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miniTesla: build electronics and more

miniTesla is a new solderless electronics prototyping system that is mechanically much more sturdy than the common breadboard while at the same time allowing the use of standard unmodified common electronic components creating a low-cost solution. On top, it mechanically connects with Lego and goBilda.

miniTesla demonstration

Another advantage of miniTesla is that circuits can be built in the shape they are typically drawn, reinforcing circuit patterns and thus amplifying the learning process. Due to the mechanical integrity of the system circuits can be used long-term in projects or just kept as a reference.

If you have been annoyed by unreliable breadboards, and the mess of wires they often produce, give miniTesla a try. You will like it. For further details refer to our free manual.

History: miniTesla is based on an ingenious spring contact that was introduced by Philips in Europe during the 1960s. Philips developed an entire electronics kit system around this spring contact. These kits were particularly popular in German-speaking countries in Europe because Philips Germany took over the development and marketing of these kits. However, sometime during the 1990s, due to the emerging personal computers, electronic kits became less and less popular and Philips lost interest in their system and discontinued it.

We have decided to revive this superior prototyping system and make it even better. The primary improvements we have made are:

This new mechatronic interface to printed circuit boards makes it very easy to connect to other popular platforms such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino.

miniTesla offers, for a solderless system, superior mechanic and electric connectivity and reliability together with low component costs.

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Displaying 1 to 35 (of 35 products)

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Julio Caso de los Cobos Fidalgo
Magic with Electronics by Julio Caso de los Cobos Fidalgo

This ebook is for all who would like to combine magic and electronics but have little experience with electronics and have no idea what the possibilities are. The author explains a range of projects that will give you an overview of some of the magic effects achievable with electronics.

The first project has nothing to do with electronics but it will teach you how to write software, an app for your mobile phone. It is a very simple app, and it will not make you a programmer, but it allows you to get your feet wet and get a glimpse at the possibilities of apps.

You will then be introduced...

$30
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E. W. Bud Morris
More Magic with Electronics by E. W. Bud Morris
  • "S.O.S." Triangle
  • Dance Of Death
  • How's Your Bird?
  • The Tattle-Tale Heart
  • Return To Boggart’s Inn
  • The Laughing Skull
  • Train To Nowhere
  • A.K. Cassette - Improved
  • Electronics In Mentalism
  • Source Section
  • Final After-Thoughts

Note that this digital edition does not include the reprint of the first volume. The first volume is available separately here.

1st edition 1975, 59 pages; PDF 54 pages.

$12
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Georg Stark
Magie und Elektronik by Georg Stark

Elektronische Zauberkunststücke aus den Bereichen Mikro-, Salon- und Mentalmagie.

  • Zauberstab mit Glühzünder
  • Die Stanleykassette
  • Die Edison-Box
  • Salzstreuer mit Musik
  • Pirouett
  • Mein Karten-Roboter
  • Tuch durch Kerzenflamme
  • Vom Devano- zum Förderband-Kartensteiger
  • Gedankenübertragung mit Disco-Antenne
  • Elektronischer Würfel
  • Riesenpointkarten Mental
  • Lügendetektor

Erstausgabe 1986, 31 Seiten; PDF 33 Seiten.

$10
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Burkhard Kainka
150 Best Circuits by Burkhard Kainka

150 very useful circuits that have stood the test of time, grouped under 32 application topics.

Burkhard Kainka has for decades developed and designed electronic circuits and projects for Franzis, Elektor, Kosmos, and Modul-Bus. Some of these circuits have stood the test of time and Kainka is returning and using them again and again. 150 of these best and most useful electronic circuits are collected in this ebook.

The focus is on circuit technology with discrete semiconductors and common standard ICs such as operational amplifiers and the NE555 timer chips. The areas of radio technology...

$14.95
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miniTesla
8-pin DIP by miniTesla

Some of the most popular chips come in 8-pin, arranged as 2 rows of 4 pins, DIP packaging. Think about the famous 555 timer chip or dual-operational amplifiers such as the LM358. You can also find comparators (LM393) and audio amplifiers (LM386). You can put two optocouplers PC817 into the socket. Some microcontrollers such as the ATtiny85 also fit.

