Hot Wires

Plug and Play Electronics Set

John Adams

RRP: £39.99

Ages: 8+
5 015335 034120


Experience the ultimate in plug and play electronics. Simply snap together the component blocks and discover over 100 action packed experiments. Build a real flying disc, a working FM radio with automatic station selection, a lie detector for you and your friends, a burglar alarm, a voice recorder and lots more...

Hot Wires: Plug and Play Electronics Set includes over 100 experiments that allow you to build a range of working electronic instruments quickly and easily. The easy to handle components snap together in order to create a huge number of different circuits on the base board. And, thanks to the fact that all wires are secured with the components, the kit is totally safe and incredibly simple to operate. This kit includes circuits that can be activate by touch, water, light and sound.

The manual is incredibly detailed. It lists the components by an easy reference number, as well as by their more scientific name. This is handy, because you can bet that your child won't know what an NPN resistor or a power amp IC unit is (actually, neither will most adults. But, call them number 52 and 29 and, like a paint by numbers picture, everyone can construct these kits quickly and easily. And, after a time they may even begin to use their proper scientific names.

You start off with a fairly simple experiment which shows children how to build a simple circuit. It then progresses slowly through some rather dull experiments. I say "dull" because most kids are going to want to jump straight in and make a flying disc, or lie detector... but, stick with the early experiments as they are essential in helping you learn the basics of electronics.

Not only is this kit educational, but it's great fun too. Sure, a few of the experiments don't work as well as they could (the simple radio has terrible reception and the lie detector doesn't really work properly) but there are plenty of experiments that do work well (the FM radio and the flying disc spring to mind), and on the whole this is a lot of fun. There's also a sense of achievement to be had actually constructing, and understanding, these simple experiments. And once you've mastered them all you can upgrade and buy a more grown-up kit.

Before I became editor of sci-fi-online, I was features editor of the UK's largest weekly electronics magazine, Electronics Times (currently EETimes). The UK electronics industry is in serious difficulty. We wrote numerous articles on the problem (insomniacs click here) and the root of this problem is that kids just don't find electronics sexy. It's dull, and not a career that children want to go into. Hopefully the Hot Wires electronics set will help shape the way the younger generation think. A career in the electronics sector can be rewarding.

Full marks to John Adams for helping to achieve something that our government has failed to do miserably. Now if only they could release a kit on 100 surgical experiments maybe we could recruit more doctors and nurses.

One of the best value for money kits I've ever seen. Fun and educational for adults as well as children.

Darren Rea

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