First electronics meet. Kits distributed.

I enjoyed it 🙂 Good to see you all 🙂

So glad to see so many of you getting into it so quickly. All I did was advise you to construct a 5V power supply, yet people rapidly advanced and went on to utilize it without any instruction from me, e.g. one group used the 5V supply to power two LED’s in parallel. Very pleasing to see.

I would hope however that you don’t “experiment blindly” but do so after having read what’s in the manual. E.g. one curious group plugged the LED into the 5V supply and then direct to ground. But if the manual – at the point where it started talking about powering an LED – mentions that LED’s need a resistor on them to limit the current flowing through it to protect the LED. thankfully it didn’t burn out.

I did say that even though we are only using 5V – which isn’t a particularly high “energy” if you use that 5V value in Ohms law with zero resistance, V=IR, the current flowing would be V/zero which is “infinity”. So even a small voltage can generate high currents and high currents causes things to burn out. rapidly – the large flow of electrons breaks up the structure of the material that the electrons flow through. Usually the currents we deal with – the “safe” / “low-level” values – are in the order of a few tens of or hundreds of miliamps, e.g.0.01mA or 0.1 mA. (OK the LED itself has some resistance so you won’t get infinite current without an additional resistor, but the current is still pretty high and was enough to eventually destroy the LED)

So for the sake of minimising risk to the more advanced components like the AT89C2051 microcontroller, please read a bit on advance of doing the hands-on stuff.

And please have fun 🙂

I think we are well on the way to programming the chip. I’m looking forward to adding the programmer to the kit 🙂

This kind of hardware has been around for quite some time. The software to program it is a bit old. I know it works with Windows XP but I’ve not tested it in versions of Windows beyond that – e.g. Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and now Windows 10. You may need to use comparability mode in windows OR an XP emulator to get the software to run. Please check out this “compatibility mode” and “XP emulator” thing. I will bring an XP laptop with me so you can use it to program your chip when we meet, but that will be quite restrictive – you won’t be able to program it during the week. But if you have the software on your own computer, well, that will be far better for you to learn from.

O.K. I just gotta say this…

Please ensure learning this electronics does not get in the way of your studies for the subjects you are officially studying in the college. I love playing around with electronics and I know it can quickly take up your time. Your “official” subjects must come first. Do not put your progress in those subjects in jeopardy <– reserve time for studying those subjects.

Alright, now go and have some fun.

P.S. If you really need something, then ask me. Maybe I can get it.


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