To place an order, simply send
an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
and mention the things you want to buy.
You will get a reply with the cost, postage and how
- Colin Mitchell
This website is constantly being updated and
new projects are being added all the time. They are included in the
index on the left, in alphabetical order as this is the quickest
way to find things. We only understand two ways to sort things:
numerical and alphabetical.
The site now contains over 190Meg of files and is
CD for $10.00 (posted) - see offer below for free bag of
The website also contains a Basic Electronics Course and PIC
Programming course that is constantly being updated. You can
subscribe for $10.00 and this gives you lifetime access and a
I am quite sure you will not know where to start. . . so many topics are
covered and there's so much to know in electronics. But if you read just 3
pages a day you will eventually get through the 2,500 pages on the site.
One customer asked about "how a circuit works." Each project has a
section "If it doesn't work" and this explains how each stage operates.
That's how you learn electronics. It's also necessary to build
lots of circuits.
Nothing beats experimentation.
As a side note: The web contains everything you could possibly want. It has
eBooks, circuits, data, answers and even the minûtest question can be
or via one of the forums found here:
The web puts all technical books and even Universities, in the
background. If you don't believe me, look up "Sail University SCAM."
The first thing to do is use the internet. If that doesn't provide an
answer, you will have to spend money. I have been enormously disappointed on
hundreds of occasions and that's why I am passing my experience on to you. The grass is
not "greener on the other side of the fence." By spending money you hardly
ever get value.
Be the first to disprove me.
In the meantime, use the internet first.
The latest pages, projects and ideas:
Driving a medium-sized car is equal to 88 x 1-bar radiators (1,000watt bar).
22 bars for propulsion and 66 bars in wasted heat.
Running a shower is equal to 12 radiator bars (7 litres/min - a very gentle
Australia is one of the biggest polluters in the world - exporting over 250
million tons of coal per year. This creates over 650 million tons of CO2.
How do you think changing a 100watt light bulb to 22watt CFL is going to
make any difference? Where did all the carbon come from in the first
place? If it was in the air, how did plants etc survive the high carbon
WHERE TO START?
site is so large, you will hardly know where to start.
If you are looking for projects to build, see left
Simple projects, see left index PIC microcontroller projects. Discussions
Latest additions, see below
Links to other sites
Data, resistor colour code, 555 timer, etc etc, see left index A-Z of
details on everything electronic
of the whole site: 182MB
TALKING ELECTRONICS Interactive
Buy the CD
of the whole site. It's 180 meg of programs, theory, articles and
projects and get a small bag of new and used components from our
recent prototypes - including chips and surface-mount
items. Some will be new and some will be used - but
they will all be useful.
You must mention this offer. Click
Lots of projects and pages are being updated all the time but the major
Testing Electronic Components
The Transistor Amplifier Videos - a whole range of
interesting videos has been created by Dave L Jones 12 Digit Running
Sign create running messages on a 12 digit calculator display. Pen Bug MkIV - a
surface mount RF transmitter that fits inside a marker pen 1-9-2010
Latest Issue of
Technology. Just look at the on-line features of being able to
read the magazine on the screen. This is programming at its utter
Read this SCAM article on FREE ENERGY
via a magnetic generator. The video does not show any generator working! The
testimonials from readers say they have saved thousands in electricity bills
but there are no videos!!!!! They must think we are total idiots!
Simply show us a generator on a table illuminating a 100 watt globe. Here is
a site that covers scams like this: SCAMS.
(look under Deceptions)
Run Your Car on Water: .pdf.rar.zip (the .pdf
normally costs $25.00)
Another SCAM: Tesla's Secrets. This
$49.00 .pdf is filled with factual history of Tesla's life but the comments
about FREE ENERGY are very suspect and energy detected in the video from the
simple diode and antenna project represents the energy from TV stations,
mobile phone towers etc - the energy is minûte. A-Z of
lots of details on everything electronic. 30-7-2010 Mechanical TV.
Build a project that reproduces the very first 1930's TV. It was mechanical,
and an enormous achievement.
are hundreds of articles on Talking Electronics website.
Email Colin Mitchell if you are
looking for something in particular.
Pick A PIC Project
- new projects added to this page 8-6-2010
Watch this video:
HERE to learn about PIC microcontrollers.
Do not buy any
Solar Panel System as new high-efficiency solar panels are just around
the corner at 10% of the present cost. PIC Programmer MkV
- very low cost programmer 15-5-2010 Pick A PIC Project - get yourself into PIC programming with lots
of projects PIC
Projects - lots of new projects 15-5-2010
Added more to Discussions - the cost
of fuels added 13/5/2010 Bike and
Car Gears Gives a readout of the gear on a display
21-3-2010 LED FX
12 different effects in a set of 3 LEDs (click on LED FX in menu) The most comprehensive eBook on the
50 - 555 Circuits 13-2-2010
More projects using PIC micros. See
13-2-2010 Stroop Game -
A very interesting challenge 1/9/09 Power Management CookBookII
from Texas Instruments .pdf 3.7MB Dial Alarm-2
kit dials 2 phone numbers and listens to audio in target zone 1-10-09
Goldmine has lots of interesting "junk" items each month.