You are not limited to only inserting integrated circuits. If you do not want to bend the leads of a transistor you can put it into this socket. In fact, there is space for two transistors.

It is a very handy socket, and if you have larger...

$2
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Burkhard Kainka
Side-Effects of Electronics by Burkhard Kainka

Exploiting little-known characteristics of electronic components.

Did you know that an LED can also work as a light sensor or solar cell? That a photodiode can also detect radioactivity? That you can build a microphone from sugar? That a capacitor can 'magically' re-charge itself after it has been fully discharged?

Kainka explains these and other strange and uncommon characteristics of electronic components. Everything is explained in a hands-on style with photos, circuit schematics, measurement results, and explanations of how these phenomena come about and manifest themselves.

This...

$14.95
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Herbert-Martin Paufler
Magie Magnete Motoren by Herbert-Martin Paufler

Paufler, von Beruf Ingenieur, war ein Meister der szenischen Mikromagie. Er war einer der Ersten die Elektronik in die Methodik der Zauberkunst einfließen ließen. Diese Publikation ist daher eine der wenigen Zauberpublikationen in denen man elektronische Schaltungsdiagramme findet. Für den Elektronikbegeisternden ist es eine wahre Schatztruhe.

Auszug aus dem Vorwort von Hans Marian:

Dieses Buch ist magisches Neuland! Sein Wert wird wahrscheinlich erst nach Jahren oder gar Jahrzehnten voll erkannt und gewürdigt werden, denn es eilt mit seinen genialen Grundideen der Zeit weit voraus....

$12
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miniTesla
DIY Toggle Switch by miniTesla

This board allows you to build a neat little toggle switch. Additionally to the printed circuit board, you will receive an M4 brass screw, an M4x20 mm long nylon hex spacer, a 3-hole long trace, and two M4 screws with nuts. You will also need three spring contacts (not included in this kit) to connect the switch to your circuit.

$3.90
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miniTesla
9V Lego Connector by miniTesla

Use this board to directly connect to the old-style 9V Lego motors (geared or not geared). In addition to the printed circuit board, you will receive two spring contacts and two 3 mm long aluminum spacers that allow you to connect the spring contacts directly with the printed circuit board.

$2.90
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miniTesla
Mini Breadboard Breakout kit by miniTesla

A breakout board for a mini breadboard with 170 tie points, and 34 distinct connection groups (1-17 A and B). This is very convenient to connect integrated circuits or any other electrical component which you cannot directly clamp into the spring contacts but which fits into a breadboard.

This kit requires soldering. To solder the mini breadboard onto the PCB, first, remove the adhesive backing from the mini breadboard. Put the breadboard upside down on the table so that the exposed contact rows on the back are visible. Place the PCB with the central opening over the breadboard. Align the...

$8.50
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miniTesla
Mini Breadboard Breakout sub-board by miniTesla

A breakout board for a mini breadboard with 170 tie points, and 34 distinct connection groups (1-17 A and B). This is very convenient for integrated circuits or any other electrical component which you cannot directly clamp into the spring contacts but which fits into a breadboard.

This sub-board comes ready-made, meaning the mini breadboard is already soldered onto the PCB. If you want to solder it yourself you can purchase the cheaper Mini Breadboard Kit.

$16
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miniTesla
Rotary Switch 1-out-of-9 sub-board by miniTesla

This is a rotary switch that connects a common (COM) pin with one out of 9 pins. This is a through-hole component and thus this sub-board can only be used on the edge of a pegboard, either immediately above or below the pegboard.

$7.50
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miniTesla
Momentary Pushbutton sub-board by miniTesla

A momentary pushbutton. It connects the two pins only as long as the button is pressed.

$3.50
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miniTesla
Raspberry Pi GPIO sub-board by miniTesla

The Raspberry PI GPIO board is the most convenient way to directly connect to an RPi, either by plugging the RPi GPIO header directly into the sub-board or by using an extension cable. An extension cable is necessary to connect a Raspberry Pi 400.

$19.50
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miniTesla
Toggle Switch sub-board by miniTesla

Our toggle switch has three positions: left, middle, and right. The left switch position connects the middle pin to the left pin. The middle is a neutral position where the middle pin is not connected to anything. In the right position, the middle pin is connected to the right pin. You can use this toggle switch as a simple on-off switch, or as a selector between two alternatives.

