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4532Re: [ScoutRadio] Electronics Merit Badge

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  • Bill Blake
    Apr 17, 2014
      Troop 1 with Tecumseh Council teaches Electronics and Radio Merit badges.  I am primary on Radio MB and Assist with Electronics.

      Much of the class is slides and hands on.  The slides go over the basics (resister colors, components).  The slides work through the worksheet.

      For Soldering / Desoldering, found junk circuit boards. Lots of solder and wick / bulb.  This gets the scout practicing soldering techniques.

      We made wooden vices that are suitable to hold circuit boards for the boys to solder.  We purchase electronics kits for the boy to buy.  The price is tacked on with the class.  The electronic's kits cost approx $10.

      On the kits, the trick is to find kits that are not to easy but also not complex.   Some cheaper kits are not challenging. In the end, the scout solders a board that does something (lights up or makes a sound).

      We thought about breadboards but the scouts won't have anything to take home.

      Of course, what I pitch in Radio MB......   Take the Electronics and Radio MB and your close to that Technician License!

      Bill  KD8RLB

      On Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 2:40 PM, <n5gui@...> wrote:

      I was recently asked to help my grandson to complete the Electronics Merit Badge that he had started at the local Merit Badge College.  I can certainly provide expertise, tools, and lots of parts for him to work with, there was a bit of confusion at first about what he needed from me.  His issue seems to have been taken care of, but I think this area could use more support for this STEM activity, and I would like to find out what others have done.  If this is not an appropriate forum to discuss issues with this merit badge, please suggest a better forum to present this topic.

      If this is a reasonable place to ask for advise on Electronics MB, I would like to find an example on how it has been presented, and I have a specific question about assembling a kit of parts that can be used to complete its requirements.  As I understand the requirements, it is necessary to demonstrate soldering and de-soldering, and to build either a control circuit, a digital circuit, or an audio circuit.  From that, I gather that the circuit to build need not be soldered.  Using a breadboard to build and demonstrate the circuit would allow reuse of the parts, not to mention easier correction of wiring errors.  So if I tried to set up a class, I might prefer that the Scouts separate the soldering and circuit building requirements.  If so, is there any good ideas for how to make the soldering interesting. ( I had thought of a QRP RF dummy load since it is simple and useful for those interested in radio also. )  

      It also seems to me that the Scout should not be "steered" into a specific circuit or type of circuit.  To set up a class, I would want to provide a variety of parts for Scouts to work with, but not so many as to be difficult to bring to such a class.  Any suggestions of what to bring, how much, and perhaps cautions about what to avoid?

      Thank you.

      James Whitfield


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