The elephant pump is based on the rope pump, first
invented 2,000 years ago in China. It can be
built in about four hours from local materials. This
video shows how one is built and installed. You learn
something new every day!
Added new project:
Lifts - counts entry and exists 11/8/2009
More added to PIC Programmer (now
has In-Circuit Programming) 5-8-2009
More circuits added to PartB of ebook "200
Transistor Circuits" 21-7-2009
All About Circuits
theory for Beginners Sparks Fun Catalogue - hundreds of
interesting items (13MB .pdf) Whistle Key Finder
A great new site has popped up:
GADGET GANGSTER Put your project on their site and get paid 20%.
You can even modify some of our
designs and submit them for others to enjoy.
We don't mind you coping any of our projects, provided you improve them and
change some of the features.
introduces a lot of "devilish enthusiasm" and really puts a lot of
interest into the field of electronics.
If you combine the skills of designing a project (with a microcontroller) and
submit it to their site, you will get your "name in lights" and you can add
one more "ticket to your achievements."
website today and it has GONE!! This website was
run by a very clever electronics enthusiast who had put an
enormous amount of time into designing a lot of very clever
and interesting projects.
But he has gone because absolutely no-one bought any of his
That is the way things are going. Sales of electronics
projects and components have dropped to less than 10% of previous
One Indian electronics magazine has stopped selling kits and
the other magazine obviously does not sell very much as they
want $50 postage for a $5.00 kit.
Elektor has resorted to only 6 issues a year in an attempt
to save printing costs and Everyday Practical Electronics
gets all their projects from Silicon Chip one year after
they have appeared in SC.
EPE subscriber base has dropped to less than 10,000 and I
stopped producing my magazine when sales fell to 12,000 as
it was no longer viable.
The only thing that keeps Silicon Chip active is the sales
of editorial material to EPE and when one goes, the
other will follow.
However the internet has boosted the interest in electronics
enormously. It is free and reaches all over the world
TE is still getting 6,000 to 7,000 visitors each day and
each section gets almost the exact number of visitors each
day. Some get 300, some get 200 and some get 50. And
these numbers remain almost absolutely constant. Statistics
is an amazing thing.
If you don't believe in statistics, you are fooling
Even page 28 of Spot the Mistakes gets 10 readers each day
and this is after readers have covered more than 350 faulty
We are constantly getting confirmation emails to say the
reader has learnt more from Talking Electronics website than
anything in any course.
But don't forget each website costs a small amount to keep
running and unless they are supported by purchases, they
will close down.
That's what happened with
I get asked a few times about the type of soldering iron to buy.
Are the cheap $8.00 soldering irons ok?
There are two faults with these irons. The tips are too big and they are too
Here are my comparisons with an $8.00 iron and a $50.00 temperature
controlled soldering iron (soldering station):
The soldering station can be set to exactly 340
for quick soldering. If the temperature is less than this, you will take
longer to solder a joint and surprisingly this will heat up the component
more than the higher temperature.
If you use fine solder and apply the solder at the joint, the flux will
clean the surfaces and create a very quick, clean connection.
Using fine solder improves the connection 200% and using a
temperature-controlled iron is 200% easier than using a big, cumbersome,
cheap $8.00 iron.
I have improved my soldering 400% and yours will improve 400% by simply
using a fine tipped iron at
Lead-free solders are extremely hard to use and make a very dull connection.
The connections are very prone to failure and the temperature needed for
this type of solder (soldering) is
and is very near the "destruction-point" for semiconductors.
Here's an interesting article, I just received:
OF THE CAR RADIO
Seems like cars have always had radios, but they didn't.
Here's the story:
One evening, in 1929, two young men named William Lear and Elmer Wavering
drove their girlfriends to a lookout point high above the Mississippi River
town of Quincy, Illinois, to watch the sunset.
It was a romantic night to be sure, but one of the women observed that it
would be even nicer if they could listen to music in the car.
Lear and Wavering liked the idea. Both men had tinkered with radios (Lear
served as a radio operator in the U.S. Navy during World War I) and it
wasn't long before they were taking apart a home radio and trying to get it
to work in a car.
But it wasn't easy: automobiles have ignition switches, generators, spark
plugs, and other electrical equipment that generate noisy static
interference, making it nearly impossible to listen to the radio when the
engine was running.
One by one, Lear and Wavering identified and eliminated each source of
electrical interference. When they finally got their radio to work, they
took it to a radio convention in Chicago.
There they met Paul Galvin, owner of Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. He
made a product called a "battery eliminator", a device that allowed
battery-powered radios to run on household AC current.
But as more homes were wired for electricity, more radio manufacturers made
Galvin needed a new product to manufacture. When he met Lear and Wavering at
the radio convention, he found it. He believed that mass-produced,
affordable car radios had the potential to become a huge business.
