Charles Platt

Charles Platt

Charles Platt is the author of Make: Electronics, an introductory guide for all ages. He is completing a sequel, Make: More Electronics, and is the author of Volume One of the Encyclopedia of Electronic Components. Volumes Two and Three are in preparation. makershed.com/platt

Latest from Charles Platt

Three electret microphones viewed from below. Upper right: from RadioShack. Upper left: from mouser.com. Bottom: from allelectronics.com. The ground terminal is on the right-hand side in each case.

Electret mics are now tiny, high-quality, and available for less than $1 each. Read more »

M38-Photographing-small-objects-fig-K_big

Get beautiful macro shots using this inexpensive hardware and software setup. Read more »

Gunther Kirsch/MAKE

Try these clever off-label uses for an underappreciated component. There are billions of triacs in the world. In almost every lamp dimmer, every electric stove, and many motor controllers, power is moderated by a triac clipping a portion of each positive and negative AC pulse. Read more »

M35_Proj_EFF_Chronophotonic_opener

Make a better lamp timer that actually knows when it's dark outside, as well as, of course, knowing what time it is. Another smart project from Charles Platt, from his MAKE series Electronics Fun and Fundamentals. Read more »

M31-ching-thing-rendering

You needn't believe in divination to enjoy making this fortune-teller. Read more »

Screen shot 2013-03-05 at 12.24.19 PM

What goes on, exactly, inside those AAA batteries powering your LED flashlight? The short answer is: Chemistry. Chemical reactions can encourage electrons to flow out from one terminal and back to the other, doing some useful work along the way. Meanwhile, inside the battery, positive ions, also known as electron-holes,... Read more »