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    Hello,

    I do physics in A-levels and I would like to experiment with things like capacitors, potential dividers, and different types of circuits, etc.

    I am into electronics and played around with the arduino uno, sensors, breadboard and stuff like this before, however I could not decide which type of cable would the best to actually build up some circuits, do calculations and draw some graphs with readings from multimeters. Can I go with crocodile "test" leads or shall I buy the classic single core cables or I am meant to buy any other type of cable.

    Also in the future, I am planning to build a drone with a friend powered with supercaps (and using raspberry pi as the brain). What kind of cable would you reccomend for this?

    Sorry if there are too many question?
    Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks!
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    There is a specific type of cable used for high-end sensors, but you won't need to use that. For a lot of hobbyist jobs, wire is just wire. Crocodile clips, multi-strand or single core would be perfectly fine depending on what you're using. For breadboards, the single core is going to be a lot easier to poke into the holes and is easier to remove the plastic coating.

    If you're building test circuits, breadboard or crocodile clips may be the best solution if you're changing out components. Just be careful with things like capacitors, resistors and micro-electronics so that you don't fry them (as they can burn, explode and give nasty shocks).

    For a drone, multi-strand is probably fine. It bends easier than single core and I found it easier to solder.


    You'll probably find you need to use a combination of all of them though. They are good at different things be it flexibility (both of the wire and application), ease to remove around or solderability.
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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
    There is a specific type of cable used for high-end sensors, but you won't need to use that. For a lot of hobbyist jobs, wire is just wire. Crocodile clips, multi-strand or single core would be perfectly fine depending on what you're using. For breadboards, the single core is going to be a lot easier to poke into the holes and is easier to remove the plastic coating.

    If you're building test circuits, breadboard or crocodile clips may be the best solution if you're changing out components. Just be careful with things like capacitors, resistors and micro-electronics so that you don't fry them (as they can burn, explode and give nasty shocks).

    For a drone, multi-strand is probably fine. It bends easier than single core and I found it easier to solder.


    You'll probably find you need to use a combination of all of them though. They are good at different things be it flexibility (both of the wire and application), ease to remove around or solderability.
    Thanks, that was very helpful!
    Is there any good multimeter (perhaps an easy to use, pretty, accurate and functional one) that you would recommend and how would you fit in the crocodile or single core to the multimeter jacks.?
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    (Original post by thephysicsguy)
    Thanks, that was very helpful!
    Is there any good multimeter (perhaps an easy to use, pretty, accurate and functional one) that you would recommend and how would you fit in the crocodile or single core to the multimeter jacks.?
    Any bog-standard one should do. You can get them from a tenner on Amazon.

    They come with their own wires for measurements. They're more like pins so you just poke them onto the bits you're trying to measure, which is good for potential differences and that sort of thing. If you need to integrate them into the circuit (like an ammeter) then you can also purchase multimeter crocodile clips.

    You're probably used to the ones you see in schools where it's generic type of cabling, but you probably won't need that stuff with your projects. I think they're called "banana plugs", but they're not much good if you're connecting lots of things with different styles of connection.
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    (Original post by thephysicsguy)
    Hello,

    I do physics in A-levels and I would like to experiment with things like capacitors, potential dividers, and different types of circuits, etc.

    I am into electronics and played around with the arduino uno, sensors, breadboard and stuff like this before, however I could not decide which type of cable would the best to actually build up some circuits, do calculations and draw some graphs with readings from multimeters. Can I go with crocodile "test" leads or shall I buy the classic single core cables or I am meant to buy any other type of cable.

    Also in the future, I am planning to build a drone with a friend powered with supercaps (and using raspberry pi as the brain). What kind of cable would you reccomend for this?
    I'd agree with a lot of what SillyEddy has already said. The type of cable really depends on what you're doing. However for experimenting with almost any sort of electronics I'd highly encourage the use of breadboard first. With breadboard solid wire tends to be the best to use. You can get kits of wire of varying lengths which makes life easier. For longer flexible connections stranded cable is useful but it is harder to connect to breadboard (although you can get kits of wires with pins on the end suitable to headers / breadboard).

    Personally I wouldn't use crocodile clips for anything more than attaching some test equipment. They can have a habit of moving around which if they then touch something they're not supposed to that could become an expensive error.

    If you're making something more permanent then some form of stripboard / veroboard is good. They work in a similar way to breadboard but you solder the connections rather than hoping friction will do a good enough job. If you're making a circuit for a quad copter/drone (or anything else where it could be shaken about) then I wouldn't want to rely on breadboard to hold everything in place. You could always go the extra step and design your own PCB and get manufactured (if time isn't an issue you can get them fairly cheaply)

    In terms of using a Raspberry Pi for a drone (first the boring legal bit) check what's actually allowed - there are a range of rules/laws you need to be aware of and I believe certain types of autonomous systems are explicitly banned.

    I'm not sure I'd trust supercaps for powering a Pi, from the little I know as they discharge their voltage drops so even with 1/2 the charge left in the supercap you might find there isn't enough power to run a Pi. Rechargeable batteries or some of the higher capacity alkaline batteries might be better. Depending on what you're connecting to the Pi you can also make some modification which means it can run from a 3v3 power source rather than needing 5v I think this will mean you cannot use the HDMI connector or most USB peripherals.

    For connecting components to the gpio header on the raspberry pi you might find something like the humble Pi board useful. This is a form of stripboard that has gpio header on it and then a set of tri pad stripboard (3 pads linked together) for you to solder your components onto.
 
 
 
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