Lear and Wavering set up shop in Galvin's factory, and when they perfected
their first radio, they installed it in his Studebaker.
Then Galvin went to a local banker to apply for a loan. Thinking it might
sweeten the deal, he had his men install a radio in the banker's Packard.
Good idea, but it didn't work -- Half an hour after the installation, the
banker's Packard caught on fire. (They didn't get the loan.)
Galvin didn't give up. He drove his Studebaker nearly 800 miles to Atlantic
City to show off the radio at the 1930 Radio Manufacturers Association
Too broke to afford a booth, he parked the car outside the convention hall
and cranked up the radio so that passing conventioneers could hear it. That
idea worked -- He got enough orders to put the radio into production.
WHAT'S IN A NAME That first production model was called the 5T71. Galvin
decided he needed to come up with something a little catchier. In those days
many companies in the phonograph and radio businesses used the suffix "ola"
for their names -Radiola, Columbiola, and Victrola were three of the
Galvin decided to do the same thing, and since his radio was intended for
use in a motor vehicle, he decided to call it the Motorola. But even with
the name change, the radio still had problems:
When Motorola went on sale in 1930, it cost about $110 uninstalled, at a
time when you could buy a brand-new car for $650, and the country was
sliding into the Great Depression, (By that measure, a radio for a new car
would cost about $3,000 today.)
In 1930, it took two men several days to put in a car radio --The dashboard
had to be taken apart so that the receiver and a single speaker could be
installed, and the ceiling had to be cut open to install the antenna. These
early radios ran on their own batteries, not on the car battery, so holes
had to be cut into the floorboard to accommodate them. The installation
manual had eight complete diagrams and 28 pages of instructions. Selling
complicated car radios that cost 20 percent of the price of a brand-new car
wouldn't have been easy in the best of times, let alone during the Great
Depression --Galvin lost money in 1930 and struggled for a couple of years
after that. But things picked up in 1933 when Ford began offering Motorola's
pre-installed at the factory.
In 1934 they got another boost when Galvin struck a deal with B.F. Goodrich
tire company to sell and install them in its chain of tire stores. By then
the price of the radio, with installation included, had dropped to $55. The
Motorola car radio was off and running. (The name of the company would be
officially changed from Galvin Manufacturing to "Motorola" in 1947.)
In the meantime, Galvin continued to develop new uses for car radios. In
1936, the same year that it introduced push-button tuning, it also
introduced the Motorola Police Cruiser, a standard car radio that was
factory preset to a single frequency to pick up police broadcasts.
In 1940 he developed the first handheld two-way radio -- The Handy-Talkie
--for the U. S. Army. A lot of the communications technologies that we take
for granted today were born in Motorola labs in the years that followed
World War II.
In 1947 they came out with the first television for under $200.In 1956 the
company introduced the world's first pager; in 1969 came the radio and
television equipment that was used to televise Neil Armstrong's first steps
on the Moon. In 1973 it invented the world's first handheld cellular phone.
Today Motorola is one of the largest cell phone manufacturers in the world.
And it all started with the car radio.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO the two men who installed the first radio in Paul
Galvin's car? Elmer Wavering and William Lear, ended up taking very
different paths in life.
Wavering stayed with Motorola. In the 1950's he helped change the automobile
experience again when he developed the first automotive alternator,
replacing inefficient and unreliable generators. The invention lead to such
luxuries as power windows, power seats, and, eventually, air-conditioning.
Lear also continued inventing. He holds more than 150 patents. Remember
eight-track tape players? Lear invented that. But what he's really famous
for are his contributions to the field of aviation. He invented radio
direction finders for planes, aided in the invention of the autopilot,
designed the first fully automatic aircraft landing system, and in 1963
introduced his most famous invention of all, the Lear Jet, the world's first
mass-produced, affordable business jet. (Not bad for a guy who dropped out
of school after the eighth grade.)
Sometimes it is fun to find out how some of the many things that we take for
granted actually came into being!
Pad2Pad Printed Circuit Board Poll Results:
We have had lots of replies.
Many hobbyists have paid for a professional PCB and been very satisfied with
But there's one thing you must remember.
If the project is fairly complex, you may need to modify the circuit, add components, change the
layout or alter the tracks. And this means your first effort may need a second
or third board.
If you think you can go from a circuit diagram to a PC board, and everything
will work, you are kidding yourself. Unless you have made lots of projects and
know exactly what you are doing, most circuits will not work the first time.
There are lots of things that will prevent it from working - depending
on the complexity and the frequency of operation.
Things creep in like stray capacitance or positioning of components and you may need a second or even a third prototype, before you are satisfied with
the performance. And will add considerably to the cost of the project.
To reduce the costs, I suggest the use of one of our Matrix Boards,
such as the one shown below:
It has the order No: PK-MB2450 and by simply
placing the components on the top side and connecting the pads
with very fine tinned copper wire, you will produce a very neat layout. Don't
forget to place the IC's in sockets so they are not damaged. You can even
re-use the board and the components, although many of the parts will have very
short leads, so the additional cost of prototyping will be very low.
