Week 2 PCOMP: Building Circuits

For this week’s PCOMP homework, I finally started to understand how schematics of circuits created real live circuits that could light up my LEDs. I am very new to circuitry/ electronics of any kind, and so going through these labs I feel like I learned a lot.

Getting acquainted with the different components in my kit and the ones available in the shop was super helpful— plugging in the voltage regulators and resistors helped solidify my understanding of how electricity runs through the circuit. See below the first time I made my LED light up:


For the “build-your-own” type switch, I wanted to do something a little quirky and fun. I noticed that a bunch of temporary Halloween stores had popped up around my apartment, and as a life-long lover of all things creepy and Halloween-y I decided to create my switch out of a plastic skull, hoping that when you closed the jaw of the skull, the eyes would light up red.

I started out by drilling holes into the eye-holes and bottom of the skull, and then soldered wires to my LEDs to make sure they were long enough to connect to the breadboard. I tested the LED connection on my breadboard and they lit up.


Then I stripped the insulation off a length of wire and wrapped it around the skull’s bottom jaw. I connected that wire to the anode of the first LED. I then hot-glued a different piece of stripped wire to the top of the skull jaw, and plugged it into ground in my breadboard. When I pressed together the top and bottom jaw, it lit up! It turned off when I opened the jaws. Because it it’s natural sitting- on- the-table state lit up the circuit, I would call this a closed switch.


Sadly, right after this I somehow broke my breadboard—I think by accidentally switching out the resistor with the power on—and I couldn’t get it to turn back on. I’m pretty dedicated to fixing this in class tomorrow, though.

PCOMP, ITPCaroline NeelComment