foulab.org / Op-Amps for Everybody!: a Kit-Building Workshop and Introduction to Surface-Mount Soldering

Op-Amps for Everybody!: a Kit-Building Workshop and Introduction to Surface-Mount Soldering

By legionlabs, on 2011-12-19 00:00



Op-amps (operational amplifiers) are a wonderful piece of analog technology. The design, conceived in the days of vacuum tubes, was so useful that the basic idea is still used today in most pieces of consumer electronics. You have used an op-amp already today, so why not learn a little more about them, maybe build a cool toy?

This workshop consists of two sections, theory and kit-building, which can be attended separately if desired. The theory section will go over the history of op-amps, some basic design rules, and demonstrate/discuss some simple opamp circuits. It will last about an hour.

In the kit-building section, we will build a guitar pickup/seismograph. It is a simple op-amp circuit using surface-mount components, on a custom circuit board. Out of the box, it makes an excellent low-noise preamplified pickup suitable for many musical instruments. With minor design changes (which I will be prepared to make on the spot), it will work as a footstep detector, seismograph, throat microphone, and several other things I have not thought of yet. Also, this will serve as an introduction to surface mount soldering, which is much easier and faster than through-hole soldering (once you get used to it).

Cost:

Theory: 10$, 1 hour (free for lab members)
Practice: 40$, 2 hours, kit included
Both: 45$
Date: 2011-Dec-30, 17:00-18:00 Theory, 18:00-20:00 Practice

RSVP appreciated (it helps me prepare) but not required.

Additional kits will be available at the end of the workshop and for a few weeks afterwards for people unable to attend.