Once you are satisfied with the operation of the circuit, you can copy the
layout using the CAD program provided by
and you will have a much greater chance of the circuit working perfectly the first time.
Even if you are not in the need of a board at the moment, go to the site and
download the program to create some artwork to get an idea of how to use it.
All packages take a while to learn and it's best to get some experience before
you need make a board - so you don't get frustrated when the pressure is on.
Try it as soon as you can, you will be impressed with the features.
Do I believe in Perpetual Motion? Yes.
Do I believe it is here? No.
There has not been any scientific evidence that any device can rotate
indefinitely without any input-energy or produce any output without any
We have got very close (even to the extent of 99.9%) but that magical figure
of 100% has not been obtained.
That doesn't mean we should not keep trying, but as a practical person I
prefer to explore the potentials of using the vast amount of energy that
already surrounds us.
The sun provides 1kw per square metre on a brightly-lit day, the wind
provides considerable energy in a windy location and the tide, waves and
streams provide enormous potential for harnessing energy.
So, to get down to practicalities, let's consider the energy from the sun in
the form of solar-cell voltage production and heat via solar-heat
collection. (You will need to go to other websites for solar-heat production
as we are very interested in this area but it does not involve electronics.)
Some of the new projects we are working on include charging storage cells
via a solar panel and using an inverter to provide charging when the panel
is not producing a high output. See our solar projects in the index on the
left side of the site and these will include links to other projects.
MORE ON PERPETUAL
I received an email from Richard L. "Scott" McKie --
email@example.com inventor of
a "Perpetual Energy Machine" patent number: 5,146,395
When I asked him for a video, photograph and evidence of his actual working
prototype he just sent me a rude email: "go -------
If you look at the patent and circuit diagram it is just a mixture of empty
boxes and circuit components that make no sense at all. It is something that
will impress the uninitiated and in his email he was touting for an
I have received over a dozen letters like this and they are all just as
Suppose his isn't fraudulent. Suppose he had a box of tricks that produced
5kw. How much do you think it would be worth? Absolutely
nothing. A project like this could be copied and produced within a week. You
have no hold on anyone copying anything. I already produce 1.5kw mains
inverters for $300 and sell them for $1,960. Anyone could produce "Perpetual
Energy Machines" in a garage and no-one could find them. To think you could
stop a person or close them down is just a dream.
All my kits were copied by a "business acquaintance" in Hong Kong and I
could do nothing. The same with the "Perpetual Energy Machine."
After you sell the first device, the mystery is over.
The final email I sent him was: I will buy one for $50,000.
If the idea was genuine, he could supply a prototype or mock-up and claim
$50,000. We will see what reply is received. My emails
have now been rejected. He has got an inefficient mail server:
comcat.net claiming my emails are SPAM.
UPDATE: No actual replies to my emails but just more abuse. It makes
you wonder how an intelligent person can act like this. The "Inventor" wants
to lease the product and wants a backer to manufacture it.
Who would release such a valuable product for 1% of its value on a lease
agreement when you can sell it for 100% of its value!! Secondly,
who would be running around looking for a a "backer" when one demonstration
on a TV program would generate 1,000 immediate investors. It
makes you wonder how an intelligent person could write a spiel for a patent
and not have enough intelligence to run the business-end of the "invention."
I almost got caught by the Davison Invention assistance company. I have a
number of products that need development and Davison had sent me emails as
to how they had assisted so many inventors with their inventions.
It all sounded "so easy."
I sent them an outline of the idea. It was an electronic module for greeting
cards. When you open the card, it contains a game such as a Reaction
Timer to test your reaction. Two pressure-sensitive buttons and a 7-segment
display tested the players timing. The 7-segment display was made from LEDs
and was low-profile.
The module needed to be made in tens of thousands to keep the price low.
Davison looked at the idea and gave it the "go ahead."
Then they phoned me with the spiel that they needed to do a patent search
I said I could do that myself, and anyway these ideas cannot be found in any
Davison said it was imperative that they do the search before taking on the
I told them that anyone taking on my invention would need to do their own
"due diligence" and anything I provided would have to be verified by them.
That was not good enough for Davison.
I said I had absolutely no intention of parting with $685 for a search.
Davison then hung up the phone on me.
I then thought I would Google "Davison."
What a surprise!
A whole website has been set up, exposing the fraudulent behavior of this
company. Some inventors have parted with $10,000 and more, developing
prototypes and packaging so Davison can show a photo of all the products
they have "developed." None of these products have actually reached the shop
shelves. They are all prototypes in prototype packaging and some inventors
have been strung along for 2 years!
In this world, there are only two things you can rely on. And they are on
the end of your own two arms.
Getting an invention to market is not easy and is fraught with dangers and
high costs. It certainly does not need a "Davison FRAUD" company to enter the
Even getting a thing produced overseas is not easy as most manufacturers
have a range of products and they are not really equipped to produce
If you can find a company that produces something similar to yours, you have
a slim chance that they can help, but most of the components in a product are
made by other, smaller, companies and you will never be able to actually
reach the manufacturer.
