Our Philosophy

1. Learn by building

Learning can be done in many ways. Electronics is typically taught bottom-up, starting with what a capacitor is or how a transistor is constructed. This is a good approach for teaching a solid foundation, but the downside is that the learner may loose patience studying the basics before getting to the "fun stuff" of creating real working projects.

Our purpose is to provide a curated set of high quality, well documented, well tested projects. Each project is documented top-down: We start with the purpose and function of the entire project, then break it down into parts and explain their purpose. Think of it like having a complete car that we then breakdown into pieces in order for you to learn how the car works. You'll have a working car from day 1 and you can then start tuning and learning about one part at a time and see how that evolves the car.

2. Top-down

Rather than starting with what a capacitor is and the mathematic equation for how it charges, we focus on the high-level function. For example, that the purpose of capacitor X is to filter out unwanted noise. If we understand what function the component serves, it becomes easier to replace it with another better component (or maybe even a circuit). Or perhaps even remove it to simplify the design.

Bottom-up learning is of course still very important, but we feel that it's more fun when you can see the final outcome and then begin thinking to yourself: "What does that component do? How does it work? Can I replace it?". That then triggers and motivates questions such as "How does a capacitor actually work?", "What can a capacitor be used for?", "What is the difference between different capacitors?".

2. Modular

Our projects aim to be complete, but also modular. Some of our smaller projects are modules in themselves, performing a single function. This makes it easy to add them to some other project you are working on, for example adding a speaker and amplifier to an Arduino project. Our larger projects are designed in a modular fashion, so that you can lift out a specific section and use that separately in your own designs. This way it's easy to design your own complete system and put it on a custom PCB.

3. Create your own designs

We provide our designs with complete open information. The schematic and PCB layout is provided in an online EDA tool called EasyEDA, so that you can build on or modify the project easily. For example, if you want to change the shape of the PCB to fit your project or if you want to add several projects on one PCB. So you can either use the "reference project" which is complete and has been verified by us, or you can start building your own designs.

4. Curated

The internet is full of eletronics projects in varying shapes and complexity. Rather than having as many projects as possible, we aim to limit the number of projects to a curated list that are well tested, well documented and that are distinctly different or teaches a different aspect of a topic. We believe this will make it more fun for you, since you know the project has been verified and tested and you recognize the tools and documentation when you try another project.

5. Anyone can build

We want our projects to be easily buildable while still making use of modern components.

We design our PCBs so that they will be easy to solder by hand. We avoid large direct ground-plane connections and place components with adequate spacing so that they can be hand soldered. We prefer components that are readily and easily available to order. Our projects rely only on readily available and low-complexity power sources: You won't need a lab power supply or bulky power source. All our projects can be driven either by a 5V USB charger / powerbank or regular 1.5V or 9V batteries.

Our PCB designs use mainly SMD components, since these are often available in a wide size variety and better specs than throughole components. Learning to solder a SMD 1206 resistor is just as easy as learning to solder a throughole equivalent, and given that virtually all electronics nowadays use SMD we think it's a better fit. It also allows you to challenge yourself by moving to smaller SMD components, either through minitiature designs or by creating your own nano-scale PCBs based on your own or our schematics. For Breadboarding we use either SMD breadboard adapter PCBs or throughole components.