My colleague Collin Cunningham has an iPad app called Circuit Sidekick which consists of several tools for assisting electronics aficionados with their work.

Let’s start with the Resistor Values function, pictured above. It helps you determine the value of a resistor by selecting the color bands you see on the actual resistor. The image also demonstrates how Circuit Sidekick looks in portrait mode… I like it much better landscape.

The second tool is the Capacitor Values function, which helps you interpret the sometimes cryptic markings on the component. You can also get a sense of the landscape view of the app in this pic; I like it because you can see the menu at all times rather than having to hit a drop-down menu.

The next two functions help you determine the overall capacitance or resistance of a group of capacitors or resistors. It essentially plays the role of a calculator, letting you type each separate resistor or capacitor’s value and find the total number.

By contrast, the LED Resistor Calculator offers a more clear value since, in essence, it helps you design an actual electronic assembly. You choose the number of LEDs and voltage/current, and the tool tells you how much resistance you need to provide to protect the circuit.

The sixth tool on Circuit Sidekick is an Ohm’s Law calculator. You enter two of voltage, amperage, and resistance and the app fills in the third. Like other aspects of the app, Circuit Sidekick shows you the formula and tells you how it arrives at the answer, which will surely help people learn the stuff on their own. The last two tools are a binary/decimal/hex/octal/ascii number converter and a PDF reader that manages component datasheets.

Circuit Sidekick costs $2.99, a great value if you’re a beginning electronics hobbyist or simply want a ‘tronics-focused app for helping you with your computations. It’s a well-designed and slick app with the potential to save time and keep the magic smoke inside your components.

John Baichtal

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505386939 Drew Harwell

    $2.99 is pricey when there are websites that can do this for free.  Not to mention that this is all simple, and it’s better to actually learn how to do these calculations.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505386939 Drew Harwell

    $2.99 is pricey when there are websites that can do this for free.  Not to mention that this is all simple, and it’s better to actually learn how to do these calculations.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=505386939 Drew Harwell

    $2.99 is pricey when there are websites that can do this for free.  Not to mention that this is all simple, and it’s better to actually learn how to do these calculations.

  • http://twitter.com/Addidis Addidis

    Constructive criticism in no way meant to be a negative nancy :

    For the love of god , release it as a windows/linux/mac  app so people dont have to buy an ipad or iphone to use it. It is great , but I will NEVER use it because I will NEVER have an Ipad or Iphone.  Unless i win one , but what are the chances ?

  • http://twitter.com/Addidis Addidis

    Constructive criticism in no way meant to be a negative nancy :

    For the love of god , release it as a windows/linux/mac  app so people dont have to buy an ipad or iphone to use it. It is great , but I will NEVER use it because I will NEVER have an Ipad or Iphone.  Unless i win one , but what are the chances ?

  • http://twitter.com/Addidis Addidis

    Constructive criticism in no way meant to be a negative nancy :

    For the love of god , release it as a windows/linux/mac  app so people dont have to buy an ipad or iphone to use it. It is great , but I will NEVER use it because I will NEVER have an Ipad or Iphone.  Unless i win one , but what are the chances ?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SA5GJYSJLJAV7H5V6TFQTVK2LM Thomas

    For those of us not using one of those Apple things… I highly recommend Electrodroid available for free in the Android Market. It has more than 5 calculators too.

  • http://glenn.taylor.myopenid.com/ Glenn

    For us Android people, there’s Electrodroid (http://demisoft.altervista.org/_siti_interni/electrodroid/) or in the Android market. Has a lot of functions, pinouts and more. I use it all the time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Michael/100001698354709 Jason Michael

    I wish it would work on the Ipod touch. Just did a search for it and wasnt there. I really could use the LED part for when standing in Radio Shack find everything I need for my LED projects.

  • http://narbotic.com Collin Cunningham

    Thanks for checking out the app, JB!

    A few notes to address earlier comments/etc:

    • The app will soon be available for iPhone & iPod Touch as a free update (“Universal” iOS app)
    • Plans are in the works to port the app over to Mac OS
    • Version 1.2 update fixes several bugs and will be available in the next day or two
    • Additional calculator modules will be added via updates – any suggestions?

  • Frank Fulton

    Wolfram Alpha can do all of this in you browser.

    for example:  http://www.wolframalpha.com/examples/Resistors.html

  • Frank Fulton

    Wolfram Alpha can do all of this in you browser.

    for example:  http://www.wolframalpha.com/examples/Resistors.html

  • Frank Fulton

    Wolfram Alpha can do all of this in you browser.

    for example:  http://www.wolframalpha.com/examples/Resistors.html

  • Frank Fulton

    Wolfram Alpha can do all of this in you browser.

    for example:  http://www.wolframalpha.com/examples/Resistors.html

  • Anonymous

    Once again icrap has made people pay for something that its way better counter part gives out for free. As I am sure you can tell I have a lot of contempt for the apple mainly because it is overpriced under functioning crap really. Yeah theres a android app for free that does all that and some and did I mention that it is free. You guys that support this apple takeover but beware if the great “I” gets its way you will have to start paying to breath!!

  • http://narbotic.com Collin Cunningham

    FYI – the latest update (v1.3) adds support for iPhone & iPod Touch