Basic Electronics

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by thd9791, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So, laugh all you want, I never have put any sort of electronics together - but had the hope of adding LED's or sound boards to props.

    Does anyone have or can anyone write up a tutorial for basic electronics, adding switches, etc.

    Thought I'd ask here at the same time I do my own research online, on the chance someone here might be more helpful than..ehow haha

    Thanks in advance
  2. Drewid

    Drewid Well-Known Member

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    There's really nothing to laugh about. Most people haven't played around with electronics, even in the prop community (at least in my experience, YMMV). And working with circuits isn't easy once you're past the basics.

    For a basic LED circuit, check this link out: Simple LED Circuit |

    It covers a very simple, one resistor, one LED closed loop circuit. Adding sound boards will range from moderate to difficult depending on if you are using a pre-built board or making your own.

    What exactly did you have in mind that you're thinking of doing (the more specifics the better)?
  3. wrcromu

    wrcromu Active Member

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    Drewid is right, there's nothing to laugh about, everybody need to start...
    Just let us know what you have in mind, may be we could help you.

    Every installation could be specific but if you respect simple rules, there's nothing impossible or really hard. :)
  4. avianoguitarist

    avianoguitarist Active Member

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    A quick Google search will reveal more tutorials than will be posted here. Tons of useful info.
  5. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    If you want a book this one might be good, but I have never read it so I do not know how good it is.
  6. jasonw2112

    jasonw2112 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Radio Shack has a book called "Getting started in Electronics", which is very useful for figuring out how each componet works in a circuit. Also start out with some electronic's kits. They usually come with a circuit board you just solder the componet's to, and they can be very inexpensive. You can find such kits on various sites, but I would try electronics goldmine. It makes for a good start!
  7. STpropguy76

    STpropguy76 Active Member

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    YouTube always has a video or two.
  8. Robiwon

    Robiwon Master Member Gone but not forgotten.

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    Adding lights and sounds to a model or prop is a great way to get more enjoyment out of something. I love adding lights to models and props. What do you have in mind to add lights and sound to?
  9. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    :) thanks guys, I was thinking about adding lights (and/or sound depending) to my hardware sabers, seeing as they end up being hollow anyways

    I will take a look at everything, really helpful, thank you!
  10. Fuzzual

    Fuzzual Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    thanks for asking the question, this is great stuff to know.
  11. Dave Porter

    Dave Porter Sr Member

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  12. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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  13. Thibault

    Thibault Sr Member

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  14. madmanmoe64

    madmanmoe64 Well-Known Member

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    Once you get into it, adding light to a prop is fairly easy. Sound can be much harder.
    Beep noises can be achieved with a simple piezo speaker. If you want to play sound files then it gets really tricky. I've had mixed success with attaching a microprocessor to a cheap mp3 player.

    When I was new to electronics I found it helpful to work through a couple of simple projects on Instructables .
    This is a nice beginners tutorial introducing everything - Basic Electronics
    This can help make sense of circuit diagrams before you get stuck into soldering.
    And great proof that you don't have to understand a circuit to build it, try makeing a Joule Thief
  15. Rikarus

    Rikarus Well-Known Member

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    This one is great, they also have several simple sircuit books, and the drawings are great.

    If you are really interested beyond just for costuming check out the heath kit 200 in 1 electronics lab kits....great basic electronics training.
  16. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I don't think they have sold that in years, when they started getting out of electronics parts and started selling audio components and TVs. They are trying to capitalize on the "Maker" movement so maybe some stores have it now.
  17. propmaster2000

    propmaster2000 Sr Member

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    The Radio Shack Electronics Learning Lab is a nice option
    for familiarizing yourself with basic electronics:

    7 getting started videos
    sportly3's Channel - YouTube


  18. ForgeHyena

    ForgeHyena Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Depending on exactly what you're doing, pre-made kits are available for all sorts of things. For instance, last time I needed a blinking LED I just bought this and took the board out of its case:

    Bright-Red Blinking LED Module -

    The size is deceptive because the case is holding batteries. The LED unit was pretty small. Saved me lots of time and effort.

    There are also TONS of ready-to-be programmed sound boards out there. Sites like Hyperdyne Labs might have exactly what you want.
  19. rollerboi

    rollerboi Sr Member

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    I know some people who simply rip those record-your-own greeting card electronics out and use them in their props.

    There are breadboards you can buy, or childrens electronics kits from places such as Heathkit (ahh, childhood memories).. that can help get one accustomed to working with simple electronics theory. Once you get the basics down, then you can move into custom boards fairly quickly IMO.
  20. avianoguitarist

    avianoguitarist Active Member

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    The best way to start out!
    You always need to breadboard circuits before attempting to solder to Veroboard. Unless, it's a simple circuit.
  21. jasonw2112

    jasonw2112 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    They just rereleased it, along with some (overpriced!) DIY kits.

    The selection of parts has dropped, (which is overpriced as well) but it can get you out of a pinch!

    I remember back in my day, before all that there internet was the rage, you could see nuttin but ceramic resistors as far as the eye could see! Hell they even sold c.b. radio's, but that was a long time ago...........
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018

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