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Title    Electronic Project Kits: Hands on With a Vintage 160-in-1
Date    Sunday March 31, @07:03AM
Author    hubie
from the when-Radio-Shack-was-useful dept.

owl writes:

It is a Medium post, so here's an archive link in case the original goes missing:

In this day and age with the bewildering availability of electronics readily available, deciding on a project to embark on can be paralyzing. This sentiment was best summed up recently in this Hacker News comment on an article announcing the CHIP Pro:

I have the chip, esp8266, rpi, teensies, trinkets, arduinos... I studied electronics principles and built various circuits.. yet I have no idea what I can practically use these devices for in my life. They all sit in a box and I have a hard time justifying buying more of them.

See also: the paradox of choice, analysis paralysis, etc. Decades ago, all-in-one electronic project kits were popular. Shown above is the Science Fair 160-in-1 Electronic Project Kit, #28–258 (image source: eBay), © 1982.

With a modest number of components, 160 projects could easily be built by inserting wires into the spring terminals connected to each component. An included manual guided you through each of the projects, introducing new concepts and providing structure, while still offering some latitude of freedom to tinker — but, crucially, not the nearly-infinite amount of latitude available on modern electronic marketplaces today. You are constrained by the components in the kit (unless you add your own), and the included project documentation (unless you invent your own), a finite possibility.

Original Submission


  1. "owl" -
  2. "Hacker News comment on an article announcing the CHIP Pro" -
  3. "the paradox of choice" -
  4. "analysis paralysis" -
  5. "eBay" -
  6. "Original Submission" -

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