In school, I am part of this after school engineering club. There we learn to build circuit boards, and program LED lights, and MindStorm robots. The teacher who runs the club asked me that if I have any ideas for the club, like new projects to let him know. Today, an idea hit me and I would like to know your opinion on this idea. (The Lockergnome community)
I was thinking that we could build a low end computer to learn how computers are build, and what components go into a computer, and the roll as each component. Students can learn to build a computer, and they can also have a time to geek out with different software, and hardware.
By a low end computer, I'm talking low end, because someone has to buy the computer parts. I am thinking that this will be best to install a low level Linux operating system on the computer, so it can run well with cheap parts. My only hesitation is that this computer will be build and dis-assembled many times, and if that happens, it may come to the point where the parts either wear out, break, or a student breaks them.
Lockergnome community, what do you think of this idea. Is it crazy, or do you think that this will be good for students?
Answer by Razor512 · Dec 17, 2012 at 04:09 AM
if the school is offering funding then a low end computer build can happen, but don't expect students to put the money into building a PC especially if it is only one machine which means either no one keeps it and thus everyone feels a loss of $40 or how ever much the split cost will be.
A better project will be practical gadgets that are cheap to make so that everyone can get an item out of it.
Depending on funds, a good beginner project will be (depending on the current skill level) a USB charger
for example, they can build this charger http://www.ladyada.net/make/mintyboost/make.html or this http://www.instructables.com/id/EGBQJPLCB2EP287KTZ/?ALLSTEPS (you can substitute the pre made PCB, with a simple Perforated PC Board and just cut it to shape (ones with no copper traces are pretty cheap and the components can be connected using either some 24 gage wire, or if you are really careful, then a simple trace made with solder.
or have them build a 12V power supply and have them make a minii fume hoodd which can be used when soldering (eg one that has a simple cardboard or plastic hood, an 80-120mm fan, and some duct work that can be moved near a window and have a filter stuffed in it if needed)