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Fun Friday – Velleman Kits

Fun Friday – Velleman Kits

Since 1997 Velleman has been one of the biggest names in soldering and electronics kits for hobbyists and DIY electronics enthusiasts. Some of these kits are more useful, but many are done as a fun project to practice soldering, many times for teens doing STEM activities, and at the end of the project, you have something fun to play with. Whether you’ve been at it for years or are just starting out, Velleman kits are a great activity for anyone. But first, don’t forget your soldering iron.

The first set of kits you might want to consider are the games/miscellaneous kits. Most of these will be relatively simple, but also have some function once the kit is done. You can open your own mini-electronic casino with the MK119 roulette, or MK150 shaking dice kit. If running money games isn’t your angle you can try the MK159 brain game which comes with a plastic case and looks like it plays as sort of a Simon type of memory game. If you’re more into music, the MK106 metronome kit will help you keep time. If you’re into model trains and dioramas, the MK131 stop light might be a great choice. And who could forget the ever annoying K2604 Siren kit, great to turn on and hide to mess with people.

Moving on, you might want to start thinking about the holidays. Which holiday? Why, all of them of course! Christmas of course is on a lot of people’s mind, so why not get a head start now? You can get started with stars and a bell. Velleman’s MK170 is a star with multiple effects, the MK169 is a red star that flashes and the MK122 is an animated bell. Next there are at least four different Christmas tree kits. The MK100 with red LEDs and MK100b with blue LEDs. For a slight variant and more of a challenge you can get the MK142 with surface mount components, giving you the chance to really hone your soldering skills, while the MK130 is a 3D Christmas tree that might go good as a centerpiece.

For other holidays there’s a couple different kits. Starting with Halloween, you can get the MK166 Animated Ghost (just cover with a white sheet), the MK145 Halloween Pumpkin and to add more general spooky ambience without creating a fire hazard, the MK167 Flickering Candle. A few of these in the right spot will creepify any haunted house come Halloween. If frights aren’t your thing, but love is, Valentine’s Day brings a few fun kits to mind. Get your “heart on” with the MK101 Flashing LED heart or try your hand at surface mount soldering with the MK144 Flashing Heart Mini Kit. The most unique kit is the MK149 Love Tester kit which claims to test your love level and compatibility with a partner or potential partner. If you’re compatible, lights will light up, a buzzer may sound and sparks will fly (hopefully not literal sparks). Probably there is something sciencey going on there, so it might fun to learn what causes the bar to go all the way up.

Whichever of the holiday kits you get, they’ll be great additions, but be sure to spice them up with a little extra décor. A naked circuit board probably won’t cut it at most parties.

Finally, on to something more practical and with more possibilities, Velleman has some kits that work for Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Velleman VMP501 is a DIY kit for the Raspberry Pi which contains quite a few standard electronics pieces for experimenting with the Raspberry Pi. Similarly, the VMA504 and the ARD-A000010 Kit will get you started with Arduino boards.

All of these Velleman Kits can be fun ways to get started in STEM and in learning soldering skills. They’ll also be great ways to add a little variety to holiday decorations and events. Velleman also offers limited support for their kits, so if you run into trouble, be sure to get in touch with them.

As always, we’d love to have your product reviews and would love to see your pics and hear from you on Facebook or Instagram!
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