A Beginner’s Guide to Circuits

Nine Simple Projects with Lights, Sounds, and More! by Øyvind Nydal Dahl

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A Beginner's Guide to Circuits is for anyone who wants to jump into the world of building things with electronics quickly.

It contains 9 circuit-building challenges you’ll have to overcome. And you’ll get to build things like a game, a homemade musical instrument and a cookie-jar alarm. The projects range from easy to medium and they’re suitable even for complete beginners.

First, you’ll learn to read circuit diagrams and use a breadboard, which allows you to connect electrical components without using a hot soldering iron! Next, you’ll build nine simple projects using standard components, like resistors, LEDs, transistors, capacitors, and more. As you build, you’ll learn what each component does, how it works, and how to combine components to achieve new and interesting effects.

By the end of the book, you’ll have a good foundation for building your own electronic creations. With easy-to-follow directions, anyone can become an inventor with the help of A Beginner’s Guide to Circuits!

You’ll Build These 9 Simple Circuits:
  • Steady-Hand Game
    Test your nerves using a wire and a buzzer to create an Operation-style game!
  • Touch-Enabled Light
    Turn on a light with your finger!
  • Cookie Jar Alarm
    Catch cookie thieves red-handed with this contraption.
  • Night-Light
    Automatically turn on a light when it gets dark.
  • Blinking LED
    This classic circuit blinks an LED.
  • Party Lights
    Throw a party with these charming string lights.
  • Railroad Crossing Light
    Danger! Don’t cross the tracks if this circuit’s pair of lights is flashing.
  • Digital Piano
    Play a tune with this simple synthesizer and learn how speakers work.
  • LED Marquee
    Put on a light show and impress your friends with this flashy finale.
Beginner’s Component Kit

An optional beginner’s component kit that includes all the components you need to build all the circuits (battery not included). This book is designed to help you BUILD circuits, not just read about them. It’s highly recommend getting the components with the book, right from the start.

(Actual kit contents differs slightly from image)

Author Bio

Øyvind Nydal Dahl built his first circuit at age 14 and has kept building ever since then. Øyvind has a master’s degree in Electronics from the University of Oslo, helps companies develop new products, and travels the world while teaching electronics workshops. He is also the author of Electronics for Kids (No Starch Press, 2016), the creator of Ohmify, and runs the electronics blog Build Electronic Circuits

Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • Build Your First Breadboard Circuit
  • Project 1: The Steady-Hand Game
  • Project 2: The Touch-Enabled Light
  • Project 3: The Cookie Jar Alarm
  • Project 4: The Night-Light
  • Project 5: The Blinking LED
  • Project 6: The Railroad Crossing Light
  • Project 7: The Party Lights
  • Project 8: The Digital Piano
  • Project 9: The LED Marquee

Check out the detailed Table of Contents [PDF]

"An excellent starter book for young people interested in electronics."
"You are expected to use the breadboard to assemble the parts using the traditional diagram. This is a much better way to learn the way circuits work than many other guides or books, which hold your hand through assembly at the cost of holding your hands through understanding."