Piecing together a vintage Radio Shack 150-in-One kit

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

3922 Articles

By Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

3922 Articles

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Craig Smith (South Milwaukee, WI) wrote to me to share this amazing project he’s been working on and to ask for your help:

I was one of the lucky kids that received a Radio Shack Science Fair 150-in-One electronic project kit on Christmas morning. I spent hours making the different projects, such as sound effects, radio, light experiments, etc… I credit this toy as the reason I can solder up circuits from electronic kits or schematics, as well as circuits from scratch. As a teen, I robbed some of the components from the toy.

What started out as a project to make the incomplete toy whole again, I decided to make into a quality working wood replica art piece. Made from a piece of 1/4″ plywood and built into an old silverware box, I am using old beat-up junker kits to donate the spring connectors. I am locating as many new components as I can instead of using 30 year old components. I have the radio tuner parts, transistors, and 7-segment LED display.

But I’m having a heck of a time locating the input and output transformers. Also, the “advanced integrated circuit” is going to be impossible to find, not to mention the projects involving it weren’t that interesting. So I believe I will install the 555 timer circuit and include schematics in the booklet that would be interesting projects with the 555 timer.

Perhaps Make: Online readers can help me locate the proper ohm transformers, as well as provide other helpful and nostalgic tidbits on this toy that so many of us geeks got started with.

I definitely had one of these! Still do…er… someplace. How about you? Any helpful suggestions for Craig?

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