Electronic timer project

assembled timer - lots of LEDs!

assembled timer – all hand soldered in

Time for more soldering – delayed from the weekend due to real life commitments, but eventually I managed to get the soldering iron out, this time for the kitchen timer kit from Maplin.

A couple of hours’ work assembled all components, including a buzzer, 16 LEDs, an integrated chip, resistors and capacitors, the battery box was connected and the whole thing screwed together – so it was time for the moment of truth!

completed timer with LEDs showing

completed timer with LEDs showing

Yes, it all works, I’m pleased to say.  I now have a working kitchen timer that I made myself from components.  The push button sets the time, then the lights gradually go out until at the end they light up in a pattern.  The buzzer sounds when the timer is turned off.

This was a simpler kit than the radio (which I still haven’t found a power supply to test) but on the whole probably a little more fiddly, owing to the size of the LEDs and the sheer number of them.  I figured out how to make electronics easier – make the circuit boards bigger so that the soldering is less fiddly, but I suspect the experts would disagree and tell me it’s just experience! I’m currently using the 30 watt size soldering iron.  They do make smaller sizes, and I suspect that if I end up doing a lot more electronic soldering I’ll splash out for a smaller, more delicate one – and a proper soldering stand, as it’s nervewracking having a hot soldering iron sitting on the desk not properly secured.

What I don’t know yet is how to make a circuit board – I suspect it’s something to do with etching, and beyond both my capabilities and tools – but on the whole I’m a lot happier with the idea of assembling electronic components and programming them than I was at the start of the summer.


About emmyleigh
Writer/editor/proofreader who loves technology

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