For the last fifty or sixty years, many people and companies have been producing so-called “trainer” boards. Some of the more popular ones came from companies like Heathkit and Radio Shack. However, in the recent past, these trainer boards have become less common as microcontroller-based electronics projects like Arduino grew in popularity. But the ElectroLab bucks that trend! With a very modern and well-designed board one can learn a lot about both digital and analog electronics.
The board contains a plethora of different components; you’ll find the typical resistors & capacitors, but also op-amps, transistors, sensors, logic gates, flip-flops, a signal generator… the list goes on. The entire design is open-source, with schematics and board layout files available on the associated GitHub repo. With the included components, students can learn about oscillators, ADCs using op-amps, differentiators/integrators, combinatorial logic, audio filters, and timer circuits using the 555… so much to learn and discover!
The only missing piece at this point seems to be a detailed self-study guide. As this board was originally intended for an instructor to guide students in a lab, the focus was on reliability and meeting the needs of the course that prompted this project. However, one of the wonderful things about education & community collaboration is that anyone can step up and contribute toward making documentation. An experienced instructor could use the existing documentation to create a curriculum with the board, but hopefully, self-study options will also appear. Keep an eye out on their Hackaday.io Project Page for updates!