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Electronics in Meccano

Learn how to use electronic circuits in your models

Electronics in Meccano aims to help Meccano enthusiasts use electronic components and circuits in their models. But even though the word ‘Meccano’ is in the name, anyone with an interest in electronics as a hobby should find the articles useful.

The circuits described in the articles range from simple wiring, such as reversing switches for motors, through to more complex circuits for controlling lamps and motors.

I try to place the emphasis on the use and construction of circuits, rather than explaining in detail exactly how they work.

Magazine

Originally a four-page magazine produced for members of the South East London Meccano Club, Electronics in Meccano was published quarterly from 1998 to 2001 and sold over one thousand copies to around 150 subscribers worldwide.

A collage of Electronics in Meccano magazines

The final issue included a full-colour A2 poster featuring a guide to the resistor colour code, 555 timer circuit diagrams, circuit symbols, transistor pinouts, and 4000 series and 74 series logic IC pinouts.

Website

The Electronics in Meccano website takes many of the articles published in the original magazine and extends them to include additional material along with parts lists linked to the Rapid Electronics catalogue.

The website homepage
The website homepage

The website includes message boards, a shop and a membership service which lets readers choose to be notified by email when articles in their topics of interest are added to the website. Members can also keep track of their message board messages and replies, and customise the homepage to their liking.

The yourEiM control panel
The yourEiM control panel

In 2001 the website was favourably reviewed by Electronics and Beyond magazine on the occasion of Meccano’s centenary:

Meccano Celebrates Centenary
‘Meccano Celebrates Centenary’, Electronics and Beyond magazine, Issue 162, June 2001, pp. 8
© 2001 Kanda Systems Limited

Article management system

To manage articles on the website I created a Microsoft Access form. This allowed me to compile a parts list each article with items selected from a central table of parts, which is itself linked to the Rapid Electronics catalogue.

The article management system
The article management system

Hands-On!

In June 2003 I was invited to present ‘Electronics in Meccano Hands-On!’ at the West London Meccano Society.

This seminar consisted of a half-hour lecture introducing some electronics concepts, the 555 timer IC, and the practical aspects of constructing circuits. After the lecture society members built their own 555 monostable circuit on a printed circuit board, thereby learning how to solder and identify components.

West London Meccano Society members working on their circuits
West London Meccano Society members working on their circuits

Electronics in Meccano Hands-On! was presented in association with CASS Limited and the Electronics Club.

Launched in September 1998 • Redeveloped in December 2001 • Primary technologies: ASP, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Publisher