Get acquainted with the Digital Multimeter – an engineer’s best friend!
The ability to test resistance, voltage, current & continuity are vital to any electronics maker – even the freshest of newbies. In fact, having a reliable multimeter on hand is a huge help when learning the basics. Even before understanding what each value means, you’ll be able to establish reference points for applying each new concepts and troubleshooting experiments.
For those curious, the big blue meter I use in the video is a Protek 6300 (Mastech MS8229 seems to be a similar model). While you can find functional multimeters for under $10, I do recommend getting yourself a higher quality device. Increased accuracy, build quality, display backlight, and expanded measurement options are all very welcome features at my workbench.
If you find yourself getting a bit frustrated using the pointy-stylus stock multimeter test probes, I highly recommend picking up a pair of ‘Minigrabber Test Clip to Banana Plug’ leads (they make a brief cameo early on in the above vid). I keep a set of Pamona brand minigrabbers on hand for connecting to IC pins & through-hole part leads. Alligator clip leads would likely work as well.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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