eLearnTronics Advanced Learning Board Logic Gates

I recently put together this DIY kit from eLearnTronics:

(I'm not paid by anybody to do this review.)

eLearnTronics Advanced Learning Board Logic Gates: unassembled package

It is basically just two pushbutton switches, which are the inputs, and some LEDs which represent the outputs of the various logic gates (AND, OR, NOT, etc.) It comes with truth tables printed on the side for each of the logic gates.

The idea is nothing amazing, but it is something that would be helpful to an electronics 101 student, or to let your children play with. Here is a photo of the assembled, working unit:

eLearnTronics Advanced Learning Board Logic Gates: after assembly

My review:

As I mentioned above, there isn't anything here nearly amazing as, say, a DIY radio or clock kit. But the unit is well suited for its intended user — someone just learning electronics and boolean logic.

The board itself is nice quality, both sturdy and attractive. The included jack barrel power connector is nice compared to what you might (or might not) get in a cheaper kit. The on/off switch is also convenient. There were no missing parts.

The soldering work is all THT, of medium level difficulty. Some of the holes are small, and some of the pieces are somewhat tightly squeezed together, making it a little more challenging than it would be otherwise. You'll probably want to use a magnifying glass and a thinner or angled soldering tip, to avoid accidental solder bridges.

My only complaint is about the documentation, or lack thereof:

- No paperwork was included, only a URL to a Web page. Personally, I like it better if the schematic and the BOM are included in the package.

- The Web page is one of those Web pages which will not load unless you have JavaScript enabled. That is something I was not happy about, for reasons that I have written about elsewhere.

- The Web page (after enabling JavaScript) does give some instructions, but does not include a BOM or a schematic. I was really disappointed by that. For me, one of the core parts of learning from these kits is assembling the unit, and then studying the schematic to learn how it works. I think the lack of a schematic cuts down significantly on the educational value of this unit.

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