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Who would think that mucking around with electrons is fun? Well, it is. A few simple rules, a couple of formulae, the odd tool and some cheap components and you'll be creating things you never believed you could.
First, a Warning.
240 volts can and does kill. It kills handymen, professional electricians and modders alike. For those real beginners: those sockets on the wall that you plug your computer and coffee machine into are a direct link to the 240 volt supply in your house. An infinite number of useful and interesting projects and experiments can be performed with the voltage and current levels available from a simple battery; so until you are totally familiar and experienced with the principles of electronics DO NOT mess with the 240V supply.
If you're not convinced, read here.
When reading that thread, you will notice a heated debate about whether it's amps or volts that kill you. Basically, the details come down to semantics, however the following is true. A 12V shock can kill you. A 3,000,000,000 V shock might not kill you. It all depends on the resistance, and thus the amps that you conduct through your body. Anything over a few hundred milliamps across your heart is likely to make you have a bad day; however human skin has a lot of resistance, which makes it hard for low voltages to deliver many amps to you. Higher voltages have a better chance of delivering higher currents (amps) to you because of the relationship between volts, amps and resistance described in Ohm's Law, which we'll get to soon.
Touching 240V with your skin is likely to conduct enough current through your body to give you a nasty shock or kill you.
It happens. A lot.
- Soldiering Iron and 60/40 soldier.Here
- Wire Strippers.Here
- Assorted component packs.Here
- Assorted LEDs.Here
Ohms Law Ω
The most basic thing you need to know about electronics is this: Ohm's Law. It describes the relationship between Volts, Amps and Resistance.
V = IR
Pretty simple eh?
So, for a given resistance, increasing the current will increase the voltage. Similarly:
R = V/I and I = V/R
Resists the flow of electrical current equally in either direction.
...TO BE CONTINUED