$9
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miniTesla
2.1 mm Female Barrel Connector sub-board by miniTesla

The most widely used barrel connector is the 2.1 mm one. They are often used for low-voltage power supplies and wall adaptors. You will probably have several of these lying around from old or broken toys and other equipment. They make great power supplies for various projects. This sub-board allows you to easily connect them to the miniTesla system.

This one has a plug insertion detection, a switch that is closed and thus connected to the sleeve if no plug is inserted. Once a plug is inserted this switch opens. This is useful to automatically switch between battery operation, when no plug...

$4.50
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miniTesla
10k Ohm Potentiometer with Pushbutton sub-board by miniTesla

A potentiometer, or variable resistor, with three pins labeled CW, CCW, and wiper. The wiper moves between the CW (clockwise) and CCW (counterclockwise) endpoints and therefore the resistance between the wiper and the endpoints changes with the position of the potentiometer. The resistance between CW and CWW is a constant 10k Ohm.

Additionally, this potentiometer has a built-in momentary pushbutton by pressing down on the dial. When pressed the SW1 and SW2 pins are connected.

$9
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miniTesla
USB-C sub-board by miniTesla

The USB-C sub-board is a convenient way to get 5V power to the circuit or to provide a serial data connection.

$5.50
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miniTesla
3.5 mm Audio Jack sub-board by miniTesla

The most widely used audio connector is the 3.5 mm audio jack. With our sub-board you can easily connect headphones or a speaker. It has 5 pins: GND, ring, tip, ring-switch, tip-switch.

$4.50
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miniTesla
Header or Breadboard Connector (10 pins) by miniTesla

This board is particularly useful to interface with a breadboard. It has 10 pins and therefore 10 adjacent rows of a breadboard can be connected to. This is currently the only sub-board that has to be used on top of our spring contacts. The 10 pins are inserted into the breadboard. The holes attach to the top of the spring contacts. It is also recommended that you remove the adhesive backing from the breadboard to match the clearance below the header contacts.

Some components, such as integrated circuits, can nicely be inserted into a breadboard. This connector allows an easy interface to mix and...

$4
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miniTesla
3-hole corner trace (10 pieces) by miniTesla

10 3-hole corner traces for the miniTesla prototyping system. These traces can be put either directly below or above the board and are mechanically secured as well as electrically connected with our spring contacts.

$5.50
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miniTesla
trace 3 holes long (10 pieces) by miniTesla

10 traces for the miniTesla prototyping system each 3 holes long. These traces can be put either directly below or above the board and are mechanically secured as well as electrically connected with our spring contacts.

$5.50
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miniTesla
trace 5 holes long (10 pieces) by miniTesla

10 traces for the miniTesla prototyping system each 5 holes long. These traces can be put either directly below or above the board and are mechanically secured as well as electrically connected with our spring contacts.

$6
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miniTesla
trace 7 holes long (10 pieces) by miniTesla

10 traces for the miniTesla prototyping system each 7 holes long. These traces can be put either directly below or above the board and are mechanically secured as well as electrically connected with our spring contacts.

$6.50
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miniTesla
trace 9 holes long (10 pieces) by miniTesla

10 traces for the miniTesla prototyping system each 9 holes long. These traces can be put either directly below or above the board and are mechanically secured as well as electrically connected with our spring contacts.

$7
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miniTesla
Set of traces by miniTesla

A set of traces for the miniTesla prototyping system. These connections can be put either directly below or above the board and are mechanically secured as well as electrically connected with our spring contacts. Included are:

  • 2x 9 holes long
  • 2x 7 holes long
  • 2x 5 holes long
  • 2x 3 holes long
  • 2x 3 holes around the corner
$6
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miniTesla
Lego pegboard kit by miniTesla

This kit allows you to build a little pegboard that works nicely together with our spring contacts and sub-boards to construct electronic circuits on it. It is a neat way to incorporate electronics into your Lego project without having to use premade electronic modules.

The kit includes the following parts:

  • 2 pieces of Lego 1 x 16 bricks
  • 14 pieces of white Lego technic 7 x 1 half-height (thin) beams
$14.50
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miniTesla
miniTesla Pegboard by miniTesla

This pegboard is 192 mm x 128 mm (7.6" x 5") large which is a bit smaller than half letter size and made from clear 1/8" thick acrylic. Additionally, you will receive four M4x20 mm long hex spacers made from nylon and four M4 matching nylon screws. These spacers function as feet for the board.

