What to do with children in the summer if you are an IT specialist. Part 2

Children grow up, their needs change, and proven recipes for family happiness cease to work. You have to be especially inventive on holidays and in the summer. How to organize joint leisure so that everyone is interested? Earlier, I already wrote how to play ciphers with a child, and also gave a selection of educational board games. In honor of Children’s Day, I decided to continue this glorious tradition.

My option is to engage the child with something creative that attracts him now and will help him in the future. We didn’t have to choose. Since I am an IT specialist who repairs various pieces of iron as a hobby, my daughter often sees me with a multimeter and a soldering iron. She is eager to help, but what can be trusted with a five-year-old child? It turns out a lot! You just need to properly organize the process.

Elementary safety considerations suggest that the workplace and teamwork should be organized so that the child physically cannot accidentally touch the heated sting, injure his fingers with wire cutters, or otherwise harm himself – children are extremely inventive.

To begin with, we put the child at a separate table, put a silicone mat on him and solemnly hand over relatively safe things with which he can practice more or less on his own, while dad is nearby doing the “adult” part of the work and is always ready to help. Naturally, the child will have a lot of questions, so you will need a bag of patience (or better, two). The main thing at the first stage is not to overload the young brain and try to answer as simply as possible. You are not passing an exam, but showing your child how exciting the world is waiting for him.

My daughter began her acquaintance with radio electronics by showing her a scattering of resistors. He portrayed in pantomime how they prevent the electrons from running, like educators – to children in the corridor of the kindergarten. He told why they have multi-colored stripes and showed how to lay out resistors with the same color in piles. Then there were LEDs, from which she learned to distinguish “plus” and “minus” in two different ways. The first (according to the shape of the electrodes) was convenient in relatively large and transparent cases, and the second (along the length of the legs) made it possible to check the polarity from the back of the board.

Very quickly, the daughter began to lay out the resistors by face value, although she did not know how to express the resistance numerically – she simply grouped “sticks with the same stripes”. Then she began to check the LEDs. Especially for this, I made a tester from two AA Ni-MH batteries (so that the voltage is 2.4 V) and a pair of isolated “crocodiles” of different colors.

She still burned a few LEDs, but how could she do without it? Children are often in a hurry and distracted. In such cases, one should not scold, but analyze the cause of the error. Most often, this is a desire to hear praise as soon as possible, or banal fatigue. Take a break and then continue whenever your child wants.

The following weekend, I took a simple radio-electronic designer “Light Music” on the CD4017 chip for training. The daughter already inserted resistors and LEDs into the board herself. Which side to insert the resistors – no difference, but how to determine the polarity of the LEDs – she has already learned well.

When it came to the capacitors, she herself figured out that the shaded sides on the case and the board should match. The correct guess gave her confidence. The daughter plucked up the courage to ask the question that had tormented her for a long time: “Dad, when will you give me a soldering iron?”. Say at this moment: “Not soon!” it would be a crime, so I suggested that we first observe and then try together.

It was the case when “the eyes were afraid, but the hands did.” It took my daughter a couple of minutes to feel her “adulthood” and involvement in her father’s occupation, and then I had to think for a long time how to organize a safer soldering next time. After reviewing various options, I decided to take a compact USB-powered soldering iron TS 101 especially for my daughter. To buy one for yourself – the toad was choking, and so – it seems like you are trying for a child.

I especially liked the ability to power the soldering iron from an external battery with support for the PD protocol. So you can work anywhere (already appreciated when repairing a ceiling lamp), and at the same time, the risk of electric shock is eliminated if the child suddenly burns the power cord.

Looking ahead, I will say that the choice was successful. It is much more convenient for a child to study with a miniature and lightweight tool that does not make you wait long (it heats up to a predetermined temperature in just seconds) and is not “tied” to an outlet. Why, an adult is also quite comfortable. It is a pity that in my childhood there was nothing like this.

The next time we assembled the Christmas tree constructor. The surprise was transistors (s9014), which “for some reason have a third leg.” Of course, I did not load the preschooler with where the “emitter”, “collector” and “base” are. Simplified the explanation to the level of “the third leg works like a switch.” I specifically chose the option with an asymmetric TO-92 (KT-26) case, so that from the picture you could immediately understand how the transistor should be located on the board.

Watching my daughter, after a while I calmed down so much that I began to allow her to bring solder to the place of soldering. He only asked for a longer piece to be rewound so that she would not keep her fingers close to the sting. After a couple of such lessons, I entrusted her with a soldering iron. True, at first it was turned off (she did not know about it) in order to observe the observance of safety regulations. The daughter behaved surprisingly like an adult. She did everything slowly and with concentration. So I turned on the power and, holding her free hand, let her solder the first contact herself.

Children do not perceive long phrases well, especially in moments of excitement. Therefore, all my remarks during the joint work with the soldering iron were as short as possible: “Here it is. Don’t touch here! Hot iron! Bring it up slowly! Hold it, hold it! Enough! Take away!” It turned out not too neat, but the first time. Nothing inspires like a first success!

The secret of his achievement turned out to be simple: before giving the child a try, you need to carefully prepare everything. I cleaned and degreased the board in advance, and additionally tinned all the contacts. I checked each element, prepared the soldering tip and immediately set the desired temperature (280 ° C, since the solder turned out to be of average quality), saving it as the first mode. After turning on the soldering iron, it was enough for my daughter to press one button, wait 15 seconds and touch the place of soldering with a heated tip for a second or two. The pre-applied solder flowed neatly, and it looked magical. It literally envelops the leg of the radio element and freezes in the hole, as a rule, in an even droplet. So the soldering iron turned into a magic wand that can do real miracles.

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