEDs light up and blink. The functionality of this kit is charmingly complex despite its simplicity. Understanding how it works will provide a taste of the analog side of electronics, and is a fun puzzle!

You’ll need a couple of additional tools and materials in order to put these kits together: a soldering iron (like this one), and solder. You can use the included wooden stand to hold the boards while you solder.

Please note: Batteries are not included in these kits! You can choose to use the provided alligator clips to hook up a 9V battery or power supply of your choosing, or you can assemble the SMT Battery Clip to the reverse side, in which case you’ll want to pick up a 3V 2032 coin cell battery on checkout.

3460 kit ORIG

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3 comments:

  1. You’ll need a couple of additional tools and materials in order to put these kits together: a soldering iron (like this one), and solder. You can use the included wooden stand to hold the boards while you solder.
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