The board has 230 holes to accept our spring contacts and it can be mechanically linked to Lego bricks and Lego technic components. In the Lego raster, it is 16 x 24 large. Its shorter side is exactly half the length of a Lego baseplate which is 32 x 32.

Please see the free miniTesla manual for details on how this electronic...

$24.90
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miniTesla
9V Battery Kit by miniTesla

With this kit you can mechanically and electrically connect a 9V battery to the miniTesla pegboard. Included in the kit are:

  • a metal clip that holds a 9V battery
  • 9V battery snap on connector with wires and alligator clips
  • two M4 x 20 mm nylon hex standoffs
  • two M4 nylon screws

The metal clip is screwed to the pegboard with the M4 screws and standoffs. Attach the snap-on connector to a 9V battery and insert the 9V battery into the metal clip. Connect the alligator clips to your circuit. By removing/attaching one of the alligator clips you can power off and on your circuit.

Please...

$9.50
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miniTesla
Spring Contact Compression Tool by miniTeslaThis tool is perfect to compress the miniTesla contacts to connect wires to it. Please refer to the miniTesla manual for details.

$3
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miniTesla
Spring Contact (Package of 25) by miniTesla

These are the crucial miniTesla spring contacts. They are the connecting elements that allow mechanical as well as electrical connection of electric components. This package includes 25 of them.

They are inserted in 5 mm holes of pegboards about 1/8" (~3 mm) thick. They can be inserted and removed with your fingers but a better removal tool is a 1.75 mm (No. 0) crochet hook. Please refer to the manual for details.

To clamp wires use your fingers or our compression tool.

These spring contacts also fit perfectly into half-height (thin) Lego technic beams. One can construct a little pegboard purely from thin Lego...

$9.90
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Chris Wasshuber
miniTesla Manual by Chris Wasshuber

This is the getting started guide for the miniTesla solderless electronic prototyping system. Learn the basics of how to build, develop, test, and disassemble circuits, and how to mechanically connect them to the world of Lego.

miniTesla is a new electronics prototyping system based on an ingenious spring contact originally developed by Philips in the 1960s. This contact provides mechanic as well as electric connectivity. We have further improved the original system by eliminating the need for carrier boards for discrete transistors, and by adding additional ways to connect components providing three...

★★★★★ $0
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E. W. Bud Morris
Magic with Electronics by E. W. Bud Morris

Bud Morris had a creative mind. In this collection of effects he demonstrates how a bit of electronics allows you to perform miracles and entertain your audience.

  • Bud Morris … Who's He?
  • The Brain Wave Lamp
  • Oriental Caddy
  • Way Out-Er Limits
  • E.S.P. And The Joker Is Wild!
  • Mystic Black Ball
  • Remote Control Table
  • The Wheel Of Thought
  • Skull-Duggery
  • Electronic Equipment
1st edition 1973, 17 pages; PDF 27 pages.
★★★★ $7
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Dave Arch
Electronic Buzz Box by Dave Arch

Although you can find versions of these Electronic Monte boxes for sale on magic websites, I could not find one large enough for my needs nor one that included a buzzer (not just a light). So I built my own. In spite of the fact that my electronic knowledge only involves the ability to insert a plug into an outlet, I built my own the first time in under an hour for around $20.

The premise is simple. From among multiple buttons, you win if you can find the button that lights the light and sets off the buzzer. With the diagram included in my instructions you aren't limited to only three buttons...

$10
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Claude Klingsor
Miracles of Modern Magic by Claude Klingsor

For me personally these lecture notes have been a real treat - something I enjoyed tremendously reading and getting my creative juices flowing. This is an ebook on enabling miracles with electronics. Magicians have always used the latest technology to create their wonders. Claude Klingsor from Belgium has specialized in using electronics to create miracles.

This is a magic ebook for engineers, inventors and tinkerers. The fact that these notes were written in the late 80s means that you won't find any microcontrollers, but that is also the charm of this ebook. The circuits are very easy to...

$15
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