Wow! Winter break simultaneously went by all too fast and yet, it seems like forever ago that I was teaching analog recording, doing a Zed Lep cover for our penultimate class. On the final class, everyone was so burnt out by final exams that we played vinyl for THREE HOURS! (Gentle Giant’s KNOTS, Frank Zappa’s MOVIN’ TO MONTANA, The Robins’ SMOKEY JOE’s CAFE, Sinatra, Gene Vincent, Johnny Guitar Watson, Les Paul – it was quite the journey.)
That said, my brain is flying with zillions of ideas that must be well focused in time for my students’ first electronic experience – I don’t want to scare anyone off. To soften the landing, hands-on is heavily emphasized – starting with the familiar 9-volt battery to the tongue and then…
Learn how to use a Multi-meter, a piece of Test Equipment that, as the name implies, does multiple things – measure volts, current (in amps) and resistance (in ohms)…
After proving the 9-volt battery is worthy, it’s time to get hip to the solder-less breadboard. With a little experience, it can used to demo a simple stomp box circuit and just about any idea you can throw at and fit on it!
I said ‘hands-on,’ right? Seeing the images, touching all the parts, getting familiar enough to make the breadboard do your bidding is key. Students connect a battery, a Light Emitting Diode (LED) and a Resistor. When the LED lights up, it’s time to take a union cig break and pat yourself on the back..
We see the circuit as a physical entity, learn the schematic symbol for each component and then whip out the multimeter and take some measurements.
I’m off to do it for real, so L8R!