Of late I’ve felt an inexplicable pull toward all things geeky so when I saw a Beginners Electronics Workshop advertised where I could solder under the instruction of Super Geeks – I was sold.
It was with much excitement and some trepidation that I rode to The LOT last Monday evening. The event had sold out so it was busy and buzzy when I arrived. I was greeted by Sarah Barrie the fabulous woman who organises Granny Green’s and has made it a roaring success within just three months. As well as weekly crafts get togethers, there is also a book and film group plus workshops for a variety of crafts and new skills (ranging from electronics to cross-stitch). I really look forward to getting along again soon and reviving the knitting skills my Mum introduced me to years ago.
So back to electronics. I was on a table with a jeweller and an artist under the watchful eye of Electronics Geek and Founder of Hacklab, Alan Bennett. He has the patience of a saint. And he needed it!
The technical language was pitched at just my level:
“The soldering iron has a hot end and a cold end. Hold it by the cold end.”
So far so good.
“If you drop the soldering iron don’t try to catch it. Let it fall and then pick it up by the cold end.”
He’s obviously met me before.
We set about building a ‘Game of Life’ by attaching components to a circuit board. In case you are interested – resistors, leds, an integrated circuit and a switch [tech terms provided by Mr Mac].
Of course I managed to get some of the parts in the wrong place. Al assisted me in saving the day to get me flashing. On the plus side my soldering was very good. We won’t talk about the er… incident involving the solder iron cable and the hot end of my soldering iron…!
I loved this experience and am delighted with my new er… Well I’m not sure what it is but it’s green with flashing lights so perhaps a Christmas decoration or an earring!
If they’ll have me back I’m quite keen to try out some of the projects in the fabulous Fashion Geek book (thanks for the tip Helena!). Fashion Geek combines DIY fashion with electronics in ‘simple’ projects including a ‘Blooming Buttons’ jacket with flowers that light up with the jacket is buttoned. Ah what fun! My personal favourite is the red stilletto shoes with flashing lights. Who says that only toddlers can have flashing shoes?!
Get your Geek Fix
Hacklab is ideal for electronics geeks who would like access to a fully-kitted-out workspace and community of like-minded people.
Or if you’d like to organise the type of Beginners session I went to, I know they can organise that too.
Find out more on the Edinburgh Hacklab website, facebook and Twitter
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