For those of you unfamiliar, Heathkit was a manufacturer of a vast array of electronics kits and for several decades, almost an American institution. Yes, there was actually a time when there was an economic advantage to building your own television. Well economic in terms of cost, not factoring in your time, but it was a hobby and it was fun. I used to help my dad sort out the thousand of components that would come in a kit for say a large console TV. I remember maybe 8 or 9 thick instruction manuals with a box to check for each resistor, capacitor,...etc. that you soldered to the many circuit boards. We had a Heathkit TV, Organ, Stereo, Weathers station, electric garage door opener, at least one radio, and other things. Later on I built a few kits myself and then started to dabble in electronic circuits. This dabbling continued for years, well into adulthood, but my problem was that I either was unable to, or didn't devote enough time to understanding how transistors and integrated circuits processed electrical signals. So I was ultimately unable to craft raw electrical components into circuits that would perform whatever function I was looking for at that time, and pretty much had given up on this hobby until the emergence of small, inexpensive micro controllers a few years ago. A micro controller is essentially a small circuit board with a number of digital and analog inputs and outputs controlled by a programable processor. This was key as I am fairly able in writing programs.
|The Arduino on the right and a "Shield" on the left. This is specifically a RGB Backlit LCD Display Shield|
|Soldered up - note the pins that will plug directly into the opposing pins on the Arduino Uno|
|The shield connected and also note the USB cable (will still run without this using 9v transformer) Running my Bessemer Plant program|
|Power in a can|