As a young boy in Australia my two favorite hangouts were my grandfather's shed or practically anywhere that electronics were sold. The two largest electronic component retailers in my home town were Tandy (Radio Shack) and Dick Smith Electronics. They both sold kits, tools, '100 in 1 Labs' and other assorted gear but Dick Smith eventually became known as the experimenters store due to their greater range.
|Original Radio Shack calculator|
If you would like to make one of these yourself then Adafruit Industries has created a PDF document you can print and cut out for create your own resistor value calculator.
The PDF file is available from Adafruit Industries or a copy is also here. Once you print it out, a little cutting and folding should produce something like the example of the right. The Adafruit design uses brass paper fasteners (remember those?) but any fastener could be used that would allow the wheel inside to rotate freely. It would be best to print on heavy card stock if you have the ability as it will give the calculator some strength.
Something new ...
If you happen to have one of those new fangled iDevices you can download Circuit Playground. It has a few more features than the old Radio Shack calculator and looks great on the iPad.
More features are being added but the list at the moment includes:
- Decipher resistor & capacitor codes with ease
- Calculate power, resistance, current, and voltage with the Ohm's Law & Power Calc modules
- Quickly convert between decimal, hexadecimal, binary or even ASCII characters
- Calculate values for multiple resistors or capacitors in series & parallel configurations
- Store, search, and view PDF datasheets
- Access exclusive sneak peaks, deals & discounts at Adafruit Industries
As time goes on there are more and more useful utilities available for electronic experimenters on iOS and Android devices. Since more and more equipment today is becoming computerized do iOS and Android devices represent the future of test equipment?
|iMSO-104 iPad Oscilloscope|