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  2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
 
substitutions on critical parts is a bummer April 12, 2011
Reviewer: Tom Georgoulias from Raleigh, NC United States  
Overall, the pack is a decent value and has nearly everything you need, but there is definitely room for improvement.  My complaints:  The AA batteries are too weak to blow the fuse, they removed the patch cables that were included in previous versions of the kit and they made some really bad substitutions on critical parts that go against the suggestion of the author.  Unfortunately, those are also the parts that you have to use in multiple experiments!  For example, the DPDT relays are miniaturized (like the orange one in Fig 2-57), rather than the larger size spec'd in the book.  As a result, it's hard to prevent the alligator clips from shorting and you can't see how the relay works when you take one apart.  The other is the SPST switch, it doesn't fit into the breadboard.  I had to replace both of these parts with RadioShack versions that more closely match the authors recommendations.  While I was there, I got same AC adapter the author used because the included one seems cheap.

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  1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
 
Labels on the case January 24, 2011
Reviewer: Anonymous Person  
Please make sure that the labels on the case are easy to peel off so we Makers can repurpose the case for a future projects.  Oh, and when can we get it already!  Can't wait (well, can, just don't like to)

Keep up the great work folks!

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  2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
 
Makes Diving Right In VERY Easy January 2, 2011
Reviewer: Anonymous Person from New Haven, CT United States  
I'd definitely recommend this kit to any beginners.  The cost is high and the parts are cheap....but you're not buying this for high quality electronics...you're buying it so that you can start performing the experiments from the book right away.  Sourcing all of these parts would be a major headache and I would gladly pay a premium to avoid having to do so.  I'd rather use my free time melting fuses, taking apart potentiometers and illuminating LEDs than figuring out which ones to buy and where to buy them.

One more bit of advice....buy some inexpensive (but not "cheap") AA batteries.  1) You'll need a bunch anyway 2) the batteries that came in the kit were so cheap that they failed to blow a 3A fuse (the goal of an early experiment).  Despite the extreme simplicity of this experiment I was worried I was doing something wrong, until I grabbed a store bough AA battery from the drawer and popped it in.  Voila. Blown fuse.

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  3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
 
Very convenient but quality suffers December 21, 2010
Reviewer: Ariel from Ridgefield Park, NJ United States  
I just received this pack today and found the package to be very handy overall but was very disappointed at the state of some of the components.

I found some parts out of place or with some slightly bent pins, which is understandable considering the size of some of these components and the stress they go through in delivery transit. All of the smaller components can be bent back into place with a slight bit of pressure.

What I was really disappointed at was the state of the general purpose AC-DC adapter. One of the socket leads was bent at the halfway point 90 degrees outward. With the right tools I can force it in place but I'm worried that whatever forced the adapter into that position would have also caused some internal damage. I don’t want to risk playing with fire so I’ll probably just end up buying a separate adapter. Just be warned that some components might not make it to you in the best of conditions.

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  9 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
 
The Only Way to Go for Newbies July 4, 2010
Reviewer: Scott White from Austin, TX United States  
At first, I cringed at the price point. A hundred bucks and it covers only two chapters? However, after receiving the book, I realized it's only five chapters long, and the first two chapters cover almost 100 pages, so you're essentially getting materials for the first third the book.

As a complete noob, I started out trying to source the book's project components at Mouser, and had lots of trouble finding exactly what I was looking for in the online catalog. So, I switched to Radio Shack, which had a much easier UI, but the cost began to add up. By the time I was up to 2/3 of the items I needed for Chapters 1 and 2, I was already up to 85 bucks. Plus, none of the online sources I was using had everything, meaning I'd have to pay shipping from at least two companies.

If you're just getting started, it just makes more sense to order the kit from MakerShed and dive right into the projects.

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  5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
 
Must Have kit for book owners March 18, 2010
Reviewer: James Kelly from Smyrna, GA United States  
My blog review of Pack 1 is at http://handsonelectronics.blogspot.com/2010/03/components-pack-1.html

I'd like to add that I think this is one of those most impressive parts packs I've ever seen created for a book - I've purchased many DIY kits over the years that have a matching book/manual, but none of them have ever gone to this length to make sure everything is included.

If you're not sure about this purchase, let me assure you that you'll spend a LOT more than $99 if you buy all this stuff individually (the AC Adapter, breadboard, wire spools, and battery holders will likely easily eat up 50% of the cost alone).

I've enjoyed working through the book's experiments (and I'm only on Exp 20 of 36 at the moment) and am looking forward to finishing it - having all these parts readily available will make the experience much less stressful and you'll be able to focus on learning what you need to learn rather than hunting around town or on the Internet for the supplies you need.

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  2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
 
Super deal March 10, 2010
Reviewer: Phil Hutchinson from Redmond, WA United States  
After at least five trips to Radio Shack and a few mail orders, I'm still only halfway through the "Make: Electronics" book.  I can say without a doubt that this kit will save you a lot of time and money.

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  1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
 
Make Eletronics Components Pack 1 March 4, 2010
Reviewer: Randy T Enterline from Des Moines, IA United States  
I just ordered pack 1 for my eletronics hobby. I enjoy playing with eletronics. I started my hobby with a radio shack lab kit and got hooked to it. Now want to play with breadboards on my spare time. Cant wait intill this pack 1 arrives.

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  5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
 
Look forward to companion kit 2 March 1, 2010
Reviewer: Bryan from New York, NY United States  
I recently sourced my own parts for experiments 1 through 11. It appears that the prototype companion kit includes more than I obtained, at a nice discount to what I paid and without the frustration of not finding quite the right pieces for two or three of the parts.

Please put companion kit 2 together before I reach experiment 12.

I would suggest, however, that anyone completely new to electronics, like me, go purchase a few of the parts at a local store as a learning exercise even if they do get the companion kit. Perhaps a couple 5mm LEDs, an electrolytic capacitor, an NPN transistor and a set of 5 resistors. Just a few cheap parts that you're bound to use at some point. Take the book to the store with you. I know I learned quite a bit by trying to find the components myself.

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  3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
 
What? No zinc nails? February 27, 2010
Reviewer: Bret Pettichord from Austin, TX United States  
I've been sourcing my own parts and they are really hard to find. This will be a big help for people.

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