Before someone says it, no it doesn't actually defy the laws of physics, but we are lighting a 3V LED with a 1.5V battery and that takes some scheming.
If we take out the coil and the LED, we've got an oscillator that doesn't actually do anything useful -- the transistor keeps flipping back on / off / on / off. The coil is responsible for getting the voltage high enough (in bursts) to light the LED: the coil is an inductor, and an inductor responds to changes in current by playing the contrarian and generating voltage in the opposite direction. This results in the voltage periodically spiking high enough to light the LED.
And five nega-stars for five-starring my own video. Sorry, it's a habit.
Old_Zircon: you had better be fucking kidding. YOU HAD BETTER BE.
So, uh, Bort. Tell us. How do you feel about ...Radio Shack.
As electronics hobbyists go I am a chump, but I do love a good Radio Shack parts drawer. But I miss the days when the parts would hang on the walls, proudly, as if to declare "by GOD we will see to it that you can find the resistor you need".
If I dig for a while I can probably find an old Battery Club card.
I'm an electronics hipster. I don't know what I'm doing really but Radio Shack is way too commercial for me, man, I shop at the little, indie electronics part store down the street.
As a former RS employee, I remember taking inventory of those transistors and also taking mental inventory of those people who purchased them. Folks like Bort made my day because they were the only ones who were interesting enough to buy that stuff.
Anybody who ever went to the RS on the Ave in Seattle in the early Aughts, holler at me, cause I probably sold you some overpriced Ethernet cable.
I long for the days I could buy the parts I need. Now I have to make them. Partly because they haven't been manufactured in 50 years, partly because they don't exist yet.
That said, do consider those old tv sets and whatnot you see in the trash and at the goodwill. They're often a wellspring of discrete components, more than most amateurs would ever need.
Oscar, I get the feeling you're a man out of 1923: you know your electronics, you experiment with smelting, and I would bet anything you wear a bowler / vest / white shirt / bartender arm bands.
Yes, I live simultaneously now between 2014 and 1923. How that is possible is beyond my ken, but there it is.
It's hard to describe the feelings people had in that decade leading up to the first big financial collapse. Such optimism: anything was possible and indeed often did happen. Whole new worlds in the physical sciences were opening up, parallel to the development of all that open land out West and the industrial East. Finally we were coming out of the dark ages, and the promise of tomorrow burned so brightly, then, so very brightly.
Then to all come crashing down to earth and the dustbowl and the poverty, great migrations and all that followed. The people running the show were so blind then, as they are now, to what serves their best interests. The middle class, fat and complacent, proved easy targets. Then the war after the war to end all wars. So much suffering.
And here we are today at the same juncture, in 2014. "The wheels of the bus go 'round and 'round", as they say. Different costumes, same olde show.
Old_Zircon: it has been brought to my attention that I maybe should have given you a better answer. Basically, the voltage determines the frequency of light that is possible to get from an LED. 1.5 V would allow you to make an infrared LED, but not red, much less green or blue.
There's a handy rainbow chart there that shows what voltages can deliver what colors.
Joule Thief - 1
tap Joule Thief and Sacrifice an artifact in your graveyard: get one colorless mana.
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