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Any recs for a ds who is very mechanical with a love of electronics?


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You may want to consider building his own computer. It is less expensive than you'd expect, and the parts would be much higher quality than buying a cheap computer at Best Buy. For just $200-300 he'd have a darn good computer. The result would be one of the most useful projects that he can actually use in his studies for many years.


I just built my own and told my daughter when she's 8 she'll get to build her own as well. She can pick out her own colors for LED lights to make it more special. :)

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Any favorite books, projects, or other resources?


What might you use for 6th grade science with a child like this?


He LOVES Make magazine, but often doesn't have the supplies for those projects.


SnapCircuits were a flop as he doesn't care for puzzles or (following instructions) and wants to be the one actually doing the wiring.


He takes apart anything he can find and makes new things out of them.

Right now he's reading a wiring handbook, so I've got to find him more age appropriate things.


When we lived on a hobby farm a few years ago, we turned the milk shed into the oldest boy's "lab/workshop"...he got anything that was broken...and I found he was also pilfering my mason jars, tubes, dish soap, etc.

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I'm a programmer too, or used to be anyway.


I was a little intimidated to start. This page helped me in the beginning:



I watched a lot of YouTube videos and googled a lot of how-to help pages. After a month of saving up and researching, I started getting most of my parts from NewEgg.com and Amazon, and now I have my new computer! Since I built mine to be able to do anything I throw at it (my last computer died because I worked it too hard), I invested about $1300, but you can still get a great POWER computer for less than half that. A good homeschooling computer for just a few hundred.



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Do you need the kits from the Make site for this? They are pricey.


No, from what I could see, it is made from basic pieces and parts. They recommend buying the parts at Radio Shack, auto parts stores, hardware stores, etc. They do mention the Make kits, if you want to buy a bunch of stuff at once, but they also give other online sources for aprts, too. There are shopping lists for each set of projects, so you know what you need.

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