March 2, 2013

Project: Wheel Of Fortune Kit (Velleman)

We are big fans of the Velleman mini kits.  They are low-cost, fun to build, and fun to play with.  At the same time they help kids learn valuable lessons for themselves:
  • Soldering technique
  • Discrete electronic component identification
  • Learning how to properly orient parts on a circuit board
  • Problem solving (when things go wrong)
This month, KC2VSR built the Velleman, "Wheel Of Fortune" kit.  Once built, this circuit simulates a spinning wheel.  A button is pushed to "start the wheel" causing an LED to light up randomly momentarily.  The lit LED then appears to move around and around as each LED lights momentarily in succession.  The spinning effect starts off fast and then slows with time much like a real wheel until stopping on one of the LED's.

Velleman Wheel Of Fortune Kit Package
As with our other favorite kits, there is something special about LED's - adds a real "fun factor".  The kit components are all through-the-hole type (i.e. no surface mount components).  This is really an important factor when selecting a kit for beginners.  Through-the-hole components are largers and easier to handle and more forgiving when soldering than the surface-mount type.  Stick to kits with through-the-hole for beginners.

Velleman Wheel Of Fortune Kit Parts
KC2VSR won this really great "third hand" at the Skyview Radio Society annual banquet this past January.  This build gave us the chance to try it out.  It was a perfect helper for this kit.  The built-in magnifying lens helped with seeing the small parts during placement and soldering.

Kit being soldered as viewed through magnifying glass

The "third hand" with magnifying glass really help with build process

Velleman Wheel Of Fortune Kit Built
The build turned out perfectly and was great fun giving it a spin.  Check out this short video to see the full "spin" effect.

We highly recommend the Velleman, "Wheel of Fortune" kit for a young person (or anyone else) interested in electronics and building simple fun circuits.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

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