HOBBY ELECTRONICS-PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
- 06 Jul, 2017
As electronics become more essential to everyday life, a hobby centered on it will become important to average life. Being exposed to digital technology at a younger age could mean that they will be more likely to get into the hobby earlier and with a better understanding that how modern technologies work and they'll expand what modern technologies are capable of. It is hard to differentiate between hobby & industrial electronics and the definition between the two practices is blurred. Globalization, the shift to overseas for manufacturing, a change in technology that creates a divergence between the kinds of parts hobbyists use and that used by industry. Hobbyists still use the same kinds of parts that were being used in the past while the current industry has seen a massive shift towards miniaturization and now use surface mounted parts almost exclusively. When it comes to the perception of modern culture and the interests and capabilities of the upcoming generation of hobbyists, many believe them to be uninterested in tasks that are not instantaneous. They also have a lack of mentors and education, and whether by witness or belief, it feels that the upcoming generation is not taught to think analytically. There are going to be more and more people in the field, as products like Arduino and Raspberry Pi have become more like small building blocks for kids. Complexity and integration were a major barrier for entering into the art and science of electronics. But for now, a higher percentage of the population became involved in electronics projects. With videos, internet access, and easy to use ICs, there are an unlimited number of things people can do that they could never have done in the past. With the advent of microcontrollers, field programmable gate arrays (FPGA's), programmable logic devices (PLD’s), large scale integrated chips (LSI’s) etc., these single chip devices do away with the need for many other components typically used in the past since they combine many of the traditional external components within the same die. Serial interfaces like UART, I2C and SPI as well as special functions like Memory, PWM and ADC’s are now often supplied in one chip, making it possible to make a product with a huge amount of configurability and ability, with very few external parts. With a limited number of ‘discrete’ components required, component suppliers have felt the downturn in their component demand. People around the globe will overcome all the hardship like slow delivery and high cost to even take up the practice of electronics as a hobby in the future. But now people have the choice to order stuff from online rather than going to local markets so that they can begin their hobby in an affordable way. We are very lucky that we have youngsters who are interested in a hobby such as electronics when we consider the access to entertainment they have at their fingertips today, as compared to the past.
Some things give us value through use. They serve a purpose, allow us to do things we couldn’t do otherwise, or to do them faster, better, easier. Other things provide us with an opportunity to exercise our creativity, to enjoy an experience, to develop our abilities. In some areas of our lives, it’s difficult to combine these values. Today’s electronic products provide us with incredible value. With these devices, we can stay in touch, access information, and entertain ourselves wherever we are. It is not uncommon for technically-minded individuals to assemble their own products from do-it-yourself kits. These kits were often comparable in quality to commercial products and significantly cheaper. The DIY(do-it-yourself) movement is growing for sure. There are actually pick and place machines available for the hobbyist. The electronics industry nowadays is growing like crazy. The combination of personal fabrication and DIY electronics means that individuals can design and produce sophisticated electronic products. Complex and optimized printed circuit boards can be designed using open-source or inexpensive software, precisely fabricated in small quantities using relatively low-cost digital fabrication machines or on-demand online vendors. When combined with the broad range of available electronic components, these PCBs can reliably yield a unique electronic circuit. Together with enclosures produced using 3D-printing, laser-cutting, or other fabrication processes, these circuits can form complete, attractive, and robust electronic products. Whatever the future holds for electronics as a hobby, we can all agree that it should remain an important, rewarding, life-long endeavor for many individuals.