ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Making your own Kits

Updated on May 26, 2015
neildabb profile image

Neil got interested in amateur (ham) radio in high school. He currently holds a General Class license.

The fully assembled kit for a small RF detector I built over a couple of weekends.
The fully assembled kit for a small RF detector I built over a couple of weekends.

Here are a couple resources for making sure you have the correct part for a project. The first is one of many vendors who will have spec sheets for most of the parts they sell. Whether you have the component already, or are ordering it, find the part and pull up the specifications to ensure it is the right one (and confirm the labeling of the part).

www.jameco.com

And this one (of many) will explain resistor color code and how it works.

http://www.resistorguide.com/resistor-color-code/


When you order or buy a pre-made kit, someone had to collect all of the parts and put them into the bag. But what if the kit doesn’t do exactly what you want it to, or what if the kit you want doesn’t exist? This hub deals with electronic kits, but models or other types of kits can be assembled in a similar manner. Finding the parts yourself can be far more time consuming than at first glance, but it is vital to the success of the finished project, and many times there are not kits made for the projects I work on. Creating a ‘kit’ or finding the parts for a project is important, for a variety of reasons. If you won’t have time to finish the project in one day and must come back to it later, then this process is vital. Also it’s always a good idea to know you have everything you need before you begin. Life presents enough interruptions without having to stop to go get another part.

Finding the parts may or may not be an easy process depending on the state of organization of your 'junk boxes'. Junk boxes are catch all boxes that have left over parts from other kits or parts salvaged from other projects. If you don’t have a junk box, finding parts may take longer than someone who does have such a box, because as parts become harder and harder to find, locating those parts in your junk boxes will be all the more important. If working with electronics reviewing the resistor color code (as most of the resistors you will have will only be identified with that code) and having a capacitance/inductor meter available can help identify those unmarked components.

In one of my first projects, collecting the kit consisted of searching several boxes of my fathers stuff to find the meter movement I knew he had, and searching through several of my tool boxes to find the leftover antenna from a commercial kit I had put together. Then I went to my local parts supply source (another story, and one that will be a bit different for each type of kit created) to get the final three parts.

Once you have gathered all of the parts, make sure they are labeled, then put them in some kind of container! Many of the parts will be very small, and easily lost. The cost of a ziplock bag or sandwich container will be far less than the cost of that one lost part, especially if you don't have to find those tiny parts again when you begin assembling the kit.


The final element of the kit is the base on which the project will be assembled, and the case to put the project in (if one is used). The base in my case was a custom circuit board, and I found when I was done that I didn’t need a project case, but many projects do require a case of some kind. If you are using open wiring then you will still need some kind of base to attach the circuitry to. Usually this is the project case. If you are doing surface mount or circuit board assembly the board is the base, and a case may not be necessary. If you are working with high voltage or high current circuits put the project in a well insulated project case!!!

Creating a circuit board is another hub by itself. See my hub at:
http://neildabb.hubpages.com/hub/DIYcircuitboards
The process is more involved than open wiring, but well worth the effort.


Once you have all of the parts together, create assembly notes! These should have been kept all along so that when the kit is assembled all components are appropriately positioned and installed. For an electronics kit, a schematic is vital. For models and other kits, if you can create an exploded view this will be helpful as well. Notes, or documentation is especially important if the kit will be sitting for more than a few hours or will take more than a few minutes to assemble. In the case of commercial kits this is the documentation or instruction sheet that comes with the kit. Don’t neglect this important part of the process!

When all of the pieces are collected, that hard to find kit is complete and ready to assemble, and you did it yourself!

qed.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)