Help with electronics...



Hi all!

First off, hello to everyone as this is my first post after being a long-time lurker.

I've been making replicas and props seriously for about a year now, and am really looking to build my skill base to include electronics in my props (mostly LED lights for now). I was wondering if anyone knows of a good 'dummies guide' anywhere that leans towards adding electronic components to replicas and props? I've done a bit of googling but haven't found anything suitable.

I'm a complete beginner when it comes to this, I haven't dabbled in it since I left school 15 years ago!!

Thanks in advance for any help :)


New Member
For simple circuits you can check out YouTube videos or the instructables website. They pretty much cover all the basic terms and items that you will need to accomplish said project. If you want to move to a higher stage and make complicated circuits go check out Arduino microcontrollers. They have plenty of guides and examples on their website. Also Adafruit and Sparkfun have tutorials and are electronics online shops.


Hi PipeDreamProps;

I'm new at this myself and I've been totally relying on this new adventure with Electronics for Dummies by Cathleen Shamieh & Gordon McComb. Really easy to understand and has been a blessing in terms of not accidentally injuring myself, lol. Might be worth a try for you too.


Master Member
IMHO... there is no better to start than Arduino. :)

It is great for quickly developing/prototyping (testing) out circuits/components for various projects.

It has a HUGE community following & support as well. Tons of tutorials all over the internet, that include any number of ideas you can incorporate into your own builds.

Once you have a legit Arduino board.... you can use it to make 'Arduino compatible' circuits (clones)... that only cost a few bucks total and do the same thing.

Its much more affordable (and smaller) to use these in your projects than a full sized Arduino, when you have to leave them in the project permanently.

I personally use Arduino for everything.. haha. Its a very powerful platform, that allows for one to do a lot with it, without having to know much. :) lol

Here are some projects I have done using an Arduino.. or more so a custom designed Arduino..

TASM webshooter:

Star Wars DC-17 blaster:

Iron Man motorized face plate electronics:

Nerf (Maverick) mod:


with very minimal money investment, and some time spent reading/walking through the unlimited tutorials out there.. you can do the same and/or better!!!
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