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Links to some related areas

Simple Electric Motors:

Beakman's Electric Motor - Build your own working motor as seen on Beakman's World TV show.

Chapter 2: Electromagnetism - Another version of Beakman's motor by Simon Quellen Field.

How Stuff Works - A great site for information on how electric motors work.

Homopolar motor - Build this interesting (but unfortunately not very useful) model in 30 seconds.

Simple Electrostatic Motor - Build a high voltage motor from plastic pop bottles.

Reed Switches, Transistors and Optical Sensors:

Reed Switch - Information from Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia.

Transistors - Information from "Explain that Stuff!".

How do Transistors Work? - Simple explanation of the principles of transistor operation.

Opto Sensors - Description and application notes from Aleph.

Soldering Tips and How to Use a Multimeter:

How To Solder - Very detailed instructions on soldering.

How to Solder Correctly - Soldering Guide from "Curious Inventor".

Help on Soldering - Another page with information on basic soldering techniques.

Using a Multimeter - Information on how to use a multimeter to measure the current, voltage, and resistance.

Books:

Mims, Forrest M.  Getting Started in Electronics.  Radio Shack, Pub. 62-5003, 1998.

Mims, Forrest M.  Engineer’s Mini-Notebook: Optoelectronics Circuits.  Radio Shack, Pub. 62-5012, 1998.

Mims, Forrest M.  Engineer’s Mini-Notebook: Magnet and Magnet Sensor Projects.  Radio Shack, Pub. 62-5020, 1998.

Werninck, E.H.  Electric Motor Handbook.  London; New York:  McGraw-Hill, 1978.

The first 3 books may be found at Radio Shack; the last book may be available at your local library.