The MakeON Inventure kits from Mission Control Lab is a new approach to experimenting with electronics, making it accessible to anyone.
This Getting Started will guide you through creating your first circuit with the MakeON Expedition Inventure Kit to demonstrate how easy it is to start creating exciting and engaging electronic circuits with switches, LED’s, buzzers and motors.
MakeON Expedition Inventure Kit
This kit is one of several different versions of the MakeON Inventure Gear range and contains various electronic components for making interactive circuits.
The kit comes with a large “map” showing how to construct 16 different electronic circuits, ranging from turning an LED on and off to controlling a motor. There are also other loads of extra resources, including videos, projects and ideas, on the Mission Control Lab website.
Most of the components come attached to small PCB’s called “Launch Pads” with built-in connection points. They are connected to make circuits using the supplied sticky-backed conductive metallic tape called “Space Tape“, so you can make circuits on almost anything. They are particularly suitable for creating wearable circuits or art installations, or experimenting.
Each Expedition kit contains the following parts:
- Launchpad magnet sensors,
- A light sensor,
- Lever switch,
- RGB LED,
- Two power pads,
- Space Tape,
- Sewing kit,
- Tilt switches,
- Rainbow LEDs
- Lithium cells.
Simple LED Circuit
We started with one of the simplest circuits to turn an LED on and off with a switch.
Each circuit is shown full size on the “map”, so it’s very easy to select the correct LaunchPad components and connect them together with the Space Tape to build the circuit.
Connections are shown in red for the positive side and black for the negative side of the circuit, which is all you need to know to make them work.
We used a rainbow LED, a switch and a battery connector. The LED was plugged into a 2 pin connector, observing the correct position of the LED legs, which are clearly shown on the map.
When the battery switch is on, the LED is on and changes colour every few seconds. It turns off as soon as you press the switch.
You can’t get much simpler than that, but it’s the starting point for anyone learning about electronics.
We chose one of the many magnetic switch circuits for our next example.
We used the Red / Green / Blue LED LaunchPad with 3 magnetic switches and a battery connector. Each magnetic switch controls a different channel of the RGB LED. Holding a magnet near a switch makes the LED turn on either as Red, Green or Blue, depending on the switch, which creates a slightly magical feel to the experiment.
Even though this circuit is a bit more complicated, it was very easy to select all the right LaunchPad components and link them together with the Space Tape to make it work.
Here is a video demonstration of how it works:
The MakeON Inventure kits from Mission Control Lab are about the easiest and most accessible way to start experimenting with electronics that we have come across.
You don’t need to have any experience building circuits to start creating your own engaging experiments using the kit, which contains everything you need, including batteries.
We showed you how we constructed a couple of the circuits that came as examples with the Explorer version of the MakeON kit to give a sense of how easy this was, making these kits particularly suitable for young children and adults who want to get started with electronics.
For further ideas and inspiration, visit Mission Control Lab’s website.
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