Saturday, December 22, 2012

191/365: Love Schematics

Today I made:

a poor attempt at an electronics project...

Every year, around Christmastime, my husband and I surprise each other with a new ornament for the tree. The tradition started off with Hallmark ornaments and quickly grew into the handmade and creative variety. We try to make them meaningful to the year's experiences, accomplishments or inside jokes.

This year, my husband has been teaching himself electronics and creating miniature amps out of cigar boxes and other reused containers. He has all kinds of fun soldering circuitry components and making impressive projects that make me say, "Wow, you made that?!"

I went to Radio Shack in search of circuit boards that I could artify (yes, that is a made-up word) and turn into an ornament to symbolize his new hobby. I was delighted to find an actual kit called the "Flashing LED Sweetheart" that runs on a 9 volt battery. I decided it was a great DIY project for me. Silly, silly me.

I really should have known better when I saw that the front of the box said "manual inside." I am admittedly challenged at assembling things from manuals. My right brain wretches at the thought, but the kit is just too perfect and Rodney would be so proud that I took on such a project. These are no ordinary assembly instructions, however.  When I brought it home and realized that the project requires the ability to read schematics and has all sorts of tiny thingamajigs that need to be soldered, my own little heart sank. Now I'm feeling totally inept and realizing that this is way over my head. It might as well be open heart surgery. Luckily no lives are at stake, but my perfect ornament may not come to be so easily. I'm wishing I'd paid better attention and not let my eyes glaze over at the mention of transistors and electrolytic capacitors.

Rodney has been given the blog spoiler alert while I attempt to figure this thing out. I may give it another honest go in the next couple days once I get over the fear of breaking it. Or I may just give the kit itself as a gift and ask the pro to guide me through it. That might make a fun team project. Stay tuned to see how I do with those tricky love schematics.

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