Maker Pro
Maker Pro

Random Component Selection, Power Supply Building, and General Electronics



Jan 1, 1970
I'm new to electronics in that I've never actually built anything
before (I know the basic theory/forumals though, and have drawn up
schematics, etc, but I've never actually built anything), and recently
I have become interested in electronics as it applies to

I'm fairly certain I'll have no problems with the microcontrollers
themselves(the PIC12F675, PIC16F877A, and PIC18LF4539 for now) since
I've done assembly programming on several platforms before and the
data sheets from microchip seem to be very complete with respect to
programming. However, the electronics part is giving me some problems.

My primary problem is that I don't have any parts at all since I've
just become interested in electronics. I do have the extreme basics -
some assorted resistors, LEDs, a multimeter, a breadboard, and some
wire. I need some help figuring out what other components I'll need to
do general tinkering with the PIC-based circuits.
I'm guessing that for simple projects, I'll probably need some
capacitors(of various values - which ones are common in digital
circuits?), some transistors, maybe some more resistors, maybe an LCD
display for graphical output, some resonators/crystals to drive the
chips, and maybe some various other ICs(like what? perhaps a
multiplexer, maybe some 555 timer chips, anything else?).

My breadboard doesn't have a power supply, since either a breadboard
with one or a sepearte unit were both too costly (at >$100). I'm
looking into 'building' one using an AC Adapter (or rechargable NiMH
batteries, but they cost much more), but really I'm not sure how I
would use it. I'm guessing that I'd need whatever kind of socket it
plugs into so I could hook it up to the breadboard, and probably also
a voltage and current regulator (I'd prefer the adaptor provide more
of each than the circuit requires just to be more tolerant to slight
changes - would that really even help?). I'm guessing using regulators
means I'd also need the components from the regulator IC's data sheet
to build each regulator circuit (the regulator I found only does one
or the other function so I'd need two). Is this at all the proper way
to go about this? From the PICs data sheets, the desired volage is
4.2V to 5.5V with a desired 10mA if I'm reading it correctly, but I'm
not complete sure I am (they're on if you'd like to look
and help me with this).

In summary, I'm looking for any good
pointers/information/resources/books/websites/etc on what inexpensive
parts are good to have when tinkering with PIC-based circuits, on how
to build an inexpensive power supply for such projects, and any other
general information on electronics/digital circuits that you think is

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