Secondly, companies do not have the money to develop any of your ideas and
the cost of development is very high.
This means you will not make a cent out of the first 10,000 items and that's
why you need to look at very large quantities.
I don't want to put you off, but don't think any of the items in a $2.00
store have appeared overnight. Everything is a lot of work and even the
packaging and labeling needs a considerable amount of attention.
If you have any "electronic idea" that you want mass-produced, let me know
as I have now found reliable contacts in China and the modules are getting
How do you know if a "Get-Rich-Quick Scheme" is a FRAUD?
It's simple. They are ALL FRAUD.
I am constantly being bombarded with emails on: "how to get rich quick."
They are all either fraud or simply a business designed to "rope-in" your
friends and family.
Many of them are a "Pyramid Scheme" in which you get a commission when you
get 5 or 10 friends to join.
I have asked 3 promoters of "million dollar" schemes to fax me a copy of
their Tax Return (the only true indication of their wealth). I have never
received a reply.
Before you join any "scheme," ask to see the Tax Return for the business.
A non-reply will answer all your questions.
The latest is a revised version of the "Nigerian Money Scam." It asks for
assistance in transferring money into your account. If you see an email with
"$1,000,000" on it, delete it immediately. This is the quickest way to get
rid or your junk emails. I get hundreds like this EVERY DAY!
More Internet FRAUD
The broad definition of FRAUD is receiving something different to
expectations. This may be a "product switch" or a price increase.
Anyone dealing with me gets a refund or the kits gets serviced until it
No-one wants to feel cheated, tricked or upset. That's why PayPal offers a
refund. If this policy was not introduced the internet would be a "hive of
thieves" as it was 10 years ago.
People bought card that never existed. One Texas woman sold $15,000 worth of
computer she did not posses. And the list waas enormous.
But recently I was sent an email from Popular Mechanics for a 12
month subscription for $8.00
I entered my name, address and credit card details and the screen
immediately disappeared and payment was approved.
The confirmation email said I was charged $19.00. $11.00 extra for
postage outside the US.
This was not clear on the original screen and only popped up in very small
text under a large image.
I then tried to reach Customer Service and the link did not work.
The only way I was able to reach the Subscription Department of Popular
Mechanics was to email the editorial section.
This smacks of fraud on 4 different levels.
The original email did not disclose an extra $11.00 for overseas
The screen on the website only allowed the extra cost to pop up after the
details were entered. The payment page did not include the extra cost and no
screen appeared detailing the amount that would be debited from the card.
That's why Paypal has different screens showing the costs and allowing the
transaction to be halted before finally authorising the amount.
This is typical American entrapment.
It just makes you careful NOT to use your credit card over the internet and
only use PayPal facilities, where the transaction can be disputed and halted
before final approval is made.
Just sent in my order for the Pic Lab 1 and the Multi Programmer.
FYI, I attend Burning Man every year and there is a whole range of amazing
projects out there. Go to:
Cubatron if you want an example of one.
Many projects use LED's, EL wire and other electronics to achieve
interesting effects. This past summer I built two four foot long
geckos out of conduit and cyclone fence wire based on a 6"
beaded wire gecko sculpture I have at home, a very cute art
I used a PIC-driven RGB color wash board to illuminate the eyeballs of the
two geckos, and I strung 400-500 colored LED's on the ribs to form a
beautiful animated skin on the pieces.
It came out pretty well. My ambition and goal is to make similar creatures
that are solar powered and animated by PIC chips and LED's. The Cubatron
illustrates what can be done with network addressable LED's. I'm hoping to
work my way up to doing something like that on my pieces.
Thanks. Looking forward to getting the kit and getting started.
An email from a constructor:
Two years ago I purchased a pre-made PIC-lab 1 and multi-chip
programmer. It has been one of the greatest investments I have
made. I have since taught my self how to program PICs and
developed many ideas into working breadboard prototypes. All of
this was possible due to the amazing wealth of information on
the site and CD. Not only have I been so pleased with the
hardware, which is still my only programmer I use but also with
the support I have received since my purchase so long ago.
Thanks for such a great experience Talking Electronics.
Chicago, il USA
email from a constructor:
Good day Colin:
I have just completed another
kit I purchased from you (my second PIC LICK).
Excellent kit as usual!
I usually use my own solder
when soldering but this time I used the one in the kit.
I found this solder to be
excellent - far superior to the Kester type I am using.
Could you to tell me what brand and where I can purchase it?
For your information I have also built a couple of kits from
Germany (KENO kits).
They are complete junk! If I didn't need them for a
client I would have thrown them
in the garbage.
Your kits are by far the best I have ever
built, followed by CANAKIT
and then by Quasar in England.
