Krisberg's Build Log

Hello world!

My name is Kris. I just registered for the Apprentice course and I am following along. My university education was ultimately inadequate, and I am hoping to learn practical skills here at Contextual Electronics.

Hey Kris, welcome! What are you hoping to build?

Hello Chris; great name! I honestly didn’t think I’d hear directly from the guy in the videos. Nice to meet you.

I found Contextual Electronics because, while I can design a circuit on paper and test it on a breadboard, I am having a difficult time using software tools to simulate circuits and to make neatly printed circuit boards (PCBs). And as I am a huge fan of open-source freeware, I stumbled upon KiCAD, but after struggling with it for a few weeks, I decided that to move forward efficiently I need some guidance. That’s when I took a chance on Contextual Electronics.

Well, I hope to build many things! But the first thing I want to build is a circuit I that already built and tested on a protoboard. I figure that would be a good place to start when trying to simulate a circuit and make its PCB with KiCAD. The circuit itself is power monitoring. The first part of the circuit measures how much current (amps) is passing through the cable it’s measuring and the second part of the circuit measures how much voltage potential (volts) is across the cable it’s measuring. Use a little math and that should give me power (Watts). When it is hooked up to a microcontroller that communicates to a SQL database (which I already have working), my hope is that it will match or at least be close to what my electric bill states. I realize there could be an Arduino compatible sensor that already does this, but I just want to make my own for curiosity’s sake.

Just in case you are worried, I promise I use safe electrical practices when working with main house voltage. I sometimes take a refresher class, like the refresher classes for CPR and first aid.

As for my longterm goals with the knowledge I hope to gain from Contextual Electronics, is to graduate from protoboards and make professional PCBs for whatever cool projects I do in the future.

Thank you for reaching out. I guess this concludes the homework assignment you gave in the Mindset topic of the Start Here! course.

Interesting project. How is it coming along, do you have some schematics started?