[Podcast] Simpson is working on a new series of intricately designed circuit boards based on original hand-drawn projects created by Forrest Mims
The talented engineer Star Simpson is designing circuits from in Forrest M. Mims' terrific 1980s electronics books published by Radio Shack. They look great!
We’re very excited about the Circuit Classics PCBs and kits that Star Simpson is making based on Forrest Mims designs.
She's taken classic circuit drawings from Forrest Mims III and designed real-life, working boards with them.
Star Simpson is almost famous around these parts. She’s responsible for the TacoCopter among other such interesting endeavours.
"The boards not only reproduce the circuit, but also include Mims’ hand-drawn illustrations and text... [They] even come with little ash wood stands for you to proudly display your handiwork in your Geekosphere.
Thanks to Eddie Codel and Noel Von Joo for the creation of the campaign video.
“Star Simpson joins forces with Forrest Mims III to introduce a new generation of budding engineers to electronics. Assembling this lucid interpretation of classic schematics rewards makers with a work of art that’s also functional. Educational yet approachable, this is a must for anyone looking to get started in electronics.”
– Bunnie Huang
Forrest M. Mims III is a trusted name in the electronics world for good reason: his charming and engaging texts have drawn millions of people into the world of electronics for the first time. I am bringing some of those hand-drawn circuits projects to life by creating an exquisitely designed series of finely crafted and highly detailed boards. These are the Circuit Classics. They make a great gift for a first-time learner, an expert tinkerer, or even just as a fun conversation piece for your desk.
This initial release includes three of Forrest’s circuit designs in kit form: the Dual-LED Flasher, the Stepped Tone Generator, and the Bargraph Voltage Indicator. Each kit includes:
This circuit is a rewarding first project — with just nine components you can get the satisfying effect of making LEDs light up and blink. The circuit’s functionality is charmingly complex despite its simplicity. Understanding how it works will provide a taste of the analog side of electronics, and is a fun puzzle!
Check out this clip below from Star Simpson’s recent appearance on Adafruit’s “Ask an Engineer” for more information on how the Dual-LED Flasher works.
Dual-LED Flasher top side
Dual-LED Flasher bottom side
This circuit gained a life of its own, jumping from the pages of the 555 Timer IC Circuits Engineer’s Mini-Notebook and out into the world as the storied Atari Punk Console. Well-known for enabling the creation of sounds just like classic Atari console games from the 1980s, it provides a fun audio-centric project, as well as an interesting introduction to digital circuitry, feedback, and oscillators.
Check out this clip below from Star Simpson’s recent appearance on Adafruit’s “Ask an Engineer” for more information on how the Stepped Tone Generator works.
Stepped Tone Generator top side
Stepped Tone Generator bottom side
This circuit lets you become a scientist and an engineer and marks the passage of that important milestone of using tools you have constructed yourself. With your own voltmeter you can measure batteries or use it to explore and understand other electronic circuits that you find in the world.
Check out this clip below from Star Simpson’s recent appearance on Adafruit’s “Ask an Engineer” for more information on how the Bargraph Voltage Indicator works.
Bargraph Voltage Indicator top side
Bargraph Voltage Indicator bottom side
The money from this crowdfunding campaign will pay for a production run of the circuit boards, components, display stands, books, and packaging. My goal is to have everything shipped in the fall of 2016.
I have involved manufacturers at every step of the way, and via that and my past experience designing electronics I feel like I have a decent handle on the costs and processes involved in producing the circuit boards and wooden stands and sourcing the components. The only notable risks are the same as for any other manufactured product - unforeseen supply chain problems due to natural disaster and the like.