Doug Weiss has been teaching electronics classes for decades in the Eugene Springfield area. Basic skills like circuit building and soldering will help you start your project off right, whether you are repairing a lamp or building a robot.
Take it to the next level and combine computers with electronics with Arduino, the brains behind many robotic or programmable electronic devices.
Classes are in levels and start at the basics, allowing you to learn more with each class!
Doug Weiss knows that approaching electronics for the first time can be daunting. As a Lane Community College instructor of 20 years, he’s seen scores of students who thought electronics might be out of their reach.
“They’ll look at the schematic and the parts and think that it’s too complicated,” Weiss said. “But it’s my experience that most people know more about electricity and about the way things work than they even realize!”
What his students quickly learn is that most principles of electronics are the same physical principles that make sense intuitively to humans. So when they become comfortable with the way that electricity can flow and be manipulated, “There’s no bound around a student’s inquisitive nature. We have fun and we explore electronics together,” he said.
Weiss loves teaching classes at Willamalane Adult Activity Center because, unlike at a college or university, the class doesn’t need to contend with accreditation issues, syllabi or regimented material to cover. “People come in here with very specific ideas about what they want to learn,” he said, “So we can take the class whatever direction they want to go.”
In a previous session, he said, a couple students were interested in remote controlled recreation vehicles, and they wanted to learn how to do wiring to make different controls work. “This class was very satisfying for them,” he said.
Weiss’ electronics classes are built around learning skills in stages. First, he teaches students how to read a basic schematic diagram and plug parts and pieces together to make a working circuit. Then, students move on to a soldering class to learn how to solder components to a permanent board. From there, he teaches Arduino and Radio Communications classes that further the functionality of their projects.
“When I see students working on something and enjoying it, it’s like living vicariously through a new set of eyes and fresh hands,” Weiss says. “The classes take on a life of their own, and the possibilities are about endless.”
Try the Classes
You don’t have to be a master programmer to use this amazing microcontroller! The program focuses on Arduino, an open source, computer hardware and software company, project, and user community that makes digital devices that can sense and control objects in the physical world.
Level 1: In this class you will learn to download the necessary software to program the Arduino, open and modify an application from the device library and connect some simple “real world” hardware to the controller.
Level 2: This class will continue exploring software and hardware Arduino applications. A thermistor temperature sensor will be introduced as an analog input device that will control a cooling fan based on the room’s temperature. Prerequisite: Arduino For The Hobbyist Level 1
Learn how to read a diagram to build a circuit. This class explains the ABCs behind simple electrical circuits. By the end of the class, each student will have built a working circuit.
Learn how to do a few simple electronic repairs or begin an exciting new hobby. $15 project kit fee paid directly to instructor on the first day of class. Instructor: Doug Weiss. Register in advance.
Basic: Learn how to make reliable solder joints. This is a hands on class where each student will have the opportunity to assemble and solder together a premade electronic hobby kit.
Advanced: Learn how to build a customized circuit board. In this class, the student will be given a schematic and they will use their soldering skills to build a working circuit without the use of a hobby kit. By the end of the class, the student will have used a perforated prototyping board (solderable), wires and electrical components to have built a working circuit.