We are the first
kit manufacturer in Australia to provide solder with all kits. It is 0.71mm
diameter with 5 cores of flux. It improves the quality of your soldering by
at least 200% and makes you look like a professional. The secret is its
fineness. You will not believe how it will improve your soldering. Try it. I
did and I have never used thick
Electronics has been so confusing and difficult for
me. But with the help of your site I am beginning to
get clear with the subject. Thank you so much. I can't believe the effort you have put into
creating this huge site with so much information.
It's like a large university dedicated for electronic students.
Thank you so much Collin, for your effort.
My name is James, and I am writing this email to thank
you for your wonderful website. You have taught me many
things indirectly. If I had not discovered your website,
Talking Electronics.com, I would not know nearly as much
as I do now! I'll explain...
I have built over 50 circuits from your website.
Most of your transistor circuits, and around half
your 555 timer circuits. I have not had a problem
with any that you designed. Your schematics are very
easy to read, and I recommended a few to my friends
to get them started. I even featured most of
your circuits on one of my videos. You are a
wonderful designer. I am 18 years old and am
fortunate to have found your material at an early
age. Keep up the good work.
for publishing your 5x7 LED matrix project. I doubled the size of the
display to 7x10 and designed the board in Proteus 7.1 I made the project and it works
I changed the programs so the logic is inverted. In my design the port sees
0v when a button is pushed. The photo below shows the final design:
7x10 Matrix from one of our readers
Gustavo - from Columbia
This is exactly what we want you to do.
It's only when you change something and it works, can you say you really
understand what you are doing. This is a perfect example of "going further!"
Here's another email from a reader who has been buying Talking Electronics
magazines since 1988 and has now stumbled on our Talking Electronics
I’m writing to you to let you
know how much I’ve appreciated the work you’ve done
over the years in promoting electronics through your
very easy-to-understand tutorials and very
reasonably priced kitsets.
I first became interested in
Taking Electronics in 1988, when I was 15. I had
had an interest in electronics since I was about 11,
when my parents bought my a Dick Smith Funway into
Electronics kit, but I always found the Funway books
quite confusing, and never really had faith that
what was written in them could be believed.
However, it was when your first “FM Bugs” book came out,
with a circuit board taped to the cover, that my
interest and understanding of electronic circuits
really took off.
I started buying the
components to make the bug for the circuit
board taped to the magazine cover. I don’t
think it worked very well, so I ended up
buying a couple of kits from you in Australia. At
the time it was quite a big deal, as I hadn’t had
much real-world experience at that stage, so
ordering something from an overseas company was a
bit of a learning curve for me. My bugs were so
popular at school that my friends all wanted one, so
I made a bulk order for more. In the years that
followed, and as your other bugging books were
released, I placed more orders.
I also bought one of your books
that was designed to teach people about electronic
circuits. What I still think is incredible, is how
easy-to-understand you make everything. You
explained in the bug books exactly how each section
of the bug worked, and would explain tips we could
try to tweak it, etc. You explain things extremely
well, and you go to a great deal of effort to help
people learn and become interested in electronics.
About 10 years ago I searched
the Net and found that Talking Electronics was still
around, and just last night I was curious again, and
my search rewarded me with the great news that you
are still in existence.
up late last night browsing your web site, as you
have a wealth of incredible information
and I see you’re now providing a number of your
books for free download.
I just wanted to let you know
how much I have appreciated all the great work
you’ve done over the years, and how incredible I
think you are for your desire and great effort to
make electronics interesting, enjoyable, and
easy-to-understand for those who are starting out in
the field. As I say, it was you alone that really
made me understand how electronic circuits work, and
that really inspired me to learn; I can’t thank you
After discovering that you
still sell the kitsets, I’m thinking about ordering
a few more. Could you please let me know which Bug
you think would be the best general-purpose bug to
build (ie if you were to pick one, which would you
pick?) I still have all my Talking Electronics
books that you’ve written.
Anyway, thanks again, for writing your easy-to-understand books,
selling the cheaply-priced kitsets and for your
continued enthusiasm in helping people learn about
Scott Barker Hamilton, New Zealand
Any subscribers who have/had a subscription to
POPTRONICSInteractive will be entitled to
receive a lifetime entry to
(this site) by contacting (Colin Mitchell).
All subscriptions entitle you to a lifetime entry to
the site - not just a "one year" or "one
It was sad to see the demise of POPTRONICS. The
magazine had a history of more than 50 years of publishing with
its forerunners going back to the days of electricity and
It was one of the editions (under a previous name) that presented
the world's first computer in kit-form. Even though it did almost
nothing (compared to today's standards), it started a revolution that is today's "miracle of
Don't be fooled. It was not the corporate enterprises that created
the interest in computers. It was the back-yard hobbyist. It was the enthusiasm
of programmers that turned the computer from a number-crunching
scientific monster to a household, user-friendly, product.
And for this you can thank brilliant hobbyists/programmers. They
were all phenomenally clever - even thinking of the @ sign for
an email address is brilliant!
Computers were originally the size of a room and cost $1,000,000.
After spending a year or more on simplifying the design and
reducing the size, IBM came up with a $15,000 desk-top product that
was enormously complex and almost impossible for the average user
to get operational. It flopped totally.
