Design Tips to Make your Club Jameco Projects Successful
By Robert Cong
Product Marketing Manager
Have you ever seen a new product on display and thought to yourself: "I thought of that!"? The shock that your idea has been stolen and someone else is making money for it - your idea - is frustrating and you promise yourself, "Next time, I will bring my idea to life." But at the same time it's hard to go from idea to finished goods. That's where Club Jameco sees an opportunity to partner with its community. Let us put your ideas to work and make them a reality. You design and Club Jameco will take care of everything else.
In this article I want to share with you just how easy it is to become a Club Jameco Designer. It may surprise you to learn that a few years ago when Jameco published some of its first home-made electronics projects, they were designed by local high-school students. The projects were so popular with customers; we knew we had a winning concept on our hands. It also showed that almost anyone with a good idea can go on to design electronics projects.
What Type of kits are acceptable? Just about anything! The type of kits available on Club Jameco can include anything from a DIY electron accelerator chamber (not really recommended) to a simple blinking LED for your bicycle. If you can imagine it and create it, we will take a look at it. A few of the most popular current categories include Arduino, Alternative Energy, Automation, Education, Lighting, and Robotics. Don't worry if your project doesn't fit within one of the categories; the more unique your project is, the more attention it may grab.
Robotics are popular kits
A few suggestions: Start by determining the difficulty level of the project you plan to design. You'll need to identify the difficulty level when you first write your Project Brief. No matter how experienced you may be if you are designing for a beginner (likely to be a larger audience) you'll need to make the instructions as simple as possible. Don't expect a beginner to be able to read a circuit schematic or recognize component symbols. The more accurate you categorize your projects; the easier other members will be able to find them.
You'll also want to come up with an idea that is easy to explain in a sentence or two and yet does something that isn't readily available for sale as a completed project. It's much more fun to build things you can't easily buy in a store.
To give you an idea of what types of kits have been successful with Jameco, some of the top-selling kits have included the following: This color organ kit provides you with all the components and instructions you need to make your own light show that blinks and flashes according to the music being played. Just plug in a 3.5mm audio jack from your music player and the LEDs will flash in 3 different sections (Highs, Mids, and Bass) and in three different colors (yellow, red, and blue). This kit is intended for intermediate and advanced members who can solder and read a circuit schematic, so if you're a beginner, you can work your way up to this one.
The J-Bot is a customizable robot that makes use of an ultrasonic sensor to avoid objects in its path. Just power it up and the J-Bot can roam all around your house without running into the wall and without any supervision! The best part is that it is completely customizable by simply changing the code to execute your specific commands. If you ever had an interest in robotics, this is the perfect robot to get started with.
This toy organ kit makes use of just a few simple components and builds a box that can make music. The best part is that the music is played by you! There are knobs for adjusting volume and frequency as well as multiple pushbuttons that alter the sound. Any combination of the knobs and buttons will create a unique sound every time. The result is a cool toy organ that can provide hours of fun for both the beginner and the expert electronics hobbyist.
This power supply kit incorporates all the components necessary to build your very own 2-output linear regulated voltage-adjustable power supply. It can provide a voltage range of ¬±5 to ¬±15VDC at 175 to 750mA per channel. This kit is great for learning electronics circuits and the basics of power electronics. This is intended for intermediate to advanced members due to its use of high input voltages, so be sure you have a good foundation before beginning this project.
The Larson Scanner Kit may look familiar to fans of the television show Knight Rider. It is a simple build that creates a sequence of back-and-forth scanning 10mm diffused LEDs. It requires some simple soldering and comes with full instructions. A great kit for those beginning in soldering as well as fans of classic television shows.
These are just a few of the popular kits available at Club Jameco. There are plenty more to search through and plenty of room for your projects to be added to the selection. As you can see, variety is what people want. There is not one specific field that does better than another, so pitch all your wacky ideas and they will be taken into consideration. Of course, all of your briefs and projects must include some electronics in it, so please save your great idea about the Instant Food-Cooking Bag.
Another factor to take into consideration while pondering up ideas is timing. The timing factor comes into play because any duplicate projects will be reviewed and filtered out. If you are the first person to pitch a brief for an Electronic Back Scratcher, for instance, then you are essentially the "owner" of that project. If someone else pitches a similar brief in the future, it will likely not be approved. So the sooner you pitch your briefs to Club Jameco, the better your chances of avoiding a possible duplicate.
ConclusionClub Jameco is here to help you make money as quick and simple as possible. It is also a great source for finding new projects to build in your spare time and a fantastic way to get in touch with your fellow DIYers; you can learn a lot just from the various comments posted on each brief and project. So start imagining, designing, and earning today, and let's see how far this thing can take us. You have nothing to lose!
Robert is a graduate from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in Electrical Engineering. He is originally from Lincoln Heights in Los Angeles, CA. His interests include sports, movies, music, and playing with cool, new gadgets.
If you have an electronics story or project you'd like to share, please email MyStory@Jameco.com