It was the kit (mentioned above) and lots of hobbyists that
changed the whole picture. They produced software and games that
absolutely exploded the capabilities of the computer.
The two things that accelerated this was the concept of exchanging
programs AT NO COST and COMPUTER SWAP-MEETS - these concepts
are completely foreign to "industry."
Exactly the same explosion took place with the internet, to make
it the most valuable technological introduction of the past 20
Again, you can thank the "hobbyist."
It is undeniable that an enormous amount of capability lies in the
hands of "you" and "me," the hobbyist. That's why we are so
important. That's why it is such a pity that we have not banded
together to create an electronics hobbyist's magazine for the
Unfortunately this hasn't happened and it was sad to see POPTRONICS
is produced by Colin Mitchell and the approach is completely different to anything you have
before. We answer your emails and help you with anything within
our capability. We are here to help you achieve a goal. This must be of an electronics nature
- as this is our only field of expertise. We have been active in this
field for the past 30 years and are fully conversant with the
WEB I have always said the web
is the most amazing "product, item or thing" to be invented
in the 20th Century, and this has been confirmed by a recent
It said the majority of Americans spend more time on the internet
than watching television!
It went on the say 160,000 new customers are signing up for the
internet each week.
You can multiply this figure many-fold when you include world-wide
subscriptions and as new features are added to search engines, you
will find it much easier to reach the type of sites you are looking
You may not realize it, but the Internet started in 1963 as ARPAnet - an Advanced Research Program of the US Military.
It was designed to get messages through, no matter what
happened or which computers (& areas) were no longer
accessible. Over time their suppliers were added in, then the
Universities & Libraries, and eventually the world.
There were no graphics then - everything was done in
By the 80's, users could visit the CERN labs
in Switzerland, Chiba University in Japan, and the archives
of the University of New South Wales in Australia
and download the info ...
all with a 2400-baud dial-up modem!
But things rapidly improved.
In 1994 the "Internet" was replaced with the "World Wide Web."
Suddenly we were thrust into an arena of brilliant graphics,
flashing text & a whole lot of really great designs. In the 12 years since then, everything has evolved. No one
could foresee how HTML would evolve, languages like PHP and
Java would enter, modems would go from 2400 baud to
broadband - or the rise of entities like Yahoo! and Google.
It's SO different we really shouldn't even refer to it as the
Internet any more.
Everything since 1994 has just been incremental - little
steps that constantly upgraded the users experience. Overall
they had a major impact, but not any one step itself.
The next MAJOR change is already underway, though really
just taking it's first steps.
This year, 2006, will see the
first real strides in converting the Web to an audio-video
universe - complete with infomercials.
We've all seen small videos online, and audio is becoming
more prevalent every day. But as of the end of 2005, half
of all American Internet connections are broadband, using
either cable or phone lines for the most part. And numbers are
similar in many parts of the world.
This will enable full-screen recorded video or live streaming video sites to
We are in the process of producing small videos of our kits and products to
show how they operate.
Keep watching for more news about this.
We have added two pages of links we found very interesting and
they can be found here: P1 linksP2 Links
Just when I thought the internet was going to provide us
with better communications, we find scammers and junk email
clogging up the works.
I thought the time was ripe for a global network of technical information to
be introduced via this amazing medium.
No only would it arrive instantly, but it could be
presented in full color, at almost no cost and consist of text,
photos, animations and audio links.
By combining the output from universities, R&D departments,
technical journals, Patents Office and other technical resources,
we could have the most up-to-date information at our
fingertips each day.
Technology is advancing and changing so rapidly that some
technical electronics journals are now being printed every 2
weeks - as an indication of the need for immediate
Imagine the savings in paper, printing and postage, to have the
"magazine" sent to each subscriber via the internet!
I wonder why it hasn't happened?
Maybe the number of subscribers with internet access (or regular
use of the internet) is smaller than we think?
Maybe I'm thinking too far into the future.
I know it will happen.
It's the future and it's a brilliant
Can you imagine getting all the latest articles, journals,
projects and releases from around the world, each day?
Each newsletter would consist of thumbnail photo's, a brief
description and a link.
By clicking the link you would be taken to the full article.
Surely this is not too difficult? It's just a matter of
getting all the separate sectors to combine.
I had hoped the technology sector would have done this by now,
rather than junk email operators filling up the internet, sending
me phony emails to say I had won $2,000,000 in a lottery, or $500
cash from a casino!
Not only am I receiving 95% junk but they are all
Even low interest loans or $2,000 cash into your
account, are either deceptive or fraud. They all
have to be deleted. But you need to be careful not to mix them up
with an email from a legitimate source.
"Scam Software" or any form of filtering is useless as it cannot differentiate between a
request and a scam . . . unfortunately I have to laboriously go
through every email!
The filtering networks consider the short note I send to subscribers as "SPAM!"
This proves filtering is absurd! What word or combination of words could
I possibly use in a short note to infer you don't want to receive my message?
And the most stupid part is, university teachers apply the filter to my emails
and don't get my messages! What can I say?
How can we reduce junk emails and increase technical thru-put?
The big problem is the technology sector does not provide
enough funding to keep the
internet profitable. It takes fraudsters to keep
What a distorted world!
It doesn't matter if you want to sell electronic items, design
them; or build them, you will need to "talk" like you know the
subject. This "talk" is called "jargon." It uses correct
terminology as well as short words such as "micky" for microfarad,
"puff" for picofarad and bezel for the covering over a globe (not
benzel or beeeezel), to name a few. This is the sort of thing we will be teaching
you, as well as the basics of electronics and how to program
The site contains two sections - the FREE section and the
subscription section containing the Basic Electronics Course
and PIC Microcontroller Course.
hundreds of pages of theory, notes and projects for the beginner-to-electronics as well as the hobbyist.
You need to go to FREE projects and Subscription Index
to see the content and go through the pages methodically, to
prevent missing anything. The web is the medium of the future.
Printing costs are zero, the pages are endless and color can be
added at no extra expense. But unlike a book, you cannot see how much is
available as it is "hidden" on our server. That's why you have to
go though things slowly.
Once you get the "hang of things," it will prove to be everything you have ever wanted.
To make sure you are kept up to date with the latest additions to
the site, sign up for
FREE projects .
You will not be bombarded with advertisements but the cost of the
site will have to be covered and that's why our back-up features
including the sale of kits, CD's, subscriptions to the PIC
Programming Course and Basic Electronics Course will be
promoted throughout the pages.
Hopefully, other contributors will be adding to the site.
Some schools have informed me they will be presenting their material
on the web and I
will let you know as soon as this is available. It has been 12
months now and nothing has been received!
This site has over 400 pages.
Rather than download the 30Meg of material, our CD is a convenient way to
At the moment we are the only interactive site on the web and the
feedback we are getting is enormous. Readers are saying they are
starting to understand electronics in a way they have never
experienced before. With a little bit of effort, you can learn
The layout of this site is exactly like our CD with frames to make
everything easy to navigate. The CD of the site is available to
subscribers and non-subscribers by clicking the "FREE CD"
or "Buy CD"
link on the left. If you are a subscriber to
TALKING ELECTRONICSInteractive (this site), the CD is
FREE. If you are not a
subscriber, the cost is $9.95 posted. (All prices on this website
The emphasis is to TEACH ELECTRONICS and not merely "present an
item." Everything is backed by a kit of components and a
professionally-made PC board with overlay (legend), tinned-lands
and solder mask.
The author of the site is Colin Mitchell. He has produced over 25
books and sold over 750,000 copies, spanning some 20 years.
All his knowledge has now been channeled into this website and you
will find his approach is completely revolutionary. Some say it's
"Mitchellism," some say it is "reverse-learning" and others liken
it to being "thrown in at the deep end."
In essence, the thrust is to get you to start putting projects
together as soon as possible and go to the theory sections as the
This has proven to be a much faster way of learning as
enthusiasm is maintained, and the act of handling components
cements your understanding.
That's what this site is all about.
It's designed to make electronics fun.
It offers a wide range of projects , from a simple "Light the LED"
design to a microcontroller project - and lots of ideas between.
The site offers two main courses. BASIC ELECTRONICS and
PIC MICROCONTROLLER PROGRAMMING. In these courses, mathematics
has been kept to a minimum as there are plenty of text books to
weigh you down with formulas.
Our aim is to "shoot you ahead" as fast as possible and show that
once you get an "interest in electronics" - you can be
heading for a career-path.
We have a number of letters and articles on the site, from readers
who have made a career-path along the lines we are promoting. You
will see these as you work your way through the material.
CD PROBLEMS Some readers are having
TALKING ELECTRONICSInteractive CD. Here are some solutions: (these are included with the CD
as a readme.txt)
If the front page of TALKING ELECTRONICS Interactive flashes on
screen and disappears, the fault may lie in the settings on your
We have located a problem with Windows 95 and Windows 98 as
1. Load INTERNET EXPLORER. Go to TEXT OPTIONS at the top of screen.
2. CLICK TOOLS, then INTERNET OPTIONS
(a dialog box will
open: INTERNET OPTIONS)
3. Click on the top tab: ADVANCED.
4. Scroll down to the heading (HTTP 1.1 settings)
5. Make sure a tick is in the option: use HTTP 1.1 through proxy
6. Click (APPLY) and then (OK).
Close INTERNET EXPLORER
7. Restart "START.HTML" so that it opens in a new INTERNET
Here is another solution as found by Derek Vane
I found my problem with the opening page on the CD, flashing on
I was running W98 with internet explorer 5. I fixed the problem as
soon as I
installed Internet Explorer 6.
I hope that this might help others with the same trouble.
From: Zolkafli [firstname.lastname@example.org]
I managed to make the CD work after installing the
programs/browsers/ie6 and ie6setup that came with the CD. I have
also tried with Windows ME with no problem.